Tuesday 3 July 2018

Battle of Bergen 1759 - The AAR

A couple of weeks back I put up a post outlining the set up and forces we were going to be using for our recreation of the SYW Battle of Bergen, so for all the background details click the link below,


French and Hanoverian Infantry fighting on the edge of Bergen
We use Die Kriegskunst rules and generally things went well. As fans of the other sets in the same stable it's an easy switch from those other rules to these without too much pain. There are a few things missing and they could do with the a 2nd edition, I thought it was a bit easy for Cavalry to get in melee vs Infantry Lines, love to hear what others think.

British Dragoon Guards (Blue Moon)
The game itself developed into 3 sectors roughly mirroring the wings and centre of the orders of battle. The Allies on their left struggled to get anywhere against the well organised defences around Bergen. The Hanoverian Artillery didn't make any headway against the French in the town and there just wasn't enough Allied Infantry to force a way into the town.

The start of the assault on Bergen
The French wait quietly in the hedges and walls of the town.
Lots of powder and sweat expended in and around Bergen but not much progress. It was however the first outing for my new 15mm hedges what I bought off the Fleabay recently. I never liked making terrain and just find it so easy to click a button on the web and feed my foliage habit.

Fighting around the town intensifies
But the French reserves move up and Bergen holds
At the other side of the table the French were hindered by their set up with a big chunk of infantry, mostly Saxon set up behind the woods, it took a while for them to get moving and they didn't take any meaningful part in the action.

Allied Cavalry move towards the "hole"
I was in charge of the Allied Centre Right and had decided on a zero subtlety tactic, form a hole in between the infantry of the wing and the centre, shove all the Cavalry through the big hole and try and break the French Centre.

And through they go
The Hanoverian Guard at the front of the Allied Centre took most of the French Artillery hits and the Cavalry were able to get out into the open and onward to the Warte !

Line up to charge
The Scots Greys and Inniskilling lined up against a French Cavalry Brigade to the left of the Warte which was struggling to get moving, the Dragoon Guards went to the right at another French Cavalry Brigade, this one fighting for space which meant it only had a one Regiment frontage. A unit of Hesse Dragoons had the "honour" of charging the Artillery covered Warte.

And in we go
All the charges were successful with the exception of the Hesse Dragoons who ended up with a bloody nose (and a few casualties), the melee phase was going to be interesting.

The French come out to play

The Allies respond
Meanwhile in the space between Bergen and the Warte, another Storm was brewing, 2 brigades of French Cavalry were heading for a gap which was starting to develop between the Allied Centre and Left. Thankfully the Allied Cavalry on that side of table got a shimmy on and started to fill the gap, but the French had the initial advantage in numbers.

Crunch !
Back by the huge protrusion that is the Warte, on the left the melee lasted two rounds with both sides reinforcing. However the addition of the Horse Guards swung it in favour of Ferdinand of Brunswicks boys.

The Inniskilling Dragoons do what British Cavalry do best, they pursued the remaining French off the table and are now somewhere near Denmark. The Horse Guards had a splash of mud on someones shoe and retired to reform, whilst the mighty Scots Greys rallied on the spot in a very nice position.

The Dragoon Guards beat the isolated French Cavalry Regiment, this led to a Brigade morale which the French failed leaving the British free to reform on the flank of the Artillery and Infantry.

Meanwhile the Hesse Dragoons rolled a super morale roll and remained in front of the guns locking them in place. Their carbines were ineffective but they stopped the Artillery firing at anything else or repositioning.

The chaos begins
Back towards Bergen the second Cavalry Melee started relatively quietly with an 18 figure Hesse Dragoon Regiment fighting 2 French 12 figure units one of which was Cuirass. It was a minor victory for the Hanoverians but not enough to break the French.

The Black Hole begins to open
Both sides chose to reinforce the melee, the French able to get a further two units in action to the Allies one, it took some working out, this time it was a minor victory for the French and we were back to square 1 !

And opens wider !
A third round was called for and more troops were added on both sides but this time it was a draw. We couldn't find anything in the rules that limited the maximum rounds of melee so we decided that 3 was a reasonable number (from some ancient old school rule set) so both sides retired to their own lines to reform and lick their wounds.

Now you see them

Now you don't
Returning to the Warte things weren't going well for the French, the rallied Dragoon Guards had been joined by a unit of Prussian Cavalry and charged two units of French Garrison Infantry, wiping them both out.

Whilst on the Warte the Scots Greys who had rallied on the flank of the French Artillery swept across the top of the hill taking the guns with them.

Scotland Forever
The Allied Right was very quiet, the light troops had pushed into the woods and were happily skirmishing all day with French units. The line infantry had secured it's flank against the wood and stood waiting the outcome of the Cavalry action.

The French did chuck some Cavalry units at the end unit, a 16 Figure Hesse Guard unit. A single unit was shot away relatively comfortably, however a couple of turns later a two Regiment attack was only just shot off, both units faltering.

For me a Guard unit, with no casualties, supported with secure flanks should see off Cavalry attacks without much of a problem, this was quite a close run thing, without good shooting dice and poor morale dice for the French it would have been very different. Any thoughts ?

Hesse Guard shoot off some French Cavalry
So with our gaming day drawing to a close we called it a day, the Allies had broken through the French Centre, however the French still had a considerable advantage in Infantry numbers. The Hanoverians had no chance of breaking into Bergen so we decided on a winning draw to the Allies.

Everyone really enjoyed the game, it was great to get a big chunk of my SYW collection on the table after so many years. It was also fantastic to get some proper old school gaming done, lots of units on a big table, reminds me of my youth !

The SYW collection is back in the box and we have our Naval Campaign to finish and WW2 Desert games to play but I feel a stirring, a big Napoleonic stirring ! In fact I feel an afternoon in the garden completing my Quarrie to General de Brigade conversion.

This is what gaming should look like !

No comments:

Post a Comment