Wednesday, January 30, 2013

First Club game of the Year

Now that I've got the Dennewitz AAR out of the way, I've got the time to document my first outing at the club two Saturdays ago. I got to christen my Croats and the Schilling French infantry (more on that later!).

I was partnering Paul (once he turned up!) with our French against Andrew S., my nemesis from Dennewitz, and Tony, who fronted up with Austrians and Prussians respectively. It was a matter of quality over quantity for me, as I fielded the Conscripts of the Guard on their maiden outing, along with the Croats (rated as Veteran) as well as the Schilling French infantry (also Veteran). The rest of the infantry were rated as regulars, except for my Velites of the Guard, which were rated Elite, and a battalion of light infantry (Veteran). I made up the numbers with French a light cavalry brigade and a regiment of Italian dragoons to protect the flanks, and a battery each of horse and foot guns.

It was a tough game of swings and roundabouts, with the advantage going from one side to the other. I was lucky early on as I don't play cavalry well as a rule, and this game was no exception, so my ham-fisted cavalry generalship should have benefited Andrew more than it did! As it turned out, he had his luck with the dice on the crucial infantry charge when I flubbed my counter-charge of the Italian Guard (more on that later).

On the other side, Paul managed to hold up the Franco-Allied side by forcing back Tony's Prussian's, retrieving some glory from the day!

My initial set up

The Schilling French on debut! 1st battalion...

...and second btn.

The Italian Guard; Velites to the foreground and Conscripts to the rear

The 2 Croat battalions on debut

Paul's French

Tony's Prussians

Andrew's Austrians (you get a lot for 1500 points, don't you?!)

I secured the initiative and seized the hill, while Andrew aimed for the pinch-point between hill and woods.

On the centre flank the Italian Dragoons and Austian Dragoons face off, with Polish Lancers in the background.

My Chasseurs move around the left, while the Hussars are wasted in dead ground backing up the artillery.

1st clash! My Chasseurs charge Andrew's advancing closed column, stopping his infantry advance in its tracks...

...but I'm charged next turn by his Hussars. Caught flat-footed, blown and with 2 disorders, I was lucky only to be forced to retreat.
The Austrian Hussars continued on, crashing into my poorly positioned hussars, who were spanked for their trouble, and continued on into the infantry!

The die indicates where the Hussars' breakthrough move would have ended. Both infantry battalions in their path failed to form square! Luckily, the one partially out of the frame to the left did and poured in flank fire on the charging cavalry...
...which caused them to fail their resulting morale test and retreat with losses. Phew!

After that bit of a heart-starter, I manage to pull my line on  the hill together...

...while to the centre, my forces stay behind the guns and await developments. Unfortunately, my dragoons are standing out in the open with a big 'Kick Me' sign around their necks, rather than sensibly being tucked out of the way to offer a potential threat.

So the inevitable happens: They are charged first by the Austrian dragoons, which my dragoons are able to see off...

...then by the Polish Lancers, who they also see off, despite being blown and having a disorder...

...but then are fired on at close range by artillery!

Run away!

What I should have done earlier! The light infantry move through the woods to attempt to get into the artillery's flank. Andrew counter-moves by bringing an infantry battalion to shield the artillery.

My Italians and Croats on the hill preparing to attack the conscripts and landwehr in front of them...

...while my reserves hold the right flank.

Tony's Prussians advance on Paul.

Andrew's Austrians 

Andrew falls back, but triggers an opportunity charge by the Little Engine That Could, my Chasseurs!

His infantry flee, leaving a nice juicy infantry target!

The situation from a bird's eye view; I was yet to spot the threat from his 2 grenadier battalions directly above the hill, behind the artillery!

Meanwhile, on the centre flank, Andrew sends a lonely battalion on a fishing expedition. My Hussars have recovered and have been sent to the right to fill in the gap caused by the rout of my Dragoons.

Another aiborne view; this time I've noticed the threat in the centre and moved part of the reserve forward.

Hussars in column charge the advancing infantry...

...and send them on their way. Those Polish lancers look rather ominous now, though!
Blooded! The Schilling infantry take their first casualty.
The Austrian Grenadiers charge up the hill from behind the guns, met in counter charge by the Italian Guard units and one of the French Veteran units...

...who promptly flub the pre-melee morale test and flee in panic, before even making contact! GRRRR!

The red marker indicates the Grenadiers' breakthrough. Guess what happens next?


A big gap opens on the hill, with the last remaining Croat battalion about to get dished up.

The Italian infantry become the hunted instead of the hunters!

Some little revenge was extracted, though; one of my remaining French Regular battalions gave the closest Grenadier battalion some flank fire which caused them the retreat.

My gallant Chasseurs try to pull something out of the hat by charging the nearest Austrian unit , but both cavalry and infantry fail their pre-melee and just stand there wetting themselves!

The situation as it stands. A dirty big hole in my centre which nothing can repair!

One last hurrah on the other flank; Andrew's Dragoons charge my blown Hussars, which rout to the rear...

leaving the way open for the Lancers to charge my infantry in closed column. They resist the cavalry, but with infantry moving around behind the cavalry, the end is nigh!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dennewitz 1813-2013 Part 3 (& a Milestone!)

