Monday, October 22, 2012

La Battaglia della Cresta del Maiale Fiammeggiante

After a week of much silly email banter about the efficacy (not to mention historical accuracy!) of flaming pigs in our rules, John R. took on the weighty task of organising a game to celebrate our fascination with ambulatory crackling. Unfortunately it didn't stretch to actually launching a herd of self-roasting pork-chops at the enemy, but it was a lot of fun nonetheless!

I had intended for this game to be the debut of the Italian Conscripts of the Guard, but realised I'd left them on my workbench only when I was pulling in to the car park. D'oh! I replaced them in my OB with 4 French hussars instead.

John designed the scenario, where the Austrians held the ridge. The Franco-Italians had to force a passage through the Austrians as they were blocked to the right by an (off-table) Austrian force much too big to engage, and by a wide, unfordable river on the left. The victory conditions for us were to get at least 3 units through the Austrian line and off the board, while the Austrians needed to stop us. Points would be awarded for the number of enemy casualties inflicted and units broken.

It was a truly epic see-sawing game with the Franco-Italians looking gone for all money on at least a couple of occasions, but the fickle finger of fate, in the shape of some truly bizarre dice rolls, allowed us to force a draw against the aggressive Austrians.

Wee, wee, wee all the way home!

The battlefield with Pete looking on
The Franco-Italian forces with Garry's command in the foreground. He had the heavy mob of converged grenadiers, dragoons and a 12-lber battery.

The Austrian set-up. This is only a part of their forces. There were plenty more to come!

Franco-Italian first move. I conform with John's forces on the right...

...and Garry's on the left.

Tim's Austrian guns strike a blow first move...

...two 10s in a row resulting in...

...the death of John's cavalry commander!

This was immediately followed by Tim's Uhlans charging John's now leaderless cavalry. I took the opportunity charge in support with my chasseurs...

...resulting in a smashing victory and failing to remain in control, we went battle-mad! RAAAAH!

Then paid for it by bouncing off Andrew's infantry columns in closed column with losses.

John's right flank under threat from a combined arms advance. I sent my 2nd Chasseur column to support John's infantry

Back in the centre, I withdrew my chasseurs, while John forgot and left his dragoons hanging . My fault of course, being allied C-inC!

Garry's grenadiers turning the woods into an Austrian meat grinder!

Tim launches his Jagers at John's closed column, which is also  holding his anchored line in place.

After smashing that, his jagers careen into the square behind and smash it, too!

They end their turn behind the previously anchored line.

In response to the hussars charge,  John successfully forms the line into square ...

...which resists the oncoming hussars... rolling a 5...

...while Tim could only rol a 1!

Next turn John's square gets revenge on the Jagers, firing into their flank. The Jagers failed the resulting morale test and fled.

Andrew brings his wall of white over the ridge!

Seemingly, not a lot to resist him with!


Then more Austrian cavalry made their appearance!

Garry manages to bring his 12lbers to bear in a most alarming manner for Pete's grenadiers

John tried to encourage Tim's other battalion of Jagers to follow the first, but they formed square in time...

...and sent the chasseurs back the way they came!

The right flank starts to look decidedly messy, with Garry's grenadiers cracking Pete's force. But will Garry have enough in the tank to exploit his gains?

I try to get my little horse battery into the advancing infantry's flank, without exposing myself to the approach of the Austrian cavalry behind the town.

My regular-rated infantry, including my Italians, facing off against Pete's infantry on the ridge.

Andrew's Austrians make up their minds which target to go for first.

John sits and waits for the oncoming tide!

Meanwhile, Garry has swept all before him! But there are more battalions advancing behind the ridge!

Andrew charges a whole brigade at John's 12lbers which stands and fires, while a single battalion of light infantry meets the Austrians...

...and gets spanked for their trouble!

The guns get engulfed...

...and swallowed!

My should I, shouldn't I quandary is solved, when Pete charges 2 battalions down the hill at my 3 .

Bad dice rolling didn't help, with my brigade repulsed with losses and disorders

Andrew then brought up another battalion (did they have a cloning machine somewhere in the back?!) to cover Pete's flank and threaten my horse guns.

I looked in a bit of a pickle, so I charged my 2 remaining infantry battalions at  one of Andrew's in closed column. As both of mine were rated veteran and were in regular column, I felt confident...

...until I rolled this...

...and Andrew rolled this!

At last, Darren's reinforcements entered the board!

John charges 2 battalions against one of Andrew's in another inconclusive fight.

Garry stabilises his line in time for Pete's reinforcements to emerge from behind the ridge...

...while his 12lbers play on Pete's troops on the ridge.

Rather than waiting to be pummelled, Pete takes action...

...but is blasted off the ridge for his troubles!
"Bring it on!" says Garry.

My horse battery fled after being fired in the flank. The space was filled by another battalion in closed column which advanced aggressively on my small unit of hussars. 

The situation I found myself in; My light battalion missed the opportunity to form square as Andrew  brought up his cavalry, and the battalion 3rd from the right was in dire danger of being caught in the flank. Most battalions were carrying multiple disorders.

I moved the hussars, who were fired at and destroyed, which allowed me to try and retrieve the situation. I moved the artillery up and the infantry back to be a threat to any attacking infantry.

Meanwhile, Darren moves up his cavalry and guns to drag my chestnuts out of the fire on the left, at least.
Darren's skirmished hussars get ready to tease Pete's infantry

And on the right, John sends his reformed dragoons against another of Andrew's battalion columns

Andrew stands firm and fires, causing a casualty, but being already down to half strength, this is more than John's dragoons can stomach and they turn tail again!

Andrew's chevaux-leger charge my light infantry, who have the general attached,  which makes the odds of forming square much better, with the added bonus of co-operative dice! The Austrian cavalry bounce!

This was followed by a charge on the horse guns, which limbered and fled, resulting in one of those tricky conundrums not covered by the rules and not likely to happen again in a long time! If there was no combat, then there should be no pre-melee morale check, which would mean the flank fire from the square wouldn't have affected their charge meaning that the result of halting 2" from the target wouldn't apply. But because the charge didn't result in combat, should they ignore the halt at 2"response and be allowed to occupy the ground, or should they have to take a normal morale check? Hmmm, back to the drawing board....

Anyway, the game ended there in a dramatic stalemate, with the Austrians taking the honours with numbers of casualties inflicted and units broken (but only just!), and by the fact that none of the Franco-Italian units had been able to cross the ridge, although Garry damn near did. If only he had something in reserve!


  1. Great AAR Rosbif, and lots of lovely pics of the action :)

  2. My word what a game! Ruthless assaults, luckless dice roll, an amazing board and miniatures - what more could you ask for? A great read Sir.

  3. Exciting game rosbif! Loads of blood letting!

  4. An excellent batrep Rosbif!!! A great read!!

  5. What a tease! I was hoping for a mobile bonfire to crash through the Austrian lines, but nary a pig miniature in sight! *sigh* ;)

  6. Another great report. It always amazes me that you remember to take so many 'action shots' and then remember what happened! I usually peter out on photos on turn 2 and then remember to show the end, routing figures.

  7. Wonderful AAR. Is there anything that looks as good on a table as Napoleonic armies? I don't think so!

  8. Fanatastic AAR! Italians and Austrains are really great Nap'armies, and pictures are wonderful!


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