Ken and Dave were over last weekend (yes I know this post is dreadfully late) for an 1809 Napoleonic clash to fight one of my favorite battles of the Napoleonic Wars - Teugen-Hausen! The French have 9 turns to capture Hausen and a road exit. Anything else is an Austrian victory. Is my scenario too restrictive? Read on!
An epic "meeting engagement" of sorts, Teugen-Hausen features Davout's III Corps smashing into Hohenzollern's ArmeeKorps during the dramatic Spring "mobile" battles in late April 1809, and were part of the leadup to the Battle of Eckmuhl. You can read about how the forces got to the battlefield, and why the battle was fought here.
With Dave playing the role of Marshall Davout, and Ken playing Hohenzollern, I acted as GM. Black Powder were the rules of choice for this game, and I fully recognize this choice will throw some of you into uncontrollable fits of rage. (if you click this link, please turn the volume down if the kids are within earshot - you've been warned!)
BP suited the amounts of units on the table rather nicely. We played with units as "Regiments" and called the commands "Divisions" instead of "Brigades" which caused some confusion with my guests but we were able to work through it. The action starts with Saint Hilaire's Division along with Davout deploying from the line of march to assault the ridge to their front.
|French Legere in Assault columns- I labeled the units because it's classy...|
Dave deploys wisely by shaking out the lead regiments into line, and opts to go to the left for a wide, flanking maneuver. Ken has Vukassovich's Advanced Guard Division, the best Austrian Division on the table, deploy along the ridge with his artillery and light units.
|Vukassovich's Troops deployed astride the road to Hausen|
Dave gets the command rolls and position Saint Hilaire's units to hold and exchange volleys with the Austrians to his front, while sending around some considerable combat power up the ridgeline in an attempt to flank the position.
|French Regiments shake out into line trading fire with the Austrians on the ridge and in the woods|
Ken moves up a trickle of reinforcements to the line. Ken is going to position an Austrian infantry regiment on the reverse slope of the ridge to catch the French before they can wreak havoc in the Austrian rear area. They are large Austrian infantry Regiments (6 x stands in this case) and take 4 hits for Shaken instead of 3, making them a bit more stubborn and with their poor command values, a bit more slow moving.
|slow moving Austrian Regiment moves up to counter the French flanking effort|
|The progress of Dave's deployment of St Hilaire's Division - keeping Vukassovich's units occupied and penned up.|
In the center, Ken moves his skirmishers out to screen the forces on the ridge, buying time for his reinforcements to come up. The more fighting he can do on the ridge and keep French forces attacking there, the more combat power he can accumulate on his side of the ridgeline. Dave's lead regiments charge the skirmishers, pushing them back. High drama on the slopes!
|note the columns top left as Dave's forces move to flank the ridge! This was one of my favorite pics of the battle!|
|the generals commanding! View from the Austrian positions|
|Davout's hard-marching columns racing into the woods on the ridge!|
|musketry duels with the Austrians and French. Eat your heart out BP EPIC! These Old Glory 10mm Naps look the part! Also note the mixed in RISK pieces in the Austrian Hussars. Somehow they were intermingled (during the confused fighting no doubt) with Old Glory 10mm Hussars on the ridgeline!|
|Damn your eyes why aren't the men firing, Captain? Because you and your staff are blocking the guns, sir.|
|Austrian Grenzers disordered (yellow die) with 1 hit|
Dave claws his way onto the ridge as unit after unit of Ken's advanced guard (Vukassovich) are gobbled up or sent streaming down the opposite side of the ridge towards Hausen. Meanwhile, Dave's flanking columns shake out into line in the forest and start trading volleys with the Austrians at the base of the hill. The battle is entering a new phase!
