Monday, 25 April 2022

The Battle for Madling, October 1753

In early April I was contacted by Chris Gregg to see if I fancied taking part in one of his big games that he puts on throughout the year. I had met Chris en passant as it were at the Cotswold Wargaming Day, but we'd never had the chance for a proper chat. I had always admired Chris' games on his Blog so lept at the chance to take part. 

Ken, who was organising the game for the weekend, sent through some lovely background info, to allow me to get an idea of the scenario, the background to the campaign etc. Just what one needed in advance of a game.

So a lovely Spring day dawned and armed with Chris' excellent directions, I set off into the heart of the Cotswolds. I eventually arrived after driving up hill and down dale and through some very narrow roads to a most enchanting village and to Chris and Jane's house. I was met by Chris who showed me around and after meeting the other gamers, I popped outside to drink in the most stunning views from their garden. Jane is a keen gardner too, so frankly I could have sat there all day chatting with her, but my presence was needed in the games room!

Scenario Background
The Elector's army has made some recent territorial games at the expense of the Grand Duchy, but this has been harder than expected, with the Ducal army stopping the Electoral one before Tamsweg. An attack by the Ducal forces, supported by neighbouring States that had also suffered from the Electors territorial ambitions, was expected soon. 

A light screening force of Electoral troops was stationed to the East of the Stronbach river, their task being to prevent the enemy forces outflanking the Electoral positions to the West of the Stronbach. An attack in strength by the Ducal forces could not realistically be resisted with the troops on the ground, but reinforcements were nearby but might take 4-10 hours to mobilise when called upon.

Day One
The Electoral troops had been pushed back from their intial positions and were now trying to defend their objectives, praying for swift arrival of the reinforcements. Crucially the Electoral troops were still just holding on around Madling, Lunzen and Kaindorf, which the Ducal troops would need to seize to allow them to prosecute further attacks against the Electoral troops to the West of the Stronbach and beyond.

The Game
So the above is a broad guide to the game setting and how the table was set for Day Two, when the main forces for both sides would be arriving. I took some photos throughout the day, in no particular order, but I will annotate where applicable to try and give you an idea of what is happening. If nothing else just enjoy the eye candy!

An overview of the table, with the Elector's troops nearest the camera. Madling is to the top of the photo, near the corner of the table. Kainsdorf is to the middle left of the photo. Both of these are the main areas that we (I was part of the Elector's force) decided to hold in force.

At this point reinforcements had started to arrive for the Elector and not a moment too soon, given that massed columns of Ducal and Allied infantry were coming into view.

Ducal forces arrive en masse.

A thin line of Electoral troops hold the ridgeline as Ducal troops move towards them.

Combat is joined. This ridge would be hotly contested throughout, but thankfully the Electoral troops held firm.

My command to the right of Kainsdorf, keeps its cavalry behind the ridge and an infantry brigade marches through Kainsdorf and towards the centre of the battlefield, where the main Ducal forces are massing.

The Ducal force pushed forward.

Madling is to the bottom right of the photo and with the munber of Ducal troops arriving, it looks like it will be a hard task to defend it.

On my flank, with infantry now arriving in support, the light infantry and cavalry advance down the slope and towards the Ducal left flank, to threaten it and also to allow space for the infantry to deploy.

What a splendid sight! A massed cavalry charge for the fore as infantry advance in the background.

Much needed Electoral reinforcements begin to arrive and move towards the important ridgeline.

Electoral troops have occupied Madling and are manfully holding on. The thin line of Electoral troops on the ridgeline to the right look rather vulnerable, given the mass of Ducal troops advancing towards them.

As the cavalry clash, the light infantry do not like the look of the serried ranks of Ducal troops arrayed against them.

The commanders. To the left, Steve who was the Electoral C-in-C; in the centre, Keith Flint, author of HoW and a good friend; to the right, Paul the Ducal C-in-C and just in shot, Chris, host and umpire.

The Electoral positions look somewhat better now that the reinforcements have arrived and deployed.

The Ducal left flank, in front of my position, somewhat hampered by the wood and the impassable hill on the right.

Battle rages across the ridgeline, as both sides try to deploy their troops in the constricted space.

A view from the Electoral centre.  Masses of Ducal troops can be seen coming on in the distance.

Madling and its environs are being hotly contested.

The Electoral line still looks thin, but the Ducal troops are struggling to find space to deploy.

Electoral light infantry have crossed the Stronbach by the bridge and are giving irritating flanking fire to the Ducal troops.

A view from Madling towards Kainsdorf.

A quick photo of the view from Chris and Jane's garden, which frankly doesn't do justice to it, as it was simply wonderful. We had a nice lunch break at this point, having a great chat and putting the World to rights!

The Electoral troops begin to push forward in the centre and now have a doubleline and reserves, so their position is looking much stronger.

An advance right across the front by the Electoral troops, as they begin to push back the Ducal forces.

On my flank the light infantry somehow survive two turns of shooting and survive and, to add insult to injury, with artillery support the rout the line infantry to their front. The cavalry have moved up in support.

Madling and the centre appear to be safe now.

Cavalry and infantry clash near to the small farm by the woods

End of the Game
With the afternoon drawing on, it was obvious that the Electoral troops had held their positions and had begun to force the Ducal forces back. So the game was called and Ken had plenty to mull over for the narrative of the game.

Post Game Thoughts
It was so good to have a FtF game again after so long. We all agreed that this is part and parcel of what makes wargaming so a wonderful hobby. Sharing the experience with like minded gamers was great. Whilst solo gaming is fine, you do miss the camaraderie and the banter that goes with it, of which there was much of the latter!

