Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Saturday, 15 January 2022

Neil Thomas Horse & Musket Scenario 7: Flank Attack II

Scenario 7 from Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames is a second 'flank attack' scenario, this one very loosely based on the situation at the Seven Years' War battle of Leuthen, in which one army has been pinned by the appearance of one force, whilst a second force marched around the flank to attack.  In my play of the scenario, the British take the role of the defending Austrians, whilst the Franco-Jacobites take on the role of the attacking Prussians.  The rules of course were the Simplicity in Practice rules published in Battlegames magazine, with the modifications published on my blog.



The force generator came up with the following forces:

The Hanoverians:
5 Infantry units
2 Horse units
2 Artillery units

The Franco-Jacobites:
5 Infantry units
2 Horse units
2 Artillery units
All of the Hanoverian forces were deployed on the large hill, facing the Franco-Jacobite force on the small hill. The remainder of the Franco-Jacobite army was then placed on the British Left flank, at about the edge of charge and musket range.

The Set-Up:

The Hanoverian Army is on the large hill, deployed to face the smaller hill.  The Franco-Jacobites have an artillery-heavy pinning force on the smaller hill, whilst the main body of infantry and cavalry have conducted a flank march and are poised to strike the Hanoverians' left flank (centre-top)

A closer view of the Hanoverian troops on the hill

And the same, but from behind the infantry and guns of the Franco-Jacobites

Looking towards the Franco-Jacobite flanking force from behind the Hanoverian position

One more view

And the pinning force

The Battle:

The assault begins with a bayonet charge and two cavalry charges.  Unfortunately for the Franco-Jacobites, the attack begins disastrously as one of the cavalry charges (left) and the bayonet charge (centre) both miscarry, the latter despite finding the flank of the British infantry!!!!

The only consolation is that the final Franco-Jacobite cavalry charge (bottom-right) was successful

The defeated Jacobite cavalry retreat and reform (top) but the defeated infantry battalions on both sides surrender to the British Foot and French Horse respectively

A wider shot of the situation after the first attacks have been resolved.  Note also that the French artillery has started to play upon the Hanoverian infantry (bottom-left)

Trying to take advantage of the opportunity, the British Horse counter-charges the disordered Jacobite Horse (top)

 A closer view.  Note also that the supporting French infantry have started to receive effective musketry fire from the Hanoverian infantry.

The British Horse makes quick work of their opponents, who are defeated and routed

The situation: the flank attack has made a little progress but nowhere near as much as hoped for; a regiment of British Horse is making a demonstration towards the French artillery (bottom-left)

The Franco-Jacobite infantry resort to musketry instead and cause severe losses amongst the British Foot

The Franco-Jacobite Horse charge for a second time, hoping to sweep away the Hanoverians this time

Another shot; note that the Hanoverians are extemporizing a line on the left (top-left) to stop any advance into the rear of the position

It is a day for glory if you are a British Foot soldier; if you are a French or Jacobite cavalrymen, not so much: the British infantry hold fast against the charge of the Jacobite Horse

The remnants of which flee or seek quarter in short order

The position at this point: the Franco-Jacobite main attack has gone pretty disastrously, although they aren't quite finished yet; the British Horse is on its way back to its lines having successfully diverted the attention of the Franco-Jacobite pinning force briefly

Regiment Berwick tries to reverse the Franco-Jacobite army's fortunes with the bayonet - and succeeds in routing the British battalion in the centre of the position!

Can they exploit the gap?  But note that the Hanoverian general has already stated to redeploy his artillery to meet this threat (centre-left)

The leading British battalion is suffering heavily from both musketry and the enfilading artillery fire from the small hill

In an unconventional move, the disordered British battalion tries to outflank the Irish regiment (right)!

The wider position around the hill

It is close, but the general's presence inspires the British infantry to overthrow the Irishmen of Berwick's regiment

A last desperate infantry assault by the Franco-Jacobite Foot

But nothing goes right on this bloody day and both regiments are thrown back with heavy losses

Even the pinning force is suffering heavily now that the concentrated fire of the British artillery can be brought against them

The British Horse charge, hoping to sweep away the last of the Franco-Jacobite force

But the Royal Ecossais prove that they are made of even sterner stuff than their opponents, standing firm and causing heavy losses amongst the British Horse, who retire with some alacrity! (top-left)

But the combined musketry and artillery fire against the supporting French infantry routs that battalion

The remnants of the flanking force are holding on and giving as good or better than they are receiving in the musketry battle - both sides have suffered huge losses and only the sword-brandishing and hat-waving antics of the opposing generals are keeping their respective soldiers in their ranks

But the morale of the Franco-Jacobite army finally collapses, as victory now seems impossible

Game Notes:
More good fun from the Neil Thomas' 'stable' but a strange battle in that it threw up a lot of quirky results which distinctly went against the odds! In particular, the story of the battle was set up very early on, when a few of the high-odds Franco-Jacobite attacks badly miscarried.  Some of this was exacerbated by over-confidence: if you don't leave enough room for a defeated unit to retreat, then it will be eliminated instead.  This partly explains why the British 'flank attack' was carried out later in the game - to force the Franco-Jacobites to finish it off separately from any retreat result (given the unit's losses it might not have mattered anyway, however).
These rules aren't the most generous to cavalry, since even those charging disordered infantry frontally aren't necessarily doing it at better than even odds: to make it a true 'sure thing', the cavalry do need something else going for them.  This may account for some of the apparently surprise results in the battle.  It is certainly different from the Polemos rules I play, when taking advantage of suffering infantry is one of the basic tactics of the game.  I rather think that the Polemos rules may be closer to the truth, but I am persuadable of the opposite!

Anyway, not quite the battle or the outcome I was expecting, but interesting and dramatic enough all the same!

Figures by Baccus 6mm, as ever.


  1. A nice little game and a surprise result is often a good outcome! Was there a reason the British cavalry did not continue on around the flank of the enemy pinning force and threaten their rear - this would have distracted them almost entirely from the main event

    1. Thanks very much. You *could* do that, although the rules really should be played with written orders which would make it quite hard. I don't bother writing out the orders, but I do verbalize them a la Black Powder, so that kind of fine manouevring would require a separate order every turn and if it went wrong the British Horse would be plastered with artillery and musketry fire, so it didn't seem viable. But on a more relaxed interpretation of the orders rules, sure, you could definitely do it.

  2. I've played this type of scenario a few times, so gave this one a miss, as each time the Defenders took a bit of a pasting. Nice to see this one turn out differently and so maybe I should re-visit this at some point in the future.

    1. Thanks Steve, I was in a slight state of shock after the first 10 minutes as the game took me into a place I was definitely *not* expecting!