My buddy Alex was over Sunday night for some Napoleonic gaming goodness with a tiny slice of the Battle of Wagram on the table. I haven't seen Alex since pre-Covid days and it was good to get a game in with him.
For the battle, we used a scenario from the Michael Hopper Shako 1809 scenario book (Blood Along the Danube) and literally singled out a 2' by 4' sliver of battle featuring Oudinot's forces under Grandjean assaulting the heights beyond the Russbach and Baumersdorf.
|The entire battlefield to the right - two feet wide and 4 feet long. The Russbach divides the setup areas and the heights are clearly visible. Baumersdorf on the French side guards the bridge which Cavalry and Artillery need to cross.|
We put the venerable Eagles Cheaper than Brain Cells through its paces with another historical matchup, and I also got to use my singly-based Napoleonic 10mm stands, which turned out pretty nice if I do say so myself!
The French, with 12 units, will receive 2D6 orders per turn while the Austrians will receive 1D6+2. The French have 12 units and the Austrians have only 8. The French set up beyond a low set of hills awaiting the order to commence the assault. The Austrians are up on the high ground awaiting the attack.
|Red dice are orders for the Austrians. Blue dice are orders for the French.|
|A gorgeous firing position!|
The Shako scenario stipulates that the French must have "a unit" on the heights by 1240 hours. In this instance, we kept the original 15 turn limit and said the French must have a brigade on the upper heights of the field.
|The Austrians arrayed along the hills awaiting the French onslaught. The Austrian gunners are about to open fire on the French who will advance into their shot!|
|A Brigade of Pendraken French painted by Jack|
|Almost reached the town!|
|I love this picture! French approaching the Russbach while the Austrians look on|
|Austrian Grenzers fire at the French along the Russbach!|
|Shelling Baumersdorf! Note the Austrians on the other side of the Bridge to oppose the crossing|
It takes Alex about 3 turns to get into position to launch an assault against the heights from Baumersdorf. His troops form into assault columns in the shattered village and charge the bridge!
|French preparing to assault the heights!|
|A hardcore French volley Disorders the Grenzers (yellow hit die) who will have to fall back|
|Note the yellow die on the left- that's the Grenzers who were forced back by ranged fire. The French going into turn 5 are in excellent position to launch the assault.|
|Here they come! French cross the Russbach in force - voltiguers on the right of picture|
As in the actual battle, the French storm the heights but vicious Austrian counterattacks make life tough for them to stay. A French brigade charges with elan across the bridge and secures a toe-hold on the heights! They're promptly sent back by the elite Grenadiers of the infantry reserve.
|Alex moving his infantry up to assault the hill!|
|French toe hold on the lower heights|
|A breakthrough on turn 5!|
|Grenadiers counterattacking into the French Breakthrough!|
|Situation turn 6. Grenadiers hold the heights and the French were pushed back in heavy fighting.|
General Brady moves to straighten out the line - but will he have the orders? And will the French let him?
|left French battery go silent.|
|High drama and excitement as the French Dragoons crash into the Austrian Grenadiers!|
Warm work in the center as the French also charge the Austrian battery on the heights. They'd be successful in the combat ( in Eagles, guns always lose melee regardless of hits) but would break themselves carrying the position.
|The ordered Austrian guns fire a deadly volley of grapeshot into the advancing French. The French win the combat but at a high price!|
|By turn 8 the battle is shifting to the right of the Austrian positions now as the French try and flank the main hill position.|
|Alex unleashes a deadly assault against the flank of the Austrians with his infantry reserve, including his elites, denoted by a stand of Carabiniers here and Voltiguers in the foreground.|
|Baden troops bringing up the rear!|
|If this doesn't look "napoleonic" I dont know what does. Infantry gathering to assault the heights!|
It's worth mentioning here that we tried out a cool feature Alex has worked into his other rules called the "respite" or a lull in the fighting. Anytime players tie on an initiative roll, the turn is advanced by 1, and every unit may attempt to rally. This happened 3 times in this game and while the Austrians didn't make every roll, they rolled critical "6s" where they needed, losing 2 hit points.
|Austrian line now oriented towards the right. Guns were pulled back to the main heights.|
|Both French batteries go out of ammo now.|
|When you return to the Army HQs, tell Charles I really like these rules and must insist upon them for the next battle!|