The French were taking their time bringing the reserves on, only getting three units on a turn was causing them some real issues. Especially as the Allies were having none of this! 4’s seemed to be the lowest with no 2’s rolled at all.
All of Argyll’s column was on and only half of Marshal Vendome’s troops were in a position to take the pressure off Biron. Natzmer’s horse began to engage the French mounted troops North of Syngem awaiting support from the battalions leading Vendomes column crossing the Norken stream.
Outside Eyne the volleys still crashed into the British battalions while the Hessians faired a little better only losing one stand from three battalions! The French Battalion du Maine was however being whittled away.
To the east the lead horse from Argyll and Cadogan’s column engaged some French Cuirassier east of Schaerken, the result being honours even with both sides retiring to lick their wounds.
Lottum and Lumley began to arrive just as Vendome cleared the roads and allowed Burgundy’s troops through. Leading this column was the Gardes Francais, they headed straight for Heurne initially eager to push back British.
Between Schaerken and Diepenbeke the British foot Guard deployed and met several crashing volleys from the waiting French Battalions. Still they marched on! Maintaining their order and showing no disruption!
It’s worth noting here, our rule system offers a fire-fight discipline system that reflects the officers and nco’s attempting to keep their troops moving toward the enemy and keeping that all important first volley.
Failure to maintain this discipline means that they will open fire at their current range and remain blazing away until a commander comes within six inches to move them forward again! We represent this with the cotton wool. (No this wasn’t just for the photo’s!)
Over on the allied right Natzmer had rallied a regiment of Prussian horse and was leading them back into the fray when he was shot out of the saddle by a French Horseman, it was shortly after this that one of the French Local commanders was killed by a stray shot from a Hanoverian dragoon.
The village of Eyne fell with the remainder of the two French battalions running pell-mell through the streets, closely pursued by the Hessians!
Between Heurne and Eyne the Swiss Battalions and their French support were heavily engaged in musketry, one of the French battalions (2nd Battalion Nivernais) was reduced to 25% of it’s original strength and struck it’s colours!
In the centre the Gardes Francais stepped up to duel with the Hanoverians and British, as is traditional they allowed the enemy to fire first then delivered a devastating volley stripping the Hanoverians of 25% of their effectives with one volley!
On the allied left flank Lumley lead the British Horse in a charge through the heart of the French position, saddles were emptied from the fire resulting from Roijgem on they went though and ploughed into the Maison du Roi as they countered this move, the Royal household cavalry smashed into the British Horse and the carnage was great, one regiment of the Maison du Roi completely cut down!
The French in the villages of Roijgem, Herlegem, and Heurne now became the focal point of the battle.
The British and Hanoverian troops under Argyll charged and counter charged the French infantry supporting Roijgem, the Hanoverian’s clambering over the hedge rows and clearing the surrounding gardens at the point of the bayonet. The French charged into the British line between Roijgem and Schaerken, but were repulsed with heavy losses on both sides.
In the end the French reserves were stacking up behind the front line but were hindered in deployment by the press of troops to their front. The Germans of Lottum began exchanging volleys with Vendome’s men to the west of Roijgem and the Dutch Horse manoeuvred to the North of Roijgem, enveloping the French right flank.
In the centre one British Dragoon regiment rode down two battalions of the La Couronne regiment, capturing both their colours! The pressure was mounting.
A valiant charge on the French right drove some of the British Horse into a hedgerow and onto the Maison du Roi, they struck colours and were escorted to the rear.
It was after this that the French began to look to withdraw! The battle had swung in the favour of the Allies. What had secured victory? The tardiness of the French reserves? The outflank of Natzmer’s horse, robbing EYne and Heurne of valuable support? Or the enveloping move by Overkirk and Lottum? The French in Eyne and between here and Heurne had fought with outstanding courage, while the Maison du Roi had performed super human feat’s against the British shock cavalry on the Allied left but all to avail!
The allies held the field!
More updates tomorrow.