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 October 2015

The French are Revolting!

Now, I realise that there are a number of ways you can take the title of this piece, you will just have to believe me when I say that on this occasion it refers to a recent Wars of the French Revolution game Phil and I played out here in GHQ. Phil took command of the French, with a total of 17 units plus artillery and command elements while I commanded the Allies with a total of 18 units plus artillery and command elements. As we were using Blackpowder once again, we agreed that the French would have slightly better command ratings than the Allies overall to represent their revolutionary zeal! The first photo gives an impression of the table layout at the beginning of the game viewed from the Allied right ~

The French had the initiative and Phil immediately 'Blundered' in his advance, seeing one unit dash forward for three moves! He redeemed the mistake when other units advanced to cover the flank of the overenthusiastic troops! In the Allied turn the Austrian infantry holding the centre advanced to block the French while the British left flank cautiously moved forward.

The French second line in their centre and their right flank were still not prepared to advance, leaving them vulnerable t an Allied thrust towards the farm, if only they could pass their Command rolls and muster some enthusiasm for the fight!

At last the French second line and their right began to make progress, just when the Allied left had decided to call a halt for a reorganisation!

In the centre the Allies suffer their first reverse when, after initial success, the Austrian Grenadiers are driven off in route by the French!

The remainder of the Austrian infantry brigade deploy into line to bring their greater firepower to bear on Les Bleus! British light cavalry move to protect their flank and also screen the British advance from unwelcome French interference. Austrian 12lbers play on the advancing French columns.

Both sides are keen to occupy the farmstead to secure their flank. The French fail in their turn to reach the objective, leaving the British free to try in their turn! Meanwhile rival Lit Infantry exchange fire.

The farm falls to the 33rd Foot supported by a regiment of Hanoverians, while the Lowenstein Chasseurs and Rohan's Freikorps confront the French Light Infantry!

As French pressure builds, the 'Dunwhinngin Fencibles'/42nd Foot ready themselves for glory!

Meanwhile, away on the Allied right the Austrian cuirassier are inexplicably thrashed by the French 2nd Hussars!

In the Allied centre the Austrian infantry have fled the field and on the right things are going badly for the Allied cavalry! British infantry struggle to fill the gap in the line as French columns surge forward sensing victory!

From the French lines you can sense the power of their attack and appreciate the thin red line readying itself to meet the attack!

The remnants of the Allied cavalry on their right makes a last ditch attempt to stem the French tide and protect their remaining infantry's flank!

On the Allied left the fighting reaches a crisis point as units exchange fire seeking to break the will of their enemies!

Sadly its the Allied resolve which snaps first as the ninth unit flees the field! Although badly mauled, the French will claim a victory!

The game was decided in the ninth turn, leaving enough time fortuitously for coffee and chocky biccies! The figures are all from my collection: mostly Trent Miniatures, supported by Front Rank and Foundry. The trees are from the Last Valley and the farm is a foam casting I got from eBob and which Phil kindly painted for me! The French flags are from the Vexicology site while the British and Hanoverian are from GMB Designs. The Austrian flags are from the Warflag site. I have a few things on the painting desk for this project: some Austrian general officers gathered around a map table; some vignette style French skirmish bases; a small Austrian fife and drum corps and the extra base of Austrian Dragoon to bring the regiment up to strength. I hope to finish these this month as there are no more games scheduled before the last few days of October due to my friends' work and holiday plans. That will leave me once in 'Winter Quarters' to tackle my two Hungarian infantry regiments and the Homsesch Mounted Rifles for the Allied cause. I'll let you know how things go...


  1. I concur that force of Coalition lost resolve, but i fail to see anything sad about it monsignour :)

  2. Thanks for the great report. I have a few questions, as my gaming partner and I are planning to give Black Powder a go.

    It appears your units are 24 infantry and 12 cav. Are your artillery single gun units, or are those multiple guns just a single battery? If the latter, how do you play them in BP?

    How big of a table did you use? It appears to be 6'x6'. Did you modify BP movement rates or ranges?

    Thanks again,

  3. A splendid report and pics of a grand game, could have gone either way until decided by the cavalry stand off on the flank being resolved in favour of the revolution.

    @ Ed, table is 6'x6.5', with no alteration to the movement and ranges. Dave has three guns to represent the battery because it looks better, we only rolled the 3, 2 or 1 D6 depending on range as per the rules

    1. Thanks! The game looks great and sounds like fun


  4. Yet another brilliant looking game David!


  5. Great looking game David! The Revolutionary period is sadly neglected by most Wargames.

  6. Thanks for the kind words folks! Encouragement always helps I find when the muse is weak?