Today we had our first practice game for our Battle of Wagram mega-game project, planned to be fought over a weekend late in 2018...I first blogged about the concept of the project and called for volunteers here: Wagram - Call for Volunteers
I was very lucky and privileged in that well over a dozen wargamers from all over Australia responded to my megalomaniacal call for a massive game. But as you can imagine, few are going to travel inter-state for a mere practice game - so today it was simply, L-R: Victor, Philip, Terry, Vic, Caesar and Alejandro.
We have been struggling to paint up sufficient numbers of Austrians, and we are still well behind the curve. But I was still impressed with the size of the Austro-Hungarian army's infantry component we were able to assemble so far- six infantry brigades of 4 large Infantry Regiments :
We also had 6 Regiments of Cavalry in reserve off table - unfortunately they did not deploy in this game. Amongst us we have unlimited numbers of French models, but for today, to give the French something of a challenge, they had a mere 4 brigades of infantry. However they had all their reserve cavalry either on table or in reserve - 2 light regiments, 8 Cuirassier Regiments, and 2 Dragoon Regiments!
|Just the first Division of Cuirassiers!|
|Alejandro and his son Victor - these guys held the Austrian centre...|
|A large Regiment in Division Mass - Has no flanks or rear, but can still move...|
Some of the new rule supplements apply to all armies and easily and quickly give a much more Napoleonic feel...
and remove some of the room for interpretation so beloved of rules lawyers:
There are also some interesting new rules that make cavalry much more interesting:
As it happened in the excitement we only tried the Cavalry Deep Formation, but it worked really well for the French, and allowed much more involvement on a crowded battlefield:
So to the game itself, and how we found these new rules. Naturally Vic, on the far left, made full use of the excellent French C2, certainly compared to the Austrians, to move his infantry division right up close and personal without bothering with too much in the way of preliminary bombardment or skirmishing:
Whereas Philip, in the French centre, put in a virtuoso performance of sending in the voltigeurs and artillery to soften up Baumersdorf before any thought of an assault:
On my flank over on the right, Terry had command of the French cavalry, only about half of which was on table. But it was enough - he didn't muck around either!
The effect of the Russbach brook, by the way, was only to disorder any actual charge moves made across it. Terry took that risk, and, because my infantry was in Division Mass instead of square, could make his cavalry charge home, rather than having to bounce back.
But was this a good thing? At this stage neither of us knew!
were bouncing the French columns back most of the time.
However, against Terry's Cuirassiers, it wasn't quite so easy to hold the line!
And gaps soon started to appear!
Which allowed him to launch well ordered attacks from the right side of the brook...
After a few blunders, the French Reserve cavalry hove into view...
But look in vain for pictures of the lovely Austro-Hungarian cavalry, because our poor command ratings left it all well out of battle!
So now we will all ponder how the new rules worked, how they will affect our scenario, and which to adopt. Given that the Austrians were in a pre-positioned, static defence, their C2 shortcomings weren't as much of a problem as I had feared, and it was the French team who were up against it in this scenario, and they did well to challenge us the way they did!
|You can almost hear the cogs turning...|