David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occassional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Monday, 12 January 2015

The Crossroads at Ballykilly

For this week's game here in GHQ Phil and I decided to try a Wars of the French Revolution game. When Jon and I had previously played out three fictional battles last year set in Ireland we had used Sam Mustafa's Maurice rules, but as the collection has grown slightly since then ~ mainly in the addition of Heavy Cavalry for both sides ~ I decided that we would try Black Powder for this game. The British force, commanded by our old chum Major General Whytherin-Fyre, defends the strategic crossroads at Ballykilly, while the French invasion force is commanded by General Philippe De Zasta! The game can last up to 10 Turns. We decided to use the full movement distances, mainly to see how the smaller table would cope with larger numbers of cavalry and their potential for sweeping movements.

The British started the game occupying the village of Ballykilly with their cavalry and artillery drawn up on the more exposed left flank ~

Facing them were the superior numbers of French Heavy Cavalry ~

Beyond the French Cavalry Brigades you can see the infantry forming up for the main attack on Ballykilly.

The French plan was to pin the British centre with their first infantry Brigade and its artillery support, while moving around their right flak with a second Infantry Brigade, leaving the cavalry to exploit their superior numbers and weight on the British left. flank

The French cavalry thundered home against their British opposite number and heavy and prolonged fighting ensued on the British left. {Note:- It is not a good idea to fail an order test with all your cavalry!} The French swept the British Dragons off the table eventually, leaving just the Light Dragoons and the artillery to hold the flank.

In the centre the British infantry enjoyed more success, driving off the frontal  attacks on Ballykilly, but on their right flank the French managed to get behind the British and drive them in on their centre.

Despite a reckless charge of the French heavies by the British Light Dragoons and a subsequent gallant defence by the artillery, the French destroy the British left, forcing the reserves into square for self defence. On the British right a counter attack halts the French progress for a turn.

The French destroy the British defenders of the crossroads in a decisive round of hand to hand and Whytherin-Fyre leaves the field to the old enemy once again.

The fortunes of the game swung back and forth over several turns, but in the end the French registered a decisive victory when they seized the cross roads at Ballykilly! Perhaps we would have done better to play with reduced distances? Well, with Phil's murderously successful dice throwing it probably would only have prolonged the agony on my side!
The figures are mostly by Trent Miniatures, as regular visitors will already know, supplemented by a few Front Rank and Foundry figures amongst the mass. The buildings are by Conflix, which you don't see so much of at Shows in recent times I've noticed, and the vegetation and water feature by The Last Valley. I've almost finished a further French infantry regiment, leaving one more infantry regiment to go, plus some French Hussars and another General base. If I can finish these before we are off to New Zealand, in late February and March, then I can start on the Austrians for the Allies in April! Tall order though with my slower output since October. We shall have to wait and see...


  1. A fine and enjoyable game, a good job my infantry found better form after lunch though. You spelt my name wrong btw, it is De Zastre :-)

    1. I agree, a good game and quite close until the end when it all ran away from me...

  2. Its refreshing to see French Revolution instead of later period. Also reminds me I need to get my French in Egypt painted...

    1. Thanks, tomw! Glad you liked the game/figures. Hope your Egyptian Campaign stuff is underway now!