At long last here is the final exciting installment of our big January weekend battle; the Battle of Dennewitz 1813.

To recap, Bertrand's IV Corps has been driven back over the stream to hold the crossing points at Dennewitz and Rohrbeck and hold the south of the stream against Andrew B.'s Prussian 4th Army Corps. Franquemont's 38th Division (Wurttemberger) of IV Corps hold the line Dennewitz-Göhlsdorf, while Reynier's VII Corps are spreading out west from Göhlsdorf trying to outflank or at least spread out the Prussian forces in front of them. My intention was for the approaching XII Corps to then push through the hopefully thinned centre to split the Prussian forces in two and roll up their line.

The situation at Dennewitz

Prussians and Cossacks approaching Rohrbeck, while Fontanelli's Italians occupy the village

The head of XII Corps' column enters the battlefield, while the Prussians consider what to do next.

The rest of XII Corps including the supply wagon.

A slight setback for Reynier's VII Corps!

The cavalry at the bottom of the picture soon had things back to rights, though!

The Poles hold the crossing at Dennewitz, but the Prussians still hold the north bank

Robin moves the 38th Div. Wurttembergers to the right to make room for and screen the lead division of Oudinot's (Malcolm) XII Corps, Guilleminot's (Johnny W.) 14th Division.

Behind them come the Bavarians of Raglovich's 29th Division (Malcolm) 

Pacthod's 13th Div. move to the left of Göhlsdorf in support of Reynier's VII Corps

Andrew S. recalls the Prussians in the face of this threat

Johnny W. masses his troops for the attack on the weakly held gap.

Saxons of Reynier's VII Corps advance

French battalions of VII Corps in closed column

Saxon Jägers

VII Corps mass west of Göhlsorf

Ney attaches himself to the assembling assault force

Bavarians moving into position

French artillery pound the intended assault target, but what's that in the background? Not @#$*^! reinforcements?!

Saxon artillery move up to try and flank the defending Prussian infantry

French artillery and cavalry keep forces in Wölmsdorf bottled up.

Saxon artillery screened by infantry and supported by cavalry approaching Wölmsdorf

Curses! The Russians have entered the board with truckloads of cavalry!
That charge of ours will have to happen soon if we're to have any chance of success.

It looks like it might be too late as the area behind our assault target fills up with more and more Prussians!

Johnny W.'s artillery continues to pound while the infantry get themselves sorted behind the ridge.


The Saxon heavy mob: Spiegel Grenadiers, Jägers, Guard Grenadiers and Poles. They were to charge the Prussian infantry and guns to the west of Wölmsdorf

Prussian infantry

More Prussian infantry...

and even more!!

And now Russian cavalry, too!

...and even more Russian cavalry!

The French and Bavarians assemble at the top of the picture, while more and more Prussians mass in response closest to camera
The same view from the French perspective.

The Saxon heavy mob readies itself for action west of Wölmsdorf while the Russian guns decide who to react to; infantry or...
...cavalry! A tiny unit of Garry's chasseurs charge, forcing the gunners to flee and the infantry to sqaure up.

The Saxons and Poles now have clear run at a nice juicy infantry square!

They charge home..

...smashing the square, but now are vulnerable to counter attack...
...which duly comes, forcing the Saxons back to where they started from.

Meanwhile, east of Wölmsdorf the first attack prepares.

Bavarian chevaux legere attack the battery at the base of the hill. 

In it goes, sending the gunners running! The left flank of the infantry attack is now secure.

The French advance over the hill to attack the Prussians in Nieder Görsdorf

Prussian hussars attempt to stem the tide..

...but are forced back

Johnny W. successfully unleashes his forces on Nieder Görsdorf, but this is the French high tide. Too many Prussian and Russian reinforcements arrived before the French breakthrough could be achieved. With no more French reinforcements, we could not exploit the seizure of the village. We gave it a red-hot go, but unless XII Corps had rocket skates, our plan was not going to work with the number of reinforcements the Allies still had to come. It just took too long for XII Corps to move up into position to land the hoped for breakthrough move.

The big task of packing up the troops
All finished for another year!

As my first command of a big game, I was pleased that at least we weren't pummeled by the opposition. I was told by both Andrews after the game that they weren't expecting the westward flanking movement, and were stretched for a time before reinforcements took the pressure off. Able support was given by my subordinates, especially Jim, Paul and Robin, who had to bear the pressure to begin with but held stoically until Quinny and the VII Corps turned up. Quinny, Jenko and Pete E. then set about stretching the Allied reach until Malcolm and Johnny W. appeared. Unfortunately, the Prussians had reinforcements as well, and our plan couldn't bear fruit in the time left. Saturday night saw the French concede the battle but by no means defeated!

Thanks again to Andrew B. for all the hard work setting up the battle, to Tim and Jill for again hosting the event, to Andrew S. for being a worthy opponent, and all the rest of the Prussian gang for the great game!

Dennewitz OB

This conclusion of the massive 3-part post also happily turns out to be the 400th post of this blog. Serendipity, I calls it!

Thanks everyone, for your continued interest and hopefully there'll be a lot more to come

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