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.

Friday 29 December 2023

Neil Thomas One Hour Wargames Scenario 28

Scenario 28 in Neil Thomas' book One Hour Wargames, and next up in my series of refights, is called 'Botched Relief' and is loosely based on the Mexican-American War battle of El Molino del Rey. This is the first of a pair of scenarios in which Neil Thomas explores mechanisms to reflect poor/weird command actions during the actual battle...


Again, I was using the Polemos Ruse de Guerre rules. The aim of both sides is to control the town at the end of the game.

The Forces:

The Hanoverians: 2 bases of Infantry, 1 base of Artillery (the town garrison); 4 bases of Infantry, 2 bases of Cavalry (the main body)
The Franco-Jacobites: 3 bases of Infantry, 1 base of Dragoons, 2 bases of Cavalry

Only a single British unit from the main body can take an action in any given turn(!).

The Set-Up:

Two Scottish battalions and an artillery battery protect the town.

The main body occupies the higher ground

Two infantry battalions on the near part of the hills...

And two more, plus two Cavalry regiments, on the further part

The Battle:

The Franco-Jacobite commander left his Dragoons and Cavalry to protect the flank, whilst the Irish brigade attacked the town.  The British infantry's volley has disordered the French Dragoons, and they are now closing with the bayonet (bottom)

Despite their casualties and disorder, the French Dragoons drive off the attacking redcoats!

The British manage to reform and charge in again...

Meanwhile, there is a ferocious exchange of fire at the edge of the town.

Over on the flanks, this time the French Dragoons cannot hold, and break...

...and run!

Whilst Leven's Regiment has been forced to evacuate the town and reform (top), Berwick's Regiment has been forced back by the combination of bombardment, ball and bayonet... (bottom-left)

Seizing the initiative, the Scottish infantry attacks before the Irish regiments can either take the town, or reform - although accurate musketry from Berwick's Regiment has decimated the British gun crews; then Fergusson's Regiment delivers a crashing volley before charging in with the bayonet...

...and Berwick's regiment duly routs; fighting continues at the edge of the town

The Irish infantry still cannot get into the town, while the Jacobite Horse is subject to a galling musketry from Fergusson's Regiment (bottom)

A wider shot

Fergusson's Regiment, supremely confident, advances to try and push away the disordered Jacobite Life Guards

But the manly bearing and accurate carbine fire of the Jacobite riders pushes Fergusson's regiment back. However, Fergusson's volleys then break the Life Guards!!

Taking a calculated risk, noting the increasing casualties and disorder amongst Leven's Regiment in the town, the Hanoverian general leads Fergusson's Regiment into an attack on the flank of the Irish infantry!

It works! The Irish Regiments are thrown into total disorder...

And one regiment breaks!

The remaining Franco-Jacobite units flee the field...

Game Notes:

Another very exciting game. It was close, but the Hanoverian Army just had that bit of luck when it needed it, and the performance of its infantry in this game was outstanding. The Franco-Jacobite tempo rolling was simply awful too: it found itself pretty much stuck every time a fleeting opportunity to attack the British when they were off balance, so casualties and disorders could never be turned into routs, and thus potential army morale breaks. The only other thing to note is that the relatively generous movement rates in Polemos Ruse de Guerre allowed the units on the hills to threaten meaningfully the flank of the Franco-Jacobites without ever moving, so although only one British unit actually left the hills to fight, the threat of a British regiment, especially a British cavalry regiment, charging a carelessly explosed flank at any time very much affected the Franco-Jacobite deployment
Figures by Baccus 6mm, buildings by Leven.

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