Readers of Charge! are aware that Catherine of Hesse Damall was the Helen of her age - notable not only for her beauty, but also for her ability to act as a Casus Belli. In the present case it seems that Catherine, while visiting the baths at Vichy, had made unkind remarks to the Markgräfin von Baden-Durlach who repeated them, with some embellishment, to Madame de Pompadour. A letter full of recriminations was sent by that lady to the Empress, who made it her business to goad the Emperor into taking action. An Imperial army was soon tramping its weary way into Hesse.
Of course, the real reason for any battle in these parts is a visit from Jim Wannop. As time would be short (Jim's relatives had the idea he was in the neighbourhood to visit them) I set up the terrain, and split my forces into two roughly equal halves, deploying them both with no great thought as to their dispositions. I then gave choice of sides to Jim when he arrived. He scanned the set up, pondered the relative strengths of the forces and how the terrain would play out. He then decided to roll a dice and discovered he had been appointed to command of the Hessians.
Initial Set Up - From Hessian Left Rear
The orders of battle were:
Hessian Army (Gouert van Erp)
Dragoon Regt. von Platen
Infantry Regt. Hessen-Darmstadt
Infantry Regt. Prinz von Preussen
Garde Grenadiere Regt.
Freikorps von Noble
Artillery (1 gun)
Imperial Army (Graf von Arlitz)
Kurassiere Regt. Hohenzollern
Fusilier Regt. Wied
Kreis Infantry Regt. Furstenburg
Artillery (1 gun)
The Imperial Army had two cavalry regiments to the Hessian's one. It was, however, weak in infantry with only two battalions to oppose to the Hessian three line and one light battalion.
Gouert van Erp
The rules were essentially Charge! basic rules, with some slight modification necessary because my line infantry figures are mounted with six figures per base.The light infantry were allowed a nine inch move when in open order, and could fire up to a maximum range of nine inches while so deployed.
Ah, an orderly has just entered with the casualty roll: there are despatches to be written. My narrative of the battle must be delayed until my next post.