Sunday, February 11, 2007

Camp Cromwell 08/02/07

Marengo 1800

Frogs: MarkO & SteveP
Ostriches: Renfrey & SteveJ

The historic scenario had the Frogs outnumbered and hanging on until Desaix arrived late in the day. The points values of the 2 armies were close, but not until the Frog reinforcements arrived. The terrain was very crowded with lots of vinyards, villages, swamps & ditches.

The Austrian plan was to pin the French in front while outflanking the French right.
The French moved all their cavalry and their reserve infantry to their right rear to meet the flank attack.
The Austrian attack was realistically delayed at times by the activation rules, plus the frogs had the advantage of lots of defensive terrain.
The Frogs eventually lost all their initial army, but they did hold on until Desaix came on the table on turn 18 and they inflicted significant casualties.
Desaix came up and attacked immediately, arriving just in time to hit some of the victorious Austrian cavalry & infantry before they could regroup.
The French heavy cavalry rode down the Austrian Hussars, the other surviving Hussars were caught in a vinyard by infantry & routed. The other infantry division routed 2 depleted Austrian infantry divisions in quick succession to complete the French victory. In the pic Desaix has come on from the right & the Austrians are about to break. Marengo is the walled village left of centre.

When Desaix arrived the French army was a mess & it looked like he was too late. We all thought that without a specific rule to force the Austrians into road column to pursue, the French couldn't win. But no such rule was required. The last of the original Frogs held on just long enough so the Austrians didn't have enough time to organise a sound defence. Poor Austrian activation cost them too - for instance some Hussars got stuck in a vinyard & failed to get out of the way of the approaching foot. Even the dice changed sides when Desaix arrived (a sneaky move by SteveP to slip around the other side of the table & swipe Renfrey's dice). In the end, the battle followed the original script with uncanny accuracy.

The revamped rules worked pretty well - we got through more than 24 turns of a 30,000 a side battle in about 3 hours. Maybe I need to do a bit more work on some of the close combat nuances.

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