Sunday, 3 June 2012

By mutual consent our latest game came to a slightly early end this week with a win for the Allies.  The French gambit of throwing the majority of their strength in to an assault on their left nearly paid off but their weak right flank and centre were unable to hold on for long enough. 

Swiss and German infantry supported by lancers and hussars force back the Allied right wing.

It was an interesting plan which Justin the French commander came up with.  He placed two strong divisions on the left along with his entire cavalry force, supported by the fire of three batteries.  In the centre a division of young guard was given the task of holding the town which was the linchpin of that particular position, and on the right another division of infantry was placed in the relatively open ground.  The left was further reinforced by a Swiss division about mid-way through the action.

Almost the last hope for the embattled Prussians on the Allied right was these two squadrons of Russian dragoons.

Things started off well for the French and the Allies were caught off balance by their opponents deployment.  The Allied right had originally been the point from where Nick the Allied commander had wanted to launch his assault.  However his plan for a division of Prussian infantry to assault obliquely across the front of the French left and take the centre, without the benefit of artillery support was probably a little optimistic.  As it turned out this option was quickly ruled out by the size and strength of the French forces attacking from their left.
    It soon became clear however that the rest of the French line was thinly spread and the Alllies began to push troops forward in an attempt to breakthrough.

Russian infantry and artillery having turned the French right add their firepower against the struggling centre.

The first cracks started to appear when the French right flank began to break under the sustained fire of a Russian six gun battery.  This cleared the way for the assaulting infantry and the trickle of French retreats became a steady flow as more and more units broke under the pressure.  In the centre, the Young guard having faced off one assault by Russian infantry was swept by Prussian close range volley fire whilst attempting to reform.  This was too much for them and they were ejected from the central position.  This allowed the Prussians to occupy the village and they were now in a position to give some supporting fire to the struggling Allied right.

Cleared of Young guard the French centre now provided the perfect position for the Allies to fire directly into the flanks of the assaulting French left.

It was a good thing for the allies that these two attacks had been so succesful.  Most of the original division holding the Allied right had by now been routed from the field and only two battalions and a couple of squadrons of heavy cavalry remained of this force.  Fortunately there was a division of landwehr close at hand to help stabilise the position and with supporting fire coming from the centre the right hand units of the French attack started to suffer heavy casualties.

The final act for the French centre, with young guard routing all around them an 8lbr battery is charged down and routed by Russian infantry.

By turn eighteen the writing was on the wall for the French and at this point we decided to call an end to proceedings.  There was little left to fight for and besides, we wanted to be in a position to start the new campaign the following week.  What had started out as a pleasant interlude had turned into an interesting and absorbing fight.  The attack by the French left had certainly caught the Allies on the hop but by placing so much of their strength on one flank they were unable to pin the Allies in place across the remaining frontage.  The Allies were able to quickly assess the weakness of the French centre and right and take advantage.  In hindsight it is probable that had the French attacked on the left with one division supported by the arriving Swiss, and spread the remaining three infantry divisions across their front more evenly they may have enjoyed more success.  However hindsight always tends to benefit from 20-20 vision and there was no way for the French to know what the Allied initial deployment would be.

The final stages of the French assault on the Allied right.  Wurtemburgers  and assorted other Germans push back the remaning Prussian infantry.

So one game ends and another begins.  As I mentioned, we had been hoping to get the new campaign under way this week and as luck would have it we already have a battle.  On day three forces from the Serene Partonimy of Saxphalia crossed the border into Hanenburg and clashed with troops defending the town of Osnabruck.  I'll cover the ensuing punch up in the next post along with a description of what other moves have taken place, so if campaigns are your thing stay tuned.

7 comments:

Rodger said...

Great looking game and a very nice report. Looking forward to reading about the campaign too.

Rafael Pardo said...

Again a wonderful view full of splendid figures!
rafa

DaveD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DaveD said...

Cracking write up Noel

now if only the French had just charged all along the line eh!

noggin2nog said...

Hi Noel, love reading the battle reports, and was wondering if you would ever publish/write up your campaign rules?

Noel said...

Noggin, the rules are very basic but I'd be happy to email them to you if you wish.

Noel.

noggin2nog said...

Many thanks Noel, my email address is dptlongley@dptlongley.karoo.co.uk