Steve hosted a number of us at his place yesterday and he had created a nice battlefield for us.
It was to be Austrians v Franco-Bavarians, Black Powder rules.
Ian, Martin & I had the Franco-Bavarians, Graham, Mike & Mick had the Austrians, Steve umpired and later on handled the late arriving Austrian brigade.
Here's the battlefield with the all important three cottages in the centre, the Austrians will come from the right, the Franco-Bavarians on the left
To start with we had two Bavarian brigades of four battalions each and they march across the centre - well mine did, Ian's brigade failed repeated command rolls and stayed back !
Likewise, the Austrians had two infantry brigades on, also focussed in the centre of their start line
Mick got a good low command roll which meant his brigade leapt forward (3 moves) and had the village in their grasp
My Bavarian brigade swept forwards and took the line of the centre road, facing Graham's advancing infantry
We were the first to get reinforcements - a French heavy cavalry brigade arrived on the left
Something low down is exciting the Austrian commanders, closely watched by Steve (still in full-on Christmas mode with a dodgy pullover !)
now the French see their heavy cavalry arrive - worryingly close to my open left flank !
One of my battalions has taken too much fire and withdrawn, disordered
Austrian grenadiers have now advanced right up to the woods on our left, leaving a nice gap for their heavy cavalry to push through, before their line infantry columns advance too far
With no time to lose, the Bavarian brigade commander orders a charge with his three remaining battalions against the two big Austrian battalions ahead
the Bavarian skirmishers have wisely stepped aside to let the lines get into action
the French cavalry declare a charge against the rear Bavarian unit, forcing them to adopt square formation - the Austrian cavalry "bounce" back as the square held.
Here's a closer look at the Austrian grenadiers, now threatening the Bavarian left
the Bavarians have won the melee and broken an Austrian battalion - they have gone !
To relieve the pressure, the Austrian cavalry declare another charge forcing both of the Bavarian battalions on the left into square. Again the cavalry bounce off the squares but this has succeeded in breaking up the Bavarian attack
Two Austrian guns have now caught up with the grenadiers and they can now fire at the Bavarian squares - good combined arms tactics !
At this point, we decided to go and help keep the Chequers in business !
Refreshed and refuelled, the first action of the afternoon is a charge by the French heavy cavalry
Going back a camera shot, this is their avenue of attack but the target is the enemy guns not the massed grenadiers
they take some flank fire but survive unscathed and hit the gunners who also fail to make any impact on them !
Over on our right, Martin's French infantry brigade has marched swiftly on and is attacking Mick's men holed up in the cottages
At last, Ian has persuaded his men to move and they head for the cottage on the left
Two powerful brigades are now hammering the Austrian occupied village
Meantime, my Bavarians have been taking a lot of fire from enemy artillery behind the village and the commander is having to use all his powers to keep the men under control, so attacking is off !
Back to the French cavalry attack - they reach the enemy gunners
and therefore, there can be no other outcome - bye bye French gunners and on to the enemy cavalry beyond, taking out one of them too !
but after that, they were blown and withdrew exhausted
fresh Austrian infantry attack my Bavarians - the unit behind is now unable to support them as they are facing the wrong way and disordered !
Martin's men are gradually wearing down the Austrian defenders but its hard work winkling them out of their cover
Disaster ! My Bavarians have taken too many casualties, two units have gone and the rest of the brigade will have to retire - if it can disengage itself from the fighting
Surely we can take these pesky cottages with all these men attacking ?
Martin has now got a light cavalry brigade on (lancers and hussars) and they are making their way around the back of the village as the Austrians send their cavalry round too
The lancers crash into an oncoming Austrian cuirassier regiment
with the hussars in support
These are the Austrian guns which did the damage on my poor Bavarians - swines !
And still the Austrians hold the village
despite the undivided attention of two of our brigades
Martin's lancers have beaten back the enemy cavalry but there are more !
With a big hole in our lines now my Bavarians have gone, the Austrian grenadiers advance - and a fresh Austrian infantry brigade marches on and heads straight for the village.
The cavalry carry on thrashing around behind the village - where Martin has at last taken one house !
but with Mick hanging on in the other two buildings and the enemy grenadiers now charging Ian's flank
whatever the Lancers achieve will not be enough to save the day
My heavy cavalry, having recovered, attempt to charge the Austrian grenadiers but fail to reach their gaping open right flank !
with more and more Austrian infantry arriving, we will have to break off the attack - its game over.
To mark the occasion, Mrs C kindly took a picture of all the combatants - come on, who wins the prize for best jumper ?!!
Good times !!!