Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Republicans and Austrians

I was anxious to play with my newly recovered Austrians and another player has a Republican French army based on Marengo that needed table time so we put together a small game, using our favorite system, Empire.

The French were organized into two divisions, under the over-all command of Joubert, with heavy and light cavalry in support.  The French infantry at this point is 90% veteran line and above.

The Austrians, under Belegarde had four brigades (one of grenadiers) in their column.  As a "regimental army" in Empire we had far less tactical options once battle was joined.  Plus our regular infantry were all rated as conscript.

The Austrians attacked on the right and defended the left, though the grenadier brigade somehow didn't get the word and continued to pick nits out of their bearskins.  Cavalry advancing engaged the troops and stopped further movement during "Grand Tactical."

The situation on the Austrian left.  Mostly defending in shaky lines while the French advance in column prior to deploying into line.

In the early cavalry clashes the Austrians typically held an advantage but could never rout their foes.  The French always were able to fall back in good order.

On the left the French got themselves into line and used their cavalry to force the Austrian infantry to square up in front of them.  With no infantry in close proximity it was the safe move.

As the French attempted to attack on the Austrian right the Schwartzenburg Uhlans had an opportunity for a devastating charge and scattered most of the Consular Guard.  With their best troops routed, it took all the steam out of their attack.

Slowly, the Austrians began to put serious pressure on the French.  Despite being thrown back in the first attempt, the threat was very real.

Seeing the trend, the Austrians came out of square and began to advance across the front.  The large Austrian battalions, while of weak morale, are hard to get to the point where they are testing.  A battalion in line rated conscript would have a 58% chance of routing on their first required test, but they would also have to lose six of eighteen castings.  So it provides a measure of balance.

And we called it a game.  The French could no longer attack with any reasonable chance of success and the sluggish Austrians cannot catch them in pursuit.  So mission accomplished for the four of us who played.  We enjoyed "new" old troops back in my collection and the French got on table.

For our first Empire game since the Waterloo spectacular in April we found we were very rusty and had to look up a lot.  The problem with playing so many different games.  Now to finish my 1806 Prussians!

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