Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Gorodeczna 1812

This was an unusual Napoleonic battle:  Austrians & Saxons v. Russians on the flank of the French advance past Smolensk.  The French Allies have more troops on the battlefield, but the Russians are the rearguard of the main army and their objective is only to hold out until nightfall to cover it's retreat. Rules: Hail Frederick, our Hail Caesar adaption for the era.

French Allies (Schwarzebberg)
Austrian Corps (Frimont): Mark: 3 Infantry divs of 4 inf & a battery.
Saxon Corps (Reynier): Jim: 2 Infantry divs each of 4 inf & a battery + 1 cav div of 4 light cav.

Russians (Torrmassov)
IX Corps (Kamensky): Chris: 1 inf div of 5 inf, 2 batteries & 1 hussar + 1 cav div of 4 light cav.
X Corps Markov): Mike: 2 inf divs of 5 inf, 2 batteries & 1 hussar.

The 2 French Corps commanders have Comand Rating 8.  All the rest have command rating 7 on the grounds that the Russians were incompetent & the Austrians & Saxons didn't want to be there. 
The Russians could have deployed anywhere in the rectangle bordered by the river & the perdendicular line across the table from the nearest swamp.  They chose to deploy back from the river, Kamenski ofn the far flank. The Saxon infantry are on the road in the foreground, their cavlry is off table over the near edge.  The Austrians are on the two roads leading to the bridges from the LHS of the table.  They chose to put 2 divs on the near road, 1 on the far road.  They all colud start using command dice to enter the table deployed in battle formation on turn 1, 2 or 3 as decided by dice.
The Saxon inf have begun to deploy as their cavalry come on on turn 2. One Austian div has turned up on the far flank.
By turn 4 the Saxons have deployed into lines.  Another Austrian div has come on, but the first one hasn't advanced since coming on..
All the Allies are on the table now, but Tratenberg on the far flank & the Saxon cav have refused to move since coming on.  The steady Saxon attack planned by Reynier has been thrown into some chaos by half one div blundering forward into the mouths of the Russian guns.  The joys of Hail Caesar!
Two Saxon columns have charged the Yegers between the batteries on the corner of the Russian line, broken them & swept on into their supports.  But their cormades on the each flank have not advanced in support.
The Saxon infantry have made a hole in the Russian line at the angle but they still lack supports to exploit it & one of the columns has been broken.  The Austrian advance is depressingly historically correct.  The Saxon cavalry seem to having afternoon tea.
Reynier finally gets some support up to the spearpoint and has taken out the Russian artillery . 
The Austrians are finally putting some pressure on the Russian centre, but Kamensky on the far flank still hasn't even crossed the river.  Russian hussars are covering the withdrawal of Markov's infantry as the Saxon cavalry are still sipping tea.
The orderly Russian withdrawal continues, but the Saxon cavalry has finally advanced - only to he held up by one Russian hussar unit.  Reynier has reorganised his infantry and is following u p the Russian retreat. The Austrians are now pushing the Russian centre back.
 Russian counterattacks with foot & horse have stalled the Austrian advance on the far flank as night aproaches.  Reynier just can't catch up with retreat on the near flank.
It's 10 o'clock real time, so nightfall ends the battle.  The Russians have had 3 infantry, 1 cavalry & 4 batteries broken.  The Saxons & Austrians had 1 inf each broken.  There are a lot of shaken & near shaken units on both sides.  So the result was the same as historical.  The Russians lost more men but held on until nightfall and made an orderly withdrawal.

It was the first time we'd fought a battle with such low command ratings.  Even with a lot of Corps & Army commanders to provide re-rolls it made progress painfully slow.  Kamenski still hasn't crossed the river on the far flank & the Saxon cavalry did bugger all.  But that was exactly the sort of thing that happened in the real battle.  It's frustrating, but realistic.  The battle was great fun regardless.

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