Monday, August 22, 2011

Forcing the Bridge

Last Saturday, I participated in a 15mm Seven Years War battle that pitted a French advanced guard trying to force a river crossing in the face of stiff resistance from part of His Britannic Majesty's Army in Germany.  Normally I play on the British side in these battles, but this time I chose the French and was in command of the right wing.  Here is my report to the advanced guard commander.

Note:  A complete battle report will soon be posted on the Jackson Gamers web site and additional pictures can be seen on the Nomadic Old School Gamer's blog.

TO:  His Excellency le Vicomte de Florida, Lieutenant-General de France, commander of the advanced guard

FROM:  Le Marechal-de-Camp François Lucien, Compte de Merlot, commanding right wing of the advanced guard
Monsieur le Vicomte,

In accordance with your instructions, I advanced my column down the right hand road to wards the bridge over the river.  I deployed the Irish brigade along the road, intending to use these elite soldiers to storm the bridge and secure a lodgement.  Of the light brigade, I deployed one battalion to scout for additional crossings over the river, alas without success.  The other three battalions were employed to the right of the road, anticipating finding a crossing.  The 7th Cavalry Brigade followed in reserve to exploit the crossing secured by the Irish Brigade.
The Irish Brigade is on the right along the road, with the light brigade in the center and the cavalry to the left.  Part of the English defensive line can be seen in the foreground.

The Irish advanced with alacrity and courage, enduring heavy fire from the English guns just across the bridge and from their deployed infantry battalions.  
Regiment Fitz-James storms across the bridge.

The Regiments Fitz-James and Buckeley suffered severe casualties but screened the dragoons enough that they could get into position to attack the guns.
The dragoon brigade begins its advance to exploit the attack of the Regiment Fitz-James.

The Regiment Schomberg, followed closely by the Regiment Colonel-General, rode down the English batteries, sabering the gunners without mercy.  
Regiment Schomberg has just ridden down and sabered the English gunners.

Seeing approaching enemy cavalry, both regiments continued their advance, engaged the English cavalry, and forced them to retire.
Regiments Schomberg (on left) and Colonel-General (on right) engage and defeat the English cavalry.

 But the rest of the Irish Brigade and the Light Brigade were not able to follow-up the gallant exploits of the dragoons.  The English infantry closed off the bridge with additional troops, isolating the two dragoon regiments on the far side.  Both regiments fought stupendously, inflicting many casualties on both the first enemy cavalry brigade and later upon a reserve brigade.  But they were doomed without further support.
Regiment Colonel-General has already been rendered hors de combat and the Regiment Schomberg is now surrounded.

I am commending the following regiments for their outstanding efforts in the recent action -- the Irish Regiment Fitz-James and the Dragoon Regiments Colonel-General and Schomberg.  Their heroism must be brought to the attention of the army commander and the King.
Regiment Schomberg has repulsed all four English cavalry regiments.  But suffering heavy casualties and with blown horses, they are forced to retire down the river to seek another crossing point as the English infantry have closed off the bridge to them.
It is also my sad duty to bring to your attention the abysmal performance of the Grenadier Battalion de Fischer.  They were quickly scattered by a single volley of English artillery fire and were of no further use in my attack.  I would strongly recommend that the commander be cashiered and the unit be converted to a punishment battalion on the wilds of the Breton coast.

I am, your obedient servant, etc.

François Lucien, Compte de Merlot

Footnote:  We used a modified set of rules originally published in MWAN.  You can find them on the Jackson Gamers web site - called Quick Tricorne

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