Monday, July 29, 2019

It Is Minden Week This Week

British infantry remind the vaunted French cavalry that it is not a good idea for cavalry
to charge into a steady line of infantry. (Battle of Minden - source: Wikipedia)

This year marks the 260th anniversary of the Battle of Minden which was fought on August 1, 1759 in western Germany. Our group decided that we should refight the battle, this coming Saturday, on August 3, 2019. We will have 9 or 10 players manuevering large 60-figure infantry battalions over three tables, each measuring 6 feet wide by 36 feet long. That my friends is a lot of table space!

A very nice map showing the deployment of all the battalions and squadrons that fought at Minden.


The German General Staff map of the battle of Minden

The tables are at the home (in the basement/cellar) of my friend Kieth L. and we are fortunate enough to be able to set up such a huge game several weeks ahead of the actual game day. There are several advantages to this: (1) we don't have to set up the table on game day; (2) we can begin play almost immediately once all of the players arrive; (3) we can get a sense of the table size, the amount of spacing between brigades and villages and make some necessary adjustments to the deployments; and (4) we can add or subtract units on both sides in order to make for a more playable game scenario.

An example of tweaking to make the game more playable: when we first set up the Allied left wing of von Wangenheim (between Kutenhausen and Todtenhausen) versus the French right wing of Broglie, it was apparent that von Wangenheim has too much table space to cover with not enough troops. A couple of the French players were salivating at the prospect of attacking von Wangenheim, because they had vastly more numbers when you add Broglie's force and Nicolai's brigade (deployed to the left of Broglie). "Oh boy, I want to command that French brigade" was heard to be said by the game master (me).

So I went back to my reference books and it was apparent that the two forces in this area were relatively equal in numbers, plus von Wangenheim had thrown up a line of earthworks across much of his front. So adding some earthworks and increasing the number of Allied troops in this sector put the table area into better balance and make for a better game. I don't want one side rolling over the other side within 30 minutes of the start of the game.

Here are a few pictures of the game set up for your viewing pleasure. Remember to click on all pictures to enlarge the view:

The French Army of Marshal Contades

The second/third line of the French cavalry includes the formidable Gendarmerie de France
Another view of the French reserve cavalry provides a sense
of the amount of space that is available for the game.
The first line of French cavalry commanded by le Duc de Fitzjames.

French Brigade Beaupreau occupies the town of Muhlberg.
Buildings by Ian Weekley


Nicolai's French Brigade occupies the ground to the right of Mulberg,
where Beaupreau's brigade is deployed.

The Allied Army of the Duke of Brunswick

The famous "Minden Regiments" of British advance toward Fitzjames' French cavalry.

Another view of the British brigade. In the far distance you
can see part of Lord Sackville's British cavalry brigade.

Von Wangeheim's defence of the Allied right wing at Kutenhausen.
Some Ian Weekley buildings on the left front and HG Walls buildings in the rear.


The 23rd Regiment of Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
I added 15 more figures to increase the size of this unit from 30 to 45 figures.

Some Final Thoughts
I will make another post tomorrow that goes into some detail about the number of wargame units that will be in our game. I will also post the individual Allied and French brigade commands with a list of the wargame units that they will command.

One nice thing about planning this game is that it compelled me to FINALLY work on my BAR British army after a painting hiatus of about five years, if I recall correctly. I increased my Maxwell's grenadier battalion from 12 figures to 60 figures, added three more squadrons of British cavalry, and painted two more British artillery pieces and crew.

I won't have time to paint all of the units that will eventually be in my British army, but inspired by this game, I will resume painting British figures after the game and add another regiment of British foot (Napier's 12th Regiment) and several squadrons of dragoon guards or dragoons.


4 comments:

  1. That is going to be a stupendously good looking battle! (PS: You might want to edit the year of the battle on line 2 of the post!)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looking forward to this Jim

    ReplyDelete
  3. One can almost hear "The British Grenadier" playing as those 'Minden' British regiments march forward.

    Wish I was close enough to attend!

    Jim

    ReplyDelete