France & Danes vs. Austria, England and Russia

The final scenario of my trio of winter quarter napoleonic games. This scenario was a local pick up game with eight players. The line up card had Austrians (Dave and Greg), English (Bob) and Russians (Ty) vs. French Imperial (Dan, Mark and Rob) and true to the WR’s montage of the unusual armies, I played Danish. Weather was a clear day with light winds. Tabletop terrain was standard Bob design… low hills, a town, occasion woods or farm complex and stream flowing to a pond.

Forces: Each player was given a specific amount of points (1500) to purchase their commands and units prior to game day. Rosters were emailed to GM Bob so he could align the respective sides for the scenario.

Allied side had Bob commanding English and Brunswick infantry divisions with attached light cavalry, Ty had two Russian infantry divisions with Russian kuirassiers, and Dave and Greg had two Austrian infantry divisions, an advance guard division, a small grenadier division, and Austrian reserve cavalry division. The French side consisted of Dan with two French infantry divisions and a small light cavalry brigade, Mark commanded two French infantry and another small light cavalry brigade, Rob played with a French infantry division and his Vistula legion division with attached cavalry, and WR had his two Danish infantry divisions, the Danish cavalry division, and the reserve French Cuirassiers.

Note: Our points cost system is simple. A copy of the point cost chart, my blank roster spreadsheet (.xls) which I use and a sample roster linked: Point Cost ChartSmall Roster Spreadsheet,and a sample roster Sample French Roster. In some scenarios we use a random command type and point generation chart to develop a scenario with undisclosed, and possible uneven, forces or total team points, and specific command type structures. This leads to some interesting scenarios since neither side has an accurate determination of what the opposite side came to battle with. Both the total side points and what type of specific commands they must use/purchase are rolled from the chart. One side may have more cavalry commands, or some militia or elite commands. The side with the larger overall points is deemed to be the attacker on the tabletop. At start neither side knows who is larger (by points) so scouting with ADC’s comes into play. An example would be to roll 10 selections from the chart and discard 2 for a final team force of 8 commands of various point amounts. Then purchase each command based upon the roll command type and the available points stated on the chart. Napoleonic Command generation

Initial deployment of wooden blocks. Note that two Allied and one French (the Danish) were forward deployed at scenario start. Allies at right, French on left in photo.

Initial deployment of wooden blocks. Note that two Allied and one French (the Danish) commands were forward deployed at scenario start. Allies at right, French on left in photo.

Army deployments had English and Brunswickers on the right flank, then the Russians in the center and Austrians on the left flank. For the French, Dan and Mark’s French formed the left and left center position, then the Danish in the center and Rob’s French/Polish the right flank. We elected to try a forward deployment scenario which allowed the Allies two commands forward of the normal back tabletop edge deployment zone while the French only placed one command forward (the Danish infantry). French side, as always, had first movements. Both the Russian and Danish infantry divisions thus started the scenario adjacent and immediately opened the battle.

Forward deployment caused immediate clash between the Danish and Russians.

Forward deployment caused immediate clash between the Danish and Russians.

While the Danish and Russian infantry quickly became embroiled in town fighting, the French side marched their commands forward. Mark’s French infantry formed into columns to prepare their assault on the forward deployed Russians defending the tower hill position. The wooden blocks denote positions of reserve commands for both sides.

With opening first turn movements completed, the process of miniature deployment started since the armies came into deployment range (adjacent grid squares). French columns support the exposed Danish position.

With opening first turn movements completed, the process of miniature deployment started since the armies came into deployment range (adjacent grid squares). French columns support the exposed Danish position. The other forward deployed Russian command is near the tower.

Our group welcomes new players all the time. Having painted miniatures is never a requirement with us, just the ability to roll dice (low # percentages preferred) and learn the game tactics /mechanics “on the march”. Mark is learning the game on the march and we welcome him in true napoleonic fashion…. march forward and take the hill.

Note: To contact our group, use the contact links found on the blog under “About the Wargamerabbit”. We have northern and southern Los Angeles chapters in our gaming group with players driving in from Ventura, Lancaster and southern Orange country.

Mark (French) was a new player for the day so WR giving Chief of Staff tips. Dan maneuverers his French on the left flank as Bob positions his English cavalry.

Mark (French) was a new player for the day so WR giving Chief of Staff tips. Dan maneuvers his French on the left flank as Bob deploys his English cavalry miniatures.

