The scenario played was actually from the One Hour Wargames book but expanded to 4 x 4, with setup guided by the rules from the Napoleonic Wargaming. book The resulting clashes were completely isolated on each side of the table due to the fighting around the crossing sites, resulting in 2 completely different engagements occurring independently of one another.
|French left grouping making for the hill at speed
2 Line Infantry Units
1 "Levy" Allied Infantry Unit (Hesse Darmstadt Troops)
1 Elite Guard Unit
1 Light Cavalry
1 Heavy Cavalry
1 Voltigeur Unit
1 Artillery Battery
4 Line Infantry Units
1 Elite Grenadier Unit
1 Light Cavalry Unit
1 Heavy Cavalry Unit
1 Artillery Unit
|Austrian columns strike for the primary bridge
|General Lodz commands the Grenadiers today.
|French Voltigeurs work their way up the flanks on the right moving towards the ford
|Austrian heavy cavalry rumbling up to the bridge
|Austrian light horse reaches the ford
|And are attacked by the French light horse! Brutal fighting in the river!
|Both sides lick their wounds - one of many charges between these 2 light units during the battle. Note the Austrian columns moving up from behind.
|The Austrians aren't the only ones who have infantry approaching! French infantry arrive on the scene!
|French Cuirassier - Now you see them...
|Now you dont!
|Austrian cuirassier charging
|Austrians preparing to storm the bridge
|General Lodz supervises the crossing
|Firing at the Austrians on the far bank
At the ford on the French right, things are heating up also.
|Heavy Combat at the bridge!
|Heavy combat at the ford!
|The first column of Hungarians makes straight for the foreign allied troops! They would push these poor fellow practically off the table.
|General Gruyere watches the crossing
|Hesse troops evaporating under the approving eye of General Lodz
|Mein Gott they want us to charge again?!!? Austrian cavalry charges teh French infantry at the ford.
This was really the climax of the battle, and the last chance for an Austrian win. The French meanwhile train every gun and musket onto the advancing reinforcements coming off the bridge! The artillery gets 6 shots, and teh infantry shoots as well. The advancing Austrians never had a chance.
|Shoot at them with everything! They're coming straight for the hill!
|French resisting the Austrian crossing
|At the ford, the French are advancing to the Austrian side! Note the lights are reduced to a single stand!
|The generals glare at each other as their troops unleash deadly volleys
|Lights cross over at the ford
|French line troops storm the bridge and destroy the remaining stand from the Hungarian regiment. Both crossing sites are in French hands and the Austrians are down to 2 units. The battle is over!
Thoughts and Lessons Learned
I haven't played a proper game of Neil Thomas' "Napoleonic Wargaming" in awhile and this was a great refresher. The rules are simple and to the point and I believe they really deliver on what they promise. You will make decisions about the timing of attacks, the best place to deploy your artillery, and whether or not to commit your reserves. Speaking of reserves, the attrition-based nature of the combat means that the game will likely last almost the entire 20 turn limit suggested by Mr Thomas in his rules and so the timing of when you commit your reserves is extremely important. No doubt, throwing a fresh Austrian regiment across the bridge towards the end of the game could have been a disaster for the French if their artillery was 1 single centimeter further from its infantry, as they would have forced 2 French units to leave the field if they would have exited off the table.
Cavalry proved itself extremely useful as well and you really can use cavalry doctrinally in these rules by screening for your slower troops to deploy and disrupting your enemy's attacks by forcing his infantry to deploy to defend against your oncoming cavalry.. Admittedly I never used the light cavalry shooting capability and I probably should have done that, but I did make good use of my cavalry's mobility here. Finall y on the subject of cavalry, ensure you are leaving plenty of room for them to retreat from a combat! There is nothing worse than losing your "elite" Cuirassier unit when it only has 2 hits garnered from an inconsequential combat!!!
All in all, a great game and a very good time. I'd like to keep this tradition of "Neil Thomas Tuesdays" going but in the future I will likely not have the kind of time I had tonight and will probably play something a little quicker like One Hour Wargames.
Happy New Year everyone!