Sunday 14 September 2014

Battle of 2 bridges

Over the last couple of weeks we have been fighting a scenario battle based on the 2 bridges scenario. basically the defenders must defend both crossing points for victory while the attackers only need to capture one for victory. Tom took on the role of C-in-C for the French forces with Robbo supporting, while George commanded the Austrians with me commanding the reserve.

The French attacking forces composed of the following

French Infantry brigade - 5 battalions
French Cavalry brigade - 3 lt cav. regiments
French Cavalry brigade - 2 lt cav. regiments
Dutch Infantry brigade - 5 battalions
Westphalian infantry brigade - 4 battalions
Westphalian infantry brigade - 4 battalions
Mixed cavalry brigade - 1 lt cav. regiment and 2 heavy cav. regiments

The Austrian defenders were as follows

Infantry brigade - 4 line, 1 Jager and 1 Landwehr battalions,
Infantry brigade - 3 line, 1 Jager and 2 Landwehr battalions.
Mixed brigade - 1 line and 1 Jager battalion with 1 Lt cav. regiment
Cavalry brigade - 3 heavy cav. regiments
Infantry brigade - 2 Grenadier battalions
Russian infantry brigade - 1 Jager and 3 line battalions.

The picture below gives a rough layout of the table before the battle commenced. the french forces were advancing from the northern edge (top)

The battlefield
George decided to split our forces. He with the 2 main infantry brigades crossed the bridge on our right flank with the intention of occupying the town to the north, using it as a bulwark against any assault. Myself, leading with my mixed brigade crossed the other bridge, again with the intention of occupying the town and using the Hussars to seek out the enemy. The cavalry and Grenadiers were to follow. The Russian brigade was still some distance in reserve and ended up only arriving on the battlefield when it was all over.

The main French assault was to be directed towards our right flank, The attack was led by one of the Westphalian brigades, supported by the Dutch on their right flank. Robbo with 2 brigades of light cavalry swung between the two hills and tried to use the orchard to screen him and get onto Georges left flank.

Westphalians preparing their assault
Dutch infantry overlooking the Austrian positions
Luckily for us George won the race to the town and managed to occupy it with some Jagers. It then cam under intense pressure throughout the game. Robbo though had become rather gung-ho with his cavalry, Seeing what he thought was an opportunity to hit an Austrian battery proved his undoing. With his charge falling short, the artillery poured grape into him. There were few survivor's to tell the tale afterwards.

Austrians moving into position
Over on our left flank I had managed to occupy the time, but my heavy cavalry seemed to take ages just to cross the bridge. We had diced before the game for the Austrian commander to determine a couple with less than average abilities. Typically the heavy brigade had such a commander who continued to fail command rolls.

With the loss of one brigade of cavalry Robbo determined to support his freshly arrived French infantry against my flank, looking to protect them from my heavies. It was then with one such failed command roll that my Dragoons failed to move yet again that allowed some French lancers to crash into their flank, luckily they survived 3 rounds of combat with some very lucky command checks.

French infantry get into position
French cavalry arrive to support the flank
Austrian heavies finally get into position
With the main attack being held on our right flank, George began moving one of his brigades to try and link up with me as now the 2nd Westphalian brigade had arrived and started a very slow advance (3 failed command rolls in a row) into the centre of the table to try and cut me off.

With my dragoons holding the lancers, my Cuirassiers finally rumbled forward and crashed into the rest of the French cavalry. They quickly showed how it was done by destroying both units. The Lancers then broke, leaving the French without any cavalry support on the table. Once again my rather inept cavalry commander failed a number of command rolls and I was unable to exploit the advantage against the exposed french infantry before the arrival of more french cavalry onto the table.

Austrians on the march
Onwards men!
Back on our right flank the Westphalians and Dutch had still failed to dislodge the Austrians in the town, but now both sides were becoming weary, with units on both sides starting to be knocked out of the line. Things were getting so desperate for us that George committed the 3 landwehr units into the front line to try and shore things up. In the centre the 2nd Westphalian brigade found itself assaulted in the flank by Austrian infantry while on my flank the French infantry were slowly being forced back. It was at this point that disaster struck the French army. With already losing 2 of his 7 brigades with the loss of his cavalry. Both Westphalian infantry brigades finally cracked. The Dutch were also close. With over 50% of his brigades either destroyed or broken, Tom had no choice to call off the attack.