Schlacht im Bayern
Wargaming the 300th Year Anniversary of
the War of the Spanish Succession

A fictitious battle in Bavaria to game test rules written for wargaming large battles in the War of the Spanish Succession.

Click on the photographs for a larger image.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
The Imperial Army attacks two towns in Bavaria. This game was primarily set up to provide a couple of villages that allows us to play test rules designed for quick and easy resolution of large scale village attacks such as those that occurred on the battlefield of Blenheim.


This is not specifically set up as a blow by blow account of the battle, but more to show some highlight photographs of a game played over 5 hours. The rules used a fast play concept that allow large battles to be played in a shorter period of time than some of the more detailed sets available - but still provide a period flair.
The map shows the game board - set up on a 12 ft by 6 ft table. Two villages and a farm complex form the Franco Bavarian front, the right being an impassable river, and the left (at the table edge) being steep impassable foothills.

The set up positions were provided, and the troops laid out prior to commencement of the battle. Each side was allowed some repositioning.

The battle began with an assault across the entire front by the Imperial army. The two armies were each divided into 8 commands with five players per side.  The Allied Victory Condition was to break 4 Franco Bavarian commands before losing 4 of its own commands. Additionally, the allies could force a general retreat of the Franco Bavarians by capturing either Rechtsdorf or Mittedorf. Upon the capture of either village, the Franco Bavarian commander would roll a D6 for each village lost and each command lost -each turn - until a "12" total was rolled - at which point their entire army retreats off table. The Franco Bavarian Victory Condition is to simply prevent the allies from achieving theirs.
As might have been expected, Mittedorf was immediately attacked. Sixteen battalions, densely packed up into a narrow front smashed into the defenses. The mass of battalions began to lap around the sides of the village. The French commander's dilemma was whether to commit the Irish Brigade and it nine battalions (on the hill behind Mittedorf) to bolster the defense of the village, or keep them in reserve. That reserve would be essential if the allied cavalry were able to break the French and Bavarian cavalry on either side of the village. Holding the village would be pointless if it became surrounded.
To the right of Mittedorf, the eight French battalions were brought forward to the road and held the German battalions facing them at bay, preventing the village from being surrounded. However, these were eventually pushed back and the right battalions of center allied foot. and the reserve from the right were brought onto the flanks of the village.

Great casualties were inflicted on the attacking Prussian division and twice they entered and contested the possession of the village, but twice they were forced back out.

The French battalions, especially the three of Dauphin took tremendous casualties, but still the held their positions

Meanwhile, on the Franco Bavarian left, the four squadrons of dismounted dragoons that started in the farm area were pushed back out of the farm. However, the Bavarian division stormed off the hill and engaged the Imperials in a fierce fire-fight lasting several hours - but slowly, the Imperials were pushed back out of the farm complex. Both division appeared close to breaking, but still, both held on. Another view

The cavalry battle to the right of this melee was see-saw of chargers, counter charges, retreats and recoveries that flowed back and forth across several hundred yards of battlefield.

The assault on Rechtsdorf took longer to drive home than that of Prussians at Mittedorf. The twelve Hanoverian and four English battalions made their way across the plain. Two batteries of eight medium guns had been sent across the river on a bridge of boats and made their way up the right bank with the hope of inflicting some preparatory damage on the defenses. However, these took so long to get into place, the commander decided to press home his assault on the village.

This assault faired even worse than that of the Prussians. The leading English battalions took tremendous casualties and eventually all were destroyed or broken. After several hours of pounding away 

the allied general pulled back the assault and formed into platoon firing lines and tried to inflict losses by musketry. This had little better effect and the French battalions continued to hold.

Between the two villages, the allied foot had forced the French foot to retreat. However, over the course of an hour or two, this division managed to re-order itself and eventually received orders to go back on the attack. This, and French cavalry soon forced the remaining allies to retreat and allowed the crack squadrons of the Gendarmerie and Squadrons of the Royal Blood to burst out of the center and break the Hanoverian squadrons opposing them. The French Horse were now free to encircle the Prussians and Hanoverians assaulting the villages.

Seeing that the allied cavalry to the left of Mittedorf were not going to break through, the French commander brought the reserve into the village sealing the fate of the Prussian assault.

This was the First French victory in many many games and a great day was had by all.

Copyright 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 Ian Croxall
Salem, Oregon. USA