So we fought with 3 gun batteries, 10 Infantry battalions (plus skirmisher) each side. The Hessians (me and later Bart) had 4 Cavalry units while the French (Campbell and the Umpire and "Rule-editor" Angus) had the upper hand with 6 Cavalry units. They also had mysteriously Grenadiers while all mine were degraded to normal units, to even out my, from my opponents point of view, psychologically perceived Infantry advantage. Sometimes its nice to be feared.
The set up was box standard, the Horse at the sides and the brigades in the centre. The French opened with flankanking pincer attacks with their Horse, but failed due to a hideously weird charge roll. Then I decided to do a bold move and to turn my left Cavalry towards my right (oblique order you know, never mind). Nothing too weird, surely a good set of SYW rules could accommodate a Frederician move like this? It turns out that not. Even with rule adaptions ad hoc loci, my Light Dragoons seem to travel light years to get to the other side, while the French attack just "beamed" through a wooded hill. Scotty, this planet sucks!
More often than not, a charge would end up in disarray (disordered) and even one, for me crucial, charge was that good, fast, devilishly and at supersonic speed, that my degraded (and probably deranged) grenadiers were too shocked and upset to give even one single first volley! They probably forgot to load. Its funny with what people come up with, one time the distance might be too short to get ready to fire a volley, the other time its too short for the cavalry really to speed up, we will never know for sure ...
If you would ask my tin-lead miniature commander on the field, he would probably have said something along these lines: This was a shambolic performance of these two more or less completely drunk Reichs armies! So-called trained soldiers were more often than not too scared of oncoming attackers, that they didn‘t hit home and left even in disorder – a truly new re-definition of the good old linear warfare, were "men stood up against each other" in a psychological shoot down – who would broke first ... well, who would have guessed that it was mostly right at the start, hm?
Or more likely, the rules aren't up for what thy should be. I‘m not interested in more "friction" (for that I would recommend sex on a sandy beach!) And yes SYW needs more than Napoleonics, but also quick moves. Frederick invented the cavalry shock tactics, here it seemed the French did. While designing a game, one has not only be aware of history and game fun (two lines diametrical to each other), but also to be aware of what do I actually want to play? Its natural, although the higher echelons of the trade even manage to shorten that, that Fire and Melee due to the various boni will end up in matrix checking (lists licking, I call it). But when Movement and Command phases degrade into this, I become easily bored. You have to give those little (tin) soldiers some slack. Do you really want to micro manage all battalions? Isn't there a base line that we all can agree these soldiers have enough experience and drill to get it? At least the Prussians were famous for having it.
|The initial set up|
|The outnumbering French cavalry (6 units)|
|The Hessian Left flank (2 of 4 Cavalry units)|
|The French right flank attacks!|
|My 1st artillery battery in disarray because of the skirmisher|
|The French Cavalry attack on the right flank ends up in disarray too|
|Some Irish in Louis pay try to attack|
|The Hessian centre advance|
|Battle in mid-swing|
|My left flank deteriorates|
|the centre gets hit but holds|
|the lines are exchanging fire, charges fail ...|
|my Left on the retreat to stabilise|
|in the centre still no movement|
|My skirmishers get the hits just like in the good old Napoleonic's|
|The right flank gets finally my combined cavalry units!!|
|The French Grenadiers attack (or not) and the Cavalry rides down my line regiment before thy even know it ... my left flank is no more due to one charge roll|
|My field guns enfilade the French on short range, but yet again miraculously Nothing devastating happens|
|Slowly the French left flank is crumbling, but time is saving the French (yet again)|
|The French Heavy Hussars before my open flank|
|The French left (our right) flank crumbles finally ...|