Monday, 7 July 2014

Battle of Ramillies

Over the weekend I had the very good fortune to be involved in a re-fight of the Battle of Ramillies up at Mick's. Also along for the game were my erstwhile allies Neal and Dave to face the dastardly French with Mick, Darren and Charlie. Upon our arrival we were informed of the French dispositions, which followed their historical deployment. As we were marching to the field we were given a little more leeway.

Neal who was unanimously voted into the role of Marlborough decided upon our orders. He with our right composed of the bulk of our cavalry who feint at the French right. Dave took on the role of Charles Churchill and would demonstrate against the French left with the bulk of the English and Danish foot, supported by the English horse. I was Overkirk and had the responsibility of attacking the French center between Ramillies and Orfus.

Both armies deployed
Now I did take a book to make notes but this went out of the window at the first turn. We all became so engrossed in the game. Darren with the bulk of the French cavalry hurled themselves against the allied horse. In what was to be a seesaw battle for most of the day with both sides gaining then losing the advantage. We even committed out reserve cavalry and some of the second line infantry to steady the flank.

Allied advance
battle lines close
As I approached in the centre I began to come under heavy artillery fire, though casualties were only slight it took a few turns to eventually bring my guns into play and how they played. Over a few turns most of the French artillery was knocked out or their crews forced to flee form the allied attack. Over on out left the Cavalry fight got under away. Dave meanwhile was finding it a struggle to get across the stream with both the disordering effects and French pressure holding him off.

Horse collide
View from the French left
French centre coming under attack
Allied horse move to bolster the left flank
Charlie viewing the field in comfort
As both sides came to grips it became obvious that it was becoming a bit of a meat grinder. With the cavalry action continuing to swing both ways the French moved forward some Swiss regiments of foot to provide support. these came under heavy artillery fire and casualties were beginning to mount. Meanwhile having received a change in orders, Dave redouble his efforts and began to force his way across the stream and pushed back the French. Slowly he gained a foothold and the French fell back to reform their lines and prevent the English horse from turning their flank. meanwhile in the centre I had managed to capture Orfus and began to assault across the stream. My first assaults were at first held before fresh troops began to carry me forward. Mick then committed his Spanish foot and both sides began to trade heavy blows with battalions on both sides being forced out of the action.

English foot force themselves across the stream

Allied foot prepare for another assault
Allied left flank
As the fighting escalated all along the lines, both sides began to realise they were running out of fresh troops. instead of committing fresh brigades we were looking for squadrons or battalions. The french horse redoubled their efforts once more to try and force a breakthrough, and just when it looked likely once more the allies threw them back. In the centre the allied foot had manged to gain a foothold across the stream but the action was still in the balance. Mick began to commit the French Garde foot who then came under artillery fire from a freshly placed battery in Orfus. With casualties mounting and running out of turns both sides agreed that the armies were fought out. The French had held their position but at a great cost to both sides.

The battlefield from the allied right flank
The Horse facing off
Overall a very enjoyable game played in the right spirit with a great bunch of lads. Was pleased that the rule amendments that we had made held up fairly well for such a large battle. Already looking forward to Oudenarde next year.

7 comments:

Ray Rousell said...

A most impressive looking game!

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Awesome looking game!

Christopher

Rodger said...

What an incredible looking game!! Very very impressed!

Neil Scott said...

cheers guys

Phil said...

Most impressive pictures, the mass effect is awesome!

Dave Huntley (sheepman) said...

As always a great write up of a good game.
Dave

peter said...

Great pictures and battle report! Thanks for sharing!

Greetings
Peter