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.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

The Battle of Hipstadt

Time for a larger game in GHQ and what better than a run out for my SYW collection? A fictional game centred on the struggle for the strategically important town of Hipstadt between the British and the French. The objective is to control the town by the end of turn 10 ,a very taxing game both size and time wise for me at least! I hope the pictures will, as ever, convey the sense of the action without burdening the reader with unnecessary cut and thrust detail ~
In the first two turns the French miserably fail almost all of
their Command rolls! Merde!!!!

As a consequence, much of the French cavalry on their left
wing and the Guard Infantry brigade are distant from the 
action developing around Hipstadt.

Mind you, the British are not much more active in the first two
turns! As the French commander I felt quite uneasy after two
turns, despite the lack of movement on both sides.

British  Grenadiers seize part of the town in the face of a
hesitant French infantry Brigade shielded by Light Infantry

The French right wing, cavalry of the Guard and Cuirassiers du
Roi. A magnificent spectacle, but can they fight you ask?

As the action unfolds the French press forward in the centre 
and on the right while the British hesitate.

Alas, the French cavalry are having the worst of things against
their English opponents. The Gendarmes are routed and their
supports hit by a Sweeping Advance!

They too are routed and the General leading them is killed,
leaving the cuirassiers high and dry! Mon Dieu!!!!

Both Guard cavalry regiments fail our in house Rally from 
Route phase and so are dispersed. The leaderless Cuirassiers
are attacked by the Horse Grenadiers supporting the Horse

With the French right wing destroyed the Horse Guards sweep
the artillery from the hill, forcing the Comte Du Merde to take
refuge with the stalled infantry before Hipstadt.

The British have seized all of the town by this stage. This will
be a tough task now for the French, especially with the
British cavalry free behind their right flank and centre.

The British just cannot be dislodged from Hipstadt! The
French position looks grim to say the least, with both of the
cavalry Brigade commanders now dead!

And in Turn 9 it is all over, with Du Merde conceding the field
and saving as much of his army as is possible! Lord Rawnsley
surveys the victorious British, satisfied with a victory well
As ever here in GHQ we used Black Powder for the rules finding them to our taste, although we have added a Rally From Route phase, largely as our table is only 6' x 6'6" and we have smaller armies in consequence than the creators of the rules have in their games. The routed unit is moves 12/18" to its rear and is allowed a chance to Rally at a -2. If it passes then it Rallies on the spot, if it fails then it Routes another 18" and is allowed a second chance to Rally at -1. If it fails a second time then it is dispersed. Of course, if it is contacted in either Rout by the enemy it is destroyed! It works for us, but may not be to the taste of others; that's always the way with wargamers and rules I've found!
Next week's Monday game here in GHQ will be on a Wednesday! You'll see why when you pop back next week!


  1. Always a pleasure to read and watch your pictures !
    Thanks !

  2. Great stuff, just ordered up my third unit, looks like I have a lot of painting in front of me.

    1. A mere blip for a chap of your productivity.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Norm. The beauty of Black Powder is its flexibility.

  4. A fine game indeed, I really thought the Frenchies were going to swing it on my right in turn eight though.

    1. Sadly after two turns the French were never in it really!

  5. Lovely stuff.....go the imperial Brits. Once I have completed the other 20 plus periods there is something quite appealing about SYW nice hats I think 😀

    1. Only 20 other periods? You’re slacking I fear Matt...

  6. Lovely looking game ,delightful period and sounds like it moved along at a good pace.
    Best Iain

    1. Thank you Iain. It was a grand game but a lost cause for the French.

  7. What a lovely looking game David! I really do need to put some work into my SYW armies as they look so nice on the tabletop.


    1. Thanks Christopher. I’m busy rebasing the dismounted Dragoons and Hussars before packing the armies away again.