Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Napoleonic 28mm: Heilingen Michael 1809

Jim's Austrians v. Mike & Steve's French

The scenario was adapted from the San Miguel scenario in the Black Powder book, transposed to 1809:  A major battle is brewing and the hilltop town of Heilingen Michael is considered vital to both Napoleon & the Archduke Charles.  They have both sent a reinforced Division to secure it as an anchor to a flank in the big battle expected tomorrow.

The French start with their whole force of 3 brigades deployed on the south side of the Michaelfluss.  The Austrians have their 1st Brigade deployed between Heilinhen Michael and the Michaelfluss.  Their other 2 brigades are in a singe road column with its head at the north table edge. 
Pic of the south end of the table after the first turn.  Heilingen Michael is just off shot on the right.  The French got good command dice in the first turn and rushed forward across the stream.

On the left, the French hussars have been swept away by French dragoons and the grenz have fled from the French columns.  On the right grenz are making a stand in the farmhouse.  In the centre the Austrian battery is causing casualties, but is being outflanked.  The Austrian reinforcements look an awfully long way away from the advance guard (perhaps better called a forlorn hope).
The camera's been moved to the north end of the table.  The French have taken the town and advanced beyond it intent on really hurting the Austrians before they can properly deploy.  The 2nd Austrian brigade is still not fully on the table.  The 3rd is still down the road.
The Austrian 2nd brigade has used the field and vinyard as a strongpoint and have deployed just in time to meet the French and cover the deployment of the 3rd brigade.
The French have declined to charge the field & vineyard and opted to start a fire fight.  The Austrians deploy their dragoons to cover their right and launch a counterattack on their left.
On the right, the threat of passing fire from the vineyard has made the French cavalry wary of attacking the Austrian dragoons.  They continue to try to blast the Austrians out of the fields with musket & artillery fire.  The Austrian counterattack is having mixed success with the dice gods, but is making progress.
On the left the Austrians have now cleared the French flank but bad command dice is slowing any exploitation of the advantage.  The front line troops in the fields have broken, but the 2nd line is holding on.
The Austrian attack on the left has finally got moving and broken the French brigade on that flank.   They have also driven the French infantry back from the fields.  But with Austrian dragoons now without infantry support, the French horse have finally attacked.  The 2nd brigade's dragoons have broken and that loss broke the brigade.  That meant the Austrians had lost 2 of 3 brigades and thus failed their army break test.

So the battle was a French victory on 2 grounds:  They broke the enemy and they took the objective.  But it was a very entertaining battle and the Austrians took some solace in having inflicted pretty significant casualties on the French, breaking one division and mauling another.

We tried out a few tweaks to our "Hail Frederick" variation of Hail Caesar.  We tried reducing musket range to 12" as 18" is grossly out of scale with the ground scale if it's worked out from either battalion frontage or artillery range.   It made little difference to the combat as long range fire wasn't that effective anyway, but it did give us more room to manoeuvre - it effectively makes the table bigger by reducing no mans land.  We also tried a simpler Break test table modelled on Black Powder rather than Hail Caesar.   It's so simple we could remember it and didn't have to look up the table, yet it seemed to work just as well.  This battle had a lot of manoeuvre and fighting yet took less than 2 1/2 hours.  We are very pleased with the way Hail Fred's come together, and we are well and truly hooked on 28mm Napoleonics.

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