Saturday, 26 June 2010

Allied Victory at Menningen

Despite their best efforts the Allies still managed to get a victory on thursday evening.  In the end it seems that the sheer weight of numbers made the difference and the Allies were able to break through the French centre cutting off VI Corps, the survivors of which were forced to retreat through the woods to their rear.  Things didn't go all the way of the Allies as the Russian left which consisted of Doktorovs' Corps was comprehensively defeated  by the French right.
The game at the beginning of turn 16.  In the foreground French forces hold stubbornly onto the small village while Doktorovs infantry attempt to reform for another assault.  In the centre Austrians from the Hesse Homburg division assault the key central village.

The Orders of battle were as follows:
V Corps
3 x 36 Veteran
3 x 36 1st class
2 x 32 1st class
3 x 36 2nd class
2 x 3 gun 6lb foot bty
4 x 6 Light cavalry
VI Corps
2 x 36 Veteran
6 x 36 1st class
2 x 32 1st class
4 x 36 2nd class
1 x 3 gun 6lb foot bty
4 x 6 Light cavalry
II Cavalry Corps
2 x 32 Cuirassier
1 x 32 Dragoons
1 x 24 Light cavalry
1 x 2 gun 6lb horse bty

1 x 32 Veteran
2 x 48 1st class
3 x 32 1st class
4 x 48 2nd class
2 x 32 2nd class
1 x 4 gun foot bty
1 x 3 gun foot bty
4 x 6 Cuirassier
4 x 8 Dragoons
1 x 32 Veteran
1 x 36 Jaeger (Elite)
1 x 36 Grenz
1 x 36 Veteran
2 x 36 1st class
3 x 32 1st class
2 x 32 2nd class
1 x 4 gun 6lb foot bty
1 x 3gun 6lb horse bty
4 x 6 Light cavalry
4 x 8 Light cavalry
1 x 32 Veteran
2 x 48 1st class
3 x 32 1st class
4 x 48 2nd class
2 x 32 2nd class
1 x 4 gun 6lb foot bty
1 x 3 gun 6lb foot bty
4 x 8 Cuirassier
4 x 8 Dragoons
4 x 8 Lt cavalry

The Austrians finally capture the strategically vital central village, thereby sealing the fate of VI Corps.

Casualties on both sides were heavy The French have lost the whole VI Corps for campaign purposes for some time.  Stragglers will make it back to French lines and by adding fresh drafts of troops it will eventually be brought back up to strength.  However the new corps will be of much lower quality than the original.  Less hard hit were V Corps who were able to withdraw towards Fulda, and their losses of 136 infantry plus a few cavalry will have little effect on the Corps as a fighting force.
For the Allies the victory came at a steep price with 332 infantry lost, 144 of these in Doktorovs Corps alone.  This will mean a period of rest for the army of Ansbach/Bavaria and once again there will be a reduction in the quality of the army as replacements come in.

Polish infantry from Erics' V Corps expel the last of Steves' Russians from the woods on the extreme Allied left.  Doktorovs Corps became bogged down in this area in a futile attempt to cut the Fulda road.

To summarise the battle I would say that the Allies have achieved what they set out to do by effectively destroying an entire enemy corps.  However they would not have done it if they had not had such a large advantage in numbers.  Though Eric thinks I was a bit harsh, I stand by what I said in the previous post.  The Allies had a workable plan but nearly failed to achieve their aim despite the huge advantages in men, guns and horseflesh that they enjoyed.  In a game which lasts for 24 turns the failure to use a large superiority in artillery to prepare the way for assaults is a major oversight. This along with serious errors in deployment nearly cost the Allies the game.  Even at the end the Allies were still committing basic mistakes such as leading attacks with units at over thirty per cent casualties.  On the plus side the Allied right despite being a relatively weak formation was able to force the French out of their redoubt and take its objectives.  It only had to stop when it ran out of fresh infantry.

Russian heavy cavalry moves up to exploit the hole in the French centre.

For the French, though they lost the battle and have taken heavy losses there is the moral victory of having faced off a superior force for so long while inflicting heavy casualties.  Their only real error in fact was to accept battle in the first place but I think that is very much down to the fact that at the moment we are all relatively inexperienced in the Grand Strategy aspect of wargaming.

Doktorovs' Corps rout from the battlefield after failing to capture any of their objectives.

Next week we'll be continuing with map movement and if a battle ensues, setting up the table and troops for the following week.  So far the Allies have gained the upper hand with two victories, but there are lots more Frenchmen roaming around Northern Germany just spoiling for a fight.


Rafael Pardo said...

A heavy victory at a graet cost! Congratulations for the AAR and the beautiful pictures

Ravenfeeder said...

I'm trying to work out how I could have better held that central village whilst not compromising the defence of the Fulda road and I'm stumped.

Eventually it came down to dice rolls and my luck deserted me completely for the vital couple of moves, to the extent that my whole position was becoming compromised. Even my Cuirassier were doing badly, failing to break into an Austrian column. Fortunately the right recovered, but it was too late for the village.

Have fun

BFG said...

Brilliant mate, great pictures along with an enthralling write up!

Keep it coming!

General Nuisance said...

I downloaded the same map as you did and was wondering how you were handling the campaign portion of your games. Is it really detailed with scouting and such, or just large units moving around? Also, did you print the map out or handling it on the computer? I printed mine out in large format -- it's probably 3 feet x 3 feet, big enough to use counters on.
Thanks for sharing your pictures and AARs.

Noel said...

We've printed off the map in large scale like yourself and are using counters to show movement and locations. The smallest strategic unit is a corps and there are upto 3 infantry and 2 cavalry corps per army. There are 3 armies on each side. Scouting is assumed and and basically involves the umpire giving a genereal idea of what is in the vicinity. If you want to send me your email address I'd be happy to let you know any more details.


murat said...

Great as usual great fun to see pics and read the high lights.
Can't wait for the next exciting chapter.

posted more pics of my latest creations.