As I stated in post earlier in the week my Dad and I got a Napolionic Black powder game under our belt last weekend. Although my dad has played this period many times over the years including once owing a Austrian army in 6mm it is the first time he has played this period using this rule set, as for me I'm still getting to grips with the rules following a few games of AWI. The game was something of a feeler for the period using the Blackpowder rule set.
French infantry advance forward with cuirraiers in close support.
Austrian Grenadiers await the French advance in attack columns.
Over the first few turns my French made a steady advance across the table with the exception of my Dragoons who refused to move for two turns and a battalion of light infantry who blundered and veered to the right. The Austrians were the polar opposite and struggled to get moving, no more so than one of two blunders rolled on the opening turn which saw the light cavalry brigade not take to kindly to the sight of the French advance and turned tail and rode off from the battlefield. We decided on Ruling that they would be able to return a move later as it sermed abit harsh losing a full brigade because of a blunder while been restricted to your deployment zone. However if they were to be forced to withdraw a second time as a result of a future blunder then clearly they had no stomach for a fight and would be classed as lost. The main reason for the slow advance of the Austrians was a ruling my dad has used to represent the poor Austrian leadership. All successful command rolls of 3 moves must be rerolled, however if the reroll is a fail they are still entitled to make a single move. This happened during most of the time in the first couple of moves, especially hindering the advance of the Austrian cuirraiers.
With the Austrian Cuirassiers advancing towards my Chasseur Brigade I announced a glorious charge with my French Cuirassiers against them.....well almost as they fell a move short right in front of their Austrian counter parts!
French Cuirassiers charge towards the Austrain heavy cavalry to protect their light compatriots but fall short.
The splendid retreat of the Austrian Hussars and Ulans! Just for future reference lads the French army is this way <----------
The Austrians had abit more success in moving their troops in the next couple of turns. The Austrian Grenadiers took up a good defensive position behind the walls although they couldn't quite change into line formation and one regiment of Cuirassiers charged my Cuirrasiers with the other two regiments hitting home against my light cavalry. In the following combat phase despite some quite awful attack dice from my dad my morale throws were equally as bad and my Chasseur brigade was broken. The French Cuirrasier regiment lost and rolled a non to clever break test result and routed from the field, first success to the Austrians.
My French infantry engaged in a fire fight with the Grenadiers only managing to disorder a batallion and the 2nd infantry brigade moved into mixed formations sending their skirmishes out as they advanced towards the Austrian infantry and guns reaching the village in the center of the table. From this point they refused to move any further due to a failed command roll .
French infantry fire a first volley at the Austrian Grenadiers with little success.
The French infantry skirmish in front of the attack columns and lines
The Austrian battalions advance on to the ridge as the French advance stalls.
My Cuirrasier comander issued a follow me order leading a cuirrasier regiment into the worn down Austrian Cuirassiers who were close to been broken after their combat against my Chasseur brigade. After two moves of refusing to obey their commander the French infantry blunder their command roll, the result is a full on charge into the Austrian infantry lines (talk about one extreme to the other) Two of the battalions hit home, one of which was disordered by closing fire. In the following combat phase it was mixed fortune for the French as one battalion was shaken but held its ground following its break test while the other battalion routed its opposition Austrian infantry. My French Cuirrasiers as expected broke the Austrian heavy cavalry brigade but suffered casualties putting it close to been shaken.
The French and Austrian infantry clash at close quaters as the French brigadier has a rush of blood.
In the following turn the Austrian Dragoons charge into the French Dragoons and after a couple of turns fighting manage to break the French Dragoon Brigade. Over on the left flank the Austrian Grenadiers have started to get the better of fire fight and have pushed the French infantry brigade close to been broken.
Clash of the heavy cavalry in the form of Dragoons on the French right flank.
My French Cuirrasiers loose their final point of stamina before I have chance to rally them with a pot shot from the Austrian Yager and with a failed morale save they become shaken, meaning that at the end of this turn my army would be broken. The Austrain grenadiers charged into a shaken Battlion of French Line infantry breaking them meaning a 4th brigade out of 5 was broken. The French infantry did have some success in melee and broke two battalions of Austrian line infantry but it wasn't enough to break the brigade.
Just to rub salt in the wounds the French Cuirrasiers failed their morale test as a result of finding themselves in support of the line infantry who broke from combat
As the French lines start to collapse the Grenadiers take the ground they won in combat.
Final positions of the armies as the game reaches its conclusion.
My French were in full retreat now and I had lost all my cavalry brigades and the game with it In the end it was a sound victory for the Austrians. Their cavalry proved the better on the day and even their light cavalry brigade had reached the fighting lines by the end of the game, finding themselves abit ofcourage in the face of the French army retreating from the field.
Great game which left me with Plenty to ponder over, especially with cavalry tactics as loosing these three brigades pushed me over my break point. Maybe next time I should be a little more hesitant than wanting to get them into action to soon, as I found out with a stanima value of three they don't take to long to become shaken.
It was a good game to open my first venture into Napolionic warfare and I'm already looking forward to my Frenchs next outing maybe with a few new additions to their ranks :)