The main thing about fighting solo is that you can take your time, one move per night or three or four, it's up to you, and because there are no time restrictions you can recreate the tactics of the period (as you believe them to be) as they should have been fought at the time. The tendency when gaming with others is to rush to a conclusion doing things which may not have been done because Tom, Dick or Harry need to get home by 10 o'clock. None of that here.
Rules, General De Brigade.
As stated in the title the game was set in Austrian owned Belgium during the French invasion of 1794. French general Augereau force of three infantry brigades, one brigade of cavalry and an 9pdr foot battery has been ordered to push on towards the town of Vilenu, a vital river crossing point for the liberation of Belgium. To do this he decided to occupy and defend a large hill on the French left with Victor's brigade, hold the far right with Davins four cavalry regiments and soften up then assault the Austrian center with the 9pdr artillery and three infantry brigades.
Opposing him was General Alvincy commanding two large infantry brigades, one cavalry brigade and a 3pdr artillery battery. He decided to place the three battalion brigade (36 figures each) of Major General Kray in the center of his line with Major General Lutzow on his right with two huge 48 figure battalions and the four gun 3pdr battery in support. On the open plain on his left he ordered his two large light cavalry regiments to drive off the opposing French and pin down their infantry attack.
Basically hold in the center and attempt to envelop both flanks, ambitious but the Republicans were only an undisciplined rabble, drive them back on their supports, tumble them over the border and on to Paris!
With both the French and Austrian cavalry on Assault orders a clash on the open plain
on the French right was not long in coming. Here the French 13th Chasseurs and 14th dragoons (both classed as conscript) attack the Austrian Kaiser Franz Hussars (superior mounts):
The Hussars rout both French regiments (which subsequently dispersed) and retire to their own lines:
A view of the center of the field as the French Chassurs a pied push forward towards the Austrian lines:
While Lutzow's two large Austrian battalions start their advance on the Austrian right:
The Austrian 4th Chevaulegers then took up the challenge of the two remaining French cavalry regiments, the French 3rd Dragoons counter charged (12th Hussars failed their moral and stayed where they were) but were driven back in disorder, the French cavalry looked in trouble already:
In the centre the French Chasseurs a pied continue to press forward:
On the Austrian right flank the 2nd battalion IR9 of Lutzow's brigade advances to the top of the hill driving the French skirmishers back on their supports (Victor's brigade):
Austrian 3pdrs firing in support:
The two sides exchange fire:
Back in the centre the French advance continues masking the deployment of the 9pdr artillery battery:
It was now time for Duphot's reserve brigade to advance in support of the French center. Augereau galloped over to change his orders failed to achieve the desired dice roll, therefore Duphont attempted to do this on his own initiative and promptly rolled a double one! this results in an order one lower than the Hold order he had i.e. Retire, bollocks!
Even though it began the battle with 48 figures the Austrian 2nd battalion IR 9 is now starting to be worn down and has reached 25% suffering 5 casualties in one turn, a double six throw from the skirmishers on their flank and three more from the two battalions in front (the battalion at bottom left of the picture is in open order while the other is in column). This causes a morale test on the Austrians who become unformed, the French column charges but is thrown back and when attempting to rally disperse causing a Brigade Morale Test which Victor fortunately pass:
The Austrian C in C Alvincy rushes across to make sure that Lutzow's brigade swings to it's left after destroying Victor, but the French rally, advance back up the hill for a third time and throw the Austrian 2nd battalion IR9 back through it's supporting 1st battalion disordering them and wounding Lutzow who retires to get his wound dressed.
The two Austrian battalions intermingled:
A general view of the centre of the field at this time, Duphot's reserve brigade finally arriving ready to fall on Krays left flank. The Austrian cavalry brigade should have seen off the French cavalry opposite them and have been in a position to prevent this flanking manoeuvre but to their shame they failed dispose of their weaker opponents:
The French Chassurs a pied withdraw allowing the 9 pdr battery to blast canister into the Austrian ranks, Duphot's brigade then advances to deliver the final attack:
Alvincy who has ridden back to the crisis point is almost killed as French skirmishers take pot shots at him (double six on the dice but he has shot of brandy and carries on). 3rd battalion 2nd Demi brigade charges into the Austrian line throwing it back:
The Austrian 3pdr battery can be seen in the background limbering up and making off pursued by the French skirmishers:
This was the end, Alvincy's troops had been driven off the ridge and were streaming away back towards Vilenu covered by Lutzow's brigade and flanked by the remaining Austrian cavalry.
Looking back I should have placed Lutzow's two huge but unmanoeuvrable 48 figure battalions in the centre of their line to soak up the French attack and used the three smaller battalions for the flank attack. However the Austrians were ultimately let down by their cavalry who should have easily have destroyed their French opponents who were badly horsed and led due to the many officers who fled the revolution.
For the French the tactics were sound. Occupy the flanks, weaken the center and then deliver the final thrust using the reserves, tactics I'm sure many gamers would like to use but simply don't have the time to complete during a normal club night.
May need to get some Austrian Grenadiers though. Oh dear!!!!