Friday, 29 April 2011

A Matter of Space

You could tell by the looks on the faces of the French commanders' that it was all over bar the shouting by turn fifteen on day two of our latest battle.  The French counter attack which the Allies had been steeling themselves for failed to materialise and their efforts to resecure their embattled right flank were doomed to failure.  The final straw was the loss of the vital central village which was the linchpin of the French defensive line, this fell on turn thirteen and the resulting routs caused havoc amongst the fresh troops lining up to assault the Austrian lines.

Prussian infantry capture and hold the woods which form the French right.

The main problem that the French encountered seemed to be a lack of space in which to deploy what troops they had, and they were always vulnerable to the effects of retreating or routing troops disordering their fresh units.  Added to this was the fact that many of their existing troops were in such a poor state that any rout passing by them would be likely to encourage them to follow suit.  This is eventually exactly what happened and by the time the domino effect of routs had taken it's toll even units at full strength and in square were beginning to retreat. 

Utter confusion in the French centre.  The white discs show the position of routing troops amongst the mass of reinforcements.  We find that this causes less damage than putting the routing troops on top.

Nick had decided to go for an assault against the Austrian with his last throw of the dice and the eight battalions of the reserve infantry dutifully lined out in to their attack columns behind what was left of the Westphalian and Berg infantry.  However they were unable to get moving before the mass of refugees from the French centre ran headlong into them.  On the other side of the table this gave the Russians extra time to arrive and take up supporting positions behind the Austrians and their heavy cavalry was able to throw back the French cuirassier threatening the Austrian right.

The Young Guard advance to retake the woods but were unable to withstand the volley fire from lined out Prussian veterans and the pounding from two foot batteries.

Even with hindsight it's difficult to imagine how the French could have achieved a successful result in this battle as soon as it moved into a second day.  They were always constrained by the ever shrinking area available and found it difficult to move troops to the places they were most needed.  The one force they could have possibly deployed earlier was the Young Guard which sat at the rear of their line for most of the game and when it was used it was forced to cross broken terrain in order to reach its target.  This left the attack disjointed and the total lack of artillery support meant that they were attacking fresh units at full strength.

Russian cuirassier and horse artillery advancing to support the Allied right.

All said though we had two enjoyable games from this scenario which of course is the point of it all. I thought it might be useful to give an outline of the orbats for both sides so here they are:

1 x 36 jaeger
11 x 48 line
4 x 36 line
2 x 48 grenz
1 x 36 grenz
6 x 36 grenadier

2 x 24 Lt cav
1 x 24 cuirassier

2 x 6lb foot bty
1 x 12lb foot bty

Some of the Austrians which made up the Allied right flank for most of the game.

16 x 32 line
11 x 32 landwehr

3 x 24 lt cav
3 x 24 hvy cav

3 x 6lb foot bty
1 x 12lb foot bty
1 x 6lb hse bty

The Prussians reorganise having captured the vital strongpoint in the French line.

12 x 32 line

2 x 32 dragoon
1 x 32 cuirassier

1 x 6lb foot bty
1 x 6lb hse bty

French cuirassier attempt to unlock the Austrian right.

44 x 36 line
8 x 32 young guard

4 x 24 lt cav
2 x 24 lancer
1 x 32 dragoons
2 x 32 cuirassier

3 x 8lb foot bty
1 x 12lb foot bty
2 x 6lb hse bty

French dragoons who were unable to get in to combat due to limited manouevring space.

That's it for this game, next week we'll clear away what figures still need to be put away and prepare for the next conflict.  I think I'm getting battle fatigue.  Neil will hopefully be giving us an in depth brief on the new campaign the first part of which appears to be army selection and map moves.  This could take some time so it looks like another generated scenario will be starting, more of which in the next post.


Sgt Steiner said...

Quite simply stunning stuff the amount of superbly painted figures and excellent terrain is awesome to behold.


Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

The amount of nicely painted lead adorning the table is really very impressive!


Battlescale said...

Best Napoleonic blog on t'tinterweb. Great stuff.

Paulalba said...

Totally agree,
Your blog full of excellently painted figures in action is as inspiring as my brothers monthy (or quarterly, I can't remember) wargames magazines were to us 20 years ago!
Keep up the great work!!!

Paul´s Bods said...

That looks brilliant!!! Exceptional and very inspirational.

Anonymous said...

I have nominated you for the "Stylish Blog Awards" if you choose to take up the challenge!

Rules are listed on my post here:



Stryker said...

I've just nominated you as well!


Rafael Pardo said...

I have nominate for the award as well.

Keep the good job!
Best regards