28mm · Napoleonic

06/04/2017

With the usual 15mm crew all tied up with work commitments, I arrived at the club with nothing planned and hoping to gatecrash somebody’s game. Angus, Bill, Campbell and Peter were setting up a Napoleonic game using Over the Hills and I joined Confederation army (sort of) against the Austrians. I was given command of Angus’ Nassauers, Badeners and Hesse Kassell troops alongside Campbell’s Wurttembergers (herein referred to as “Germans”), Bill and Peter had the Austrians.

The battle started with the Germans scouting for fords across the rivers (the large, strait one was the River Inn, the other was the River Uwt…) to allow the infantry to cross. To win the game, all the Germans had to do was cross the River Inn.

The Austrians defend the line of the River Uwt…20170406_192835

with artillery covering the bridges…20170406_193512

while the fearless German cavalry search for fords…20170406_194136

After spending 2 turns scouting the River Uwt, we had discovered 3 fords, so we called up our infantry and artillery. It was at this point tat Campbell and I decided it might be a good idea to come up with a battle plan. We decided that the Wurttembergers would advance on the ford between the bridges, while the reformed cavalry would make for the ford on our left and try to cross before any Austrians arrived. My mixed division would march to the ford on our left, defended by grenzers, and 2 brigades and the guns would ‘soften up’ the Austrians defending the bridge.

The German infantry arrive…20170406_195903

and advance to the River Uwt as more cavalry arrive….20170406_200503

What the Austrians didn’t know was: the German scouts had discovered a ford on the River Inn, just to the west of the junction of the rivers. If I could get my cavalry across and get to the bridge behind the village, it would be a resounding German victory! I held my lead cavalry unit between the fords in hope of convincing the Austrians it was there to support the approaching infantry in a river crossing. Meanwhile, Campbell would act as a ‘diversion’ to keep as many Austrians as possible at the bridges.

Wurttemberg infantry advance on the bridge middle ford….20170406_200421

while my guns and a unit of Nassauers soften up the Austrians.20170406_202301

The plan worked almost perfectly. Austrian cavalry arrived and took up position in the village instead of galloping along the southern bank of the Inn. This is in no small part due to Campbell’s determination to force a river crossing with only brute force and ignorance! The brute force came from the (seemingly endless) infantry attacks across the ford and the ignorance from Campbell’s inability to use artillery properly (or at all, by his own admission Campbell has no idea how to use artillery!)

Austrian cavalry arrive in the village….20170406_211722

while Campbell tries (another) river crossing…20170406_211656

I then launched my cavalry across the ford of the Inn and an infantry unit across the Uwt to prevent the grenzers crossing. I also inflicted enough damage on the Austrians at the bridge that the Wurttembergers finally made it across the river. We needed a table extension to accommodate the cavalry, but the Germans were making good progress when 2 units of Austrian cuirassieurs  turned up.

German cavalry gallop across the Inn…20170406_205650

the Wurttembergers take the bridge…20170406_215621

German infantry storm the ford on the Uwt…20170406_213645

and cross the Inn….20170406_213707

while Bill’s Austrian heavies arrive…20170406_211647

This was the crux of the battle, how the lighter German cavalry handled the Austrian heavies would be crucial. And they performed magnificently! The leading unit lost and were removed from the table, but they inflicted some damage on the Austrians. In the next turn, my lancers drove the cuirassieurs back and almost broke them! The second Austrian unit was facing heavy dragoons, with infantry support fast approaching and it was decided that (as it was 10:15) , they were in an untenable position.

German hussars meet Austrian cuirassieurs…20170406_213702

they are destroyed, but the lancers take their place….20170406_215612

and drive the Austrians back…20170406_220102

facing heavy dragoons, the remaining Austrians decide not to bother….20170406_220107

As we started packing up, Peter, somewhat optimistically, declared “It’s a draw, then” Which was met with derision from umpire Angus, who pointed out that the Germans could cross the Uwt unopposed via the bridge and could now attack the Austrians defending the 2 contested fords from the rear, as well as the front, and the Austrian cavalry on the southern bank of the Inn were being driven back. This was enough for Angus to declare a decisive German victory, which nobody disputed, least of all Campbell or myself!!

So, after suffering heavy defeats over the last few weeks, I have returned to winning ways. We’ll see how long that lasts, as next week there is a big WW2 game being organised by Derek Hodge, which promises to be fun, even if it is in 10mm.

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