Sunday, January 17, 2016

Burghausen: an Age of Eagles 'what if'.

The commanders. The inimitable Armando Signore and the inestimable John Brock, I'm the chubby guy in the middle. The scenario is a 'what if' hypothetical set a few days after Leipzig 1813 as the French are retreating and trying to make it back to France. This allowed me to use most of my dudes, from Saxons to Poles to Bavarians to Swedes to Prussian and Russians and a few French. The first guy who points out why this is historically inaccurate gets a special trip from me to your house to kick you in the nuts. This wasn't meant to be a picture perfect moment in history, rather an excuse to get as many guys on the table as possible. Let it go.
The French were greatly outnumbered but I tried to give them more leaders to help in their command rolls to handle brigades, making them a little better to handle. The Allies had a lot more cavalry but it was really the Russian artillery that did in the French. They had 6 heavy batteries and an artillery leader who could form a Grand Battery and pounded the French and Poles into the great beyond.  So much so that the Russian infantry never even got in the fight as they sat and watched their artillery do it's deathly work.
The assembled forces before deployment.
Most of the forces deployed. This is looking from behind the Russian portion of the Allied set-up. The Allies won the 'recon' roll I invented, so the French chose their side of the table and set up first. The Allied commander got a 10 second look at the set up before a blind was set up across the table while he set up based on his 'intelligence' of the French set up. Each side also had some troops designated as flank marchers with a short side of the table secretly picked and a d6 roll to determine their turn of entry. The French had some Westphalian infantry, a few artillery and two brigades on cavalry, one a heavy but small unit of dragoons. Unfortunately, our roll was a '6' so they were delayed as long as possible. The Allies had a 'allied' division of Saxon, Bavarians and Swedes and rolled a '2'. It was to be the Polish undoing as they came in right in their flank. By the time our Westphalians came in, also on the exact same spot (!), it was too late to salvage that flank.
Looking over the Prussian right towards Burghausen. The French divisions of Bartoo and Piche make up the strong center facing them.
This shows the allies reinforcements entering in the lower left corner.The Poles are trying to turn to face them but by doing so expose their flank to the Russian artillery. It was a bad place to be. The Polish cavalry, lower center, is capital 'F' Fucked.
The massed Russians looking into Burghausen. Their heavy cavalry in the lower left essentially had the day off. Who doesn't like free vodka? Their elite Grenadiers also spent all day in Brigade Mass waiting for th eorder to give the French the pointy end. It never came. (BTW, is that the Michigan State marching band there in the center?)
The French slide a brigade over from Piche's Division to support the Poles.(It didn't help.) Between the lines, Polish lancers and Russian hussars skirmish. The massed Russian artillery can be seen on the hill. French light infantry with some artillery support occupy Burghausen. Look at all those fucking Russians.
The great Prussian cavalry charge in the center. The French were able to form square and repulse them with loss! The French won across the line but the square would be their undoing in several cases.
The French and Polish squares! Successfully repulsing multiple cavalry charges, you can see three brigades in square as well as the defeated cavalry. Unfortunately, two of the brigades, the topmost French and the Poles, refused to come out of square and were blasted into neverland over the next several turns.
A turn later, you can still see one of the brigades in square, albeit a bit smaller. It would be smaller still once the Grand Battery on the hill took aim. 50+ fire shots tend to make brigades get smaller in a hurry. The Cossacks have come down the hill again after being repulsed by the Poles. They mean business. In the upper right, the Poles continue to hold on for dear life against their flank march. The Saxon light infantry are pouring enfilade fire into them. The French sent a brigade of hussars to help and while they didn't kill many, they occupied their Saxon counterparts and kept them from wreaking havoc in our rear. (We all know how painful that can be.)
Looking down the road to Burghausen from behind the Prussian lines. This section of the battlefield was more quiet with the French  content to refuse the flank and the Allies content to let them. As it became clear which way the die was cast, the French were forced off their hill tops and into battle. The French brigades pushed the Landwher back several times but ultimately couldn't cut through their sheer numbers. The French acheived a Breakthrough Charge but were stymied by Prussian Cavalry. The rules say infantry can't attack cavalry in the open. Wah! We might have blown a hole right through their lines, but alas, we had no one left to exploit it anyway. You can see the French brigades stopped just short of the Prussian cavalry while the landwher lurk in the safety of the fine print.
The French flank march finally arrives! As luck would have it, the French reserves cam in at the exact point the allies did and straight into their rear. Unfortunately it was the epitome of 'too little, too late' But this is a nice shot of the Westphalians enfilading the Saxons and Bavarians and the confused swirling melee it had become. (A note, we didn't bother with limbers, so a battery turned away from the enemy denoted it was limbered. That's why it appears that artillery is firing every which way. In reality it was quite easy to discern who was who and what was what.)

That signaled the end. We played 6 full turns and didn't bother adding up the VC. Even if it was close numbers-wise, the Allies still had massive units that had not even been committed. What was it some general once said; 'He who commits his reserve last wins'.

But I had a great time and thank my two friends for coming over and making a day of it. We had a good time which is all that matters. Until next time.