We called it a day on our one off game at somewhere around turn twenty three. As the title says it had been a game of two distinct battles taking place one on each table. On the Northern table a Prussian Corps commanded by Andy supported by Nicks Austrians were up against the best of the French forces, a strong Guard division and a good line division commanded at different times by Neil, Steve and Eric. The tables were deemed as being seperated by a long wooded area which took time to transit and had the effect of unforming most troops who passed through it. First deployments on the Northern table had the French 6th Div defending a central village against the Prussians with The Austrians arriving from the West.
Part of Andy's Prussian corps in its start position, at this stage things were looking decidedly grim for the French.
Unfortunately for the Prussians they soon discovered themselves to be flanked by the arrival of the French guard supported by another line corps on their left. With such a linear position Andy found his command being rolled up from the left as the Guard relentlesly drove all before it. This left the assault of the French held town to Nicks' Austrians a struggle which continued for the remainder of the game with neither side gaining a clear advantage.
The Guard (2 x 36 Guard and 6 x 32 Elites) arrive to ruin Andys' day.
On the Southern table the French position also looked difficult. The two French divisions moving up to support the village (7th and 8th Divs) over one third of which was made up of militia found themselves to be outflanked by an Austrian line corps and an Elite Grenadier division. This led to some hasty redeployment for the French. The original village garrison, 6th Div, was recalled through the woods to assist its parent corps whilst the newly arriving 5th Div from I Corps was rushed in to fill the gap.
7th Division form line to their left from the line of march to counter the unexpected arrival of a strong Austrian force.
Fortunately for the French defenders on the Southern table the terrain had the effect of breaking up the Austrian advance with the result that their attacks went in peicemeal and suffered heavy casualties before being able to close with the French defenders. This slow advance also allowed fresh troops to arrive in time to shore up any gaps which appeared in the French line. Eventually enough troops were able to arive to make the Austrian assault impractical and this part of the battle became a stalemate with the Allies main strike force, the Grenadiers, unable to make their presence felt.
Young Guard assaulting the Prussian left flank, with the loss of this village there were no more defensive positions available to the Prussians and they were rolled up.
The battle was eventually won and lost on the Northern table. The French Guard with their greater movement and combat power were able to cut through the Prussian defenders resulting in the loss of almost the entire Prussian corps. This is the first time we have used Guard quality troops in our games and it was an interesting example of how useful they can be in the right place at the right time. Though there were only two battalions they did have a marked effect as could be expected though as much as anything it was the psychological effect of being up against them that made much of the difference.
The Southern table showing the difficult terrain (centre and right) which broke up Doms' attacks.
So all in all a useful and enjoyable game which allowed us to test out some minor rule amendments, most of which I outlined in the previous post. I particularly like the idea of allowing riflemen some offensive firing capability and the dropping of the -4 for cannister against single rank cavalry made people think twice about using frontal, single squadron charges against guns. We made a change to one of the amendments during the game by allowing troops to move tactically (12" for infantry 18" for cavalry) regardless of their proximity to the enemy as long as the whole of the turn was spent in column of march formation. This seemed to work well and does away with the idea of "doubling" troops every fourth turn. Admittedly as yet we haven't come up with a solution for skirmishers but we're getting together again for another one off battle on thursday night so we'll probably work something out by then.
Elite Miniatures Westphalians painted by Neil Sheardown for no other reason than I think they're gorgeous.
Finally the title of this entry states that there's some good news and indeed there is. The Wargames Holiday Centre whose sad demise I was bemoaning a few posts ago has been given a new lease of life. It appears that the whole lot is to be relocated to Basingstoke (about an hour outside London) and will be reopening its doors early in next year. To be honest I had heard a few whispers about this but it was very much "pie in the sky" at the time. The man taking up this particular Marshalls' Baton is Mark Freeth whom some of you may already know, I'll be speaking to him in the next few days and will try to get some more details such as prices and an itinerary which I'll then post on the blog.