Monday, August 4, 2014

Austro-Russian vs. Franco-Bavarian

We had decided to again, use the Russians and Austrians as a divergence from the Peninsular War theater so often done. This map illustrates the Austro-Russian deployment zones and reinforcements. Timed reserves being a core feature for both sides during this battle. Both Russians and Auastrians having two infantry brigades, the Russians two cavalry and the Austrians one cavalry brigade.

The Bavarians have a large deployment zone and all of their forces begin as deployed. The Bavarians also have two redoubts that act as gun emplacements. The cavalry force is on the French right, consisting of a light cavalry brigade and two brigades of dragoons. The cavalry would be the only real advantage for this side.

Russian entry onto the field. Seven line battalions, one guard and light cavalry brigade of two cossacks and an uhlan unit.

My French infantry brigades consisting of the 2nd & 4th Legere and the 36th and 70th line. The La Haye Sainte model gets its debut on the field, but never gets assaulted.

The first Austrian infantry brigade with quite a few large battalions and then an Austrian Kuirassier brigade.

My Bavarians under the command of a friend. This command contains nine line battalions and three jaeger. Given the large amount of cavalry that would come on later on the other flank, it might have been wise in retrospect to give them their light cavalry brigade.

A rear shot of the Bavarians opposing the initial Austrian spearhead. The Austrians wisely move around the massed artillery in the center of the position.

My left is extending as the Russians begin to move toward the largely vacant center. The Russians here are sort of spread out as if they all have different ideas of what they want to do.

My far right. The hill is a natural shield from the Russian batteries and the farm complex is now firmly occupied and includes an engineer attached.

My light cavalry brigade attempts to stall the Russian advance. The second Russian cavalry brigade and infantry brigade have entered the field. The Russians now begin to form a defensive line.

My artillery moves up and so does one almost suicidal Russian battalion. The artillery duel between the French and Russians has done nothing at this point.

The Russians close in here with some other isolated units. The Russian cavalry here didn't feel up to messing with the French units in this sector and decided to aim themselves toward the Bavarian flank to put pressure on the other side of the bridge.

This area became a killing zone. The bridge and river posed a bottleneck that the Austrians and Russians had some difficulty in getting through. Had the redoubts been aimed here, it is unlikely the Austrians would have had a prayer in breaking through canister fire in a march column. The Russian cavalry were repulsed from the Bavarian square.

With the second Austrian infantry brigade on the field and moving forward, the Bavarian artilery has plenty of targets. Austrian Kuirassier are moving along the far flank looking to destroy some of the support around the redoubt.

Now the arrival of my dragoon brigades. I was short another horse artillery battery, however it would not have had any real room to deploy anyway. The hussars managed to destroy a Russian Hussar unit and scare off the unfortunate artillery for the time being. The chasseurs weren't quite as lucky, but then again the Russian hussars they were facing were a little better quality.

The brave (or blind?) Russian march column coming up over the hill will soon be charged by the 1st battalion of the 4th Legere. The march column is first shot and then broken during the charge. My artillery here is successfully hit by the Russian counter battery fire and forced to limber up. I simply placed the limbers here for reference that they may not fire for the time being.

The 3rd battalion of the 36th line is dueling it out with a stray Russian battalion. Despite the skirmish advantage, they seems unable to get the upper hand even after the 1st battalion joins in. The Russian battery on the hill is also silenced and forced to limber up. Not sure why the limber has crawled over the guns, but that's another matter...

The Austrians and Russians have placed a combined arms assault against the Bavarian right. The Austrian infantry in column on the bridge were beaten off the field but only to be replaced by another who decides a line might be a better idea. The numbers of the Austrians are finally beginning to show.

The French light cavalry may have gained some control here, but between their presence and the obtuse Russian battalion's musketry, advancing is becoming a real problem. The Russians on the hill need to be cleared out so the French infantry can support the cavalry advance.

The suicidal Russian battalion marches right into the canister fire. The 4th Legere has largely gained the hill and now are in a position to try to wrestle away this sector from the Russians.

