Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Austerlitz - the North Flank

Austerlitz is difficult to simulate as a wargame in 28mm because of the sheer size of the battlefield, but the action on the plain at the north end of the battle makes a nice battle within a battle where Bagration's Corps fought Lannes' Corps.  In the real battle Bagration was supported by Leichenstein's Cavalry Corps & Lannes by part of Murat's cavalry Corps.  On this occasion we fought Bagration v. Lannes to keep the game to a size more manageable for 4 players on a Tuesday night.  We intend to fight the action again with the extra cavalry & a bigger table at a later date.
This pic is taken behind the Russian left at the start, the remaining pics are taken from behind the French line.  The Russians have their infantry in the centre with Cossacks on their right & their beter cavalry on their left.  The French have their single cavalry brigade in reserve behind their right.  The French have slightly more infantry, but the Russians have more cavalry & artillery.  The numbers are in favour of the Russians, but the French have better command.
Lannes attacks in echelon leading with his left.  Bagration responds by moving his infantry reserve to his right to extend the infantry line to the woods in front of the cossacks. 
Despite the French advantage in command, the Russians managed to re-deploy their right before the French attack struck their line.  The French charged in anyway without any preparation or numerical advantage.  They failed to get the luck they needed for such an attack & bounced off.  Seeing their left was now vulnerable to counter-attack Lannes sent his cavalry reserve to the left to provide support. 

After his infantry repulsed Lannes infantry on the far flank, Bagration counter-attcked with infantry & cossacks.  The mostly shaken French brigade was in big trouble, but Lannes' Hussars arrived in the nick of time & stopped the rot.  In the centre, Russian hussars have forced the French skirmishers back & the Line infantry into square making them fine targets for their artillery.  On their left, the Russian heavy brigade has failed to do much due to poor command dice.
The hussars now hold the line on the French left while the shaken infantry rally behind them.
On the left, the cavalry of both sides have fallen back behind the infantry. On the right, a line of French squares keeps the Russian cavalry at bay while absorbing the artillery fire.  The battle has turned into a stalemate with neither side keen to risk another attack.  The Russians claim victory on the grounds that they beat off the French attack.  The French claim victory on the grounds that they tied up superior numbers on their section of front while Napoleon won the battle elsewhere.

No comments: