Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Game 26 : Aspern Essling : Again!

This old cherry had yet another outing! Why? Well, the terrain had changed, the troops were all correct types and numbers and the rules were used in their entirety. The game appears to be small when you read the history, but in game play the game would take 2 full weekends to game. The first weekend would be day 1 of the battle and the second weekend would be day 2.
The piccies are in an odd order this time. I'm starting with the random piccies and the rogues gallery!
The first picky is a close up of French chasseurs. It demonstrates the quality of casting available in this scale and the detail that you can get.

Below are the rogues for the first day. All regulars at the Situation room, the French were myself, Gordon (top, second from right) and Nick (top, middle). The Austrians were Keith, Brian & Steve (remainder of top) and Graham (next to me).

 This next picky is in just to show the extent of combats that occur. This is a fight between 2 light cavalry divisions, one of French chasseurs and the other Austrian hussars. The French would hold on, principally because of the support fire delivered by the French battery in the foreground.

The gallery for the day 2 battle. The Austrians were now Paul (top row left), Bob (top row, second right) and Graham. The French were Alan (top, right end), Gordon and myself

The new Granary model. I got this from Old Glory. Paints up nicely.

This was the new church as Aspern. The bottom of the model is Old Glory, but the spire I got from Pendraken who market Total Battle Miniatures (the church itself has a foot print that didn't suit me). I just married the two together with some Urethane high density foam.

These are some piccies from day 1. The first is taken from the French centre looking out towards Essling. You can see French chasseurs in the foreground moving out towards Austrian hussars in regimental line. Each Austrian regiment represents over 1,000 troopers. As these regiments are huge, the Austrians are given options prior to the game as to how the regiments may be split if they so wish. However, for this battle, the Austrians elected to keep the regiments intact.


The next picky shows the Austrian assault on Aspern. The French would throw this assault back. The Austrians were trying to really screen the village and move the bulk of their forces to the centre. The fact that the French would securely hold Aspern throughout the day would mean that fewer reinforcements would be assigned to this sector overnight.

More action from the Austrian centre left. This is an Austrian Corps advancing, its flanks supported by cavalry and a jaeger regiment thrown out to screen its advance.

This is Essling coming under sustained assault. The French division holding this village would lose about half of it up to nightfall. The granary itself would hold out but the casualties on the granary garrison, now cut off form the rest of the village, were mounting and becoming serious.

Another picky showing the Austrian advance in the centre. This threat would lead to the French committing the Cuirassier divisions into the centre. The end result would be the halting of the Austrian forces and the Austrians then setting up a gun line. The end of day 1 would see the French in total control of Aspern, the centre and partial control of Essling, most importantly the granary.

Day 2 saw both sides reinforced and some redeployment overnight. The Austrian plan was to attack in the centre and hold onto the gains at Essling. Aspern was determined to be a quiescent sector because of the day 1 result and we were lacking enough players.
The picky below shows the French counter attacking Essling. The granary garrison held off an initial assault, but the losses were now critical. Fortunately for them, there was a lull in fighting, enough for them to extricate themselves and be replaced by the Fusilier Chasseurs of the Middle Guard. They would not now be shifted!

The French are also counter attacking between Essling and the centre where the Austrian infantry is now weak. This would secure the whole of Essling towards the centre. The parts of Essling lost on day 1 would be retaken, largely down to the Fusilier Grenadiers of the French Middle Guard advancing with the bayonet.

The French are now also advancing in the left centre with a reserve division supported by the French Reserve Cavalry. The Austrians would now be forced onto the defensive against this threat. To face this threat, the Austrian Reserve Cavalry is ordered to advance. It would be a race to see which attack would be delivered first.

Two French cuirassier divisions, supported by the duty squadrons of the guard, smash into Austrian light cavalry. The Austrians would get badly mauled and fall back. This would leave the cuirassiers to engage the Austrian foot, time enough for French infantry to attack on their centre left. The conclusion of the battle was the French holding off the Austrians. The French attack in the centre would be halted by the Austrian cuirassiers arriving to save the threatened infantry.
There was more ebb and flow, mostly as a result of the game being played over an extended time. About 5 days of battle and an impasse!!  Quite historical really.

A piccy taken form Essling looking along the French line of deployment.

A similar piccy taken from Aspern looking along the French line of deployment.

All in all the games are playing as expected. A "traditional" battle will take a minimum of 3 days to play out properly. Slightly smaller games will do the same in a setup day and 2 days of gaming. The rules are working well, and as planned, and the guys playing are getting used to the nuances and subtleties of the rules.
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