|Grenzers are pushed back in heavy fighting|
|Dave flanks Ken's Hussars who melt away from the heavy fire|
|French reinforcements are continuing to arrive|
|Just epic! French forces storming the ridge and you can just make out the Austrians forming a new line to confront them in the upper left! My second favorite pic - almost looks like a painting of a Napoleonic battle with French lines everywhere!|
|The Iron Marshall - please disregard the Staff Ratings on his stand - we were playing with BP 2nd Edition - no more Senior Officers! The Commanding General is more of a morale marker.|
|More fighting atop the ridgeline|
|As massive Austrian columns slowly make their way towards the fighting. We have started rolling for the Grenadier reinforcements now (Turn 5-almost Turn 9 where we'll start rolling to end the game) Ken had to leave and left me in command of the Army! BIg trouble!|
|Vukassovich's battered units refused to carry out any order after their retreat from the ridge. They remained blockin the road for the remainder of the game. I could have used them to slow down the French even more! Meanwhile, French columns start pouring down the ridge and deploying into line...|
|The few Austrian units who managed to deploy shake out into line to meet the French, whose blood are up!|
|Hard fighting here next to the road as the French try hard for a breakthrough in the center!|
|Up and down the line the French charge the Austrians!|
|More heavy fighting! 2 x massive Austrian regiments attempt to hold off the flood of French who are desperately seeking a breakthrough on Turn 6. They have 3 more turns to capture a road exit and Hausen! Can they make it?|
|More and more French columns joining the fight and reaching the now-abandoned ridgeline|
|and even more behind them!|
|The French aren't breaking through as quickly as they'd like to - the stubborn Austrians are hanging on by their fingernails!|
|After multiple turns of failing an order, the Austrian reinforcements finally start moving. In march col on the road, they were getting 1 free move per turn, but it is taking a long time to move the massive columns into position. They were able to screen the road exit closest to the French, and arrived just as Dave was making his breakthrough.... finally.|
|Final french dispositions before Dave rolled a 6 and a thunderstorm ended the game on turn 9. So while the French won ever engagement, this was technically an Austrian victory...|
|Sound Officers Call Final Thoughts|
I really enjoyed putting this scenario together with the extremely competent and lethal French units, along with their stalwart Austrian enemies, this had all the makings of a good scenario. So what happened? Well besides being alot of fun, I'm not sure the conditions could have been met by the French (BTW looks to me like the result was fairly historical with the French holding the field by day's end) Dave and Ken suggested for next time, lengthening the time before you roll for the thunderstorm to end the game. Dave suggested Turn 13. My suspicion is it's a bit before that but the maths (average commands given on 2D6) would have to drive those considerations.
While many scoff at Black Powder, it handled the large multitude of units on the table nicely, and the rules really came back to me. They're still my favorite for large, sweeping battles like this and allow us to get lots of toys on the table for a significantly less commitment of time.
On the whole, we missed some stuff in the rules, but everything worked, and fairly smoothly at that. This game was much fun and I'm looking forward to playing more. I already have some great ideas for future games. For those interested, we halved all measurements just like in the "Epic" rules and it played very well. My larger 10mm units - French at 5 x 30mm stands, and the Austrians at 6 x 30mm stands - really made the game look good and I know I've got some work to do on the terrain but this game was just what the Doctor ordered for my gaming funk of late. While I'd like to say the Napoleonics bug has been "worked out" that's probably far from the case and I'm already scheming another battle or 2 to fight before I go back to WW2 battles.
Also of note, I've been reading up on a very nice and simple Age of Sail rules called "It Is Warm Work
" which seem to me to be based off the Junior General "Trafalgar
" rules in a way, and I like that alot (seriously what's not to love there - free rules, free ships, free scenarios). I'd like to get a game of them on the table soon, as well as some WWII action after that. Looking squarely at more FoW battles, and playing Steven Thomas' improved Armor rules for Crossfire. Fall and winter we can hopefully get more gaming in so stay tuned - more great things to come!
