Friday, July 17, 2015

French Counterattack!!

This is the second battle we fought on our way to Leipzig. Following-up the Allied defeat trying to cross the Bober River, the French began their Counterattack toward a combined Russo- Prusso- Austrian Army that was deployed on the outskirts of a town. The Allies had not much in the way of natural defenses to use in their favor and the French had the reformed Grand Armée bearing down on them. This time, Bob, Rich and myself had to hold off from a combined attack by Chris, Casey and Dave.

Roused at dawn by an early attack, Marschall von Blücher put down the boot of beer and let the courtesans go to sleep. He formed the 3rd Regiment, 2nd East Prussians at the edge of town, blocking the direct route. He sent his beloved Leibhusaren on a scouting mission and kept the rest of his cavalry as a reserve.

The Hussars did not have to travel far to find the French vanguard. From their knoll, they began counting battalion after battalion of Marie Louises coming straight for them. Off to the French left - Cuirassiers!

We mustn't stay here for much longer, Herr Leutnant!

Fusiliers skirmish alongside a 6pdr, who makes ready to stop the Crapauds

Before we knew it, the French were within pretty close range. I was fearful that they would form line and pound my Fusiliers into dust, so I brought up a reserve Silesian battalion on the right flank as an anchor, with cavalry support not too far behind. Along the road another battalion was brought forward.

Hu hu hu! Look at my outrageous striped pants, mon ami!

The Leibhusaren being hussars charged the despised French cavalry who out numbered them about two to one. "It is better to die under a Prussian sky, than live as a slave to the Ogre" was heard muttered by their officer.

The Silesians, who apparently forgot their flag in the tavern, formed line. The French had come within a stone's throw, but faltered in the face of Prussian lead and steel. To their right, the Hussars managed to hold off the French. They forced the Cuirassiers to fall back onto the hill that they had originally reconnoitered. The Dragoons and another squadron of Hussars charged, forcing the French into squares, and more importantly, giving the Musketeers an excellent target to unload on.

In the background is the next wave of French

More Prussian reserves marched forward in hopes of breaking the first French wave, who, due to a few poor die rolls, stood in place, taking round after round of musket volleys.

Grenadiers! Vorwärts!

Barely visible in the upper left corner of the picture below are the Austrians and Prussian Uhlans, who played a pivotal role on the Allied left flank. As the French approached they split, with about half going toward me and the other half toward Rich and Bob. The Russians held their ground stubbornly, turning the French like a quality pack turns a Rugby scrum. This allowed Bob's Austrian infantry and my Uhlans to crash into Dave's flanks in melee. In Black Powder this is pretty much an auto- kill.

Blücher watched his children from the road

The Allies ended up holding the town and defeating the French, for now. After a few battalions crumbled on the right, and since the left was a bog of broken men, we called it. The Prussians, err I mean  Allies had won a grand victory!

I think we managed to recreate the feel of battle well in this attempt. We finally have enough miniatures that we can have waves of attacks, instead of just line up and shoot, or limited engagements. We remarked how these two games went the complete opposite way we thought they would go. We all thought the Allies would storm over the bridges in game 1 and get completely rolled over in game 2. But that's why you roll the dice, right?

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