Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The Battle of Two Farms

Today, we descended on Graham's place for another Napoleonic Black Powder game, this time French v Austrians.

This was an encounter game with two farms as the only features.  Graham & Barry played the French, Steve and I the Austrians.

The French had 3 four battalion brigades of infantry (12 battalions in total), a heavy cavalry brigade, a light cavalry brigade and a four gun battery of guns.
Our Austrians had 4 brigades of infantry (13 battalions in total), a light cavalry brigade, a heavy cavalry brigade with a gun attached to each infantry brigade.

These are the two farms in the title - this one on the right of the Austrian lines 

This one on our left.

Start view from extreme left of the Austrian position

This is the Austrian light cavalry brigade

Here's a view from right of the Austrian lines.

This is the view from the French side

And here's the French C-in-C

and the Austrian one in the centre of this picture.

The Austrian infantry lines

Here's the Austrian heavy cavalry brigade.

Massed Austrian infantry, skirmishers out front

The French Grand Battery beside the French heavy cavalry 

Commanders planning their first moves !

My first move was to charge the Austrian Hussars across the board - my Uhlans unfortunately declined to join in ! 

The Austrian heavy cavalry sit it out and watch the infantry advance instead.

On our right, Steve advances a brigade towards the fields

His other infantry units move forward as the skirmishers have sprinted ahead to the left of the farm.

Graham's French lancers tangle with the Austrian hussars

Barry has managed to get an infantry brigade to the edge of the farm, now occupied by Austrian Jagers.

The Austrian hussars have lost the melee and retreated behind the Uhlans

so the French lancers do a "sweeping advance" and crash into the next hussar unit

they too "bounce' back behind the Uhlans but the French lancers have now reached their stamina limit so no further advance possible.

Barry has now got his left hand brigade forward and they enter the fields

Steve has charged a unit of Austrian grenadiers against the enemy left of the farm

as more Grenadiers come up in support.

French brigade commander lead his men by example !

These Jagers are up against four enemy battalions !

Another French infantry brigade advances centre of the battlefield, closely watched by their opposite number.

Austrian troops change formation to Line.

The French battery has moved forward and deployed ready for action.

The Austrian light cavalry "lick their wounds" and their CO needs to get casualties down.

A reckless Austrian battalion got ahead of the rest of the brigade and is pounced on by the advancing French.

Steve and Barry's infantry battle beside the farm goes on with supports added into the action.

The French have pushed the Austrian skirmishers back and have entered the farm yard

so heavy fighting is now going on in and around the farm !

The Austrians have managed to deploy a gun as support

View from behind the French side of the battle for the farm.

The French guns are now raining fire on the enemy infantry in front of them

This has turned into quite a "ding dong" !

Although the French heavy cavalry look less than impressed.

Graham's French infantry brigade adds support to the fight with the one Austrian battalion in front of them

The odds are not good for the Austrians !

Disaster for the Austrians ! The Grenadiers broke and took their support battalion with them. With only one battalion left, the brigade is classed as broken so they all have to go - including their artillery piece.

Amazingly, the single Austrian battalion facing a whole enemy brigade stands its ground

and only retires in good order after seeing off one enemy battalion !

Belatedly, the rest of the brigade moves forward to help them out.

Steve has now sent a line regiment into the attack where the Grenadiers were formerly fighting

T'other side of the farm, the French have strung out into line to continue the fight

The Austrians have stopped the rot left of the farm by destroying one enemy unit

Graham threw a "blunder" when trying to get his light cavalry brigade together - nett result, half the French light cavalry move in the wrong direction and end up next to the Heavy cavalry brigade !

Steve's on a roll !  His infantry right of the farm have broken two enemy battalions now.

Time for the Austrian infantry in the centre to show their mettle.

Faced with three battalions heading their way, the line prepares to fire

Still quiet on the Austrian left - the enemy lancers have lined out beside their guns. Our troops are still busy reforming.

The Austrian light cavalry commander is slowly bringing them back into shape.

The French attempt to charge in the centre but the Austrian infantry defensive fire is so effective that they flinch before contact.

The French have to dice in a break test

and do break taking their support battalion with them.

The Austrian infantry now advance and take the field adjacent to the farm on our left.

The Austrian light cavalry have now reformed - casualties down to a manageable level, so this flank is secure. 

The Austrian Cuirassiers choose this moment to move behind the centre infantry brigade ready to threaten the retreating French on their left - all three French infantry brigades are falling back as they have been "broken" in the melees and fire fights with the Austrian infantry.

At this point the French conceded - they would use their unbroken cavalry to cover a withdrawal, leaving the field of battle to the Austrians.

Another enthralling game of Black Powder !