Members of SKG3 engaged those of Honiton Wargames Club for another action set in the Low Countries in 1793. A new method for devising the game conditions proved very successful, while maintaining the features of the FRW. In this siege game the British garrison commander had to dice to determine what forces he had at his disposal, and dice again to discover the state of his defenses, such as redoubts, pickets, fortified houses etc. He was further obliged to distribute his garrison and keep them there until enemy activity would give him reason to redeploy his troops.
The French commander was also given problems. Although he possessed a large army of demi-brigaded infantry he had to dice to discover how well provided he was with field and siege guns, and cavalry. He too had to plan his deployment and stick to it, including any barges for use on the river, and when the latter was to assault the town by water.
Neither side was allowed to see each others deployment until some 18" away, the one exception being any redoubts (but not what they contained). The British successfully held the town (150 figs) against the French (270 figs) in what was an enjoyable but stressful game lasting nearly four hours! Well worth fighting again as there is a 95% chance of different forces mustering for the action.
RAISING MINIATURE ARMIES FOR THE LATE 18TH CENTURY
I am very keen to keep my wargame rules as simple as possible yet capture the character of the 1790s. Accordingly, most of the French troops are 'levee' battalions, which I have chosen to base in column as their ability to change formation on a battlefield must have been limited, nor do I believe their volley fire had any great value. Of better quality, able to change formation, will be white-coated regular and blue-coated volunteer battalions aided by a fair number of skirmishers. The British, Austrian, Dutch and German armies are often outnumbered, but they maintain the discipline and order of typical 18th century armed forces. Interestingly, French revolutionary cavalry have little in common with their later Napoleonic counterparts, the former are few in number, often poorly mounted, and no match for those in the service of the Allies.