Friday, October 13, 2017

Belgian Crossroads, 1815 (Part Two, The Game)

Already a warm and muggy day, Jean-Baptiste Drouet, Comte d'Erlon nervously takes the telescope from his eye. His cavalry scouts were correct; there were Brunswick infantry and cavalry up ahead near the small village of Gosselies.  On the march since midnight while crossing the Sambre river at Charleroi, his troops were tired but committed to advancing ahead. They were, of course, brave French soldiers and thoroughly used to such rapid marching. It was now 11:30 am and d'Erlon braced himself for a fight. Although there was token resistance at Charleroi, it was evident that the enemy would resist the French advance all the way to Brussels. d'Erlon had only recently assumed command of I Corps of the Armee du Nord, but he realized from his long service that the Emperor Napoleon suffered no fools. If there were enemy troops ahead, he would smash the opposition and continue the advance. There was no time to waste; Napoleon's plan hinged on the element of surprise in order to defeat the combined British, Prussians, and their lesser allies. The commander gave the order to advance without delay and push these Brunswickers aside.

Frederick William, the Duke of Brunswick, patiently sat in his saddle watching the French cavalry scouts emerge from the woods.  "The frogs are on the march, and coming this way. Don't worry lads, we'll stop them." Although he was confident to all around him, he knew deep down that this would be an overwhelming force to deal with. Having just arrived in the area of Gosselies, the Duke gave orders to his division in order to assume a defensive position. After turning to one of his trusted aides, he sent a message to the Dutch General Chasse to march to the sound of the guns with his 3rd Netherlands infantry division and arrive in support. "We'll hold them here," he said quietly almost to himself. "If we can hold but a few hours, the Dutch, Belgians, and Wellington's lobsters will soon arrive." As he uttered this statement, the dust in the distance rose up to reveal what seemed like a full division of French infantry following the already substantial cavalry force that was gathering. With a sigh, the Duke set about to organize the defense.

Our current game features a defensive action made up of troops from Brunswick and the 3rd Netherlands division attempting to hold the area around the village of Gosselies in the face of a rapidly advancing French corps under d'Erlon. Gosselies lies between the town of Charleroi and the Quatre Bras battlefield, and lies directly in the path of the French objective: Brussels. This game was played out using the excellent rules General d'Armee and features multiple divisions on both sides. A meeting engagement, the scenario features reinforcements whose entry was planned prior to the game and were dependent on die rolls in order to enter the tabletop.

Full scenario details and orders of battle can be found in Part One of the blog:

The War Game

It is important to note that the opposing forces were organized differently when it came to command and control, which makes up a critical part of General d'Armee. The allied divisions (when the Dutch-Belgians finally appear) were independent of each other and therefore had no unifying Corps commander to add ADC's to the activation process. The French, on the other hand, had a Corps commander in d'Erlon, who was able to add up to 2 ADC's each turn to the division of his choice.

Randomly selected, it was determined that the French 2nd division under General de Division Donzelet would enter the battlefield first, behind the already formed cavalry division under Jacquinot. The 1st division under General de Division Quiot would arrive as reinforcements on the road to the right of Gosselies.

On the Brunswick side, the cavalry was placed on the extreme right flank, while the infantry was advancing to the right and left of the main village. The 3rd Netherlands division would enter the table on the left rear of the Brunswick position. The large wooded area opposite the French cavalry was noted to be very important to put the Jagers (with rifles) in order to control any flanking movement by the French.

The Opening Stages of Battle

On Turn 1, neither side received any reinforcements. On the French side, the cavalry and horse guns of Gobrecht's Lancer brigade maneuvered to cover the entry of Donzelet's division, which marched onto the left side of the table in maneuver columns.  In the center, Von Specht's brigade of Brunswick infantry formed into line and advanced toward the village of Gosselies. By Turn 2, the Brunswick jagers of Buttlar's light brigade moved through the woods on the French left and began to use their rifles to harass and weaken the horse guns that were deployed to cover the French deployment. In the center, Von Specht's brigade became Hesitant and was unable to advance further to Gosselies. Already, the command and control issues had begun for the allies. The French guns answered back and inflicted casualties on the jagers at the edge of the woods, while Gobrecht's Lancers began to take casualties from the Brunswick guns on the heights. It was obvious that the wooded area on the French left was a critical point to defend and, without French infantry support, the cavalry were powerless to eject the irritating jagers.

French cavalry form up opposite the Brunswick right

Brunswick jagers inflict casualties on French horse artillery from their position in the woods

Donzelet's division, led by General de Brigade Schmitz's brigade, advances up the slope towards the awaiting Brunswick troops. Brunswick cavalry on the French left also advance toward Bruno's hussars and chasseurs, obviously itching for a fight. 

Donzelet's division advances toward the Brunswick infantry, supported by Lancers

French and Brunswick cavalry begin to engage each other as the pesky jagers continue their harassing fire

On Turn 3, Quiot's infantry division enters the table on the right of Donzelet's division. There is no sight of the 3rd Netherlands division at this point. Brunswick artillery and skirmish fire was beginning to take a toll on the advancing French. The jagers were hammering the horse guns from their covered position. Schmitz's brigade continued to advance toward the heights and the village. 

