Saturday, 4 January 2014

Treading in Murats steps

This was a CnC Napoleonics game put on by Tim  covering the battle of Wertingen in 1805, at the outset of the Ulm campaign. It has already been covered on Tims blog here and was the first outing of Austrians in the game system. John and I landed the French, and from where we were sitting the main feature of the Austrian army was that there were an awful lot of them and they seemed to have many five block infantry regiments.

Just to add to the fun, it turned out we were commanding Murats cavalry Corps against a mass of infantry, and the subordinate commanders included such luminaries as Lannes and Oudinot. Not much to live up to there then! Luckly Oudinot had remembered to bring a few regiments of Chasseurs and Grenadiers with him.

The French left. Lannes's light cavalry division faces off two entire Austrian infantry divisions.

The French right. Oudinots infantry and two heavy cavalry brigades versus yet more Austrian infantry. Those chaps lurking in the distance are Austrian grenadiers and Cuirassiers.

Two more brigades of heavy cavalry in the centre.

Opening moves, French heavy cavalry charge the Austrians, forcing them into squares, but losing a base in the process.

The Austrians menace the French left.

Lannes drives off the impudent Austrian light cavalry.

Artillery fire and Oudinots grenadiers whittle down the Austrian squares.

Lannes renewed battle with the Austrian cavalry does not go well. Ideally the dice would show four cavalry hits, not four infantry...

The squares finally succumb to the Grenadiers, but the Austrian Grenadiers move up.

Oops! One French Grenadier regiment is destroyed and the other pinned in square by the Austrian cuirassiers. A subsequent counterattack by the French cavalry supported by horse artillery drove the cuirassiers off again.

The Austrian infantry push Lannes back.

He opts to charge the Austrian artillery, but the bold stroke fails. Fortunately the Austrian riposte just forces him back. Again, looking for gun hits here, not infantry and cavalry!

Lannes is finally able to save the day by wiping out his opposite numbers.
Plan B was for the other brigade to take out the enemy general (1:6 chance), but fortunately that wasn't required.
So, a hard fought struggle. The French had to make good use of combined arms to overcome the inherent disadvantage of cavalry against infantry squares, but eventually managed to pull off a victory so I don't think we did too great a disservice to Lannes, Oudinot or Murat!

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