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Malplaquet — first test game

By smacdowall, Dec 5 2018 01:00PM

Next year I intend to re-fight the Battle of Malplaquet (1709) in 15mm scale with each game battalion/squadron/battery representing three actual ones. In preparation for this, Dave Allen and I recently conducted a test run featuring the allied right wing attack on the Bois de Sars.


Schulenburg's 3 lines of Imperialists advance on the Bois de Sars
Schulenburg's 3 lines of Imperialists advance on the Bois de Sars

Here 20 battalions of French infantry, under d’Albergotti, defended dense woods behind abattis. They were attacked from the north by 40 Imperial battalions commanded by Schulenburg, and Lottum’s 22 battalions of Germans and English from the east. Lottum’s attack was supported by a bombardment from a massed battery of 40 guns.



The open centre defended by French fortifications
The open centre defended by French fortifications

The open ground in the centre was strongly held by the French in fortified positions supported by cavalry and artillery. Orkney’s English formed a single line to protect Lottum’s attack.


The game orders of battle were as follows: —


Allies


Schulenburg

40 Imperial battalions (Austrians, Germans, Danes & Walloons) represented by 13 in three lines

12 guns represented by 1 model attached to the rear line

Lottum

22 Prussian, Hessian and English battalions represented by 8 in three columns

40 guns represented by 3 models

Orkney

11 English battalions represented by 4 in a single line

20 guns and howitzers, represented by 2 models

Wood

24 English squadrons of horse and dragoons represented by 8. Reserve in the centre.


French


D’Albergotti

20 battalions French represented by 7, on the edge of the woods .

10 guns represented by 1 model

Puysegur

12 battalions French represented by 4, entrenched to the south of the woods

Chemerault

18 battalions French, Irish and Germans represented by 6, in the redans

20 guns represented by 2 models

Vivans

36 squadrons horse and dragoons represented by12, behind the fortifications in reserve.



Lottum's colums advance on the French
Lottum's colums advance on the French

Our game unfolded much like the historical battle. The allied massed battery wore down the French on the angle of the woods.



Schulenburg's Imperialists close but the first line is repulsed
Schulenburg's Imperialists close but the first line is repulsed

When the allies closed they wavered as they crossed the stream and abattis but although some battalions were thrown back the attack continued to be pressed home.


Lottum's Prussians and English storm the French position
Lottum's Prussians and English storm the French position

Fierce hand to hand fighting ensued but eventually weight of numbers began to tell.



Schulenburg's Danes break-through
Schulenburg's Danes break-through

Finally the Danish foot guard broke through the abattis driving off the French defenders as Lottum’s English closed in on the other flank.



The French entrenchments
The French entrenchments

We called a halt to our test game at this point. The allies had broken into the woods and it would take them quite some time before they sorted themselves out to emerge on the other side only to find entrenched French infantry waiting for them. Historically this took 2 hours, by which time events elsewhere on the battlefield shifted the emphasis from the allied right to the centre.



Massed melée as Lottum's columns close
Massed melée as Lottum's columns close

I was very pleased how the mini-game played out. The rules (Close Fire and European Order) worked very well as did the amendments we made to reflect the reduced ground scale of 1 game unit representing three and the difficulty of movement in the dense woods. I look forward to similar test games for the centre and allied left.











2 comments
Dec 5 2018 02:43PM by Steve the Wargamer

Lovely!

Dec 5 2018 04:56PM by smacdowall

Thanks!

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