On Turn 4, d'Erlon passes 2 ADC's to Donzelet, who promptly uses the "Forwards" command for Schmitz's brigade, allowing for a faster advance. The 2/13th Legere uses this opportunity to push into the town before Von Specht could react (another Hesitant status). The French beat the odds and entered Gosselies first !  On the French right, Quiot's division was advancing toward the left flank of the Brunswick position, which was anchored by infantry and artillery. In the center, the 1/13th Legere boldly pushes up the slope, taking a ragged volley from the Brunswick 3rd Light battalion. 

French hussars suffered a setback as they charged the Brunswick Uhlans, who promptly countercharged and forced the French to retreat, throwing the French light cavalry into temporary disorder. 

There was still no sign of the Dutch-Belgian troops and the French were advancing very aggressively !

The 1/13th Legere can be seen in the distance pushing up the slope towards the awaiting Brunswick infantry

The French advance takes shape

Quiot's division on the French right begins to engage the Brunswick troops in this sector

Turn 5 sees the 3rd Netherlands division arrive onto the table.During the next two turns, the action would see-saw back and forth. After multiple charges on the French left, the Brunswick cavalry brigade would become Faltered and Retire, but the French cavalry facing them had problems of their own and became Hesitant and unable to follow up. The 1/13th would charge up the center slope but become stopped with heavy casualties. The 3/13th would arrive alongside their brothers on the slope as the Brunswickers rained musket balls downhill. After a failed attempt to dislodge the 2/13th Legere from Gosselies, Von Specht's brigade became Hesitant and had to reform for a new assault on the town. The Jagers in the woods on the French left (having forced away the horse guns due to high casualties), began to focus their aim on the hussars and chasseurs who found themselves Hesitant. The jagers were winning the fight on this flank !

On Turn 7, the Brunswick troops renewed their attack onto Gosselies and, after 2 vicious melee rounds, forced the weakened 2/13th Legere to retire. The Brunswickers now held the town!  Also in the center, French voltigeurs had inflicted casualties on the Brunswick battery commanding the heights. The Lancers of Gobrecht's brigade had already maneuvered closer in anticipation of knocking these guns out. The 2/3rd Lancers then struck, but the Brunswick artillerists aimed well, inflicting heavy canister casualties on the Lancers, forcing the French cavalry to retire. On the French right, the voltigeur screen had been eliminated due to the fire of the Brunswick guns. But the added time allowed Charlet's 1st brigade to deploy in Ordre Mixte. 

The French advance gains steam

The Voltigeurs die in front of the Brunswick guns.....

.....but buy enough time for Charlet's brigade to form up for an attack

The French attack in the center is in full swing by Turn 7
If the Duke of Brunswick's troops fought stubbornly for the first two hours of combat, inflicting severe casualties on the approaching French, Turns 8 and 9 would see the momentum shift to d'Erlon's force. By now, all of the French infantry were under Infantry Assault orders (with designated objectives), a testament to having a Corps commander in the rules system. A brigade of infantry operating under Infantry Assault is able to conduct multiple and/or supported charges. If there is one thing I've learned with the General d'Armee system, attacks need to be planned for and supported properly.
By this time, the full division of French cavalry had swung around to meet the weakened Brunswick cavalry, putting it into a Faltered state. At the end of Turn 9, French chasseurs were beginning to envelop the right flank of the Brunswickers. Donzelet's 2nd brigade was advancing through the woods, forcing the Brunswick jagers back, and following up with formed infantry in attack columns.
French cavalry prepare to sweep around the Brunswick right flank
On the French right, Charlet's brigade advanced and charged in Ordre Mixte, but were stopped cold by Brunswick artillery. The Dutch-Belgian troops were just beginning to form up behind this defensive position and were throwing Belgian jagers into the woods to threaten the French flank. Two French batteries were preparing to bombard the Brunswick troops that had occupied the town of Gosselies.
The action heats up on the French right

The initial charge by Charlet's brigade fails

The most dramatic turn of events came from the charge of the 1/17th Ligne in the center. Having repulsed the 1/13th Legere and stalled the 3/13th Legere, the 3rd Light infantry battalion was charged and routed at the top of the heights by the 1/17th Ligne, who not only had proper support in its charge, but was led personally by General de Brigade Schmitz. The 1/17th Ligne not only routed this Brunswick battalion but continued to break through in Turn 9, crashing directly into the unformed 2nd Light battalion and routing them as well. The entire center of the Brunswick position had been breached. To make matters worse, the Brunswick Light brigade's only artillery battery was severely weakened by French voltigeur fire and dispersed. 

French troops, led by the 1/17th Ligne, push through the Brunswick center

At the end of Turn 9, two out of three Brunswick brigades were in a Falter status. The 3rd Netherlands division, due to arriving late onto the field, was just beginning to deploy. After approximately two hours of combat,  the French were winning.

As we approached Turn 10, it was obvious that this would be a critical point in the battle. In the command phase, disaster continued to strike the Brunswick contingent.  The cavalry suffered a "retire" result, but were dispersed due to reaching their demoralization point. Buttlar's Light brigade received a "sauve qui peut" result (loosely translated as "run for your freakin' lives") and was also dispersed due to its demoralization point. The Duke of Brunswick's right flank and center literally crumbled. At this point, the game was called and the Duke called for a general retreat.

Although the allies had given d'Erlon's corps a bloody nose, the French prevailed, clearing the way forward to Brussels. After calculating losses (I have a standard method for percentages of hits as casualties--it seems roughly accurate when compared to actual battlefield casualty statistics) and factoring in a French cavalry pursuit, the estimated casualties for the allies came to 957 men and 2 guns. The French suffered 858 casualties and 2 guns lost as well. A sharp little fight indeed!

As for honors, General de Brigade Schmitz's charge with the 1/17th Ligne extended the boundaries of glory and was the deciding factor in the collapse of the Brunswick center. For the allies, the Brunswick jagers were especially tough in the woods and hurt the French cavalry significantly until infantry support could engage. Also, the infantry and artillery on the Brunswick left flank proved to be very stubborn in holding off the attack of General de Brigade Chartel's brigade.

Post-game observations

Although I had play-tested General d'Armee prior to this game, I expanded the scope of the battle in this one.  Adding built-up areas, a corps commander, cavalry combats, and oodles of skirmishers really forced me to dig deeper into the rules. I realized that there is a deep subtlety to this system with tons of Napoleonic flavor in the details. I was pleased with how the mechanics modeled combat in this era;  I was sold on the rules before, but now I am turning into a fanatic. Specific points noticed include the following:

-  A corps commander makes a tremendous difference, especially when attacking. I used the ADC's from d'Erlon to inspire the troops to march faster (Forwards), enable a brigade commander to lead his men to victory (Glory), and to commit brigades to a full-scale attack (Infantry Assault). These precious command initiatives made a huge difference in how the French were able to overwhelm the Brunswickers.
- Skirmishers (especially armed with rifles) are nasty in rough terrain and must be dealt with by committing resources. I felt that this simulated Napoleonic conflict especially well.
- Charges need to planned well and supported in order to achieve success. This is evident more in General d'Armee than in any other rules system that I know of.
- Artillery, although batteries can also dish out some damage, are especially vulnerable to enemy skirmishers. The guns need to be supported to be most effective.

As for the scenario, the late arrival of the Dutch-Belgian troops hurt the allies. Also, it would probably strengthen the Brunswick position if they were able to garrison the town of Gosselies from the start (the French totally surprised the allies at how fast they were able to advance and capture the town).

What a great game !  I am definitely looking forward to more battles with General d'Armee !

The Duke of Brunswick sat motionless as he saw his center and right flank deteriorate. The French had demonstrated their usual ferocity and had prevailed this day. Frederick William took comfort that his troops were able to make the enemy pay dearly for this ground. His left flank was still standing firm, but the Dutch and the Belgians weren't even in the fight yet. He reluctantly gave the order to retreat and fight another day. As a good German, he would wholeheartedly look forward to the next battle.

d'Erlon surveyed the field of carnage before him. French strength of arms had driven off the enemy on this day, but at an unacceptable price. The way to Brussels was clear again and his men would need to continue the march shortly.  d'Erlon knew that if the Brunswickers and Dutch would fight this hard, that when the British and the Prussians joined in, there would be hell to pay. After experiencing the discipline and stubbornness of Wellington's men in Spain, he knew that this would not be an easy campaign.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Belgian Crossroads, 1815 (Part One, The Scenario)

We set up a "what-if" scenario based on Napoleon's advance through Charleroi in June of 1815, on the eve of the battles of Quatre Bras and Waterloo. David Brown's outstanding General d'Armee rules were used for this tabletop battle.

The scenario assumed several ahistorical deviations from the actual turn of events:

1. The I Corps under d'Erlon is assumed to lead the way strategically instead of Reilles II Corps.
2. The allies are assumed to deploy closer to France, which would provide more resistance to Napoleon's advance to Quatre Bras.
3. The allies were not caught off guard with the French advance through Charleroi and were thus more able to deploy more efficiently.

Frederick William, the Duke of Brunswick

Count d'Erlon, commander of I Corps

The Scenario

It is 1130 am on June 15th, 1815. Our scenario takes place (after the French crossing of the Sambre river at Charleroi) at the small village of Gosselies. The Brunswick contingent under the Duke of Brunswick himself, Frederick William, was tasked with the defense of this important town. The 3rd Netherlands infantry division under General Chasse was to the rear in support and is assumed to march to the sound of the guns. The Brunswick troops have entered the tabletop and are in the process of deploying in a defensive position when French cavalry have appeared with Donzelet's 2nd infantry division of d'Erlon's I Corps on their heels. Only the lead elements of d'Erlon's I Corps have made it to the battlefield in this fight.

Strategic map of the initial disposition of forces. Gosselies lies between Charleroi and Quatre Bras

The village of Gosselies is considered a built-up area in the center of the table. The large farm at the rear of Gosselies is also considered a built-up area. Several wooded areas, especially on the left and right flanks of the Brunswick position, offer excellent defensive anchor points (if they can be occupied before the enemy can). All wooded areas are considered to be rough terrain. All hills are considered to be gentle slopes, which may block line-of-sight.

Looking at the photo above, the terrain is generally rolling terrain, with conspicuous heights labeled appropriately. It is important to note that the 3rd Netherlands division may enter at either entry point, or both (if the player wishes to split his force). The French player may also switch the entry points for each division as well.  All entry points must be decided in secret prior to Turn 1.

Reinforcements enter the table based on die rolls. The French 1st infantry division will arrive to the right of the 2nd division and will be diced for beginning on turn 1. The 3rd Netherlands division will arrive to the left rear of the Brunswick position and will also be diced for beginning on turn 1. A 1d6 will be rolled; a result equaling or less than the current turn enables the reinforcements to arrive.

The terrain demonstrating the Brunswick central position and the Dutch-Belgian troops arriving

Total allied troops are approximately 12,500 while the elements of d'Erlon's I Corps equal approximately 10,000. The French outnumber the allies in cavalry and heavy guns though, while generally holding an advantage in overall troop quality as well. Another advantage that the French have is that d'Erlon, as the Corps commander, supplies extra ADC's to a division of his choice. The two allied commands operate independently of each other, therefore command and control is more of a challenge for the Brunswick and Dutch-Belgian commanders.

Command and control is such a huge part of General d'Armee's charm, and proved to be very important in this fight.

The allies' goal is to last 20 turns in good order (between 4-5 hours) so that Wellington's British troops can march to their aid and force a full-scale battle with d'Erlon's force. If the French can shatter the allied troops and send them reeling by the 20th turn, then the French advance to Quatre Bras can continue unopposed, with d'Erlon's rear elements catching up on the march.

Optional and House Rules. I used the optional Reservist, Grenadier, and First Volley rules. As a house rule, I added a +1 fire modifier to 8 gun batteries to differentiate these larger batteries from 6 gun batteries.

The Orders of Battle

French Order of Battle

Elements of I Corps

I Corps Commander Count d'Erlon    Veteran     +2 ADC's  (will arrive with the first French division to enter the tabletop)

1st Division

Quiot    Campaigner

1st Brigade     Charlet
1/54th Ligne     Standard      Line
2/54th Ligne     Standard      Line
1/55th Ligne     Standard      Line
2/55th Ligne     Standard      Line
Battery:  Artillerie 'a Pied    8  x 6 pdr (with howitzers)   Line    +1 to fire

2nd Brigade      Burgeois
1/28th  Ligne      Small         Line
2/28th  Ligne      Small         Line
1/105th Ligne     Standard    Line
2/105th Ligne     Standard    Line

2nd Division

Donzelet  Campaigner

1st Brigade   Schmitz
1/13th Legere    Standard     Veteran
2/13th  Legere   Standard      Line-Grenadier
3/13th Legere    Standard      Line-Grenadier
1/17th Ligne      Standard      Line-Grenadier
2/17th Ligne      Small           Line-Grenadier

2nd Brigade   Aulard
1/19th Ligne     Standard     Line
2/19th  Ligne    Standard     Line
1/51st  Ligne     Standard     Line
2/51st  Ligne     Standard     Line

Artillery Command   Desales
Artillerie 'a Pied   8 x 12 pdr  (with Howitzers)   Line   +1 to fire
Artillerie 'a Pied   8 x 6 pdr  (with Howitzers)     Line   +1 to fire

1st Cavalry Division

Jacquinot  Campaigner

1st Light Cavalry Brigade   Bruno
1/7th  Hussars    Small    Line    Campaign
2/7th  Hussars    Small    Line    Campaign
1/3rd  Chasseurs  Small   Line    Campaign
2/3rd  Chasseurs  Small   Line    Campaign

2nd Cavalry Brigade    Gobrecht
1/3rd  Lancers     Small    Line    Campaign
2/3rd  Lancers     Small    Line    Campaign
1/4th  Lancers     Small    Line    Campaign
2/4th  Lancers     Small    Line    Campaign
Battery:  Artillerie 'a Chasseur   6 x 6 pdr (with Howitzers)  Veteran

Allied Order of Battle

Elements of the Brunswick contingent and the 3rd Netherlands Division. There is no corps commander. Each division commander will command their force independently of the other. 

Brunswick contingent

Duke of Brunswick   Campaigner

Light Brigade    Buttlar
Lieb Regt    Standard    Line
1st Light      Standard    Line
2nd Light     Standard    Line
3rd  Light     Standard    Line
Jagers           Standard    Line   (Rifles)
Battery:   8 x 6 pdrs  (Foot)    Line    +1 to fire

2nd Brigade    Von Specht
1st Line    Standard     Line-Reservist
2nd Line   Standard     Line-Reservist
3rd  Line   Standard     Line-Reservist
Battery:   8 x 6 pdrs    Line  (Foot)    +1 to fire

Cavalry Brigade    Von Cramm
1/2nd Hussars     Standard    Line    Campaign
2/2nd Hussars     Standard    Line    Campaign
Uhlans                 Small         Line    Campaign

3rd Netherlands Division

Chasse     Campaigner

1st Brigade   Detmers
35th Belgian Jagers      Standard   Line
2nd Dutch  Line           Small    Line-Reservist
4th Dutch Militia         Standard    Recruit
6th  Dutch Militia        Standard    Recruit
17th  Dutch Militia      Standard    Recruit
19th  Dutch Militia      Small         Recruit
Battery:   8 x 6 pdrs  (Foot)  (with Howitzers)   Line   +1 to fire

2nd Brigade     d'Audreme
36th  Belgian  Jagers     Standard     Line
3rd  Belgian Line          Standard     Line-Reservist
12th  Dutch Line           Small          Line-Reservist
13th  Dutch Line           Standard     Line-Reservist
3rd  Dutch Militia         Standard      Recruit
10th  Dutch Militia       Standard      Recruit
Battery:  8 x 6 pdrs (Foot) (with Howitzers)    Line    +1 to fire

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

SAGA Vikings in 28mm

I just received my 28mm Vikings from Evil Bob's Miniature Painting Service. After basing and flocking, they look fantastic !  Perfect for our upcoming SAGA campaign.

Please check out Evil Bob's fantastic work at

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Neresheim, 1796

A couple of weekends ago, we gathered in Roanoke, Virginia to fight out a small "what-if" engagement pitting French versus Austrians and Saxons in 1796 Germany. The rules used were the Carnage and Glory 2 computer-moderated system. The games also gave us a chance to utilize the recent updates for the rules system, most notably the "extended line" formation instead of "open order."

Imperial forces advance against French infantry in 1796 Germany

We ended up playing 2 games over the weekend. The after action report and pictures are featured for the second game. It was an interesting and very challenging scenario for the French (who were on the defense), who had to make some critical decisions on deployment in the face of a strong Austrian advance. The outstanding miniatures and superb terrain were provided by Doug Kline of Battlefield Terrain Concepts, who also provided great hospitality, meals, good German beer and schnapps.

Doug also initiated the historical research and developed the scenario.

To summarize the games, they served as great learning experiences in deploying properly and having a plan based on the defense of objectives. In other words, the French got their heads handed to them in both games because decisions were made to hold too much ground (and victory point objectives) with their meager initial forces. I always approach a wargame with the objective to learn just a bit more about strategy and tactics. I really enjoyed the gaming atmosphere and experience....unfortunately I played the French in both games.

The Scenario

The scenario pitted the Archduke Charles' Austrian and Saxon force against a French wing under General de Division Dessaix (of later Marengo fame). Charles' object was to catch one of Dessaix' isolated divisions and batter it before reinforcements could arrive. Both sides contained slightly over 19,000 troops of all arms, but roughly half of the French wing was due to arrive on the battlefield rather late. Reinforcements were rolled for, with one Imperial column beginning to roll on Turn 1, the rest of the Imperials to begin rolling on Turn 6, and the French to begin rolling on Turn 7. To enhance fog of war, both players had to secretly plan where their reinforcements would arrive onto the table. As the picture below demonstrates, the victory points for the various villages or bridges were keys to a geographic victory at the end of the game. The French were allowed to deploy on the majority of the table, but were very thin at the start. Some major grand-tactical decisions had to be made due to the uncertainty of the direction of marching Imperial reinforcements. In both games, the French elected to rest their right flank on the area around Iggenhausen, but also attempted to stretch their defensive line all the way to the area around Burg Enlingen, which proved to be too much of an area for one division to defend. The critical bridges at the bottom of the picture would allow Imperial troops  to threaten the French right flank unless they were blocked.

The premise of the game was that the French had to defend an area long enough for their reinforcements to arrive and then hopefully counterattack. The Imperial force's goal was to batter the French early enough so that the French reinforcements could not be used to gain valuable victory points.

Army morale for both sides were set in the system at 75% and the weather was clear at the start.

The battlefield, with initial deployment areas and victory points marked.

The Game

With the French division under Beaupuy stretched from Burg Enlingen to Iggenhausen, the first large Austrian column consisting of brigades Giulay and Baillet marched towards the French left flank arriving on road 1 near Hoffen. This force under Generalleutnant Starray consisted of 13 units and was very mobile, with the bulk of the force consisting of grenzers and hussars. Immediately the French decided to refuse this flank by occupying the woods next to Burg Enlingen, and advancing to the castle ruins in this area. Unfortunately, this move only served to isolate units further in the face of the rapidly advancing Austrians. The French cavalry, which was placed in reserve in the center, also began to move to this threatened flank. 

Imperial forces marching through Hoffen towards the French left flank

Initial French deployment area

On the French right flank, the area in front of Iggenhausen was empty. The French decided to take the initiative and advance to the bridges and the village of Dunstelkingen in order to cut off or slow down any Imperial troops arriving in this sector. Although this stretched the French even further, the importance of the bridges and Dunstelkingen was obvious to any approaching Imperials.

 Absent any threat at this time, French troops advance from Iggenhausen to occupy Dunstelkingen and block the bridges in this sector.

In subsequent turns, the Austrians wasted no time in occupying the heights above Burg Enlingen with a strong battery, supported by cavalry, and pounding the isolated French infantry occupying the castle ruins. French cavalry arriving to bolster the left flank found themselves under horrific artillery fire and were forced to retire. The French legere occupying the castle ruins also took devastating losses before being thrown out by a battalion of the Austrian 1/Pelegrino infantry regiment. In the blink of an eye, the French left flank was crumbling and the defending units were crushed and retreating. The French 3/10th Legere was demolished, having to retreat from the castle ruins and then being scooped up by supporting cavalry (this battalion lost 709 out of 734...ouch). At this early point in the battle, the French abandoned all hope of regaining the initiative in the Carnage and Glory 2 program, a very important part of the game which allows one side to move first or to react to the opposing side. 

Austrians driving in the French left flank

The French 1/10th Legere suffering horrible losses from Imperial infantry and artillery fire.

The 1/Pelegrino IR occupies the castle ruins

On the right flank, the French continued to advance, occupying the town strongpoint in Dunstelkingen and the woods next to the village. By this time, the Saxon force under Feldmarschall-Leutnant Lindt also marched onto the table in this sector. Due to the aggressive French advance, the movement was slowed dramatically.

Aggressive French advance on the right flank near Dunstelkingen

The Saxons arrive on the tabletop 

Lindt's Saxon infantry advances toward Dunstelingen, while the cavalry races for the bridge

At this point, the Austrian hussars and French  chasseurs collided on the French left flank, with the chasseurs giving way almost immediately. The grenz were moving through the wooded area past the castle ruins as well. The entire French left flank was crushed. One bright spot was that the 1/10th legere formed extended order in the woods on the extreme left and forced the Austrian infantry to deal with it.  On the right flank, the French occupied the woods next to Dunstelkingen, while Saxon cavalry raced to get over the bridge in order to threaten the French right flank and rear. The French countered by advancing the last remaining cavalry unit and a line battalion to guard the crossing. 

French infantry infests the woods around Dunstelkingen, while chasseurs attempt to advance over the bridge

French chasseurs retreat back over the bridge in the face of superior numbers of Saxon cavalry

Austrian reinforcements then arrived in the center of the field, as Kaim's grenadier brigade, supported by Canisus' dragoons marched toward the primary objective of  Iggenhausen. 

Austrian reinforcements arrive in the center

On the French left flank, matters were continuing to deteriorate, as the 2/10th legere attempted to form square when threatened by Austrian cavalry to protect what was left of the flank, opening itself up to fire from the grenz infantry emerging from the woods. Austrian line infantry was  threatening the square as well.

The "new" French left flank, with the 2/10th legere forming square in the face of Austrian cavalry

It was turn 8 by this time (the French having failed their first reinforcement roll) and the Austrians were advancing at will on the French left flank and the center. The Saxons on the right were bogged down in front of Dunstelkingen and the woods, but with the French forces pinned in this area, there were only two battalions left to defend Iggenhausen from the advancing grenadiers. Austrian cavalry was exhausted by this time, but were facing a wide-open French left flank and rear. Canusis' dragoons were already moving to the left of Iggenhausen to fill the void. To make matters worse, the 2/10th legere had already retreated in substantial disorder and was halted in square. 

Saxon infantry bogged down in front of Dunstelkingen

The decision was made to bring the French reinforcements onto the table prematurely to this disastrous situation. Delmas' division was marched onto the table, with fresh cavalry threatening the blown Austrian hussars, who were in turn menacing the French rear. 

The situation on the French right sees the Saxons making headway through the woods and over the bridge. The Weimar Jagers formed extended order and began throttling the French infantry formed up in the woods. The greencoats inflicted terrible losses. The French infantry was slowly being forced back, while the Saxon cavalry maneuvered across the bridge and sent the chasseurs flying. 

Saxons advancing on the French right flank

....and Saxons pushing the French on the right flank

In the center, the French occupied the strong point in Iggenhausen, while the Austrian grenadiers continued to advance on the town. 


Austrian grenadiers begin to push into Iggenhausen

Arriving French cavalry attempting to save the day

By this point, the French had already been attempting to refuse the right flank and form up next to Iggenhausen in the face of the Austrian onslaught into the French center. On the left flank, Austrian dragoons began pouring into the area next to Iggenhausen to face off with the arriving French cavalry. The combat here was touch and go, but the Austrians began to come out on top. 

The Austrian assault into Iggenhausen

Austrian dragoons pour into the void against French cavalry

With a final push, the Austrian grenadiers took Iggenhausen, with the exception of the town strongpoint. The French infantry ended up retreating due to a compulsory brigade movement, leaving the town undefended. The French infantry on the right was beginning to fall back in disorder, while the chasseurs were defeated by the Austrian dragoons. General de Division Dessaix was mortally wounded as the 2/10th legere was destroyed by Austrian cavalry. Dessaix would not go on to historical fame at the field of Marengo, 1800.

The game was called at this point and declared a Major Imperial victory. The French were reeling at all points. Although the French right flank proved to be stubborn in its defense, Dessaix' position elsewhere on the field was extremely weak and was ripe for a strong Austrian attack.

It was a disaster for the French, who lost 3096 troops. For the Austrians, their losses were 595. The Archduke Charles reached his goal: to maul Dessaix and send his command reeling back in order to delay any offensive by Moreau.

In the discussion following the game, we noted how powerful the extended line formation was for units defending woods, which seemed to mirror historical results well. The only issue we found was that the units in extended line never seemed to fatigue. We also talked about how important the initial deployment was in this game. If the French deployed too thinly, the result was a disaster; a lesson well learned. As always, the Carnage and Glory 2 system simulated this action extremely well. Also, the scenario proved to be challenging, yet very well thought-out. Even with the lop-sided results, a great time was had by all !


The After-action orders of battle are included below:

Corps Dessaix

[ 101] General de Division Dessaix - Mortally wounded B+ [1400 paces]

  Division Beaupuy - Attack

  [ 102] General de Division Beaupuy - Active B+ [950 paces]

    [W]  [ 101] 1/4th Artillery a Cheval          0/ 100 [ 4] C        ( 3)

            [ 102] 1/2nd Artillery a Pied            0/ 150 [ 4] C        ( 4)

    Brigade Jobat - Attack

    [ 103] General de Brigade Jobat - Active C [350 paces]

            [ 103] 1/10 Legere                      12/ 722      C+ [sk+] ( 5)

    [D]   [ 104] 2/10 Legere                     703/  31      C  [sk+]    

    [D]   [ 105] 3/10 Legere                     709/  25      C  [sk+]    

    Regiment Jeanat - Attack [Retire]

    [ 104] Colonel Jeanat - Active C [175 paces]

[ 104] Colonel Jeanat - Active C [175 paces]

    [R]   [ 106] 1/10 Ligne                      177/ 623      C  [sk+]    

            [ 107] 2/10 Ligne                        0/ 800      C- [sk+] ( 6)

    [D]   [ 108] 3/10 Ligne                      800/   0      C- [sk+]    

    Regiment Carartin - Attack [Retire]

    [ 105] Colonel Carartin - Active B+ [250 paces]

            [ 109] 1/62 Ligne                      156/ 678      C  [sk+] ( 2)

    [R]   [ 110] 2/62 Ligne                      320/ 513      C- [sk+]    

    [D]   [ 111] 3/62 Ligne                      272/ 561      C- [sk+]    

    Regiment Marbote - Attack [No Advance]

    [ 106] Colonel Marbote - Active B+ [250 paces]

            [ 112] 1/103 Ligne                     118/ 770      C  [sk+] ( 7)

            [ 113] 2/103 Ligne                      28/ 860      C- [sk+] ( 1)

[ 114] 3/103 Ligne                      62/ 826      C- [sk+] ( 4)

    Brigade Ste. Suzanne - Disengaged

    [ 107] General de Brigade Ste. Suzanne - Lightly wounded B+ [500 paces]

    [D]   [ 115] 6th Dragoon                     108/ 242      C- [sk+]    

    [D]   [ 116] 4th Chasseur a Cheval            93/ 177      C- [sk+]    

    [D]   [ 117] 1/8th Chasseur a Cheval          87/ 171      C- [sk+]    

    [D]   [ 118] 2/8th Chasseur a Cheval          19/ 239      C- [sk+]    

  Division Delmas - Attack

  [ 108] General de Division Delmas - Active B+ [950 paces]

            [ 128] 2/4th Artillerie a Cheval         7/ 143 [ 6] C        ( 2)

            [ 129] 2/2nd Artillerie a Pied           0/ 150 [ 6] C           

    Brigade Eckmeier - Attack

[ 109] General de Brigade Eckmeier - Active B- [400 paces]

            [ 119] 1/16 Legere                       0/ 794      C+ [sk+]    

            [ 120] 2/16 Legere                       0/ 793      C  [sk+]    

            [ 121] 3/16 Legere                       0/ 793      C  [sk+]    

    Regiment Lancia - Attack

    [ 110] Colonel Lancia - Active D+ [150 paces]

            [ 122] 1/50 Ligne                        0/ 840      C  [sk+]    

            [ 123] 2/50 Ligne                       96/ 744      C- [sk+] ( 2)

            [ 124] 3/50 Ligne                       48/ 792      C- [sk+] ( 2)

    Regiment Repiear - Attack

    [ 111] Colonel Repiear - Active B [250 paces]

    [W]  [ 125] 1/97 Ligne                       34/ 780      C  [sk+]    

            [ 126] 2/97 Ligne                        0/ 813      C- [sk+]  


[ 127] 3/97 Ligne                        0/ 813      C- [sk+]    

    Brigade Frimont - Attack [Retire]

    [ 112] General de Brigade Frimont - Active B+ [500 paces]

            [ 130] 10th Dragoons                     0/ 340      C- [sk+] ( 6)

            [ 131] 17th Dragoons                    14/ 306      C- [sk+] (10)

    [D]   [ 132] 7th Hussars                      29/ 251      C+ [sk+]    

                          3535/ 13571  Bayonets
                           350/  1726    Sabres
                             7/   543       Artillerists
                             2/    20        Cannon
                          3892/ 15840    Total of all arms
                                   22         Colors present
                                    2          Colors lost

 Generalissimus Archduke Charles - Active B [1300 paces]

  Division Starray - Attack
  [ 502] Generalleutnant Starray - Active B- [800 paces]

    Brigade Giulay - Attack
    [ 503] Generalmajor Giulay - Active C [400 paces]

            [ 501] 1/Bannat Grenz                   35/ 705 [ 1] C- [sk+] ( 4)

[ 502] 2/Bannat Grenz                   15/ 725 [ 1] C- [sk+] ( 2)

            [ 503] 1st Horse Artillery               0/ 100 [ 4] C-       ( 4)

            [ 504] 1/Szekler Hussars                 9/ 261      C  [sk+] (10)

            [ 505] 2/Szekler Hussars                42/ 168      C  [sk+] ( 6)

            [ 506] 3/Szekler Hussars                 4/ 206      C  [sk+] (10)

    [W]  [ 507] 4/Szekler Hussars                11/ 199      C  [sk+] (18)

    Brigade Baillet - Attack

    [ 504] Generalmajor Baillet - Active B [450 paces]

            [ 508] 1/Wenckheim IR                    0/ 825 [ 1] C-          

            [ 509] 1/D'Alton IR                      0/ 600 [ 1] C           

    [R]   [ 510] 2/D'Alton IR                     67/ 533      C           

    [W]  [ 511] 1/Pelegrino IR                  148/ 727 [ 1] C-       ( 9)

            [ 512] 2/Pelegrino IR                   91/ 784      C-       ( 8)

[ 513] 1st Brigade Battery               0/ 150 [ 6] C-       ( 6)

    Brigade Kaim - Attack
    [ 505] Generalmajor Kaim - Active B- [500 paces]

            [ 514] 2nd Brigade Battery              10/ 140 [ 6] C-       ( 2)

    [W]  [ 515] Abfaltern Grenadiers             86/ 614 [ 1] C+       ( 1)

            [ 516] Candian Grenadiers                0/ 680 [ 1] C+ 
            [ 517] Retz Grenadiers                   0/ 690 [ 1] C+ 
            [ 518] Reisinger Grenadiers              0/ 675 [ 1] C+
    [W]  [ 519] Waren Grenadiers                 79/ 621 [ 1] C+       ( 1)

    Brigade Canisus - Attack
    [ 506] Generalmajor Canisus - Active C [400 paces]

            [ 520] 1/Empress Dragoons                6/ 254      C- [sk+] ( 5)

            [ 521] 2/Empress Dragoons                1/ 259      C- [sk+] ( 6)

[ 522] 3/Empress Dragoons                0/ 260      C- [sk+]   
            [ 523] 1/Herzog Johan Dragoons           0/ 260      C- [sk+]    

    [W]  [ 524] 2/Herzog Johan Dragoons          62/ 198      C- [sk+] ( 4)

            [ 525] 3/Herzog Johan Dragoons           0/ 260      C- [sk+]    

  Division Lindt - Attack
  [ 507] Feldmarschall-Leutnant Lindt - Active B [875 paces]

    Brigade Zeschwitz - Attack
    [ 508] Generalmajor Zeschwitz - Active B [450 paces]

            [ 526] 1/Carabiniers                     0/ 260      C  [sk+]  
            [ 527] 2/Carabiniers                     4/ 256      C  [sk+] ( 6)

            [ 528] 3/Carabiniers                     0/ 260      C  [sk+] 
            [ 529] 1/Kurland Chevauleger             7/ 193      C- [sk+] (11)

[ 530] 2/Kurland Chevauleger             0/ 200      C- [sk+]   
            [ 531] 3/Kurland Chevauleger             7/ 193      C- [sk+] ( 3)

    Brigade Nostitz - Attack [No Advance]
    [ 509] Generalmajor Nostitz - Active B [450 paces]

            [ 532] Brandenstein Grenadiers         114/ 566 [ 1] C+       ( 3)

            [ 533] Kurfust IR                        7/ 678 [ 1] C-       (10)

    [R]   [ 534] Prince Anton IR                 189/ 493      C-  
            [ 535] 1/van der Hayde IR              104/ 546 [ 1] C-       ( 1)

            [ 536] 2/van der Hayde IR               65/ 585 [ 1] C-       ( 4)

            [ 537] Setzler Artillery                 0/ 200 [ 8] C-       ( 3)

    Brigade Niesemeuschel - Attack
    [ 510] Generalmajor Niesemeuschel - Active B [450 paces]

            [ 538] Werner Artillery                  0/ 200 [ 8] C-       ( 3)

            [ 539] Prince Gothan IR                  0/ 685 [ 1] C-     
            [ 540] Prince Clemons                    0/ 685 [ 1] C-       ( 2)

            [ 541] Glaffay Grenadiers                0/ 685 [ 1] C+
            [ 542] Weimar Jaegers                    8/ 572      C+ [sk+]    

                          1008/ 13674  Bayonets
                           153/  3687    Sabres
                            10/   790      Artillerists
                             3/    49        Cannon

                          1171/ 18151  Total of all arms
           30         Colors present

The French Army has suffered losses of:
            [ 15%]   3096 men of all arms
   incl.[  9%]   1886 prisoners of all arms

            [ 16%]   2848 bayonets
            [ 11%]    241 sabres
            [  1%]      7 artillerists
                    2 cannon[s] lost
Honors: [ 118] 2/8th Chasseur a Cheval
[ 90%] ammunition available

Losses include 2 Color[s]:
        [ 105] 3/10 Legere [1]
        [ 108] 3/10 Ligne [1]

Losses include 2 General[s]:
        [ 101] Dessaix - Mortally wounded
        [ 107] Ste. Suzanne - Lightly wounded

The Imperial Army has suffered losses of:
            [  3%]    595 men of all arms
   incl.[  0%]    140 prisoners of all arms
[  3%]    539 bayonets
            [  1%]     56 sabres
            [  0%]      0 artillerists
                    3 cannon[s] lost
Honors: [ 507] 4/Szekler Hussars
            [ 91%] ammunition available