Wednesday, December 30, 2009
We met at a great German restaurant on Tuesday, December 29th for an end of the year "beer and pretzels" Napoleonic game. Click on the Title for a small gallery. Here's a after action report.
The French were composed of two divisions/two brigades/6 battalions of infantry, a heavy cavalry brigade (2 Cuirassier), divisional and reserve artillery and...wait for it....two battalions of Imperial Guard. We don't normally bring the Guard on the table for moral reasons (I'd complain and whine if they were played of course). The French were opposed by an Austrian division augmented by Kurassier and Dragoon regiments.
French divisions advanced upon the central hill dominated by an old stone church. If we play this again, we definitely need a Wursthaus or a Biergartenhaus. The game was punctuated by copious amounts of Pauliner and Dunkelbrau so details of each individual melee won't be remembered by this author.
French forces set up a divisional battery on the right flank and in the center. These batteries swept the field of the Austrian first line and exposed the weakness of the Austrian position on the right flank. The French right flank commander (me) held a brigade in reserve supporting the artillery. This would prove to be semi-prudent as the Austrians were "sneaking" through a wood and were unseen until they approached and attacked the divisional batteries.
Austrian Forces set up in two lines across the table with a defense of a walled farm on the left and a concentration to their right. Austrian horse was in reserve. The Austrian commander (Clay) was lucky enough to get them on the table on turn 3 while the French cavalry commander was still eating breakfast. They proceeded to do a general advance while the French were making merry, consuming Pauliner and chuckling to themselves about the Austrians advancing in the same old way...we have to meet them in the same old way.
After a brief lunch break (and more Pauliner, Dunkelbrau and several rounds of Apfel Korn), the battle was resumed in earnest. The French pressed the Austrians on the right flank punctuated by the removal of double handfuls of Austrian infantry that ventured in front of the divisional batteries. The Austrians stopped the French advanced on "Church Hill" cold with a combination of 6pdr batteries and supporting infantry. Austrian cavalry began to sweep the French left flank. The cuirassier division finally arrived and promptly was plonked in the center as a central reserve.
A perfect storm developed on the French right flank as the cuirassiers were moved into a position to work over the Austrian infantry. The horse was supported by the remnants of the French right flank artillery and several fresh infantry battalions . The Austrians went into battalion masse at the sight of the heavy horse. The French commander brought up the artillery and infantry and promptly routed the masse by fire. This left the path clear for the heavies to sweep the field of the remaining Austrian infantry which unfortunately did not move into masse. The horse swept the flank of the Austrians. It was game over on the right and time for another beer!
On the French left flank, the Austrians were pressing the veteran infantry but they were in square. Causalities were high and the personal morale of the divisional commander was rocky. The Imperial Guard were committed to the center to take the 'Church Hill". Mission accomplished! The Austrians announced SQP and we all finished our beers on the table. Game, set and match to the French!
Our total bill included 10 shots of Apfel Korn (we finished the bar's bottle), over 10 pints of Pauliner and Dunkelbrau. Check out the bill on the gallery if you don't believe it!
The game was definitely a hard fought action and actually a close run thing for the Austrians. The venue was great! The food...hell...good as usual! If you live in the DFW area, you should definitely be a part of our "Biergarten Series". I'm looking forward to the next game....a Franco Prussian game in 15mm using "Died for Glory" rules. It will be a "pay-back game" for the Prussians in this one!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Keep those dice on the table and your car outa' the ditch!
Posted by Steve Miller at 11:50 AM