|French coup de main takes Unterlobien - under the noses of my troops who failed to move!|
The French VIII Corps under Marshal Mortier is advancing along the north bank of the Danube whilst the main French forces under Napoleon are racing along the south bank towards to Vienna. The Russian army has crossed to the north bank joining small Austrian forces and intend to retreat into Bohemia. The allies convinced Marshal Mortier that they would retreat from the area of the Lobiens leaving only a small rearguard. As The French begin their advance to the east they meet advancing allied troops who they apparently outnumber whilst the hidden Russian reserves are moving north thru the mountain paths to fall on the French left flank.
How the Game Played
The French players were Colin Jack and Hugh Wilson whilst myself and Mr Ray Neal commanded the allied Russians and Austrians. We used 66% ranges and movement and the revised turn sequence (Initiative moves, Firing, Commanded moves, Close combat). Given the poor state of Austrian morale at this point in the 1805 campaign I only gave them a morale of 5+. The allies could not form attack columns as they still believed in linear tactics in this campaign.
|Confident French columns go in against the linear Austrians and lose|
Both sides deployed about 8” onto the table. Between them were the villages of Oberloiben and Unterloiben. The allies deployed with the Austrians on their left and the Russians on the right partly behind Unterloiben. The combined cavalry brigade was held of the table as tactical reserve. Colin’s French brigade advanced rapidly against the Austrians while Hugh commanding the other brigade and the cavalry moved on the Russians. My Russian command rolls were so poor that my troops did not move for 3 moves during which time the French rushed a battalion into Unterloiben using a follow me order. Colin’s 4 battalions in attack columns engaged the 2 front line battalions of Ray’s Austrians. Colin had a battalion in each combat each supported by a battalion in the rear. Both of the combats was drawn in the first round. However the engaged units in one of the combats had become shaken and had to take a break test – the Austrians retired whilst the French column broke and it’s supporting column retreated. The next turn the other melee was resolved in favour of the Austrians with the engaged French column breaking followed by it’s support also breaking.
|French left wing - cavalry moved to the centre to meet the allied sabres|
The French cavalry attempted to charge the Allied combined cavalry which had moved onto the table south of Unterloiben but tragically for them fell short. My Russian artillery scored 3 hits disordering them then they were charged by the Austrian Hesse-Homburg Hussars supported by the Pavlograd hussars. The Dragoons broke as did their supporting Hussars…..Urragh! On the far allied right Hugh’s other 3 battalions had engaged my Russian line. The French got 2 columns into combat supported by the third whilst my Russian line was supported by a battalion and a gun. The first round proved a draw as I saved 8 of the 10 hits scored by the columns. In the next round the French only scored1 hit on me from 12 dice and my battalion won the melee. One of the engaged French columns broke and their supporting column also broke.
|My Russian line about to beat 2 French columns....|
It was an amazing turn as the French tested 8 units with break tests and 6 of them failed with most of them having no excess hits! Truly appalling dice rolling by the French commanders. The game ended at this point turn 6 – as a glorious allied triumph - as there were only 3 French battalions still on the table and none of the reserves had arrived. The allies lost no units….
|Glory - the Allied cavalry at their moment of triumph - both French regiments broke|
Here are the Player Briefings and OBs
Allied OB and Notes
1st Russian Brigade4 Infantry Btns, 2 Foot guns
1st Austrian Brigade4 Infantry Btns, Foot gun
Combined Cavalry BrigadeAustrian Hussar Regt, Russian Hussar
2nd Russian Brigade4 Infantry Btns, Foot gun
3rd Russian Brigade
4 Infantry Btns, Foot gun
Russian Cavalry Brigade2 Hussar Regts
The allied reserves arrive from turn 7 down the northern passes. The brigades arrive down each of the passes running east to west consecutively.
French OB and Notes
1st French Brigade4 Infantry Btns, Foot gun
2nd French Brigade4 Infantry Btns, Foot gun
1st French Cavalry BrigadeDragoon Regt, Hussar Regt, Horse gun
3rd Allied Brigade4 Infantry Btns, Foot gun
The 3rd Brigade is off-table marching to the sound of the guns.
Arrives fromTurn 3-4 appear on a dice roll of a 6
Turn 5+ appear on a dice roll of 5-6.