Last Thursday the Wollongong wargamers played Caesar's experimental scenario for Maurice rules for the Battle of Ramillies. He wants to have it playable as a 2 player scenario rather than as a doubles game. As is my wont I got in early, since I usually have to leave early, to set up the table. Caesar unusually had drawn his map with 9 inch square grids, so it took a bit of getting used to, and since the uni tables are 4 x 2 foot we would have some space around the margins. So I set up a grid working from the centre to get things right.
Caesar then started the process of decanting his forces, which formed all of the Franco Bavarian army and some of the Allied. His lovely troops are all 10mm Pendraken.
Yes - that's 10mm!
Above, one of my two units of Maison du Roi - the only ace I held...and these fine gentlemen did me proud! Below, the French Infantry. Two units of Elites, the rest are Trained. And frankly, compared with the British with their 'Trained Volleys', that's being polite!
Then Alan showed us what he'd managed to achieve in transforming the staid old plastic Risk figures:
Quite amazing work - talk about making a silk purse out of a sow's ear! Very pretty, I hear you saying, but can they Fight! You may take my word for it that they can!
Now Alan has written up his own version of events on his The Stronghold Rebuilt blog and its well worth having a look at the-battle-of-ramillies-1706. All I will do here is write up my
Caesar kindly umpired and Alan took Marlborough's role as the Allied commander, and I took on the unfortunate Villeroi's role as the Franco Bavarian commander. As defender, I got to deploy first.
With the benefit of hindsight, I choose to forgo attempting to defend everything and garrison Taviers and AutreEglise, instead I concentrated on a tight defence framed by Offus and the hillock called the Tomb of Ottomont. Below the windmill represents Offus, and the blue and red roofs Ramillies itself, and you can make out the rivulet of the Little Geete in between the raised banks on the left. All this action takes place in Brabant, Flanders, in 1706. The white triangle you see represents the objective for the game. It would only come into play if neither army was wiped out...
It was then Alan's turn to deploy. Since his transformed Risk army is being modelled for the Great Northern Wars you can make out the Swedish pike blocks:
Below is Alan's deployment - Rather than feint to his right behind the little Geete as Marlborough did historically, and which would have been of little use since he knew I knew more or less what had occurred, he placed his infantry entirely in the plain as I had expected, and his cavalry behind the Little Geete...
As attacker Alan moved first, and led off with his cavalry across the stream, which disordered his Regiments as they crossed. Since my only strength was in a couple of fine cavalry Regiments, I decided to try and make it all about the Arme Blanche for as long as I could - I don't normally like to place to much reliance on Cavalry, but anything to delay those terrible British rolling volleys!
Unfortunately Alan pulled a 'Stirrups In' card out of the hat to nullify my Maison du Roi national advantage! However I was able to flank one of his units, so it all came out in the long run..
I was hoping to keep Alan fixated on the increasingly desperate cavalry melee for the duration, but eventually he had no cavalry units left to play with, so returned to his death dealing infantry who had been waiting patiently to come into play...
Gulp! As for my cavalry, my sole remaining Regiment was moved forwards towards AutreEglise, and much loud and bold talk of crossing the Geete myself and flanking his artillery persuaded Alan to peel off 2 of his Regiments to protect his flank. I was very pleased with that trade off - one rather battered cavalry regiment tying down 2 fresh and deadly Infantry Regiments!
However, that did not postpone the inevitable advance of the remaining Allied infantry towards the objective. I had placed my 2 elite Regiments in the garrisons, and some telling fire from Ramillies was able to inflict some damage on the right of the British line, but that same Regiment was receiving the fire of 5 Allied batteries.
At this point I had to leave, and Caesar took over the command - but not for long!
A couple of deadly volleys pushed the Armys morale down beyond breaking point and they, well they broke! But at least it would be Caesar's job to tell the King!
A very enjoyable and exciting game, as protracted cavalry clashes usually are, and once again I realised that you don't have to go large with a roomful of 28mm figures to get the 'big battle' feel!
I have ordered a couple of packs from Pendraken to see if I can actually paint 10mm figures to something reasonably approaching Alan and Caesar's efforts!
I expect Caesar will post his final version of the scenario on Sam Mustafa's Honour forum so that you will be able to replay this game yourself - good luck!