Left flank action warms up as Bob’s English light cavalry engages with Dan’s light cavalry chasseurs. Mark’s French have formed their proper columns and start the climb up the hill slope. French horse battery draws first English cavalry loss with a lucky shot.

Opposite view with English and Russians on left and French on right. English cavalry is contesting the French advance.

Opposite view with English and Russians on left and French on right. English cavalry is contesting the French advance before the deployed English infantry. Mark’s French columns approach the hill tower position.

Allied view of the approaching French and Danish formations. Ty has a strong defense at the tower hill, a thin cordon of infantry along the hill then additional Russian infantry masses engaging the Danish in the town. Their reserve commands later would be drawn towards the Austria left flank or into the town fighting, leaving a weaken central hill position for Mark’s French infantry division and light cavalry to crash through.

On central table, the Danes and Russians are engaged around the town  and hill position. Mark's French infantry is approaching the tower hill.

On central table sector, the Danes and Russians are engaged around the town and hill position. Mark’s French infantry is approaching the tower hill. Allied reserve commands are positioned behind the hill.

In the central town fighting, the Russian infantry division is slowly grinding into the Danish defenders. A surprise Austrian chevauleger charge through the town overran a Danish 3lb battery. Nice charge Dave… a bit risky but you won that round.

Town fighting... an austrian Chevauleger regiment charged down the road past occupied buildings, past a Danish square and overran a Danish 3lb battery.

Town fighting… an Austrian Chevauleger regiment charged down the road past occupied buildings, past a Danish square, and overran a Danish 3lb battery. WR didn’t see that coming.

With losses mounting, the Danish infantry lose control of the forward buildings to Russian infantry assaults. They reform their position around the last building, forming counterattack infantry columns while summoning their reserve Danish infantry division. Meanwhile the Danish cavalry is advancing alongside their infantry in the town at right.

Russian infantry has taken the forward building as Danish losses mount (20% loss level reached). The second Danish infantry division is committed.

Russian infantry has taken the forward building as Danish losses rapidly mount (20% loss level reached). The second Danish infantry division is committed.

Mark’s French divisional assault on the tower hill position goes in. The Russian battery cuts down Frenchmen as Russian infantry bitterly defend the low stone wall. Four French regimental column attempts all end in bloody ruin and the French division retires to reform at the base of the hill. The tattered Russian defenders are replaced with fresh battalions as arriving English and Brunswicker horse artillery bombard the retiring French infantry.

Mark's first and valiant assault on the tower hill ended in French dead. then some English/Brunswicker cavalry with artillery harassed the retiring battalions.

Mark’s valiant assault on the tower hill ended in French dead. Then some English/Brunswicker cavalry with artillery harassed the retiring battalions.

On the French right flank Rob with his Franco-Vistula divisions slowly pushing Greg’s Austrians back towards their small woods flank position.

On the French right flank, the French and Vistula legion (Rob's) engaged the Austrians (Greg) anchored in the woods.

On the French right flank, the French and Vistula legion (Rob’s) engaged the Austrians (Greg) anchored in the woods.

Back and forth, the Russians and Danish infantry charge and countercharge into the town open spaces and buildings. Both sides are losing miniatures at a rapid rate. Another Danish 3lb battery is crew abandoned atop the hill. Danish counterattack column led by their divisional commander forms up to retake the last building position. Note that the Allied reserve wooden blocks have shifted towards the Austrian flank in the background. This is due to the Danish cavalry and French reserves approaching the gap between the town and the Austrians in the woods.

Town fighting... Danish style. Another Danish battery lost as bitter musketry between the buildings.

Town fighting… Danish style. Another Danish battery lost as bitter musketry between the buildings. Counter attacking Danish column against the last town building led by their divisional commander.

The Danish cavalry arrives and promptly charges. This is the starting movement towards a glorious day for the Danish cavalry. The Russian artillery battery fails their morale and goes into morale disorder. The Russian kuirassiers advance to support but the Danish cavalry cannot be stopped today. Austrian reserve cavalry form up alongside their Russian brethren while Austrian grenadiers columns position themselves behind the town ready to assault the Danish defenders in the town.

Danish cavalry arrives and rides to game glory. Charge!!!

Danish cavalry arrives and soon rides to game glory. Leader is attached…Charge!!!

