Just fought with friends a fairly large action between a British/Dutch/Émigré force numbering 206 figures, with George commanding, and a French Revolutionary army, 400 strong, with Chris commanding. It was a simple scenario inspired by the actions about Hondschoote in 1793. The French making numerous assaults against the Allied positions, including a strong redoubt. Despite large numbers involved, we completed the game in under five hours, with results which seemed fair and appropriate, but it must be said several situations became strange due to particularly poor dice throws by the Allied player. On one occasion the Marine Battalion had an 85% chance of standing, and scored 89, while the British Light Battalion had a 95% chance of standing, and scored 96. No rules can compensate for that level of chance influencing the game. Although many levee battalions were broken in the assault, the French cavalry and white coated regulars were covered enough by levee troops to approach and engage the Allies, and when the French cavalry took the Allies right flank, there was no possibility of stemming the French numbers on two fronts. Once more, the game fully captured the period, and gave us a chance to experience aspects of this conflict. MGB
Here are the casualties from the game. Allies: 26 K+W, 56 missing. French 69 K+W, 43 missing. Noteworthy, it is very likely 40 Allied missing 'would' have rallied at the nearest location had time allowed.
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.