The 1st and 3rd battalions of the 36th line decide to charge and will be only be able to manage a draw, which will force them back. Now these two battalions are near breaking due to a couple of round of skirmish fire and this failed charge. The Bavarians can be seen having decided to push the Austrians off the bridge and occupy it.

The Austrians have crossed over the river and are not hesitant about assaulting any Bavarian unit in its path. The Bavarians on the hill to the left decide to bend back against the Austrian cavalry.

The marauding Russian cavalry are attempting to get around the tough Bavarian flank. The Austrians' number proved decisive in finally overwhelming the defenders of the bridge. The Redoubt is now facing a horde of Austrians who can't be killed off fast enough.

The 1st and 3rd battalions of the 36th line were routed by a Russian counter charge (which in retrospect, may not have been able to charge, but oh well). The 1st battalion of the 2nd Legere finished off the Russian battalion and joins with the 2nd battalion to try and take pressure off the collapsing Bavarian flank. Czar Alexander in the center will be forced to fall back. A Russian guard battalion decides to slowly advance, getting shot up the entire way. The Russian artillery was forced to limber up and was moved down to where it might be useful. The French garrison battalion and the remaining battalion of the 36th line now have a great opportunity to burst out and try to roll up this flank.

The Bavarians had exceeded their 1/3 break point but passed their first morale test. The second one was not so kind. On my final turn, I managed to destroy this Russian battalion that had been a thorn in my side and my hussars destroyed a battalion that chose to shoot and fight it out rather than form square. This put the Russians at their 1/3 mark. Given the turn number (18 or 19) then the Russians likely would not have stuck around.

But alas, it did not matter. The Austrians were to be in complete control of enough objectives so as to win the game technically. The game was to last 16 turns, but the end of the physical day was enough to call for the Austro-Russian army.

Losses were as follows: Russians seven infantry battalions, one battery and one cavalry regiment. Austrians, four infantry regiments, of which, two were large battalions. Bavarians five infantry battalions and two batteries of artillery. French, 1st & 3rd battalions of the 36th line.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lasalle Anglo-Russians vs French AAR

For a change, we did an Anglo-Russian force against a French one set in 1813 in Germany. For the first time we got to have cossacks on the table and some Hanovarians instead of simply British and Portuguese as the opponent. In this scenario the French did not set up as we used a literal fog to hide French dispositions.

The light fog that was in play that limited vision until within 10 base widths. This fog would last 6 turns only. The "?" tickets on the table represent the suspected French positions but nothing more. The French would be able to set up how they wanted having already identified the enemy and waiting in defense until responding. The Allies took advantage of the fog to use march columns to pull up close.

On the French left, some marauding cossacks manage to spot the three battalions of the 70th line. The cossacks would need to wait for the infantry to catch up before pushing on with an attack.

On the French right, the British spot multiple French battalions along with a battery of artillery deployed and waiting. In the center of the French line, a couple of battalions become exposed, but what else could be behind?

As the Russians advance along the French left, the three battalions of the 2nd légère are revealed as well as the reserve battery just to the right of the picture.

The French center is all out in the open now and a horse artillery battery is deployed probably a bit too close to the front. Not sure why the hill ended up on the stream here, took me a while to catch this and put it back where it was.

Here the Russians and French have mostly closed the gap and the French have left a clear line of sight for the deployed artillery and cavalry to soften the enemy and pounce when the moment is right.

Here the Russians have decided to split up around the grove of trees. The Austrian battery filling in for a Russian battery will actually never fire a shot the entire battle due to being too far back and not having an available target. The Russian uhlans in the rear can be seen moving more toward the center due to a lack of space to deploy.

The cossacks in the center of the field decided that their lance will be enough to win the combat. a bad die roll prevented the 1st battalion of the 4th légère to form square in time. The combat was a narrow victory for the French and a temporary one as Russian Semonovsky Life Guards moving through the woods finished the battalion off the following turn.

The light cavalry brigade on the French right wing move up to fill the gap and stem the tide against the aggressive Russian infantry. The horse artillery battery is having no real effect in either causing damage or in slowing the advance of the Russians.