On the hobby/building/painting front, I'm going to be basing my 15mm Romans AGAIN (the poor fellows) for ADLG, and am painting up my El Cid Heavy Spanish Infantry for ADLG games against Ken's Muslim troops. Im also painting the 3D printed "dead" El Cid figure Ken very kindly gave me (more to come on that) and we're going to party like it's 1099
Good to see you fellas back at the table. Really enjoyed your near, eye-level photography in this one. Your 10mm Napoleonics sure look good en masse.ReplyDelete
T-H must be one of your favorite battles. Have you not fought this one several times or is my memory failing me?Delete
You are quite correct, Jon. I've re fought T-H with Volley and Bayonet, Age of Eagles, Le Feu Sacre, Fast Play Grande Armee, Commands and Colors Napoleonics, and finally with Black Powder! Not all of those refights made it to the blog, but some have.Delete
Thank you for the compliment, Jon! I'm quite happy with my Napoleonic forces. They need to be deployed more! Also it was nice to have the guys around my table again.Delete
Good report with really nice looking terrain and troops. These Old Glory miniatures tightly packed with 5-6 stands make for a good troop density on the battlefield. After all these refights with different rules sets, which was your favorite in terms of rules and how they handled the scenario? I played it only once with Age of Eagles so far. It delivered a good game but it felt a bit to small of an engagement for Brigades as maneuver units.Delete
Thanks Pascal! This scenario was derived from the AoE scenario (or at least inspired by it). I'd probably have to say the most fun one to play was Volley and Bayonet because of the huge table we played on and the epic scope of those rules. That said, my personal fav is probably narrowing down to Black Powder simply because I continue to know that set best.Delete
Steve, lovely table and troops, it all looks superb. Glad your mood for rolling dice has decidedly returned. Looks like Black Powder was just the ticket for your game and I personally like the chaos that falls from them. Look forward to whatever follows.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Norm. I'm trying to build back my enthusiasm for gaming.Delete
Great looking terrain and figures and a excellent game.ReplyDelete
Thank you Mark!Delete
Fantastic stuff Steve! Truly epic. You are right, sometimes the rules stop getting in the way, and the battle and drama kicks in. That has definitely happened here - it reads like such a historical narrative here. Great stuff.ReplyDelete
(...and how did you get a video of me losing my sh!t when the French brigade refused to act for the 3rd turn in a row :O ...the last time I played BP ;) )
Darren I was hoping you'd catch that video I snuck in ;). This game was just what the doctor ordered for me. It was nice to just get stuck in and do some fighting.Delete
Darren, you make a good observation on rules. They really ought not get in the way. You should fight your opponent; not the rules.Delete
Well, that's a gorgeous game, Steve! It really shows your 10 mm figures to maximum advantage, and it seems like BP is doing the job for you from a rules standpoint. I do love the 1809 campaign; have a go at Abensberg or Eggmuhl!ReplyDelete
What's more, at this scale I can even pick a nit about those "Grenzer" who certainly appear uniformed more as Jagers! :-)
Settling on Field of Battle as my rules set for Horse and Musket games certainly simplified my life (although Brent is coming out with a new rules set in September that' seems to be a twist on FoB).
I'm still of a mind to try your "Eagles Cheaper than Brain Cells" rules, especially to see how they would work with Middle School aged kids as part of HMGS Next Gen. The table is empty at the moment, so perhaps a go at them would be in order?!
What's not to love about Teugen Hausen? High drama and the excitement of a sort of meeting engagement. Abensburg is certainly a viable contender as I have tons of Bavarians.Delete
Good eyes you have sir - I grabbed the nearest skirmishing unit and plopped them down. I think they're Landwehr, actually.
I'm really looking to play more games instead of read new rules and for me that's Black Powder as I already know them fairly well.
Would love to see someone else try out those Grand Tactical 1HW rules. If you like "Blucher" or "Volley and Bayonet,"you'll enjoy them. They're probably best played with the scenarios from One Hour Wargames, but also work fine with an open engagement.
A local gamer I know continues to work with them and has made many tweaks to them over time. So much so that I've taken them off my blog.
I still prefer the original!
Great to see you make a return to the tabletop Steve. Those big units look ace, and the terrain looks nice and busy with all those hills and trees. What's not to like!ReplyDelete
Thank you sir!Delete
You understated the look of the figures and terrain: d@mned marvellous I reckon!!ReplyDelete
Thank you James!Delete