When we left off last week, Dave's Bavarians (my painted Bavarians) were just arriving in my deep right flank from a flank march mission, to which I promptly sent the entire Cavalry division against them - heavy horse as well as light hussars.
I rolled well for Division initiative (i LOVE this feature of Shako II and it really adds an element of tension as to which Divisions will move in which order) and launched a spoiling attack against Dave's French who, in their current frenzy were preparing to over-run me this turn. The attack went off fairly well and sent back Dave's leading Battalions. To be fair, all of our leading Battalions were suffering from the 4 turns of firefights along the line. I just capitalized on winning the initiative roll and sent in my Austrians who by virtue of having 1 more strength point, were able to absorb more damage.
|Austrian Cavalry Division enroute to attack the Bavarians emerging from the woods.|
|Dave's lead battalions are sent to the rear after the Austrians launch a spoiling attack|
|I give a little ground at this point, just in case my horse aren't able to dislodge the Bavarians.|
|Dave lording over the French. he skillfully handled this small Corps. I for one am looking forward to more Shako!|
|Situation at the end of th battle|
|Dave continued to move in with his second line as I move up fresh troops to absorb them.|
|The heroes of the day. The tough Austrian line.|
|Dave capitalizing on a breakthrough moves in for the kill!|
|View from the French side.|
Now onto the ESR game. I stayed on my side of the table (closer to the donuts) and Dave stayed as the French. We kept the terrain the same but the missions changed. I needed to breakthrough and capture, what I thought was a road leading to a Danube River crossing site, when in actuality I was supposed to capture the crossing site itself! Oh sh**. that courier we just sent to Archduke Charles? Get him back here....
The first thing I'll say is the table looks like a Napoleonic battlefield. Large, ponderous columns of infantry marching up to the battle area.
|Austrian cavalry on the Austrian left.|
|The smallest infantry grouping I made as sort of an ad-hoc Garde du Corps who I thought I could use as a holding force.|
|Ken helping out with the movement!|
|The Austrian columns about to collide head-on into the French!|
|Austrians deploying for battle. The rear of the Austrian infantry column is in the bottom right|
|"They were just following orders" My hussar squadron moves straight up the hill they were assigned to capture. Only to find a battery of guns up there.|
|The battle unfolds with the Austrians getting a terrible beating. 2 Divisions are gobbled up by the French!|
|Dave's rampaging Dragoon squadron who won battle after battle after battle before Ken came in and put a stop to it!!!|
|There is no more Austrian Cavalry!|
|The last action of the game would see the Austrian Garde du Corps go "up the middle" against deployed French with artillery support and suffer greatly due to skirmisher, artillery, and infantry attacks. What a waste of damned fine infantry!|
|10 fatigue points! Oh lord!|
So as you may have been able to tell, this is a game concerned with the movement and placement of divisions, placing you in the shoes of the Army's commander. True, you're maneuvering battalions around, but the placement, deployment, arrival, and management of your divisions is crucial. You also have to shepherd your resources and manage fatigue points as they become very devastating after awhile.
Deployment of infantry is very important as is the decision when to deploy and how to deploy. Placing your guns is a special action made by the division commander, which I love, and combat is handled in a very effective and streamlined way (think about it this way, the combat sequence is not really the star of the show like in so many other game systems, it's just another component of the bigger system).
In ESR, I believe you are really punished for bad decisions, as I certainly was in this game!