Sunday, 25 July 2010

Cressay part 2

General Poisson, the commander of the Lorraine troops had been watching the deployment of the Electoral forces and expecting more to arrive. The initial skirmishes had probed his position, but there had been no serious attack. If this was all the enemy had to offer, perhaps it was an opportunity to secure his position at court with a victory. For his part Lord Percy was beginning to feel slightly uneasy. There seemed to be a large force opposing him and his orders to secure Cressay looked increasingly difficult to carry out. However, with a little luck he could hold his position and retire under cover of darkness. Perhaps a few limited attacks with his left flank would pin the enemy in place.

After a brief conference with his staff Poisson decided to attack. Concentrating his artillery, he would silence the enemy guns and then move forward to cut the road to Midie. Gradually the Lorraine guns gained the upper hand. With casualties amongst his gunners rising, the battery commander had no choice but to pull back. Lord Percy sent an aide with orders for the guns to retire to Midie and contact the main force at Drew requesting reinforcements.

Seeing the Electoral guns retire, Poisson ordered the infantry and cavalry on his left under the Duc de Haique to advance and also ordered forward the Cuirassier brigade to charge the enemy dragoons who now held the centre of Lord Percy's position. As the Lorraine heavy cavalry surged forward, Lord Percy supported his dragoons with his Yellow Hussars, attempting to neutralise the cuirassiers' advantage by hitting their flank. This possibility had been seen by the commander of the cuirassiers and his second regiment deployed to their right to meet this threat. The melee was short and fierce, the result was overwhelmingly in favour of Lorraine; the hussars were shattered, the remnants limping to the rear and finished as a fighting unit. The dragoons fared almost as badly losing over 50% of their strength and routing from combat. Seizing their advantage, the heavy cavalry carried on into the heart of the Electoral position. A second dragoon regiment was scattered, a battalion of infantry failed to stand firm and was ridden down and the retreating battery was overrun. With this charge the battle had been decided. Meanwhile, to pin the Electoral left, Poisson had ordered his right flank to advance over the ridge. This they had done and a furious fire fight developed, which had gone in favour of the Electoral troops. Both brigade commanders were delighted with the way they were carrying out their commanders orders, and getting the better of their opponents, but to their right the battle had been decided.
Having destroyed the Electoral centre and pinned their left, Poisson now used his reserve dragoon brigade to threaten the flank of the Electoral infantry who were stubbornly resisting the Lorraine right flank's advance. The dragoons were supported by the victorious currasiers, who advancing into suprised and captured Lord Percy and his aides. The day was lost for the Electoral forces, indeed the complete destruction of their force seemed possible. It was at this point that Poisson offered terms to the senior Electoral brigade commander. If they were to retreat immediately from Chiraz there would be no pursuit. This offer was accepted and the battered remnants made their way back to the river crossing. Lord Percy meanwhile, was to be the guest of General Poisson at a very acceptable inn in Cressay. On his way to that dinner appointment Lord Percy wondered if it would be possible to engineer a diplomatic post at the court of Lorraine, possibly in an advisory role?

Monday, 19 July 2010

New Magazine

Phil Olley is producing a new magazine "Classic Wargamer's Journal"aimed at those gamers who prefer something "a little different". The first edition will be published shortly. For full details look at his "Classic Wargames" blog

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Return to Chiraz

After a break of several weeks the Chiraz campaign has restarted. The action now moves to the vicinity of Cressay where the Electoral forces (under the command of Lord Percy Wimppe), are attempting to secure a second crossing of the Cressay river. Opposing them are the Lorraine forces under the command of General Poisson. The Lorraine troops had arrived at Cressay with enough time to take post on the hills to the south east of the town, with their artillery commanding the road from Midie, down which the Electoral forces would advance.

Lord Percy's scouts reported to him that the enemy seemed to strongly posted on their left and centre, but their right flank forces must be behind the high ground in front Cressay.

Determined to discover the extent of the forces facing him, Lord Percy ordered one unit of light cavalry to advance on his left flank; towards Cressay, moving round the western flank of the hills. He supported this move with two brigades of infantry and a light artillery battery.

His centre would be held by his remaining infantry brigade, field artillery and two dragoon squadrons, with his right covered by his second light cavalry unit. His jaeger would cover the deployment in the centre.

As the Electoral forces moved into position, General Poisson, perhaps misled by the atmospheric conditions, ordered his artillery to open fire. The shot fell short and merely warned the advancing troops that their current positions were safe from artillery fire. On the flanks the Lorraine forces displayed a little more of their strength by advancing two grenadier battalions to bar the advance of the Electoral light cavalry. Aware of the dangers of advancing too close to these elite troops and lacking any supports, the cavalry reined in and observed from a distance.

Lord Percy's troops were now marching into position and the advance on the seemingly unoccupied ridge began. This was the opportunity for General Poisson to show more of his hand. He ordered the infantry brigade commanded by the Chevalier de St Urgeon to advance onto the ridge and block the advance of the Electoral Infantry. The troops moved forward in line over the crest forming an impressive barrier to their opponents advance. This manouevre had unfortunately brought them into range of the Electoral artillery and with impressive skill the first salvo fell amongst the Lorraine infantry, causing severe casualties. The Electoral advance continued and to aid the infantry, Poisson ordered one of his dragoon brigades to advance on the enemy left. Sweeping around the western slopes of the ridge they were flanking the Electoral battalions.
In a desperate attempt to buy time for the infantry to react to this threat, Colonel Muller of the Electoral light cavalry ordered his men to charge the dragoons. Outnumbered two to one, by heavier opponents, this was not universally welcomed by his men. However, even the partial advance caused the dragoons to pause and by the time they collected themselves, Muller, realising that most of his men were not following him, fell back. The dragoons were now faced by steady infantry, ready to contest any further advance and as the Electoral troops moved forward, they fell back around the ridge.

