Sunday, September 12, 2010

Anvil no more!

I was beginning to think that I sould change my avatar from 'Rosbif' and the picture of Pitt and Boney carving up the globe and change it to a portrait of Marshal Jourdan, who (according to a biography of Soult that I'm reading at the moment) was known by the common soldiers of l'Armee de Sambre et Meuse as the Anvil because he was beaten by the enemy so often. Luckily, this Friday past proved that I don't have to, as I beat my opponent, or at least had him in an untenable position by the time the evening's play finished.

It was a French vs. Austrian game with Tim supplying the Austrian forces, while he partenered Garry on the French side. I partnered Jim, who was getting back into wargaming after a long break and was new to our rules system. It was a tabletop baptism for my terrain boards, too. They attracted a lot of interest and complimentary remarks, which was pleasing! I'll have to find another sealing agent, as the spray on glue didn't dry as I expected, but has remained tacky, so that sticky flock came away every time it was touched (especially on our middle-aged spreads ;-) !). I'll try the spray on varnish that I use on my figures and see how that goes as an alternative. Still, not as much flock came off as I expected.

The French conceded the first move to the Austrians, so Jim and I moved our forces forward; Jim occupying an enclosure but stopping short of the built up area. I moved my forces to the base of the ridge while my Jaegers covered the main force by moving up onto the ridge. As Garry had 2 battalions of light infantry in skirmish order I didn't think I'd fare very well in skirmish combat so I didn't move up to take him on. I tried to take charge on the right flank by charging his lancers, which, if all things had gone to plan, I should have won handsomely as I had the numbers on him as well as a big overlap. Of course the Dice God doesn't like overconfidence, so once passing my pre-melee check I rolled a 1 to Garry's 6 in the melee which resulted in my chevaux-leger beating a hasty retreat with 20% casualties! At least it wasn't a complete rout and their services were still available to be called on later.

Garry had neglected to occupy the buildings on the right of his line, so his artillery weren't supported on that flank or to the rear, so I prepared my 2 left battalions to charge the battery, which they duly did, and although they copped some incoming fire, they were fresh units, and as 15 figure battalions, large enough to absorb a fair amount of punishment. Garry's gunners then fled to the nearest cover and left me in possession of his battery and threatening the flank of his line.

Garry decided that attack was the better form of defence and charged a pair of battalions on his left flank. Due to a misreading of the rules, I didn't reply to his melee as I had stood and fired. He therefore got a smashing victory and went battlemad ending up in the midst of my line while the battalion he faced ran for all they were worth. Fog of War! That left 2 of his battalions isolated in the midst of all of my army. I then deployed one of my battalions in line which then covered the flank of another battalion which turned 90 degrees to place itself on the flank of one of Garry's isolated battalions. He survived the resulting morale test after I fired on his flank, though not for long!

His other battalions on his left then charged my line, which I fired on as I had too many disorders from his skirmishers to effectively counter charge. The resulting pre-melee test left us both refusing to continue the charge and retreating 2". That was fine with me!

His 2 isolated units decided to break out by themselves, but in a sequencing boo-boo, he moved his threatened unit first, which then caused an opportunity fire by the unit in fornt as well as on its flank, resulting in a morale check failure and its breaking. However, that didn't affect the other unit which smashed into the Jaeger square in front of it and the Grenzer column behind that. Luckily, he'd left this unit in closed column because it ended its charge right under the nostrils of the cheveax-leger which had recovered from it's retreat and had about-faced ready to take his lancers, who'd been snoozing on the ridge, in the flank. Of course, this column now blocked my perfect charge!

By this time I'd brought my two left hand columns around on an angle preparing to charge his central columns, but as luck would have it, the evening's play ran out and we called it night. Although Garry had the honours in number of units broken, I had him in a position that could only be redeemed by a full divisional retreat.

Victory to Austria!

On the other flank, Jim had got himself into a bit of bother against Tim, but with a bit of tactical advice from Tim, he'd managed to pull the situation back and stabilised the line, even repelling acouple of Tim's attacks. If we'd had the time I dare say that the French would have had to break off leaving the field to the Austrians. Huzzah!

The initial Austrian dispositions on the right flanks

The field of battle, Austrians on the left, French to the right.

Tim's Front Rank French seen from his right flank

Jim's command seen from his left flank

My troops ascend the ridge, covered by the Jaegers in front and the cavalry on the flank

The enemy!

My cavalry hordes

My reserves

Jim occupies the enclosure and deploys on the ridge and in front of the village

Tim's French advance

Again, from the front

Jim's Austrians

Tim takes the village, behind, while advancing to the ridge

The result of my unlucky charge. Come back! The enemy are the other way!

The infantry redeemed the situation by capturing the French guns (indicated by an Austrian gun, as Garry's guns are attached to the base.)

Jim's forces about to receive Tim's charge!

My division seen from behind. Apart from taking out a couple of skirmishers, my artillery didn't play a big part in the attack.

Garry's brigade charge, met by my 2 battalions in the centre

Garry's charge left high and dry after the Fog of War incident.

My response: column in flank protected by line in front. Grenzers deployed in line in front of French column.

French flee after suffering frontal and flank fire..

..however, the 2nd French column goes battle mad, smashing both units in front and ending up blocking my cavalry's lovely flank charge!

My lovely flank position which I couldn't exploit before the game was called off.


  1. Congratulations for your victory and the beautiful pictures!
    I have not that trouble (the defeat) as I play solo hahahaha

  2. Thanks Rafa.

    You have the best of both worlds; you can always say you won!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Shelfari Bookshelf