French and Vistula legions press home their advance, pushing the Austrians into the woods and inflicting damage to the Austrian infantry positioned outside the woods.

Rob's French, with Vistula legion in distance, bombard Greg's static Austrian lines.

Rob’s French, with Vistula legion in distance, bombard Greg’s static Austrian lines.

The Russian kuirassiers see the Danish cavalry charge and attempt to support their disordered artillery battery. Viewpoint of the Russian kuirassiers also shows the Austrian reserve grenadiers in distance behind the town and the Austrian squared infantry position at left of photo.

Russian Kuirassiers, with leader out front, see the charging Danish cavalry. But wait, the allied artillery is morale disordered and those Danish mean business....

Russian kuirassiers, with leader out front, see the charging Danish cavalry. But wait, the allied artillery is morale disordered and those Danish mean business….

Dan’s French divisions are deployed and start to engage the English infantry. Mark’s reformed but shattered French infantry division holds the base of the hill before the bloody tower.

While Mark's infantry reform their formations, Dan's French approach the English lines in distance.

While Mark’s infantry reform their formations below the bloody tower position, Dan’s French approach the English lines in distance.

First Danish charge is done, one Russian battery removed from tabletop, and the Danish cavalry reform their forward ranks preparing for their grand charge into the massed Allied cavalry. A French cuirassier division arrives to booster the Franco-Danish ranks.

The Danish cavalry overran the one Russian battery then retired before the massed Russian kuirassiers. Seeing massed ranked cavalry, WR brings forth the French cuirassiers.

The Danish cavalry overran the one Russian battery then retired before the massed Russian kuirassiers. Seeing massed ranked cavalry, WR brings forth the French cuirassiers.

A grand view of the entire tabletop action. Gives the reader an overall view of the battle. French on left, English, Russians and Austrians on right.

General view of the tabletop action. Rob, then Mark and hidden Dan line the French side of the table. Across from them is (l to r) Bob, Ty then Dave. Greg is off picture talking with Dave.

General view of the tabletop action. Rob, then Mark and hidden Dan line the French side of the table. Across from them is (l to r) Bob, Ty then Dave. Greg is off picture talking with Dave.

Having reformed their ranks, the blood dripping swords of the Danish cavalry again charge home on the Russian kuirassiers. Defeating one regiment of kuirassiers, the Russians morale test their supporting kuirassier regiments. Surprisingly several fail their tests as the Danish cavalry impacts their ranks. More fleeing Russian cavalry stream towards the rear areas as the Austrian reserve cavalry command looks on in disbelief. Austrian infantry in square become disordered as a solitary French infantry battalion engages in musketry.

Danish cavalry charges home. Defeating the first ranks of the Russian kuirassiers, the fleeing Kuirassiers caused morale test to their supportive kuirassier ranks. Failing their test, they fell into morale disorder just before the second wave of Danish cavalry impacted.

Danish cavalry charges home. Defeating the first ranks of the Russian kuirassiers, the fleeing kuirassiers caused morale test to their supportive kuirassier ranks. Failing their test, they fell into morale disorder just before the second wave of Danish cavalry impacted.

While the cavalry melee swirls on, Mark’s fresh French infantry division arrives before the weaken Russian hill center position. A brilliant well-timed charge by his French light cavalry brigade causes Russian artillery crews to flee from their cannon, thus opening the Russian position to the followup French infantry assault. The Russian hill center position is giving way just as their reserves are committed to stop the rampaging Danish cavalry.

Close up action on the hill ridge as French and their chasseurs 'a cheval engage the Russian artillery batteries. russian weakness is showing.

Close up action on the hill ridge as French and their chasseurs ‘a cheval engage the Russian artillery batteries. Russian weakness is showing in the center as the town fighting has drawn in their supports. Mark’s French may win the hill position soon.

Even with their divisional losses over 20%, the Danish cavalry 2nd line charges home on the disordered Austrian battalion squares and the foremost Austrian cavalry regiments. The majority of the Russian kuirassiers are routing towards their rear at top on photo.

With the front ranks of the Russian kuirassiers defeated, the second wave of Danish heavy cavalry charge and carve apart disordered Austrian infantry, artillery and the remaining Russian kuirassiers.

With the front ranks of the Russian kuirassiers defeated, the second wave of Danish heavy cavalry charge and carve apart disordered Austrian infantry, artillery and the remaining Russian kuirassiers.

