Mrs. R. was working in the morning, so I was her chauffeur to and from work, which necessitated a late arrival at the club. However, she had to stay back an extra half-hour, which threw out my plans somewhat and I ended up at the club almost 2 hours after start time. Hence the rush which resulted in me leaving behind the bag with rules, camera, etc.
That's my excuse, anyway; the fact that I haven't lost my head because it's firmly screwed on, is beside the point!
The chaps were extremely patient and waited for me to arrive, even setting up the table to the specifications of my scenario as I described it to them earlier. I had in mind a scenario where a strategic feature like a cross-road or river crossing was dominated by a ridge-line or hill. With the hill as the objective, one side had to defend and one attack and capture the hill. In my envisaging of the scenario, the strategic point was not a dominant feature, only the hill, with the bridge or cross roads positioned in the corner of the table, out of the field of play. However, as I wasn't there, the chaps set up using Darren's terrain with the river directly down the centre of the table and the hill across the river. It was fordable at all points with some areas deeper than others and was crossed by two bridges.
Even though it wasn't exactly how I planned the scenario, it made for a challenging game that would have had an interesting conclusion if we hadn't run out of time! Pete and Ian had ground to a stalemate on their flank, but Darren and I still had a situation on the extreme flank which could have gone either way resulting in the victor rolling up the other's line on that flank. As it was, the Austrians held the hill by the end of the game, so by the reckoning of the scenario objectives, they were the winners.
|The French, as the attackers, get first move|
|The Queen's Dragoons get ready to storm the bridge|
|The infantry head to the river. (Note to self: Don't lead off with a single battalion. They tend to absorb the brunt of the counter-attack when it comes!)|
|The Kaiserliks await the storm|
|Ian's HaT 1/72nd French strut their stuff!|
|My Veteran brigade cross the river in the teeth of Austrian resistance. Huzzah!|
|The dragoons move further left to threaten the Austrians from the ford, while my second brigade assemble behind the bridge.|
|My guns move up behind 2 battalions of Italian infantry. The Austrian guns on the hill were 12 lbers, so I didn't want to give them a free shot at the limbered guns!|
|Ian's skirmishers head for the river, while the rest of his troops assemble behind the bridge.|
|Pete's Austrians hold the town on the other side of the bridge.|
|On the other side, Darren's Austrians focus their attention on my leading battalion which can't cope with the barrage unleashed and retreats though the oncoming traffic, disordering the units behind it.|
|I took a gamble with my cavalry crossing the ford; I hoped that Darren wouldn't take the opportunity charge, and that if he did, my cavalry would be of sufficient morale that I would survive the Austrian onrush.|
|Sadly, Darren did take the opportunity charge, rolled very well (and I didn't!) and broke me giving me 60% casualties...|
|...and, to rub salt into the wound, capturing my general!|
|One lonely battalion in line has forced the river, while other battalions regroup behind. The artillery make bloody work of the Austrian line at the top of the picture.|
|My line gets charged. I stand and fire, taking a couple of figures off the Austrian attack.|
|Darren flubs his pre-melee morale test and halts at 2". As I passed mine, I get to counter-charge!|
|However, the fact that the Austrians were in column and I was in line, couple with their mass, resulted in a draw. My line is still on the right side of the river and I've added another couple of disorders to his units.|
|While my flank is in action, my 3rd brigade decides to go for the gap between the two Austrian divisions in a flanking maneuver. Forgot about the 12 lbers apparently!|
|My Veteran forces regroup and cross the river. I had hoped to be able to get in the flanks of both the line on the right and the columns blocking the bridge...|
|...which would allow me to clear the cavalry from the ford. If Darren had co-oerated by staying still....(just sayin')|
|My Chasseurs on their Grand Tour of the Austrian rear echelons|
|The Italians join their French comrades now that the guns are safe from attack|
|In the center, I coordinate a crossing with Ian's infantry and cavalry in the teeth of accurate artillery fire.|
|Pete and Ian ended the game with an inconclusive regimental charge that bounced off each other.|