Interviews, player analysis and select photographs. Obtain larger images by clicking on them, if you please.
Andy: "In the morning session I commanded French infantry in the town of Hahlen anchoring the French left flank. I had three battalions of line infantry, and was facing four battalions of attacking Allied infantry supported by a howitzer. My opponent [Chuck] did a great job bringing all four to bear against me simultaneously. His infantry was supported by a howitzer firing from the far end of the town which did a lot of damage, and unfortunately I had no artillery to return the favor. I thought of closing the distance between our two lines to prevent the howitzer from firing, but the penalty for moving in the town (going into disorder) was so severe in our firefight that I declined. My dice rolling didn’t help much either. For the first three turns of fighting, I was able to shoot first each time, which is normally a decisive advantage, but I was rolling a lot of ones and twos, so I wasn’t able to get the casualties I needed early to offset his numerical advantage.
Der Alte Fritz [Jim]: "I commanded a battalion of Foot Guards during the cavalry phase of the game and a second battalion of Hanoverian Guards which I later passed off to one of the other players. I thought we were in for a hard pounding by the French cavalry before it charged in. We took our licks but managed to hold on through all three charges."
Randy: "I commanded French cavalry and infantry on the right side. Having commanded cavalry charging infantry before, I know that infantry usually wins in the end. Seeing special rules for the game, I knew the French cavalry charges would have a hard time breaking through."
Andy: "In the afternoon session I commanded about half the French cavalry in the center. I had two lines, the first line consisting of heavy horse and the second line consisting of all carabiniers. I was facing several lines of British infantry battalions. I had a lot of confidence [before my first charge]. My cavalry units were large and there was no artillery in their front, so the punishment they’d take coming in wasn’t going to be extreme. Additionally the British infantry was a little beaten up and a lot of my cavalry were wearing a breastplate, which can be effective in reducing losses to small arms fire. The ranges were almost ideal, I was able to go in at a trot (which I generally prefer as less risky to going in at the gallop) and charge home in the minimum amount of time."
The opposite side of the field before the second charge went in. Foreground: Royal des Carabiniers, "The Thundering Herd", 28mm Elite Miniatures from the UK.
Brent: "Based on my experience gaming [BAR] at my house, I believed that the infantry would repel the cavalry attacks. (As an aside, a friend back home, Michael, based on the same games, felt the cavalry would defeat the infantry -- I think I am at heart a cavalry commander and Michael is an infantry commander. We both felt our arm is at the disadvantage.) After seeing the infantry advance in the teeth of the grand batteries, I thought the infantry flanks would surely fall. That was a truly impressive amount of cavalry and artillery! I remained convinced the infantry line as a whole would hold."
Did you expect your side to win?
Brent: No. Our strength seemed to be our cavalry and artillery grand batteries. Both were spent, or under severe stress. My "success" in the second wave led to the brave lads being shot out of the saddle after sabering a battalion that broke.
Andy: "I thought it was still undecided at mid-game. The British infantry was still thick on the ground in the center, and the French right seemed like it could go either way. The French left seemed to be going poorly, with the French artillery getting roughly handled by the British artillery, though there were infantry reserves on that flank for us which guaranteed that the flank would at worst be fought to a stalemate. Finally, there was the threat of Sackville's cavalry brigades activating."
Randy: "I thought the French where going to lose the game all the way around. [Der Alte] Jim made some good moves with the Brunswick infantry and Prussian cavalry in the beginning which pressed our side quite hard. I knew the British were going to win the large cavalry charges in the center of the battlefield for the first several turns. However, luck smiled on the French and we somehow pulled out a victory."
Jim K. [unpictured]: "I commanded the Allied artillery on the right flank. I thought we definitely were winning the scenario at midpoint. The infantry on my left had repulsed two French cavalry charges and had advanced well forward. In addition I was well along in dispatching the French grand battery. As you might recall, the three sectors were proceeding at their own pace. Suddenly the remnants of a French cavalry unit was at my rear. Had I been aware of what was occurring next to me, I may have been able to take countermeasures. Perhaps I would not, but with open terrain and the action occurring close to me, it's quite possible my troops would have seen a breakthrough. It was still quite a close and enjoyable game. I should have concentrated my fire on a different target on turn two, but other than that, the artillery did what it could."
Der Alte [Jim]: "After the cavalry phase, I thought we stood a good chance of winning if we could continue to press forward in the center and push the French out of Maulbeerkamp. The Brunswickers were holding the edge until the last turn or two when two of our units broke and ran. Then we didn't have enough infantry to hold back the French, and a withdrawal, covered by the cavalry seemed to be the wise thing to do."
Anything more you want to say?
Randy: "I enjoyed the day and the game as well as the company."
Brent: "Thanks again. It is true joy to play at the scale you [Bill] and Der Alte do."
Andy: "It was a great game, I had a lot of fun. I enjoyed the unbalanced nature of the game, both in terms of troop types and placement. I thought it made for some interesting tactical situations. I again enjoyed commanding cavalry. This was the first time I was in a game where I launched a mass charge against unbattered infantry (normally my charges are done against other cavalry or against the remains of infantry late in a fight), and I think it played smoothly and was easy to resolve."
"Charging infantry is different from charging cavalry of course. In cavalry fights the best tactic seems to be to charge in waves of increasing strength, starting with just enough strength to ensure the combat continues more than one round, but then holding back the best until 2 or 3 rounds into the fight where they can deliver a hammer shot. Against infantry you can’t feed additional cavalry into a fight, so it’s better to lead with your heavy armored horse who have the best chance of success, and naturally if you can work on to a flank, you can get a decisive advantage. The breastplate made a big difference in my fighting. Saving on 4 through 6 instead of 5 through 6 kept a lot of my cavalry in the saddle during the time it took us to close the distance, and also made a big impact on my saving throws during the melee."
"Thanks again to Bill and everyone else who made that game possible. It was a lot of fun!"
Doing a Minden 250th was Der Alte's suggestion a few months ago.
Thank you and prodigous compliments for Chuck, Jim K, John, Der Alte Jim P., Randy, Brent, Andy and Keith! You made the whole day a remarkable and striking success.
Viewers: YOU can do this too! Steady on with a group of friends in any scale you desire. YES, you can!