Charges over…. the Danish cavalry is totally spent as a command at 40%+ loss. But the huge hole ripped into the Allied lines is soon filled with French cuirassiers. Allies losses are unrecorded but several Austrian battalions have been craved apart during the Danish cavalry charges plus losses in their cavalry regiments.

As the dust of battle clears, the Danish cavalry have ripped a wide hole in the Allied front. French cuirassier cavalry ready to exploit the advantage.

As the dust of battle clears, the Danish cavalry have ripped a wide hole in the Allied front. French cuirassier cavalry ready to exploit the advantage.

Mark and Ty discuss the action as Mark attempts to break the hill position of Ty's. This will soon determine the battle's outcome.

Mark and Ty discuss the action as Mark attempts to break the hill position of Ty’s Russians. This will soon determine the battle’s outcome as marching Russian and Austrian reserves attempt to plug the gaping hole torn by the Danish cavalry.

Lots of exercise during our games…. both the mental kind and the occasional need to reach across the tabletop. Rare photo of WR during a game since I tend to be the scenario camera man.

With his agile form. WR reaches into the table center moving forward the French cuirassier division.

With his agile form. WR reaches into the table center moving forward the French cuirassier division.

Even rarer photo of Dave reaching across the tabletop…. 🙂

Dave matches the gaming "reach" art form. the difference is WR's cuirassiers are charging into the Austrian cavalry ranks on their side of the tabletop. Rob's French and Vistula legion close in on the Austrian flank woods.

Dave matches the gaming “reach” art form. The difference is WR’s cuirassiers are charging into the Austrian cavalry ranks on their side of the tabletop. Rob’s French and Vistula legion close in on the Austrian flank woods.

It’s the dreaded gamer conference time…… what just happened and can we repair the damage? While the French players take five…..and raid the refrigerator, the allied players take stock of their situation. Hmmm… English are holding against the slowly advancing left flank French divisions, tower hill position holding strong but the Russian hill center position just collapsed. No reserves in sector to stop Mark’s French infantry division from pouring forward. The town fighting is still bitterly been fought and the Austrian grenadiers are committed. Austrian reserve cavalry intact after a slight bruising fight with the shattered Danish cavalry but the Russian kuirassiers are totally morale disordered for the near future. French cuirassiers may soon crash into the disordered Allied cavalry. The Austrian infantry is battered by the Franco-Danish cavalry charge and is becoming contained in their small woods position. Overall not looking too good…. time to leave the battlefield.

Allied player conference time. English holding, Russian hill center collapsing, Allied cavalry shaken up and French cuirassier coming, Austrians on left in disarray..... time to leave the battle?

Allied player conference time. English sector holding, Russian hill center collapsing, Allied cavalry badly shaken up and French cuirassier coming, Austrians on left in disarray….. time to leave the battle?

Team French (and Danes) looking confident. French win.

Team France (and Danes behind camera) looking confident. French win.

So the January scenario is concluded with a Franco-Danish win. Great game overall. WR thanks Bob for being the host and all the players who tossed dice and pushed lead (and plastic) opposite or alongside WR. Next month’s game WR plans to unleash his Ottomans so stay tuned to the Wargamerabbit blog for a report. Till then, roll the dice….

A galley format of the above pictures follows:

Cheers from the warren.

WR

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “France & Danes vs. Austria, England and Russia

  1. Another great Napoleonic bash, and of course it warms my slightly Danish heart to see someone else bring Danes to the tabletop… and here they are commanded by WR himself! Your Danish Cavalry (by 1813, probably among the best mounted in Europe, if not the most experienced – that excellent Holsteiner horseflesh!) certainly did far better than mine ever have!

    • Peter,
      I chalk it up to having two lucky rabbit feet attached….. My Danish cavalry couldn’t stop winning and Ty having a “bad day rolling morale tests… all in the same game phase” afternoon. Changing dice just made it worse as we joked about it afterwards. His glance look after rolling the die number I told him to roll for my success was priceless. There again…. it was those glaring red coats looking pretty maybe. Might be years before they pop out of their box again and see open tabletop.
      Concur that the Danish cavalry was a notch above most cavalry of 1813-14 but in this case the Russian kuirassiers had the edge in every melee contest except rabbit feet.

      Michael aka WR

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s