29 June, 2012

The Battle of La Cambe

Getting back to my routine after being on holidays. Right before that I made a long-overdue return to the GMG down in Kildare for a cracking Seven Years War game of Black Powder.

Confronting a British-led incursion into the French marches, the Duc de Pompidour denied supplies to the invaders and harasses their advance before settling on a defensive position at the small town of La cambe. His right flank is light, especially when looking at the massed British brigades opposite

French Right Flank

The French centre has three guns and two lines of infantry

French Centre

Out on the French left are these Grenadiers. They're a long way from support, but further to their left are the French heavy cavalry squadrons.

French Grenadiers on the left

Opposite the Grenadiers and headed at those French cavalry are the massed British cavalry

British Cavalry Brigade

The French centre may look strong, but the second line is composed of local militia.

Militia in the Cornfield

De Pompidour himself commands the guns to the right in the cornfields. Beyond him is a screening light infantry unit skirmishing in front of the church

French General oversees the guns

While the very centre of the battlefield is dominated by the large stone church, and acting as a central reserve is Dillon's Irish - a unit with a powerful reputation amongst friend and foe

Dillon's Irish

The British have deployed four heavy guns in the centre, supporting an infantry brigade with their powerful bombardment. The French guns in the centre take aim as they begin their march

French guns taking aim

The Scots march to the French right flank, seeking to reinforce the thin line at the wall

Scots marching

The British right flank deploy into a field - they'll surely prevent any real advance by the French heavy cavalry

British right flank enter field

Supported by skirmishing infantry the French cavalry on the right engage the opposing squadrons

Cavalry engagement on the French right

Despite the best attempts of their commanders, the British brigades nearby (who should be advancing towards the stone wall) stand by

British brigades stand to

As the British massed squadrons on their right advance the French Grenadiers mark their movement - the British miss-time their slow advance and begin to take surprisingly effective long-range fire from the lone French gun in the corner of the cornfield

French Grenadiers mark British advance

The British Dragoons beat the French cavalry in the charge (damned lightweight hussars!) and drive them from the field!

Dragoons see off French

They advance catches the rest of the French cavalry off-balance, hammering into their flank before they can do much of anything - they scarper too!

Sweeping advance into French cavalry reserve

The British squadrons wreak havoc in the rear, dispatching some French infantry as the clumsy formations (no Prussian drill here thank you very much!) struggle to realign to the threat

Wreaking havoc in the rear

The British brigades finally move off towards the stone wall - will there be anything left when they arrive?

British Guard brigade finally move

An enormous amount of effort is made to clear the decks of those pesky cavalrymen before the British (one brigade is now identified as being the Guards) arrive

Clear the decks before the Guards arrive

Due to misheard commands (this from a generous witness) Dillon's Irish have marched away from the battlefield. Will they return? Is the entire French right in danger of collapsing? Is there a chance that the battle will be over before the Guards' comrades on the other flank will taste gunpowder?

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