Austrian Infantry Attacks toward Pratzen village
Today Jon and Kevin joined me for our inaugural game in my new 600 square foot gaming room. I built my own 9' by 5' table in the center of the room, with the table pedestal nailed into the floor!
Because today is the anniversary of Austerlitz, I dug into my scenario trove and came up with the initial French attack on the Pratzen Heights. In the scenario, a small French division of veteran and elite troops was tasked with seizing the heights from a mixed Austro-Russian force of decidedly mixed quality. We used General de Brigade for our rules. It's a great set of rules for getting into the weeds.
Jon commanded the allies, and his force looked formidable ...
Until you looked at troop quality. Jon would have to try to get these conscripts in position to slug it out with the cream of the French Grand Armee!
Jon would have some Austrian light batteries, but he would have to get them into position. Not an easy task.
His Russian brigade had better quality troops: mostly line and 2nd line, and a formidable 12 gun battery.
French Jump-off Position
Kevin commanded the French, with three elite battalions, five veteran battalions, and 2 elite batteries.
French Shock Troops
Could the Russians and Austrians hope to stop these elite units?
Russians Fall Back
Jon chose to have his Russian brigade regroup short of the scenario objective, the Pratzenberg. His division commander was rated poor, and his orders failed to get through, but his brigade general rolled for his own initiative and passed! Jon was able to deploy his vulnerable brigade out of immediate danger.
The French Advance
Kevin ordered his troops to the reverse slope of the Pratzenberg where they would be sheltered from allied artillery.
Forward the Guns!
Kevin moved the two elite French batteries into position and began hammering the Russian infantry.
The Russian guns brought all their fire to bear on the French artillery. Over the course of the game, the guns alone would chase both French batteries from the Pratzenberg.
While the artillery duel carried on on the allied left, Jon was able to get his Austrian rabble moving forward. He failed some command rolls, but within an hour of the scenario start, the Austrians were in position to do some damage.
Battle Lines Drawn
On the Allied left, the Russian guns continued pounding away. Both commanders were wary of exposing their infantry, and the objective remained unoccupied by anyone but French guns.
The jockeying for position was over. Now the day would be decided by bullets.
The lead French unit, an elite battalion of legere, failed its morale roll and routed!
More French Reverses
Jon was unhappy with his rolls, but his guns were still effective. One elite battery routs!
The conscript Austrians moved up as the French steadily retreated. Both sides racked up hits on the opposing infantry.
The Russians Pounce
With half the French artillery chased off the hill and the other half nearing 50% casualties, Jon committed his Russian brigade. Here he moves them toward the objective.
The French Lie in Wait
Kevin's reverse slope defensive line prepared to attack as soon as Jon cleared the crest.
Russian Losses Mount
As Jon's force topped the crest, French volleys toppled a few hundred Russians. The stolid Russians held their position and returned fire: double sixes! Kevin's brigade commander was captured, and the command paralysis that ensued kept Kevin's troops from closing on the objective.
Just as the battle was reaching its climax on the Pratzenberg, one entire Austrian brigade failed its morale roll and routed to the rear. It failed its rally roll, and the entire brigade lifted. The pressure was off the French left, but those Austrian conscripts had kept the French too distracted to take their objective.
The French managed to inflict 3:1 casualties on the allies, but the Russians remained in possesion of the Pratzenberg. This game ended in an allied victory!
As always, we had a great time. The scenario was a very interesting example of undisciplined mass against very high quality troops. I was amazed that Jon, with poor troops and poorly rated leaders, was able to get his army to slug it out with the French at all, let alone snatch a hard-fought victory! The fellows enjoyed the rules. Everything went pretty smoothly, even though I was rusty with the rules.