After an extended break, the 18th century collection in 54mm returned to the table last weekend. Gabe had been busy painting three battalions (regiments? units? gangs of 12?) of Russians. Even though they were not 100% done, Gabe wished to get them on the table, and my philosophy is THROW EVERYTHING ON THE TABLE, so we fudged it a bit and contrived a Seven Years War Franco-Russian joint operation against the Hanover-Hesse-Brunswick-Britain allied forces (pictured below at game's commencement).
Not completely fudged, however. The allied armies in western Germany were usually outnumbered so the French and Russians were given a slight numerical advantage of one extra infantry battalion.
The map was an approximation of the battle of Gohfeld during the Seven Years War. The river at the French and Russian end of the table could only be crossed at the bridge, and at the allied end could only be forded up to one foot from the table's edge. This was our largest game to date: over 180 figures on the table! It was also the longest one so far: almost three hours of actual game play.
Being the first game playing from the shorter ends of the table, a lot of early moves were burned up with little action as both sides approached each other. The allies successfully screened the advance of their line infantry with skirmishers (pictured below).
Here's the two armies still maneuvering closer to each other.
French grenadiers and infantry (the bright blues and the whites) come in range of Hessian line infantry. However, the allies' skirmishers prevent direct fire between the two.
On the river's opposite bank, the Hanoverian contingent of the allied forces, along with all the allied cavalry, approach two battalions of Russians. The cavalry would subsequently be decimated by some uncanny accurate French artillery fire.
Things start getting hot! Below, the allied skirmishers have finally given way now that Brunswick infantry has taken position to the left of the Hessians. Not pictured is British infantry atop the small hill to the right of the Hessians. Coming through to the right of the bright blue-uniformed French Grenadiers is a French heavy cavalry charge.
Pictured below is the scene a couple of turns later - the French cavalry broke the Brunswick infantry and then proceeded on to break the last of the allied artillery. The center Hessian infantry withstood all fire for multiple activations (til the end of the game, really). The British, despite a superior hilltop position, flubbed every single dice roll, failing to rain cheap plastic fiery death upon their 1/32 scale French assailants, and also getting handily chopped up by French return fire. On the opposite bank, Hanoverian infantry was effectively handling the Russians.
Despite their numerical advantage the French and Russians were the first to take a break test (from losing at least half of their starting units). However, they made this roll successfully. When it was my turn to take my first break test I once again totally flubbed the throw and the game was over.