Tuesday, January 9, 2018

1st Game of 2018

To usher in 2018 we went to our stand-by rules and period, Empire.  The game was set during the 1809 campaign and featured the Austrian 1st, 2nd and 4th Corps with a cavalry reserve against Oudinot's II, Eugene's Italians and the Reserve Cavalry corps.  Unknown to us at the start the Garde Imperiale and the "Corsican Ogre" lurked off table.

We had an impassable river on the Austrian left and a fordable river on the right.  A bridge crossed the river but once over would not be able to come to grips with the enemy.  Low, rolling hills and open woods dotted the table and all built up areas were heavy cover.

As has become my practice, the post is picture heavy and light on text.  Click to enlarge images.

Looking from the Austrian center towards the right where the
French heavies await.

1st Corps is tasked with holding off Oudinot's flanking attack
on the Austrian left, thankfully on a narrow front.

Graf Bellegarde's view of the approaching French.  Note the
cannon mass on both sides.
For those not familiar with Empire or contemptuous of the rules, grand tactical movement takes care of the laborious moving forward of 4-10" at a time and gets us to the fun part, the tactical combat.  You then go to a "move-counter more" situation.

Under the direction of the Archduke Charles, dragoons trot out
to meet the Italians.

The ominous mass of French infantry and guns approach on the left.

Having become "engaged" at 12" the opposing heavies start to
draw sabres and sound trumpet calls.

Gallantly the Italians try to come to grips in the center.

The French view of their left.  Who are those guys in the fancy
The pattern on the French left/Austrian right became one of the French hammering the Austrian horse but largely failing to break them.  It was a fine day for the Austrian cavalry.

Charles next approached the Blankenstein Hussars and Schwartzenburg
Uhlans to direct them into the flank of the Italians, with huge success.

French view of their extreme left.

The dragoons, though weakened join in the attack on the Italians
as the Austrian cuirassiers move up.
This was a day decided by cavalry charges and artillery.  Although the infantry was engaged they played a secondary role for a change.

French artillery at the top of the pictures are bombarding the
Austrians guns into rubble, but the foreground is holding.

Give and take in the center.

The rampaging lights are tearing up the Italians in the flank.

Two divisions are essentially cleaned up.

Oudinot needs to break through but a frontal attack would be
suicidal.  This flank will take time.

One shaken Italian division bravely fights on.

Slow progress on the Austrian left.  The lights are being pushed
out of the woods top left that has delayed the French advance.

The Young Guard and Guard cavalry put in an appearance and
the cries of "Vive l'Empereur" can be heard.

Meanwhile the right holds and for the moment has the advantage.

The "Big Boots" (Grenadiers a' Cheval) engage the Austrian

The Italian Empress Dragoons win some and even when they
don't, refuse to break.

The French are ready to push hard after the softening-up, but is it
too late?

Prince Eugene surveys the wreckage of his command.
The Grenadiers a' Cheval were overwhelmed by superior numbers, hitting them while blown from previous combat.  The Young Guard are not yet engaged so will keep any pursuit from getting too vigorous, but pursuit it will be as Napoleon decides to disengage.  Throughout the engagement the Austrians got the first initiative by Archduke Charles leading from the front as he historically did and other leadership bonuses.  The game, and yummy food, was enjoyed New Years Day and briefly on the following day.  Hosted by Dan Wideman.


  1. The first game of 2018 is very impressive, spectacular pictures Michael!

  2. Superb looking game, great way to start the year.