Monday, February 2, 2015

Austerlitz to Waterloo - 28mm Napoleonics

We played a Napoleonic rule set called Austerlitz to Waterloo last weekend. The rules are a home brewed set created by Wes R. Even though he has doubled the number pages of rules, from two to four, they are very easy to play and get into the game. They are geared toward 28mm, but really any scale of figures would work.

The scenario involved an Austrian force assaulting the French who were holding a line of villages behind a wooded stream. The Austrians needed to take three of the five objectives (bridge, two fords, & two towns) or just break French units to win.
Mark S. commanded two brigades of cavalry supported by infantry and a battery of light guns. He had the task of capturing the French right village and ford. James M. had the bulk of the Austrian infantry supported by two batteries, one light and one medium. The main attack would come from his troops and was focused on the right center of the French line.

Wes R. commanded several battalions of infantry supported by a battery and cavalry regiment. He was to hold the center and left flank of the French line. I commanded three battalions of infantry (one an elite Light battalion), three cavalry regiments (Hussars, Dragoons & Cuirassiers) as well as a medium battery. I was to hold the right flank, made easier by a large wooded area.

The Austrian attack against the right center took a bit of time to get going as they were slow to shake out of their march columns. It did not help that long range French artillery fire played havoc on the Austrians. It was at first looking like the Austrians were really going to have tuff day crossing the stream.

Mark’s command of cavalry quickly advanced up and over the hill, and I realized I needed to buy as much time as I could so sent in my cavalry piecemeal against his massed cavalry. Over the next few turns the cavalry from both sides clashed in the open area before the small village that held the French Light Battalion. Eventually the Austrian numbers won out, and all three regiments of French cavalry were broken. I was however, able to set up my foot battery in a good firing position and promptly blasted the worn out Austrian Cuirassiers from the battlefield!

In addition, I had during this time also moved a battalion of infantry through some woods and they engaged the Grenz battalion at the other end. After a turn of dismal firing by both sides, I charged home and drove the grenzers from the woods with the bayonet. This effectively ended the Austrian attack on our right flank, and I felt secure in my position to send off a battalion of infantry to help out in the center.

It seems that the Austrians finally sorted themselves out … under the cover of two artillery batteries! They then proceeded to advance with a couple of the large infantry battalions and pushed out all three defending French battalions. On their right, the artillery had swept away most resistance, and to secure the ford, another battalion of Austrian infantry crossed the creek and cleared away the remaining French forces. With the center and left broken, the remaining French forces retreated from the battlefield.

Overall the AtoW rules were fun to play and easy to master. After the game, we had a rehash session of the game. The result of which has Wes thinking of toning down the artillery fire, especially long range. In addition he might tweak the cavalry melee, as they were very destructive in a short time frame (four of the seven regiments were destroyed in one round of combat).

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