Wednesday, November 30, 2011

French v. Austrians again

John R. reckons he can write my AARs himself; "If only I'd done...", "I should have done...", "I didn't spot..." etc. etc. Funny b*stard!

Unfortunately he's right, though: Last Saturday's game at the Croydon venue turned out to be exactly this sort of game! Robin and I took on Jim's Austrians with our respective French forces at the 1:120 scale, but Robin's arithmetic let him down leaving him with the niggling feeling he'd short changed himself. Events were to prove that he was probably correct!

Robin went ahead like only he knows how; bull-at-a-gate frontal charge, while I tried to organise my forces and thoughts before committing myself. This caution and over-thinking led to my downfall, however. Robin's initial attack proved successful in that he pushed back the centre and left flank, providing me with the opportunity to launch my hard-core legere and Italian Grenadier Guardsmen at the Austrian line adjacent to Robin's attack. The combination of the Austrians having friends retiring and the high morale of my division resulted in that Austrian line being forced back, too. Things looked up for the French at this moment, but the fact that our success resulted in only Pyrrhic victories and neither Robin or I had reserves placed to exploit our initial success led to our downfall as Jim went on the counter-attack. I had placed all my reserves on the right flank as I was worried about his cavalry which was faced only by my light cavalry and horse guns, which were outclassed by the quality of horse-flesh and the number of guns available to the Austrians. Consequently I had nothing left in the tank to exploit my initial success. Robin's miscalculation of his forces now bit him in the bum as he faced the same problem.

The inevitable counter-charge came and Robin's forces were devastated, unable to stem the wall of white that collapsed on top of him. I was left with the option of pulling back my elites, charging on to try to capitalise on my gains, or fire on the flank of the nearest exposed Austrian unit while protecting the flank. This is where John R. and his "what I should have done..." comes in. Instead of whole-heartedly adopting any of the 3 options outlined above, I decided on adopting the last 2; charging and firing on the Austrian flank.

Initially, turning 90 degrees and firing into the flank of the nearest Austrian column resulted in successfully forcing it to retreat, but the charge by the remaining 2 French units just didn't have enough ooomph (that technical wargaming term) behind it, and with all Robin's troops fleeing from their flank, I needed a very good roll of the die to succeed. I didn't get it. My best units were forced into retreat. The succesful unit that had turned to fire in the flank of the nearest Austrian column was in turn charged on the flank by a Landwehr regiment that sent it hustling backwards to join its fellows in ignominious retreat

Next turn I tried a charge by another brigade on the right flank with 2 line units in column joined by a legere regiment in l'ordre mixte. Unfortunately, I'm not very good at judging distances and the line only just didn't make the distance, while the 2 flanking columns did. Of course, this was part of Jim's line that had the greatest concentration of artillery, as well, so the combination of the failed charge plus the losses incurred on the way in, combined with another appalling die roll caused the 2 columns to turn tail and run.

Meanwhile, I had bottled up Jim's cavalry with a combined arms defense of cavalry, artillery and infantry that would cause him severe discomfort if he unwisely launched a charge with his superior hussars. Into this scenario he sent a tiny unit of Jaegers to stir the pot. I was unwilling to charge them as they advanced in closed column, as that would most likely cause a counter charge too far away from my carefully positioned supports. The artillery was too distant to do anything effective to stop this threat, so inevitably, my chasseurs were pushed back by this pesky unit of jaegers. Incidentally, as the chasseurs' right flank was protected by the edge of the world (or table-top at least) they were in constant danger of being accidentally knocked into the void. Sure enough, the elite squadron figure ended up on the floor unknown to me, until I heard the sickening crunch when I trod on it! Oh, the humanity! (A little glue and reapplication of flock and he's good as new.)

I was a sucker for punishment and sent in my reserves after all the retreating and retiring units had rallied. Again the dice failed me in the most cruel manner imaginable; the pre-melee morale test resulted in me rolling a 1 and Jim a 6 and, guess what?, my units failed and ran before I came into contact with the enemy!