Playing a 'big game' is a rare treat and in such a wonderful setting too. The figures on display were simply stunning, which I doubt you will get from the photos, so you'll just have to take my word for it. 28mm certainly does make for a spectacualr looking game, ditto the SYW and Linear Warfare in general. Many a moment I just stopped and enjoyed look at all the troops on show, it really was a wonderful sight.

Chris is putting on a few more games this year, of which I hope to attend one, subject to Covid and family matters of course. Although I cannot make both days, being able to attend one is certainly a privelege and one that I look forward to later in the year.

So until next time, keep healthy and stay safe.


  1. Thanks Steve for your company and excellent and quick write-up! It's fair to say neither Ken nor I had to do much umpiring as all four contestants (except Keith! :-)) knew the rules and got on with things very efficiently. Your readers will be able to see many more bigger, brighter photos on my blog in due course of both day's gaming. I'm thinking of doing a "how I built it" on the terrain first. You will be very welcome at any of the others, please give me as much advance notice of interest in specific ones as you can. CG

    1. Thanks for keeping me in line Chris. I can't remember playing HoW since before the first lockdown, and I think this game tested them to the limit. So I certainly needed some help!

    2. I'm glad you enjoyed it Chris. The photos I reduce in quality, so that they load more quickly on Blogger. However they do seem a bit more 'grainy' of late, so will check to see if any settings have been changed by accident. I'll keep you posted on future games, but hope to make the '45 one.

    3. Great Steve - AAghhh reduced quality! - not a good look for a model soldier blog. Hope you manage to overcome that problem. I've never had any complaints over mine, maybe my readers are just tolerant of slower loading.

    4. Some Blogs have taken so long to load, I have actually given up trying to see the post. Whether it's due to picture size, or something else, I'm not sure, but I suspect it is. Other sites have very grainy picture but, when you click on them, they look fine. No idea why!

  2. Looks like a great day out, taking part in a magnificent looking game Steve. Are there any un-picturesque areas in the Cotswolds? If so, I have not come across them - its a generally very attractive part of the country! Hopefully, you are able to make a return visit later in the year.

    1. It was a great day out Keith and enjoyable on many levels. I have some friends who live on top of a fairly flat and featureless part of the Cotswolds, so not too attractive compared to other parts, but still nice nonetheless. The call their village 'Little Leningrad' as it gets so cold in the Winter as they have no cover from the wind, no matter the direction!

  3. Wow! Chris sets out an impressive Wargaming spectacle. Good to see you get away for an enjoyable day of F2F Wargaming with friends. Your label shows the battle rules as HoW. I don’t see any hit markers. Were hits tracked on a roster to provide some fog of war?

    1. He certainly does, ably supported by Ken and Paul's superb figures too. It was great to return to some FtF gaming after so long. The hit markers were those mdf discs that you can move a tad to reveal the number in a small window. All were painted and flocked in the same way as the bases, hence why the might not appear at first glance. Very effective though.

  4. Now that looks great! Great terrain and models. Lovely view outside too.

    1. It does look great, doesn't it? Shame I couldn't capture how good the view was, especially on a lovely Spring day.

  5. What a great way to spend time with friends and like minded people. Amazing table. I would have been happy just to spectate, all that scenery and neat lines of troops advancing across it. My mouth is watering!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it Richard and it certainly was a great way to spend the day. The whole game was a visual treat and many a moment when not in action was spent admiring the whole Linear Warfare look. I came home tired but very happy.

  6. FtF gaming - a return towards normalcy. That’s a good sign to say the least. Hopefully Steve it’ll be the first of many.

    Chris certainly has a mighty impressive table and, looking at your images, filled much of it with large numbers of well painted toys too. That gets a big “thumbs up” from me. The buildings look especially good as do the trees. Clearly a lot of time and effort has gone into his gaming set-up.
    Top notch stuff - but I’m not sure I could convince my wife I need yet more space in our house turned over to books, comics, magazines & wargames. ☹️

    Please be sure you avoid Kembleford in your Cotswold travels. From what I’ve seen on “Father Brown” on the BBC (Mark Williams is excellent in the lead role) I must warn you that Kembleford - much like Midsomer - is a dangerous place indeed. 🤣😂

    Often, on my travels, I do spot things (buildings, bridges or other terrain features) that I think “would make some lovely terrain”. Sadly, my modelling skills do not match my desires…

    The Electoral troops did very well to hold the ridge line and then, once reinforcements started to arrive, the battle turned in favour of the Electors forces. The Electoral light troops gave a sterling performance and certainly earned their pay. The Ducal forces, on the other hand, almost seemed hampered by their superior numbers and the difficulties of making effective deployments.

    Take care & keep safe,


    1. I'm hoping to host a game chez moi in early May, all being well. Whether it is a return to normality remains to be seen, but fingers crossed we are on our way, certainly with Summer soon to appear.

      The whole set up was great, ably aided by Paul and Ken's wonderful troops too. A great team effort all round. Chris does have a very nice wargames set up for sure. I'll just have to be happy with my dining room table for the moment.

      I think the Dice Gods were with us at certain points in the game, such as when my light infantry survived two rounds of canister and close range musketry, then for them to rout the line infantry to their front. Overall I think our plan worked, but we did have more space to deploy into line, compared to the Ducal forces, which made a difference too.

  7. What a cracking looking game Steve…
    Chris certainly puts on a good show…

    All the best. Aly

    1. Thanks Aly and he and the others do put on a good show, a la Cecile B. de Mille and a cast of thousands;). It was certainly a wonderful spectacle to behold and to be part of.

  8. Terrific looking battle! Sounds like a great time was had by all. :-)



  9. Terrific looking battle! Sounds and looks like a great time was had by all... :-)



    1. It certainly was a great looking battle and we did all have a fun day out!