Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Cheminitz 1816

The second battle of the week saw the Allied forces on the offensive. Again it was a battle for a well defined village line but with a not so subtle difference. At the centre of the French position was the Napoleonic equivalent of the Deathstar from Star Wars. A 48 man chateau with out works and cunningly placed buildings designed to channel anyone foolhardy enough to consider attacking it into a killing ground for its Young Guard defenders. Naturally the task was given to Chris Cornwell. Ignoring his orders to reduce the buildings Chris opted for the all out attack option with unfortunate but somewhat predictable results.
The fighting was tough all along the line the picture to the left shows Sackens' corps at the start line for the first of two bloody assaults on the village controlling their sector. Each assault was fought through to 3 rounds of combat and each time there was a bounce. The French defenders commanded by the tenacious Mark Freith were only finally ousted by heavy skirmisher fire from both flanks whilst regrouping. To the left can be seen Herberts brave lads pushing back the French right which carried out a staged withdrawal.
The final assault was made in the centre by the Russian Guard cavalry and the combined Guard corps. This was carried out against a Young Guard division who in adopting a reverse slope position had clearly learned lessons from the Duke of Wellington. This was a formidable obstacle and was judged too costly to be taken by frontal assault. It was necessary to turn one or both flanks and as the left was anchored on the Deathstar the Guard cavalry was committed to clear away the French Heavy cavalry on the right. The dice Gods smiled on the Allies, though for the second year running Mark Freith threw six sixes with six dice in cavalry combat, and the Youngsters were forced to withdraw. Once again the French lost much of their heavy cavalry whilst that of the allies remained largely intact.
So a victory for the Allies, though probably not as decisive as the French victory at Torgau. Hardly surprising considering the Vaubanesque fortifications but it was 1-1 at half time and as we filed off to the dressing rooms both sides knew they had everything to play for.


Ged Elliott said...

Oh, here we go, the woes of the poor Allies. Well having placed a 12pdr Guard Battery in the correct place and then left it with no way to manouevre and then committed the Prussians before the Guard so they could be repulsed in detail...........and so on .....and so forth.
The village was tough but the wrong formations were used to tackle it I would suggest.

In any event, everyone seemed to have a good time. And then there is more for Noel in December!!!, either 2 or 3 new games if he can make it.

Ged Elliott said...

It works, I'm on, a never ending stream of dribble......... In fact its the first blog ever that I've posted on, so I'm having a bit of fun.
Going wargaming again, this week used new house rules, I'd be interested in comments as I always try to improve the games, be it scenarios with nasty village/death stars or restrictions that try to recreate the flavour of the campaign/battle in question. Do we sign these entries?

Noel said...

I wondered if the deathstar comments would get a fish to rise :)
comments on the new rules for me are very positive, I particularly like the light battalions and the C&C makes for a more thought out game.

Ged Elliott said...

The interesting bit for me was that the Austrians should have been tasked to take the town on the open area with the Guard supporting, the Austrians using the withdraw order if necessary. The way it worked allowed Vandamme to occupy the death star until the Prussians were repulsed, then allowed the YG to then occupy it. At the very least, the Prussians and Guard could have co-operated. Yes the death star was tough, but Luke Skywalker never thought it through and never used the force!

Chris Cornwell said...

I thought it through fine!...but "bull at a gate" Marshall demanded that the Prusskis go for the other village at he same time...I was perfectly happy to sit there and drop howitzer shells on it for a morning.