A "Black Powder" game down at the club.
The Austrians have been trying to escape Napoleon's clutches but his army have caught up with them as they are trying to retreat over the bridge at Montereau ...
French on the left, Austrians on the right. Mike Fitz provided the French and Allan the Austrians for today's fight.
An impressive sight ... four battalions of Imperial Guard Chasseurs a Pied. I've got these beauties under my command ! Plus the foot artillery behind.
Not to be out done, some beautiful Austrian cavalry menace on the Austrian left, commended by Bob.
Steve Clarke took charge of the French on the left, I had the right.
The bulk of the Austrian army are still on the "wrong" side of the Seine and having to face covering their retreat somehow across the only bridge - the river is impassable.
French gunners being prepared for the fray
Steve's infantry move forward in column
I have a nice strong force of Cuirassiers to play with too ...
accompanied by Horse Artillery
Two Austrian infantry regiments are strung out in front of the woods bang in front of my position
These Austrians are facing towards Steve's force - you can see the bridge they need to use at the back of the shot.
Right, lets get these Guard infantry moving
Nappy himself watches to see what a mess I might make of it !
His opposite number with ADCs ...
The Cuirassiers decide to have a go at the Austrian infantry ...
Here's a long shot as Steve moves some troops up to fight Allan's men ...
First time, the Cuirassiers decide a feint attack and withdraw but next I threw a "double 6" which is a blunder - the effect was decided as an uncontrolled charge - oops !
The Austrian cavalry has decided to move forwards too just as the Guard get into the village
The Cuirassier charge actually worked
The French Horse Artillery cause some damage to the Austrian square not under cavalry attack ...
Steve's pushing his cavalry forward too in support of the infantry
Two Austrian cavalry units watch from the safety of the other bank but infantry and guns are still opposite my position as well as two other cavalry regiments
Cuirassiers have returned to lines after dispatching one complete Austrian regiment
Bet Napoleon is relieved !
One Austrian regiment has managed to escape carious the bridge
Their guns open up on my positions
Here's the Guard in and around the village
Steve's troops grind forwards en masse
and there is more action beyond the chateau too
Two of the Imperial Guard units deploy into line beyond the village
Here we see the forward Austrian brigade commander being blown to pieces !
The Austrian cavalry seeing the Imperial Guard advancing in line decide to have a go ...
The Guard suddenly find themselves enveloped on three sides by enemy infantry, guns and cavalry - maybe this wasnt such a smart move by the Guard commander !
Leaderless, the Austrian square pulls back ...
Steve's troops have got bogged down in front of the Austrian defensive line
But my Guard are having to form square being threatened by cavalry even though enemy infantry are bearing down on them too
At least one Guard unit has been able to avoid the mess on our right and attack an Austrian artillery battery, watched by the Cuirassiers
Unbelievably, the first round of combat is won by ... the Austrian gunners armed only with sponges and buckets - their fire had failed though !
Steve gets an attack going ...
and then finds his troops out numbered and flank threatened
His troops over on our left mass for an attack
View from behind the Austrian position at this stage
French troops have been beaten back
So Steve forms up another column attack left of the high ground instead
and round the other side of the chateau
Here's the Austrian view of my beleaguered Imperial Guard squares - holding on because we keep disrupting the Austrian infantry thus preventing a charge !
Austrian infantry try a charge against my Guard in line
And the Austrians facing Steve's centre move forwards, not back towards their bridge !
The Guard fight tenaciously
and the Austrians break - this creates a hole and separates the Austrian command - the Guard can see the bridge now !
The French Horse Artillery move up to exploit the position - unseen by the Austrians beyond the hedge line.
With the Cuirassiers and guns in support of the Guard in line, the Austrian left now has to hurry to get back to the bridge or be cut off
However, because Allan has held up the French attack on our left and kept the bridge open,
and enough Austrians in front of my position are still in good order
Mike decides that the Austrians have done enough to scrape a minor victory - enough troops would be able to extricate themselves from the French clutches he feels.
All good fun and perhaps I do like Black Powder more than I thought before. Indeed, Steve and I will probably have another game tomorrow in the Billericay War Rooms just to see if we feel the same then !