Legio Wargames

The Battle for Taviers 23 May 1706

This scenario recreates the action at the Battle of Ramillies, 23 May 1706, on the southern flank (Allied left, Franco-Bavarian right). Just to the north, off table, lies the town of Ramillies and beyond that Offuz, L'Autre Eglise and the headwaters of the Great and Little Geete.

The action begins at 1pm. Marlborough has ordered the Dutch general Overkirk to assault and capture the villages of Franquinaise and Taviers, which anchor the French right flank, while he launches an attack on the right (off table). The French commander, Villeroi believes the Allied main effort will come on his left so he moves there, and when the Allies attack, he transfers some of his Horse to the north.

If Marlborough's attack in the north shows signs of success he will follow it up. If not he will shift his main effort to the south. Come what may, he needs the Dutch to take Taviers and be in a position to turn the French right flank.

overview 1 mid res ramiles map 2

Map showing the area covered by the games table and the historical deployment

The village of Taviers defended by Swiss in French service (red coats). French Dragoons drawn from the reserve are coming up along the flank while the Dutch Guards, supported by Scots in Dutch service.

Orders of Battle:

 

Allies

Commander - Overkirk. Divided into two wings: the south under Lt Gen Spar commanding the force attacking the villages; the second under Lt Gen Oostfriese holding the open ground to the north.

 

41 Squadrons of Dragoons and Horse, split between 1 Brigade supporting the assault on the villages and the remainder in 2 or 3 Brigades holding the open ground to the north. Historically these were a mix of Dutch, Danes and Germans.

 

19 Battalions of Foot including 2 Battalions of Dutch Guards organised in 3 or 4 Brigades divided amongst the 2 wings. 1 Light gun with the force assaulting the villages.

 

6 Squadrons possible English Horse reinforcements in 1 Brigade

Franco-Bavarians

Commander - Maximilian Elector of Bavaria. Divided into 2 wings: the north under the Marquis de Guiscard; the south, defending the villages, under the Marquis de Grimaldi.

 

14 Sqns of Dragoons in 1 Brigade.

12 Sqns Maison du Roi in 1 Brigade.

23 Sqns of Horse in 2 Brigades.

3 Bns Swiss in 1 Bde defending the villages with 1 Bn fortified in Franquenée.

7 Bns of Germans/Bavarians in 2 Brigades.

2 Field Guns

Deployment.

 

The Franco-Bavarians initially deploy with one Battalion of Swiss in Franquenée, which has been hastily fortified, and 2 Battalions of Swiss in Taviers. The mounted troops may be deployed anywhere on the French half of the table with 1 Brigade of Foot supporting the Horse and 1 Brigade to the rear of Taviers in support of the Swiss. The Guns may be placed anywhere on the French half of the table in fortified positions. All units are in Line.

 

The Allies may deploy anywhere up to 240 yds in from their table edge in Line or Column. Any number of units may be kept off table to arrive at any time the Allied player wishes. Any units of Foot who will be attacking the villages may be deployed in Assault Column.

Orders

 

Maximilian has been ordered to hold his position and not initiate an engagement with the enemy. All Franco-Bavarian units, therefore, are initially on 'hold current position' orders. Once the Allies have captured Franquenée Maximilian is free to order any of his units to counter-attack any Allied units which are advancing on Taviers. He may not, however. launch an attack on the Allied cavalry holding the ground to the north unless they initiate an advance. This simulates the fact that Villeroi believed the main attack was coming in the north (off table) and simply wanted Maximilian to hold his position.

 

Overkirk has been ordered to take the villages while holding the open ground to the north. Therefore, initially, Spar's wing is on 'attack' orders while Oostfriese's wing is on 'hold' orders. If any Franco-Bavarian's of Guiscard's command counter-attack, Overkirk may order any number of Oostfriese's unit to attack them in turn. He may not, however. launch an attack on Guiscard's troops if they simply remain in place, unless he gets new orders from Marlborough.

column mid res

An assult column of Dutch Guards forces its way into the village of Taviers. In the game we played they succeeded in doing this before the French Dragoons could hit them in the flank

Changes to Orders.

 

Early in the battle Villeroi was convinced the main Allied attack was coming on his left flank so, in the actual battle, he transferred several squadrons of Horse to the north. To represent this the French player dices on the second turn and must transfer as many sqns of Horse (not Dragoons or Maison du Roi) as are rolled on 2 Average Dice +2. The French player may freely decide which squadrons he wishes to remove and simply takes them off the table, never to return.

 

Historically, shortly after 3pm Marlborough switched his main effort to the left and transferred Horse from his right flank which he led personally.

 

To represent this (and add a degree of uncertainty) the Allies roll a D6 on the 4th turn:

 

1-2 The attack on the right is going well and Marlborough has decided to keep pressing there. Overkirk is to hold and stop the French from breaking through but no reinforcements are coming.

 

3-4 Marlborough is switching his attack from the right to the centre and left. Overkirk is to immediately launch and all out attack on the French horse to support the assault on Ramillies just to the north. Marlborough will arrive with reinforcements (the 6 English Horse) in 2 turns

 

5-6. As above but Marlborough will arrive the following turn.

Victory Conditions

 

If Marlborough comes on table, the Allies win a decisive victory if they capture both villages, have at least 1 battalion or 2 squadrons within 40 yds of the Tomb of Ottomond and suffer less casualties than the French. If he does not come on table, they win a decisive victory if they capture both villages and suffer less casualties than the French. They win a marginal victory if the above conditions are met but they suffer the same or more casualties than the French.

 

The Franco-Bavarians win a decisive victory if the hold Taviers and suffer less casualties than the Allies. They win a marginal victory if they do this but suffer the same or more casualties than the Allies.

overview centre mid res maison d r rout mid res

The action to the north of Taviers as the Allied cavalry throw back the first line of Bavarians. The rocks on the table represent Death, Desertion and Disorder Points - the more you have the worse off you are.

Ever further to the north the Allies succeed in routing the elite Maison du Roi. The game we played turned out to be a decicIt was a decisive Allied victory even before Marlborough came into action