Saturday, December 2, 2017

Austerlitz Game

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.

Austrian Brigades 

Jon commanded the allies, and his force looked formidable ...

Austrian Battalions 

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!

Austrian Guns 

Jon would have some Austrian light batteries, but he would have to get them into position.  Not an easy task.

Russian Brigade

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.

Russian Counter-battery 

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.

Austrian Advance 

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.

Mid Game 

The jockeying for position was over.  Now the day would be decided by bullets.

French Reverses 

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.

Austrians Rout 

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.

End Game

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.


  1. Not the easiest battle to refught with the fog of war, but you managed to play a beautiful game, impressive pictures!

  2. Looks like fun, very nice AAR.
    What did Jon and kevin think of the new gaming digs ?

    1. They seemed to like them a lot. I think they were a little overwhelmed by just how many unbuilt models and unpainted figures I have. When you see them all on display, it can be a bit staggering.

    2. Very fine game room, indeed! Scott has enough unbuilt models to stock a hobby store!

    3. Yes, and Teresa thinks I should sell some off. Maybe she is right.

  3. We had a great time, for sure. You have a well-situated game room complete with everything needed for an enjoyable day of gaming.

    As for the battle, the disparity between Elite vs Conscript is a tough task to mitigate. I don't recall the Austrians being "that" bad. Poorly led in 1805, for sure but all conscripts in status? I need to pull Goetz off the shelf and re-read accounts of the battle. I ought to give my 200th Anniversary Austerlitz OB a look and see how I rated the combatants on this day.

    Oh well, the Conscripts did their job of diverting attention away from The Prize long enough to take it!

    1. I thought the initial French attack did catch the Austrian 5th and 6th battalions, hastily trained depot units.

      Our fight has also re-piqued my interest in Austerlitz. I have my own copy of Goetz somewhere.

  4. Looks very interesting, thanks for the report!

  5. Excellent.

    I'm working on an Austerlitz game using Napoleon's Battles. The challenge will be how much of the battlefield I can get on to the tabletop.

    A fellow member in my club is working on it for use with General de Brigade.

    1. I like breaking it up into smaller fights. Jon is eager to do the whole thing with Republique.

  6. What an excellent game. Just sent off for more miniatures to scratch this itch! David Brown's General d'Armee looks like a sure winner for bigger games! Merry Christmas! Love this blog!