The French are marching hell-bent for the Rupel crossing. They are in their customary march formation, with artillery and grenadiers on the road, infantry on either side, and cavalry on the outside from which the enemy may be expected.
The crossing is coming in sight. Have they made it? Just when they thing they’re home-free, a slight dust cloud is seen, and the dark shapes of marching soldiers can be distinguished, crossing their path. Looks as if someone has got there before them.
d’Hautville, the cavalry commander, sends off a messenger to prepare the cavalry for battle. Marsin spurs forward for a better look.
It’s the Prussians, who have just barely made it there before the French. Their arrival is somewhat staggered; the Winterfeldt Regiment, the senior regiment in the Prussian Army, has been setting a wicked pace to make sure everyone knows they are the best.
As the French continue to advance, deploying their cavalry on the right, two French generals meet.
The Prussian cavalry and the French dragoons come together with a crash. Each is trying to protect the deployment of their infantry.
As the French infantry move up and their leading elements form up for battle, their cavalry protects their flank against the Alliance cavalry.
The French infantry prepares for its first assault while the two sides of massed cavalry break apart in the middle for a quick breather.
Attention is drawn to the middle of the battlefield where Prussian, Austrian and French cavalry mix it up in a swirling melee, with more units being drawn in as they arrive.
The Irish and La Reine brigades move into range and open fire. At the same time the cavalry battle continues.
In the center of the battlefield things are starting to go badly for the French cavalry. Several regiments have had enough and are leaving the field. As more Alliance cavalry enter the list the French are becoming stretched thinner and thinner.
The infantry at the head of their attack are not doing too well either, but help is at hand.
The French cavalry is really taking a battering as more and more regiments leave the field. The French infantry draws back after its first aborted attack to reorganize and allow the artillery to deploy.
With the French infantry attack stymied for the now and their cavalry fading away, things are not looking so good for them.
The second French infantry attack goes in, finally supported by some artillery. Meanwhile time may be running out as the French cavalry are fading away.
I’d like to say a few words in introduction. My name is Gerald (Gerry) Upton, retired and living in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
I’ve been interested in military history ever since I can remember, and in wargaming since about 2 days after that point. Summers from about 5 years old on I went to our family cottage where a local friend and I were interested in ACW miniatures wargaming. This was mostly because the only inexpensive figurines were the Airfix ACW sets. They got combined with the Wagon Train, and the French Foreign Legion as Zouaves! Talk about sand tables! We played on the beach!
Somewhere in my early teens I discovered these “new” adult wargames from an obscure company called Avalon Hill. My first one was Blitzkrieg, which was just out. I found Midway in a department store and saved my pennies until I could get it. That one I still have; a bunged-out old box with the game and the Coral Sea and Leyte Gulf variants along with the Wargamer’s Guide.
One friend had Bismarck (’62.) Another had Battle of the Bulge. We used to get together – mostly at my place, it seemed – and play them. I bought Victory in the Pacific; that was my last one.
I bought a year’s subscription to the Avalon Hill General, starting with Vol. 1 #2. I found it was all about HOW TO WIN, WIN, WIN! And eventually threw them out. (Pity!) I bought some S&Ts when they started putting out games in them. First one was Chicago, Chicago and the Flight of the Goeben. I started into miniatures gaming, collecting and painting 25mm Napoleonics, but I didn't really have the space to play them. Then I discovered Jack Scruby's 9mm Napoleonics and started collecting and painting them.
Then into my 30s and 40s and things like work and family intruded and gaming friends went their own ways. I painted more 9mm Napoleonics, dreaming that some day I would get to use them. I eventually moved to the other side of the world and my games collection disappeared. Except for Midway and VitP, which I found in my parents’ basement. Plus all the 7,200 9mm Napoleonics.
As retirement approached I got re-interested in the Avalon Hill games, and decided I would like to design some of my own board wargames. As a preliminary I felt I had to figure out how to make quality counters and game boards. I made some replacements for AH game counters and decided to see if people would buy them. Well, that took off, and now I’m louiefourteen, a mainstay on eBay, designing and selling replacement counters for old board wargames.
I found that on the internet you can find all those games still around – used, of course. I started collecting all the ones I remembered from my youth. Then I started getting some of the ones I always wanted but didn’t have the chance to get. That list kept expanding. Now I have quite a good collection. Just not entirely sure what to do with them.
I wanted to get back into miniatures as well. I found I was more interested in the Seven Years War era; pity when you have all those Napoleonics, but, hey, tastes change. I started buying and painting Essex Seven Years War figures, but soon found that it was causing me problems with my spine. I still paint a little bit now and then, but mostly I have been purchasing my figures from a painting service. Luckily they use Essex Miniatures as well.
So now I have lots of SYW miniatures, and I've been reading about Marlborough and the War of the Spanish Succession. Having studied several different viewpoints of this age, I've always wondered what a wargamer might do if he has these opportunities. So now I am trying to go back 300 years, and take my little pewter figures back 50 or so. Anachronistic!
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