An Incident from the Not Quite Seven Years War

Rob Dean

Ross Macfarlane and I had an opportunity to put a game on the table last weekend, for the first time in a while, although this was the latest in a series of remote games.  I have these tagged as “Skype” on the blog, but we have been using Google Hangouts in recent years.  
The Not Quite Seven Years War has traditionally been played using Charge!, with our collection of Prince August and Meisterzinn 40mm home cast figures, but we are scheduled to host a couple of games at Huzzah! in Portland, Maine, next month, and have elected to use With MacDuff to the Frontier.  On Saturday it was time to try out one of the scenarios, Ambush-1 from C.S. Grant’s indispensable War Games Scenarios, or “The Green Book”.  This action involves a convoy, represented by two wagons in our game, attempting to make its way across the table to a bridge, through some rough territory in which an ambushing force is concealed.  Ross took the convoy, and I took the ambushers for convenience, since the hidden deployment aspects were easier for me to handle as the physical host of the game. Convoy troops were a mix of allied forces, and the ambushers represented my usual image-nation of Schoeffen-Buschhagen.
The convoy had an escort of two cavalry, four infantry and an artillery unit, and the ambushers had a light cavalry unit, two light infantry units, and two line infantry units.  I elected to deploy three of my four units in a blocking position near the bridge, with the cavalry and one light infantry further forward to harass the convoy as it advanced.
Convoy guard (in red) deploy

Things started well enough for me.  Ross led off with a unit of allied hussars, who were readily put to flight by the Schoeffen-Buschhagen hussars, who appeared out of some dead ground around the middle of the table.

S-B Hussars sweep down upon the enemy

After that, however, things became more difficult.  Ross carefully advanced the wagons behind a screen of his line infantry, and covered the tail of the convoy with his gun and a squadron of dragoons.  My forward light infantry were reluctant to advance out of covered position in some woods onto open ground in the face of the dragoons, and my hussars were clearly outmatched as well and hung back.

Wagons advancing cautiously, well screened…
Schlusselbrett foot advance against the S-B blocking force

That left the fight in the front, where Ross’s allied infantry pressed ahead and engaged in a close range firefight with the blocking S-B infantry.  After a deadly exchange of fire, the remaining S-B forces were now outnumbered significantly by the allies, and their commander prudently elected to break off and hope for better luck on a different day.

After some technical difficulties in getting started, the battle took about three hours, which was a pleasant diversion for a Saturday afternoon.

I was reminded how much I enjoy seeing the big guys on the table, so perhaps it is time to get a few more painted.  It does look, however, like I am going to be limited to 4×6 or smaller tables for home games for the foreseeable future, so there probably needs to be some reconsideration of the upper limits of the project given the numbers that can be maneuvered.

For some variety I recently acquired Howard Whitehouse and Dan Foley’s new book A Gentleman’s War, which contemplates 12 man infantry and 6 man cavalry units, and has rules covering the mid-1700s up through the later 19th century, and should therefore be suitable for use with these figures.  I shall hope to post a full review sometime soon, after a game.

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One thought on “An Incident from the Not Quite Seven Years War

  1. Very nice. Will see you at Huzzah!

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