Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Game 78 : Montebello 19th June 1800

We're back in Northern Italy at the beginning of the campaign. Both sides have deployed an Advanced Guard, both of which are keen to engage and make a reputation.


The battlefield is what can be best described as a straight "up and down" consisting to 2 villages. The actual village of Montebello is in the far distance, just visible at the end of the table. This view is the view the French get when advancing.


This is from the middle village above, looking at the French approach. The village also has a stream that runs directly behind it and is perpendicular to the battlefield. It is an impediment to artillery who must cross at the only bridge directly behind the village.

The Austrians start with a Division on table and will be reinforced by a further Division on turn one arriving from the board edge on the single road. The French start with all forces available. When all troops are arrived, the sides have rough parity in infantry, the Austrians an edge on gun numbers and the Austrians have a very large advantage on cavalry.

We used the system of variable morale where troops do not know their exact class until a first morale test is taken. I'll put the table in at the end of this account. As it is early war, columns of Attack, for both sides, do not exist.

The French only have a single cavalry regiment and so are forced to attack without cavalry support on at least one flank. Here Austrian Dragoons launch themselves against French infantry. The game was nearly over before it started as the Dragoons nearly rode down the infantry!!


On the other flank, the entire French cavalry of one regiment engage double their number of Austrian Hussars. The result of the fight was a draw, but the casualties sustained by the French cavalry meant it would retire for some time to regather its strength.


This is on the French left where there is some hilly terrain near to the village which is off to the right of the pic. Having to use lines as the only real combat formation, these manoeuvres and resulting combats became protracted. Nothing happens at great speed!!


This is from the Austrian right, the village to the left and the hills, mentioned above, to the right. A general firefight with exchange of volleys is taking place, each side hoping that the other side will have a unit fail morale and retreat and hopefully provide an opportunity.


This is the Austrian left. The French are advancing in lines and are also preparing to assault the village. The Austrians are holding the line but their casualties are mounting faster.


This gives a good view of the whole fight which was occurring along the whole front. The Austrians are being forced back on both flanks and are about to lose the village. At about this time, the Austrian commander realised that he would need to retire to extricate his forward forces and so a retreat began which was covered by the reinforcing Austrian Division. Getting troops into the fighting line at the right time and the right place is difficult when the only real combat formation is the line. It takes ages!!
The game is about to be called. The French have taken the lead village and the Austrians have successfully ordered the retire order. We had already played about 36 turns at this point and we declared a French tactical victory and the Austrians would use nightfall to retire in order. A very historical outcome and interesting game using virtually nothing but fighting lines.





French Formations
Losses %
Austrian Formations
Losses%
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery




Zach



Lannes
-
-
0
O’Reilly
-
-
29
1st Brigade
15
-
-
Brigade
21
-
-
2nd Brigade
14
-
-
Brigade
-
28
-








Victor
-
-
4
Ott
-
-
43
1st Brigade
6
-
-
Brigade
11
-
-
2nd Brigade
5
-
-
Brigade
17
22
-








Murat







Cavalry Brigade
-
46
8





The casualties reflect the fighting where the French initially outnumbered the Austrian Infantry. The French cavalry played no  part in the battle after turn 2!! The Austrian artillery did suffer badly, eagle eyed French gunners.
 
d10 Roll
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
AUSTRIAN
Line Infantry
2nd
2nd
2nd
2nd
1st
1st
1st
1st
Seas
Seas
Grenz
Mil
Mil
2nd
2nd
2nd
1st
1st
1st
1st
Seas
Jaegers
1st
1st
1st
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Vet
Vet
Artillery
1st
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Sea
Vet
Cavalry
1st
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Sea
Seas
Seas
Vet











FRENCH
Line Infantry
2nd
1st
1st
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Vet
Vet
Light Infantry
1st
1st
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Vet
Vet
Vet
Foot Artillery
1st
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Vet
Vet
Vet
Vet
Horse Artillery
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Vet
Vet
Vet
Vet
Vet
Hussars
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Seas
Vet
Vet
Vet

This is the morale table. Prior to establishing the exact morale, units use the rating under the "5 column". This happens when units fire early in the battle before having to take a morale test.

 The gamers at leisure!! Next, it is back to a WWII jaunt.

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Game 77 : Ocana : November 19th 1809

This game is back to the Peninsular. It happened after Talavera when the Spanish still had hopes of liberating Madrid and the French were out to quickly crush any attempt to relieve Madrid. The Spanish army is bigger than the French, but noticeably inferior in quality.


The above pic shows the Spanish cavalry on their right flank. Ocana is essentially a village on a single road. On it left is a stream, a sunken dried stream at this time, that impedes charging and artillery. The Spanish right has an open space for some distance and then a number of Olive Groves.
The Spanish cavalry and it relies on infantry and artillery support to hold its position.


This shows the French attacking Ocana itself. It is taken from the Spanish right/rear. The Spanish would hold the village for most of the battle but eventually would not be able to hold the French.


This shows the attack on the village by the French centre. Although initial attacks were repulse, the Spanish garrison got worn out and eventually succumbed to fresh French attacks.

This shows the Spanish left with the sunken dried stream. The French did not push hard in this area, but the Spanish found it very difficult to co-ordinate any concerted attacks. Spanish command and control was pretty awful! The end result was the French were able to easily fix the Spanish troops, in this area, in position


The French take the first part of Ocana. They are also driving in the Spanish centre right and forcing the Spanish to give ground. French cavalry is also causing some havoc having demolished some Spanish cavalry and then rallied immediately on the flank of Spanish guns and infantry.


The French are about to secure the other part of Ocana. The Spanish are on the ropes


The French now attack the Spanish left and drive them away form the defensive stream. This also completes the flanking of Ocana. The game is now over with the Spanish in general retreat!


Play Test 1


French Formations
Losses %
Spanish Formations
Losses%
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
Infantry
Cavalry
Artillery
Soult
-
-
14
Arzeiga



Sebastiani



Zayas
22
-
0
Leval
19
-
-
Lacy
4
-
0
Werle
7
-
-
Vigolet
8
-
46
Jospeh
20
0
-
Giron
1
-
0
Paris
-
2
-
Castejon
5
-
67




Zerain
21
-
25
Mortier



Jacome
9
-
100
Girard
18
-
-
Copons
2
-
21
Gazan
1
-
-
Bemuy
-
11
-
Beauregard
-
4
-
Rivas
-
1
-
Milhaud
-
6
-
March
-
22
-




Osono
-
1
-

Spanish artillery suffered horribly, but some French infantry were also mauled. A great game.

Rogue's gallery. Graham & Pete were the victorious French. Steve & myself were the beaten Spanish. If you think Graham looks very red, he actually turned up looking like a lobster. Cricket world cup at Durham, baked, literally, in the sun!
Next game is northern Italy, the battle of Montebello. Until then.