To relieve pressure on his right Poisson ordered the brigade of the Duc de Haique (picture above) together with the grenadiers and supporting dragoons to advance and threaten to cut the road to Midie and Lord Percy's lines of communication.

So that is where matters rested at the end of the first night's gaming. All set up for the decisive moves next week.

For more pictures of this and other games follow the usual link or the "Photo Archive for Games" link under useful links above.

Sunday, 11 July 2010


This year's show seemed as popular as ever. There was a good selection of traders keen to demonstrate their wares and plenty of friends from around the region to chat to. I had gone determined not to purchase any more 'lead' to add to the painting mountain that threatens to bring part of the loft into the bedroom and I nearly succeeded. My only metal purchase was some bases for trees from Irregular Miniatures. However, on the bring and buy I did pick up some boxes of the Warlord Games plastic ECW cavalry. If I ever get round to painting them they will help to balance out those particular armies which seem to have too few cavalry for the infantry units available. This is due to the rather haphazard way in which the collection has been put together. I wish I was as organised as some gamers (step forward P Olley Esq) who actually have a plan. I pick up figures when I can from Bring and Buy and Ebay and therefore end up with a few extra pike or musket which form the nucleus of the next unit. That was the advantage of the plastic figures. each box was a unit, therefore no extra figures were required and none were left over to create the 'need' for another purchase.

Scouting the internet I have come across many pictures of these figures painted up and done properly they can look as good as their heavier counterparts.
Speaking of painting I have at last, after a period of weeks without lifting a brush in anger, managed to finish a unit of Grenzer for the Napoleonic Austrian army I am slowly building. At the moment the army is very short of light troops; only two stands of Tyrolean Jaeger. One of these is seen attacking a ruin held by some Westphalian skirmishers.
There is also a unit of Hungarian line infantry being prepared, but their place in the painting rota is threatened by some Marines of the Imperial Guard. The simple blue uniforms with black crossbelts are calling, even though I need more line troops. I fear that the inevitable will happen and Napoleon's Guard will have some new recruits before long.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Boyne part 2

The Battle of the Boyne reached its conclusion this week and a hard fought affair it was. William persisted with the attacks across the river at Oldbridge and the Danes stirred themselves and started crossing downstream. They struggled with the same problem as the Dutch and Anglo-Scots upstream, a restricted front, advancing into musketry range whilst still disordered and cavalry threatening their flanks.

As had happened earlier with the Dutch, the forlorn of grenadiers suffered heavy casualties and their supports struggled to establish themselves on the opposite bank. However, the Jacobites did not have things all their own way. Supporting Danish infantry and artillery were inflicting casualties and the volume of musketry from the Irish units began to diminish. To buy time to reorganise the Jacobite cavalry were ordered to attack the grenadiers and guards. A fierce melee followed with the guards just hanging on, although they were almost finished as a fighting force.

On the opposite flank the French and Jacobite dragoons, together with the two Guards battalions positioned themselves to stop the Northern Irish and Huguenots who had crossed the Boyne at Rosnaree. Taking advantage of some broken ground they reduced the attacking frontage of their opponents, taking awaytheir advantage in numbers. Flanking attacks were tried by the Williamites, but they were hampered by terrain and the holding force in the centre suffred heavy casualties, two units being forced to retreat. Two dragoon regiments advanced by the river and forced the 2nd battalion of the King's Guards to turn to face them. Fearing a breakthrough James also deployed a unit from the centre, reducing his force in this vital sector. Just when decisive action was needed the Williamite dragoons failed to charge, giving the Jacobites time to redeploy.

Meanwhile the slaughter continued at Oldbridge. The Williamite artillery had at last found the range and the Jacobite infantry supporting those units manning the barricades began to suffer heavy casulaties. Another wave of infantry, supported by cavalry crossed the Boyne. The Dutch infantry on the left suffered casulaties from the enemy musketry and were then charged by the Horse. They broke, as others had before them and a vicious cavalry melee ensued at the ford. The Dutch horse eventually prevailed, but suffered severely when they pursued their opponents within range of the defenders of Oldbridge. On the right of the ford, the Scots Guards, plus the rallied remnants of the Dutch Guards pushed forwards towards the defences. Although suffering heavy casualties they forced the defenders back. James took counsel from his advisors. Reports from the flanks indicated that they were at the limits of their endurance and enemy pressure was increasing. In the centre only two fresh battalions remained, the cavalry was spent and fresh enemy troops were approaching the ford. If they fell back now they might save the army, any delay and a rout may result. The French brigade in reserve held open the road to Dublin for the moment. James realised only one possible course of action could be taken and he ordered the retreat.
For the Williamites this was a blessed relief. Casulaties had been heavy, units were disorganised by the terrain and the bulk of the cavalry, which could have hindered the Jacobite retreat were still on the northern bank of the Boyne.

As before, more photos available at