Sunday, March 3, 2019

Qué será, será , Whatever will be will be!

Despite being an apt description of my wargaming philosophy, this quote is an apt description of my Mother-in-Law's outlook on what life chucks at you.
This battle-report is unique in the annals of this blog: a battle in which I was on the winning side, despite not being there to share in the victory. 

Mrs. Rosbif's mother (Madame Mère?) has been not well for a while with unexplained symptoms. The symptoms were finally taken seriously by the saw-bones and further tests found a serious condition. With no further details we felt confident that she was in safe hands in the hospital where the specialists were considering what action to take. While Mrs.R visited her mother, I went to the club and started the game recorded  below. Two hours into the game, I got a text asking me to come to the hospital right away. I dropped everything and headed off after entrusting my troops to the chaps to look after in the interim. Getting to the hospital I found that my wife had learned the devastating news that her mother's condition was basically inoperable; any surgery had a 50-50 chance of success. My mother-in-law decided that those odds were not ones she liked, so made the incredibly stoic decision to live what life she has left to her as she chooses and not to make any concessions to the curve-ball life had thrown at her. Hence the Doris Day-inspired title to this post. I just hope if I'm ever in a similar situation I can be half as dignified in the face of my own mortality! 

Anyway, Chez Rosbif is fairly sombre at the moment as can be imagined. Family, friends and work colleagues have all been incredibly supportive to my wife and our kids in this time of shock. Now we are bracing for what is to come.

After that downer, to the game, or what I experienced of it!

Paul C. has been been reading a lot of accounts of Napoleonic battles where built up areas were held by one side, taken by the other, then re-taken by the original side. He devised a scenario to try and replicate that situation.

He set the table with a large central group of BUAs representing a sizeable town with agricultural land and swampy riverbanks on the flanks creating a pinch-point controlled by the town. Any force wanting to move across the table would have to control the town. Paul's Russians held the town, supported by Vana's Austrians, while Quinny and I played the French assaulting forces. We again decided that we'd each start off with an avant-garde, with further forces feeding into the fray at times to be determined. By the time I left I had only had my advanced guard on the table, but things were looking up for the French!

Vana's Austrian cavalry were threatening my flank, having the wood over my hussars, but he was unsupported, while my infantry were able to let my cavalry recover to get back into the fray effectively at a later stage.

Quinny had come prepared with an 8-gun 12lber battery which made short work of Paul's nearest defended BUA before he put in his first charge. That counted for 2 Russian BUAs in short time!

My assault was a little longer in coming as I had only an 8-gun 6lber battery, which took a little longer in whittling down the defenders. After I reduced Paul's defences, I launched a charge with 3-1 odds and captured the nearest BUA while my reserves and cavalry protected the battery's flank from the Austrian cavalry threat.   

That was were my game ended, though Quinny tells me he cleared the town in short order after taking command of my troops.


Quinny's command approaches the Russian held town

My hussars cover the flanks to the right of the town

The infantry and gun battery follow.

Quinny's 12lbers make short work of the 1st BUA.
They don't like it up 'em, Mr. Mainwaring!

The first French occupied BUA! Huzzah!

Up in the top left, the 12lbers blast away at close range, while the rest of Quinny's command mass for the next attack.

Vana's Austrian cavalry approach.

My hussars block the path. A charge followed in which Vana scored a Pyhrric victory, forcing my cavalry back though my infantry, but allowed them to regroup, ready for another go!.

The 2nd BUA cleared by Quinny causes another battalion of Russians to flee!

In pulling his cavalry back, Vana triggered an opportunity charge by my hussars. 

Despite being another inconclusive skirmish, it prevented that small unit from rejoining the other one, thereby neutralising a greater threat.

While the cavalry duked it out, my guns and best quality troops focused on the nearest BUA, whittling the numbers of defenders down steadily, until....

CHARGE!!!!!

The charge was successful in clearing out the BUA, but I had to leave it there.

2 comments:

  1. Great to have you back blogging Ben, having only just caught up with it.
    It is the sign of a great commander that his plans are so fool-proof as to be able to be executed even when he's had to leave the battlefield!
    Best wishes to Mrs R senior and to you all.

    ReplyDelete

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