Here the Russian guard battalion carried the position of the routed French unit and moved itself into a precarious position. The French légère battalions side step to the left to bring the maximum number of muskets to bear and soften up the guardsmen before trying to charge into them. We also had some chasseurs take some Russian infantry head on towards the top of the picture.

Now on the French left flank this was the the beginning of the second round of melées. The first one saw the cossacks and the infantry battalion on the far left going at it. the 3rd battalion of the 70th line failed to form square against the cossacks and was pushed back. The Russian infantry battalion was repulsed and now is receiving a combined attack by the 1st and 2nd battalions.

At the top we see the French battery upon the hill was taken out by a frontal British attack. The French chasseurs in the center are still battling it out against the Russian line unit. A Few Hanovarian battalions can be seen marching up as a late arrival to join the British comrades.

Coming back to the French left flank, we see the cossacks were successful in taking the 3rd battalion of the 70th line out. It failed to form square yet again and paid the price. The Russian infantry to the right tried to take out the French reserve battery. The guns knocked one battalion but are then was forced to limber up and move to the rear. The other two Russian battalions are forced to turn about and defend themselves. The melée in the trees in the center continues to go back and forth with Russians bouncing back during a series of inconclusive attacks.

The French cavalry were unsuccessful in the center and now some Allied artillery is trying to sweep away opposition in the center. Below, we can see the French 1st battalion 36th line atop the edge of the hill. It was successful in stopping the first Russian assault on this position.

The Russian guard unit that so boldly made an attack from the woods did an about face and try to continue its advance only to find itself hit by vengeful French troops. Had it been more patient or the Russians behind him advanced more rapidly, it might not end up getting obliterated in the ensuing combat.

In the center of the image, the French took a chance and attacked the British battery opposite. This attack was thrown back with the artillerymen more determined to hold their position than run. The British have taken control of the flank and are in a turning movement that will only gain momentum.

Here the 1st battalion of the 36th line moves downhill to attempt to break the Russian battalion that was previously thrown back. Russian uhlans have decided there isn't much to do here and form up and move back to the Russian right flank where they started.

The artillery on the Russian flank continues to sit and wait for something. The Russian troops in the wooded area were finally destroyed and the Russian battalion on the far flank continues to be driven back.

The cossacks are taking a bit of a break. Being at 3 hits, they are no longer able to charge and are trying to get to a safe spot and recover. The 1st battalion of the 2nd légère and the 2nd battalion of the 70th line about face in an attempt to pin and blow the cossacks out of their saddles.

Due to the cossacks running around so fast, the 2nd battalion of the 70th line decides to about face and over a couple of turns move up to outflank the artillery that will pose a problem when the Russian battalion here breaks. The French légère at the bottom miss in their firing and the cossacks escape another turn and fail to recover. The other battalions of the French 2nd légère repulsed a Russian infantry attack and the 3rd battalion counters the last Russian battalion in this sector. The Uhlans were pushed back from their first attack on the 2nd battalion. Again, the French failed to form emergency square but won the melée anyway. On their movement turn they formed a square to ward off the uhlans.

The French in the center were partially successful in taking out a battalion but had a battalion retreat back. The Russian artillery, with no real opposition here any longer, are boldly hoping to canister the French center into submission. The French right at this point is nothing more than a few units and a battery of artillery.

The French 3rd battalion loses its combat with the Russian battalion here and is repulsed. The 1st battalion at the bottom of the image doesn't manage to hit the cossacks while the 2nd battalion of the 70th is getting closer to the silent artillery battery.

The 2nd & 3rd battalions of the 36th line try to give one last push to the Russians here in the center. The 4th légère continues a long range musketry duel. Russian canister hits the 1st battalion of the 36th but inflicts little damage. The Russian battery here was also hit by French horse artillery canister shot, but managed to live through it all.

The remnants of the French right. The hussar and chasseur units are attempting to buy time but the inevitable cannot be denied. Any gains on the French left and center will not be fast enough to then engage the other Russian and British forces. The French must call the game. The British player was rolling well today and it shows in the minimal losses he suffered. The Russians were banged up but still stromg enough to not quit the field. Time to retreat deeper into Germany.