Saturday 20 December 2014

Dresden style.

Hi all,
It's been a while since my last post. Time has been against me since starting my new job. I've still managed to play a lot, just not had the time for blogging.

On Sunday 14th the gang got together for one of the big games I put on once in a while. December sees a number of the group with birthdays (including mine) so it's a great way to celebrate.

This game was loosely based on the battle of Dresden. It was too big to do a detailed AAR but I'll give an overview with lots of pics.

In essence the french forces were holding a town against an allied attack. They deployed to the south of the town. The allied army was a combination of Austrian, Prussian and Russian forces. They out numbered the French overall. The French deployed first holding all objectives but were only allowed to deploy approximately half their forces initially. This was to represent the initial forces holding Dresden that were then reinforced by the arrival of Napoleon. A number of objectives were distributed around the battlefield.

The French army totalled 33 Infantry battalions (mostly conscript), 24 Cavalry Regiments and 8 artillery batteries (a mix of heavy, foot and horse).

The Austrian army totalled 25 Infantry battalions (including Jager, Grenzer and Grenadiers), 8 Cavalry Regiments and 3 Artillery batteries.

The Prussian contingent totalled 16 Infantry battalions (1 old regiment, 2 Reserve regiments, 2 Landwehr and a jager battalion), 8 Cavalry regiments and 2 artillery batteries.

And finally the Russian forces were 11 Infantry battalions, 5 cavalry regiments and 2 heavy artillery batteries.

The allies could start the game with all there forces on table except any heavy cavalry and the Austrian Grenadier brigade. However they could bring these reserve forces or any forces held back on table when ever they wanted to.

The view from the allied right wing where the Austrian forces were deployed.

The view from the allied center where the Russians were formed up.

The view from the Allied left wing where the Prussians were deployed.

Another view as the Prussians prepared their assault.

And another view.

View of the Austrains from behind the French left wing.

The French massed their artillery in the centre opposite the Russians.

View from behind the French right wing.

View down the battlefield from the allied right.

The Austrians advance.

An early cavalry clash on the French left. The Austrian regiment was seen off by the French.

The Prussians launch thier assault and bring their heavy cavalry on early.

On the allied right wing the first Austrian assaults go in with some success.

And the Prussian assault on the allied left wing takes shape.

In the centre the Russians are rather perturbed by the French grand battery in the centre.

They looked nice though!

The Prussians are ponderous in their attack

And the Russians hold back.

Overview of the early Austrian attack.

The Austrian assaults begin to force the French back from their field fortifications.

And the Russians finally spark in to life...... errr ...... by frontally charging one of the French grand batteries!!!!! I'm sure I don't have to tell you the outcome!

The Prussian assault evolves, now with cavalry support. But the French held firm against the odds.

Although available from turn 2 the French commander held on to his reserves until around turn 5. Then brought them on en mass. An infantry division supported by heavy cavalry and elements of the guard.

The reserve cavalry advances to threaten the advancing Russians.

Infantry columns advance to support the threatened French left flank.

The Austrian try to break through on the French left before the French reserves take up their positions. But this cavalry assault failed.

The Austrians again assault the field works having failed to hold it earlier.

Overview of the French left flank with reserves pouring in (right of picture).

The Prussians appear in a great position on the allied right but fail to take advantage. (Note the cavalry retreating at the back!).

The Austrians finally force the French from their defences.

In the centre the newly arrived French Dragoon brigade support the beleaguered infantry.

The Russians falter in front of the French artillery (losing more cavalry!).

View from behind the Austrian position.

Now the French cavalry fancy their chances in front of the Russian heavy grand battery!!

French heavy cavalry arrive to support the French right flank.

Prussian Landwehr advance on the bridge.

Birdseye view of the allied right and centre right.

View down the battle field.

The Prussian advance stagnates.

French cavalry now threaten the Prussian infantry.

French cavalry support the French centre left position.

With support from the cavalry the French infantry on the right advance out of thier defences.

French infantry reserves now threaten the Austrian advance and pour into the walled gardens.  

The French far left gets much needed support.

And now the French can threaten the Austrian flank.

Apparently unable to learn from previous events, French Hussars hurl themselves at the Russian guns and fail........again!!

The battle draws to a close with the now reinforced French left flank effectively thwarting any hopes of an Austrian breakthrough (despite the Austrian superiority in numbers). The Austrian dice throwing was pretty bad!!!

In the centre any threat from the Russian was blunted by the presence of the French cavalry.

Having used up their cavalry early the Russians were now in disarray.

The French had stabilised their position on their right, halting the ponderous Prussians.

And successfully counter attacking.

A late Austrian advance brings some success but the allies accepted their fate and the game ends.

The game ended with the allies failing to make enough of a breakthrough before the French reserves arrived. For me this game was characterised by the allies being a bit overwhelmed by the size of their own forces. We are so used to playing small games that big battle management can be difficult. 

Despite having a much superior force overall, the allies struggled with spacing as they opted to bring everything on at the same time. They deployed their cavalry early and used it with poor effect. It meant that once the French cavalry arrived the allies lacked any thing to counter it. Despite this it took some valiant defending by the French to hold their positions until their reserves arrived. All great stuff :-)

These big games are essentially a good excuse for us to get all our forces on table. They are always good fun and look spectacular. A great way to celebrate a birthday. It was a great day and I'd like to thank all who took part for making it special.