Mark and I and Mark’s friend Vic (from his weekly game group) were able to get in a Volley and Bayonet game this month. We played the Battle of Hastenbeck (1757) and used the newest version of the Volley and Bayonet rules (Road to Glory). We played a historical game and our scenario was based on the excellent research of Christian Rogge. Christian’s map is far more terrain intensive than that included in the Volley and Bayonet scenario for Hastenbeck, and in comparison with period maps, Christian’s map is the more accurate of the two. Mark and I have played the Hastenbeck scenario a couple of times before. Once with Volley and Bayonet: Age of Frederick (basically VnB 1.5) and once with Might and Reason. In our previous games, the terrain was oriented at a different angle; interesting how different a game can feel if you just orient the historical terrain in a different way.
Of our two Volley and Bayonet games of Hastenbeck, this game was probably the most enjoyable. Vic played the French and Mark and I played the Hanoverian and allied forces. We probably could have used a second French player as Vic was left with a lot of units command, something he noted during the game. I controlled the Hanoverian right flank and Mark controlled the left flank (the one in the woods that saw most of the action). We played the game in about six hours of actual playing time. This was my second or third game with the new Volley and Bayonet rules and I think I need to reread them before our next game as there are some subtle differences from the original version. There were a few minor points we may have played incorrectly, but overall I think we got it right in the main.
Here is a .pdf file with Christian’s Map: Hastenbeck_carte
Here is our initial set up:
Most of the action early in the game took place in the woods with the French right trying to break through the Hanoverian left:
Most of the action continued on the Hanoverian left, while our right (which I controlled) remained quiet. So much so that I had a sandwich (you can see my white plate on the extreme upper right of the photo):
Eventually the French tried to force our right with a cavalry attack, but were eventually pushed back. On the left, Mark gave some ground but worked to wear down the French attacking forces:
If I recall correctly, Mark then launched a local counter attack against the French center:
More than half way though the game, the French have pushed the Hanoverian left out of major portions of the woods and regrouped their cavalry to threaten the Hanoverian right:
And then commands started to exhaust and the Hanoverians pulled back to a more manageable defensive line:
Vic then tried to push against the Hanoverian right. Vic on the left rolls a die while I on the right watch:
The French try to push their attack, but time is running out:
And time ran out and the Hanoverians held the ground and were victorious. Mark’s dog surveys the final positions:
And now for a few close ups. Mark’s 15mm figures are on full size stands (3″ x 1.5″ for linear infantry, 3″ x 3″ for massed cavalry, and 1.5″ x 3″ for artillery). I
Overall, all involved enjoyed the game. Volley and Bayonet lacks fancy command and control rules (I for one wish it did), but it seems to always provide a solid game with historic outcomes. Slated for next time is a return to Hastenbeck with free set ups for both sides.
Mark’s dog has the final thought on all this: