Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Crush the Revolution

We had time for a weeknight game so we opted to run Todd's Republican French again, this time against my 1806 Prussians.  They are new (to me) figures and needed blooding, so we rolled the clock back a bit and had at it.

Twenty-four French line and light battalions, with six cavalry regiments and four Class I batteries were opposed by twenty Prussian battalions, eight cavalry regiments and five Class III batteries.  We arbitrarily chose 1794 for a game date and used the values in Empire associated with that time range.  The French were led by Kleber, Excellent/Inspirational; and the Prussians by von Ruchel, Despicable/Impersonal.

The initial French deployment, with the infantry in three small divisions.  Light cavalry on their left, battle cavalry on their right.

The Prussians with four brigades of infantry, light cavalry on the left, medium in the center, and heavies on the right.  Confident of course in their linear tactics.

A setting on my camera was off so I ended up dumping a bunch of blurry pictures.  The short version is  that even with the first turn bonus to activate, half of the Prussians refused to move on the first Grand Tactical.  Fortunately the French were equally aggressive and far more effective, so we got engaged.  Surprisingly, the Prussians won the initiative and the heavy cavalry on the right eliminated the French lights.  Supporting troopers forced the French into square, delaying their attack.

The Prussian left easily held as the French sorted themselves into lines, and the light cavalry on the left traded successes and set-backs equally.  On the second hourly round we again won the initiative as von Ruchel lead a cavalry brigade forward on the left.  Although bad initiative rolls again limited our options, we made good progress on the right and left.  Some French battalions were routed and we seemed to be winning the cavalry fight against the French heavies by sheer numbers.  When the French finally won the initiative it was probably too late to matter.

With steady Prussian lines advancing everywhere and the cavalry either routed or neutralized, Kleber broke off the engagement, the always fleet-footed French easily getting away.  Lots of satisfying action in a three-hour game.

Finally, despite the success since Empire rates him as Despicable/Impersonal, it seemed only fitting to give von Ruchel appropriate Aides. 

See?  Contrary to popular myths, Napoleonic gamers do have a sense of humor.

I'd be lying if I said these early-war games aren't causing some consternation and rethinking of tactics.  The narrower than we're used to French columns really emphasize the need for firepower.  Meanwhile, the Austrians (last game) and Prussians in this one feel slow and awkward.  Next game I'll try out my Republicans and see if I can do better.  Thanks to Dan (my fellow Prussian), Todd and Bob for playing.

No comments:

Post a Comment