Monday, August 15, 2011

Positional Defense

Played Charles Grant's "Positional Defense" Scenario on pg 10 of his book "Scenarios for Wargames."  Essentially, this is an attack against prepared, mutually supporting positions, which is suitable for any period.  I chose the Napoleonic period, somewhere on the Peninsula.  My only divergence was changing the order of battle around slightly, condensing the map,and using Volley & Bayonet rules instead of Mr Grant's toy soldier rules.

This game pitted 2 French Divisions against roughly 2 British Divisions of similar composition.  The French have a Cavalry Brigade, and the British have elite skirmishers wearing kilts. (highland unit).  I played in 6mm.  The OOB is as follows:
French Division Commander, commanding left wing.  4 x Infantry Brigades 4 strength points, 5 morale with 2 supporting artillery batteries.  Smoothbore, Field Guns, and a heavy Cavalry brigade.  The French Right Wing was my "light" Division consisting of 1 Battery and 3 Infantry Brigades, all rated at 4-5 as above.

British OOB was similar:
3 British Artillery Batteries, 1 in each redoubt (mandated by the scenario).  4 British Infantry Brigades and 1 Light infantry Skirmisher unit of elites.  The British  right wing consisted of 2 mutually supporting redoubt positions and an Infantry Brigade in Reserve.  A large, town complex dominated the center of the map and the British forward defensive position.  (It would prove a tough nut to crack.)  The British nested a 4-5 Infantry Brigade in the Center of the town, dug in of course that anchored their 2 redoubts.  To the British left, a large wooded area with the redoubt in the clearing, controlling the approach to the British Rear area.  The British had 1 brigade and 1 battery stationary within the redoubt, and the infantry skirmishers placed in the woods to slow the French advance.
French Left Wing looking towards the East with the light div in the background in front of the woods.

FR Light Division attacks through the woods towards the British Redoubt.

Light Division.

Attack in the Center of the Line note the Stationary Marker on the British BDE (cannon balls)

British Line Brigade

British Reserve Counter-Attack is beaten back with heavy losses east of the town.

Final disposition in the town prior to the British retrograde action (withdrawal) the French took heavy casualties taking this town and never made it to the first redoubt until turn 9! (out of 12 turns).

Firefight!  I learned how to take down a fixed position. during the 2nd attempt.

Light Division attack finally commences as the brigades emerge from the woods.  The highland unit finally evaporated this turn.

Attacking the redoubt.

Meatgrinder 101: How to assault a fortified position.  Final Exam answer - lots of Artillery!

The French attacked straight at the British Brigade in the town on turn 2 and was repulsed with very heavy losses.  To give you an idea of the sheer size of the losses, an entire French Brigade was practically wiped out during the fighting on beginning of turn 2.  The Artillery was never really engaged and the Brigades were sent in piece-meal.  The British released their reserve from the Northwest to circle around and block any flanking attempt on their position.  They skirmished with the French Cavalry and rendered them ineffective for the rest of the game...(not an auspicious beginning for the combat arm of decision.)

I realized that I would need to get lots and lots of volleys into the town and artillery salvos if I was to take it.  Stationary Artillery hits on a 4,5, or 6 at close range with 2 dice!  This is much better than rolling 1 die hitting on a 6. The Brits had not even suffered a single loss until almost turn 4 and the French left wing was in serious jeopardy of reaching its exhaustion point! (To Be Continued)

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