David Bickley's Wargames Blog

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

Thursday 7 September 2017

"A desperate business, and no mistake!"

On Wednesday evening Jon and I settled down in GHQ for what has become our monthly game. We had agreed last time on an outing for my SYW collection, with Jon as Lord Walton once more taking the British command and yours truly as General de Bykli taking command of the French. I set out the table before the game with mostly open terrain broken by the odd copse of trees and a couple of fields, although a more heavily wooded area flanked one side of the table. As time pressure on Jon was a factor I took fewer pictures than I had intended, but I hope they give a flavour of the game. We used Black Powder rules without any modifications from The Last Argument of Kings ~
General de Bykli oversees the deployment of the French centre.
The Wild Geese and French Grenadiers move up on the right flank.
The Foot Guards move smartly to the British left flank to counter the French.
Meanwhile the French right has deployed ready to face the threat from the
British Foot Guards. The Hussars de Bykli drive off an attack by the British
Horse Guards.
Lord Walton advances his infantry in the centre as the artillery commence
The Foot Guards and the French grenadiers exchange volleys.
In the centre one French infantry regiment has broken but the French and
Swiss Guards march into the gap and steady the line.
The British Foot Guards exchange volleys with the Grenadier de France.
Both sides are taking heavy casualties and despite numerous Rallies
individual regiments begin to Break on both sides.

The French centre is broken and troops stream towards safety in the rear!
The situation at the end of Turn 9 ~ both armies are Broken and may not advance. The French, having one more Broken
brigade than the British quit the field.
Once again Black Powder proved itself equal to the task of producing a finely balanced game with numerous swings of fortune. Although ending in a draw, the French had the worst of it in the end, with one extra Broken Brigade leading them to quit the field. Lord Walton, wounded in the climax of the battle, was carried to the rear by his Aides as the French remnants retired in good order while offices struggled to bring order to the army.


  1. A splendid looking game, and no mistake!
    I trust that the Guards allowed the French to fire first, Monsewer.

    1. Indee, the French did fire first, but to little effect!

  2. A game full of ebb 'n' flow, the French got their firing lines into position first but had little effect whilst once the British stopped fannying about they delivered a withering volley which saw off one French regiment post-haste. The Guards were suitably well mannered and had the good grace to throw a large number of successful saves whilst their opponents were not quite so lucky.

  3. Wow - now that's precisely what SYW games should look like. Great pics, David - very inspirational.

    Best wishes


    1. Thanks Giles, very kind. Need more cavalry though!

  4. Splendid spectacle! Just when I had got my head into Napoleonic mode, albeit destracted a little by rebasing ACW, you have to go rolling pearls before me! Fortunately I have been reading Homes's on Marborough and I already have enough figures not to be diverted into SYW yet awhile. I am interested though to know the number of regiments, squadrons and guns deplyed in the game, simply because the table density looks so good. Best, Graham

    1. Thanks Graham. Briefly the British have 4 Line Regiments; 3 Foot Guard Regiments; 2 composite Grenadier Regiments; some Grenadiers & dismounted Dragoons to skirmish; the Royal Horse Guards; the Scots Greys; the Royal Dragoon Guards and the 8th Dragoons. There are some Battalion guns to allocate in a game and one battery of heavy guns. Probably six or seven Command bases.
      The French have 4 Line Regiments; 2 Grenadier Regiments; 2 Guard Regiments; 1 Irish Regiment; some Light Infantry skirmishers. 2 Regiments of Horse Guards; the Cuirassier du Roi; 1 Line Cavalry Regiment; the fictional Hussards de Bykli and one battery of heavy guns. There are probably 6 Command Stands.

    2. Thanks David, that is very useful indeed. It will help design my painting timetable and plan for my 1704+ endeavour. I have 6 battalions painted so far, and 2 batteries. I just need to reign in the megalomania since that way lies the failure of the whole scheme. Again.

  5. Lovely looking game and sounds like it played as well as it looked!
    Best Iain

    1. Thank you Iain, it was a very close game.

  6. I do like those red uniforms and the splendid Union and regimental flags

  7. What a cracking looking game David!


    1. Thanks Christopher, nice to know folk have enjoyed seeing our modest efforts from GHQ.