By this stage Quinny entered the field with the Imperial Guard to get a taste of glory.(He's our Boney for the upcoming Wagram game in January, so he gets to play with the supermen!). Like a hot knife through butter, his Horse Grenadiers and Chasseurs a Pied cut a swathe through the Austrian line. By that time it was all over anyway with a moral victory to Jim, as Robin and I tried and failed to penetrate his Cordon Blanc

Chasseurs on the right flank

My divisions at their starting point

My left flank unit and Robin's forces beyond them.

Jim's wall of white

Timid landwehr!

French 1st move

En avant, mes amis!

Chasseurs reviewed by the general

Italian Guard Grenadiers

Robin's brave chaps on the advance

My right flank securing the line

The weight of numbers in the centre. More reserves should have been pushed to the left. 20/20 hindsight!

My elite division advancing in the centre with Robin's forces to the left

Robin goes in...

...and pushes Jim back!

My elites form up into column for the impending charge.

Meanwhile, further to the right, l'ordre mixte takes shape

The view from the flank showing my numerous reserves.

The reserve not able to bring its weight to bear where needed!

Robin's cavlary charge the guns in support of his infantry, but thery were beaten back!

Pesky jaegers on the march with the elite figure before his untimely demise.

The jaegers eventually got close enough to force the chasseurs to retire after giving them a close range volley.

Robin's second thrust at the Hungarian brigade. His high-water mark!

My elite division charging the central line in support of Robin's success.

Success!

My division a la ordre mixte tries to emulate the others, but the line falls short and the columns get whacked on the approach!

Run away!


Hmmm; what shall we do with this useless bunch, Jean-Claude?

The legere in line await the invetible pounding they're about to receive.

Could have been worse: they were only forced to retire.

The reserve advances to shield the recovering units

The closed column supporting the horse guns on the right flank and holding the whole line from the threat of Jim's cavalry in the distance.

Desicisions, decisions. What to do next?

Why are we waiting...

...ooohhh, why are we waii-ti-ing?!

Jim's gun's drop back and fire into Robin's flank...

...while his infantry charge to their front, sending Robin's troops fleeing!

Run awaaaay!!

My succesful heavy mob with their associated disorders

The crisis point where my left flank is suddenly in the air; I fatefully decide to have a bit both ways by firing in the flank (successfully) of 1 Austrian regiment, sending it scurrying ...

...then charging the remaining 2 regiments (unsuccessfully)

Run awaaay!!

The landwehr can't believe their luck and kick me while I'm down...

...which results in that regiment being pushed back to join the rest of the line (plus disorders)!

La Garde enters the fray!

"La Garde meurt mais ne se rend pas!"

The chasseurs recover and move forward to support my final advance...

...which duly goes in...

...but fate...


...spits in my eye!

Run awaaaayyy!!

Time for Jim's cavalry to charge!
This time I roll nearly perfectly...

...and it's Jim's turn to roll crap! Why couldn't we have done this earlier?!

Quinny's Guard Chasseurs steam in...

...crushing everything in their path!

6 comments:

  1. You gotta laugh or is it cry, unfortunately for me I've been having far too many games like this, the 1 on a dice should be banned forever!!!!
    Great photos by the way!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great report and pictures!

    I almost thought that Ray "Don't throw a one" was playing this game :-D

    Greetings
    Peter
    http://peterscave.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow
    This is a true 'tour de force'. A very beautiful display of figures
    Regards
    Rafa

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice to see plastics in action, especially whe
    n they're of such a high standard, inspirational stuff.

    Rotten luck with the dice old boy but at least you havent resorted to throwing the offending dice at the wall as one such opponent was wont to do...most entertaining.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Whoops; somedays I guess it just rolls against you! Fabulous report and wonderful pictures, many thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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