Yesterday saw another visit to Steve's Goldhanger War Rooms for a further game of Black Powder.
He had the French under the command of the masterly Marshal Macron whilst I had a combined Austrian & Prussian command commanded by General von Merkle.
Here's the battlefield as we are about to deploy troops, French on the left, Austro-Prussians on the right.
We each had four brigades of infantry, two of cavalry and two batteries of artillery. We diced to see what would arrive immediately, other brigades would come on later on a roll of 5 or 6 on a 6 sided die. Below you can see the early Prussian and Austrian arrivals
and here are the French
Both French cavalry brigades were on from the start, whereas no Alllied cavalry were to be seen !
The French also won the initiative so started first.
The French light cavalry were mad keen and dashed across the board
as French and Confederation infantry march to the centre of the battlefield
Here's Macron urging them on
and a cavlry brigade commander doing likewise
Allied first turn - Prussian Landwehr march into the wooded area on our left flank
and both Austrian and Prussian artillery batteries advance left of centre.
as two Austrian brigades get going - the far one has already taken an enclosed field near our right flank.
The French light cavalry spot movement amongst the trees.
and the French infantry observe the approaching enemy columns.
The French have allocated their guns to the infantry brigades - here's one limbered advancing with the columns.
A Cuirassier brigade is held in reserve behind the French lines.
The Prussian Landwehr continue to occupy the wooded area
and send their skirmishers forward to harass the enemy light cavalry
An infantry stand off ! One French brigade watches the approach of two enemy ones.
Deciding cavalry are not the answer on the French right flank, an infantry brigade is ordered forward as the cavalry pull back
The lull before the storm !
The Austrians have pushed forward some skirmishers against the enemy on the hill
as the brigade awaits the order to attack
Austrian Landwehr are still in march column but the line infantry have changed into attack columns
the brigade next to them are in mixed order, some in line, some in attack column
again with skirmishers out front
The Prussians have deployed their guns as the Austrian gunners are still wheeling theirs into position
The French build an attack against the Prussian occupied woods.
At last ! Some Allied cavalry arrive - Austrian hussars take position behind the guns.
The Austrian brigade commanders are still trying to organise an assault so the skirmishers are very much alone for now !
French infantry advancing on the right are taking fire from the enemy artillery - smoke means disorder
Charge ! Austrian infantry attack ahead in large numbers
as their sister brigade assaults the hill
so melees all along the lines !
another Allied cavalry brigade has arrived - Uhlans and Dragoons.
The Prussian and Austrian batteries continue to pour fire on the French infantry threatening the woods
as another Prussian brigade arrives - line infantry.
The Landwehr have charged the French line in front of them, watched by their skirmishers
Here's the head of the Prussian column about to receive closing fire from the French
Elsewhere, bayonets are being crossed in a fierce struggle
Against the odds, the single French battalion holding the hill holds off four enemy battalions - for now
Austrian columns have hit French lines and even the gunners are fighting
a French battery waits for the right moment to let loose
The gunners opposite already have hot barrels !
Austrian cavalry brigade commander assesses his options
In the centre, both sides have taken casualties but the French have given ground and lost a gun too
Beaten back once, the Austro-Prussian brigade decides to assault the hill again
The Prussian Landwehr attack has failed near the woods and a battalion has fallen back disordered.
Much to Steve's relief, the final French infantry brigade (which includes an Imperial Guard battalion) arrives out on the left flank (it had wandered off after a Blunder had sent it beyond the battlefield !)
Spotting an opportunity, French cavalry charge some shaken Austrian battalions in the centre
One Austrian unit is blown away but the one behind it stands strong and disorders the French cavalry - they will withdraw but only after causing some damage.
So even though the French infantry brigade has broken after the melees, the French cavalry have thrown the Austrians into some confusion too.
Just in time, the Austro-Prussian brigade has broken the French battalion on the hill - but a fresh French brigade gets ominously closer
Austrian officers try to rally their men in the centre
Charge ! The newly arrived French brigade attacks the Austrians on and around the hill
but the Austrians beat them off - one French battalion has broken.
Now the Prussian element of the brigade attacks the French who have briefly recaptured the hill
They go after a struggle - the Austrian have the hill !
Left of the Allied guns, a Prussian brigade has advanced and taken the high ground to the right of the woods
The French left brigade (Imperial Guard) try and attack once more, this time headed by the Poles
The Prussians have taken the ground to the right of the woods
Not wanting to miss the action, the Austrian Uhlan/Dragoon commander throws his brigade forward against the French light cavalry- and gets bested by the Red Lancers - Uhlans gone ! But the Dragoons hold on.
Meantime, the Austrians in the centre have rallied and about to advance once more, watched by the Prussians on the high ground.
The other Austrian cavalry brigade has been making its way around to the far right and with the enemy attacks there faltering and breaking, they are a real threat to the French left wing.
With two infantry brigades broken and the Austro-Prussian army holding firm all along the line, the French concede and attempt to retire behind the screen of their Cuirassier brigade
Merkle has bested Macron !!!
This was a real see-saw of a game with carefully conceived attacks by both sides not getting the results they expected - such as one French battalion stopping a large powerful brigade of Austrian and Prussian troops for two turns, buying enough time for a fresh French brigade to arrive, only for that to fail !
All good fun though.