Saturday, January 24, 2015

Beneath the Lily Banner
War of the Spanish Succession

Bob M. and I put out his 28mm War of the Spanish Succession figures onto the gaming table and had our first game of 2nd Edition Beneath the Lily Banners last Friday. I was keen on playing an “old school” system, after years of playing Black Powder. Bob would play the attacking Allied force, while I commanded the French. 

Below is the order of battle we used, all troops were drilled unless otherwise marked. The Allied foot was rated as Platoon Firing, while the French foot were rated as Rank & File Firing. Allied Horse was classed as Blade and French were classed as Bullet. We rolled for our Commanders ability, and Lt General Ross of the allied army was Skillful (up 1 level), while Lt General De Vivans was Competent (no modifier).

Lieutenant General Ross
Brigadier General Sabine
4x Foot
1x Elite Foot
1x Light Gun
Brigadier General Borck
2x Foot (Dutch)
2x Horse
Lieutenant General de Vivans
Brigadier General Mirabeau
5x Foot
1x Elite Foot
In Redan (under Defend orders)
1x Foot (Raw)
1x Field Gun
Brigade (reserve)
Brigadier General Nangis
4x Horse
Bob’s objective was to drive the French off the table, while having to pass under the guns of a French field battery on their left flank. I had to hold on until the French Cavalry reserve arrived.
Turns 1 and 2
Bob was able to roll pretty well for orders and most of his force advanced. The French guns did manage to cause a couple of causality on the lead Dutch battalion.


Turn 3
Bob was able to advance 75% of his troops, while I only had 50% of my troops active this turn. I decided to move up some battalions on my right flank, while most of the British, less the cavalry and elite battalion advanced toward us.

This movement brought us into extreme musketry range … and of course we both decided to let lose our initial volleys’ from several of our battalions J, we both managed to inflict several hits. The field battery scored several more hits on the Dutch battalion and these were beginning to mount up for the battalion.


Turn 4
Alas Lt General De Vivans did not cope well with the close proximity of the enemy, so he focused on his center battalions and had them move to close range musketry. The French commander was also getting a little nervous as his cavalry still had not arrived; fortunately the allied Regiment of Horse remained in the rear.


More fire was piled onto the Dutch battalion and it finally routed from the continuous artillery fire. Light casualties sprung up along both lines of infantry, as most frontline battalions were now in effective or close range.

Turn 5
The French cavalry arrived … and promptly held steady. The lead English battalion was Shaken last turn by French musketry fire. Noting this, Brigadier General Mirabeau rode over to his center battalion and personally led them in a charge to drive off the English battalion. Firing continued to ply back and forth along the battle line as Brigadier General Sabine attached himself to his battalion which was under some difficulty. As the French Battalion steadily marched toward them, he calmly issued an order to hold their volley till the last moment…
Close Combat
Round one saw both sides fight well in the initial clash, with the French just getting the better of the English, 3 to 2. Each side now reinforced the combat by adding in a fresh battalion, but the shaken status of the English started to tell as they lost the round 4 to 2. The English were on the verge of routing when Brigadier Sabine was felled from his horse … but miraculously he stood back up and dusted himself off without a scratch. His troops rallied around him and fought on! Round three saw a draw (2 to 2). The French so sure of victory beforehand, were now a little nervous and tired from the ongoing combat as the casualties mounted. Round four saw again another draw (2 to 2) and alas the French had enough and retreated from the combat, their “easy victory” left behind them!
We stopped at this point as we had accomplished most of what we set out to game that day. The only thing we did not get to was a cavalry charge/combat.
Overall I had a good time and will play BLB again. There were a few issues that needed to be resolved, but only the hits/stands issue is important to game play. It took some time to adjust to the slow pace of the game, infantry only moves 4” a turn! And you need to be much more careful and precise when placing and moving units than a game of Black Powder.
I think our next game will be a multi-player per side scenario, but don’t foresee adding more troops as 6ish units per player is plenty.


  1. Great looking game, John. Very impressive Lace War figures.

  2. Well done, looks fun. Great Figures!