This month the napoleonic group tried out the recently written up “Multiple Tables scenario” format for our monthly group December game. The scenario had two different side by side tabletop games (Tables A & B) running at the same time with the possibility of units exiting one rear edge table zone and entering the other table in a flanking position.
For team WR the armies involved were Austrian (Dave and Paul) and late period Bavarian (Bob, Daniel and WR). Austrians fielded their advanced guard division (mixed cavalry and light battalions), two-line divisions and corps headquarters (2000 points) for defending Table A. The Bavarians with 2600 points attacked on Table B with three infantry divisions, a small light cavalry division and Bavarian corps HQ. Should be noted that each of the Bavarian infantry divisions had two regiments of attached cavalry so the Bavarians had a marked advantage of cavalry against their Dutch and Polish opponents.
The opponents had French (Tim and Dan) and Kingdom of Holland (Ty and Andy) with attached Polish infantry. The French were the superior force against the Austrians with four infantry divisions, two light cavalry brigades, and reserve cuirassier division plus two corps headquarters (2600 points) on Table A. The defending Dutch with their Polish (DOW) allies had two Dutch infantry divisions, a Franco-Dutch light cavalry division and the Poles fielded an infantry division against the massed Bavarians on Table B.
Multiple Tables scenario design notes (link): Multiple Tables scenario
Starting deployment zone on each table was up to two squares in from the rear edge. Our wooden block movement system was used to create uncertainly on command type and unit strength. Dave and Paul’s Austrians had their advance guard division positioned in the center woods and line infantry division alongside guarding the LOC road exit. The remaining Austrian infantry division was reserve positioned behind the woods to march against the main axis of the French advance. The French split their corps with Tim’s two French infantry divisions crossing the castle hill led by his French light cavalry brigade screening in front. Dan’s French occupied the other half of the table with two infantry division forming his front lines and backed by the other French light cavalry brigade. Off board was the French cuirassier division strategically withheld to keep the Austro-Bavarians guessing which tabletop zone they would appear in.
Wooden block movement system (link): Block Movement system
On Table B the attacking Bavarians fielded their three infantry division evenly across the tabletop battlefield and led by the Bavarian light cavalry division as advance guard. The Dutch had two infantry divisions backing their Franco-Dutch advance guard light cavalry division. In reserve was the Polish infantry division astride the Dutch LOC road exit.
Typical Bob terrain of small villages, isolated farms, grain fields, shallow stream, medium woods and standard low hills. The stream was terrain disordering before the center village then became a slow, shallow movement cost only, stream.
Action commences on both table zones. The Bavarian sector plan (Table B) was simple. Since we appear to outnumber the defending Dutch and Poles, we will attack with all Bavarian infantry divisions and after pushing back the Franco-Dutch light cavalry aside, send the Bavarian light cavalry division off table via a flank exit point to aid the hard pressed Austrians. The Dutch plan was hold his ground as long as possible and hope the French on Table A send some aid. Bavarians sent forth their light cavalry division to engage the Franco-Dutch cavalry in running skirmisher fights. The two Bavarian flank infantry divisions boldly advanced behind their own attached cavalry regiments. WR, commanding the central Bavarian infantry division, held back two turns to see if the Dutch central infantry position thinned out to support their exposed flanks from the Bavarian advance.
Two general views of both tables set up side by side. Bob has no “curtain” to hang between the tables to block casual view.
On Table A the Austrians and French march forward. Austrian plan, like the Dutch, intend to hold their ground hoping for quick Bavarian flank assistance. French plan was to advance with three infantry division and both light cavalry brigades. They held back one French infantry division and the arriving reserve cuirassier division to see how the battle unfolded.
Table B quickly had the Dutch-Polish corps under some strain as the two large flank Bavarian infantry divisions rolled forward. Bavarian cavalry (both the light cavalry division and the internal attached cavalry regiments) quickly pushed back the weaker Franco-Dutch light cavalry screen behind the stream. Andy tried twice to have his French chasseurs a’ cheval charge the Bavarian left flank division under WR’s son Daniel’s command. They thought about it… and failed to charge the massed Bavarians in square. Still their action greatly slowed the left flank Bavarian advance to marching square speed (4″). WR held back his own central Bavarian infantry division awaiting the situation in the center Dutch held village.
Bavarian army proudly advancing with standards aloft. The Dutch thin their center defenses a bit and WR quickly marches forward his central Bavarian infantry division towards the center village.
Table A sees Tim’s French light cavalry brigade charge home on the advancing Austrian infantry mass under Paul’s command. The charges prove to be costly in French horse-flesh but pins the Austrian massed infantry back against their rear table edge thus allowing fast cross tabletop marching of the supporting French infantry division behind the French light cavalry brigade. Dan’s two French infantry divisions march forward behind a protective skirmish screen, supported by their French cavalry brigade, and engage the Austrian advance guard division under Dave.
Bob’s Bavarian infantry division reaches the stream and forms up to cross in strength. Dutch infantry bend back their linear line as the central Bavarian infantry division, under WR, assaults the village in battalion columns. Having completed its task of pressuring the Franco-Dutch cavalry screen, the Bavarian light cavalry division reposition and ride quickly towards the Bavarian right flank and possible flank exit point.
The Bavarian left flank division (Daniel’s) crosses the two level hill with infantry battalion squares as Andy’s Franco-Dutch light cavalry ride below the hill. Daniel sends both his attached Bavarian cavalry regiments towards the open left flank and thinks he can release them for transfer service along with the Bavarian light cavalry division.
Austrians are under pressure now with Dan’s two infantry divisions fully engaging Dave’s advance guard division. Dave is forced to deploy his only reserve, another infantry division behind the advance guard to stem the steady French advance. Several charge and counter-charge cavalry action fought between the Austrian and French light cavalry regiments. French cuirassier division arrives and rides down the central roadway. At this point the French team could have marched Dan’s leftmost infantry division off the table exit point and appear on a Bavarian flank, but he decided to press the French advance with aim to quickly destroy the Austrian corps.
While Dan fought Dave on the Austrian right flank, Tim’s French infantry division advances against the Austrian left under Paul. Austrian cavalry charge home on French cannon and supportive French cavalry, trying to stem the steady French advances. Austrian round shot bounce though French massed columns. Classic Austrian linear formation vs. French columns action.
Bavarian infantry sweep though the village and deploy to engage the waiting Dutch infantry battalions on the other side of the village. Sharp fighting to subdue Dutch artillery and their supportive infantry as more Bavarian infantry columns march forward. Bavarian reserve 12lb batteries seek firing position from the crowded village to unlimbered and unleash their canister into Dutch battalions.
First inter-table transfers… Bavarian cavalry exit the Table B flank exit points to ride towards Table A. Daniel’s two attached cavalry regiments from his Bavarian left flank infantry division and the first two regiments (of four) from the Bavarian light cavalry division. They will spend one turn delay in the transfer zone then appear on a French rear flank position on Table A. Hopefully their appearance with assist the hard pressed Austrians by drawing off the French reserves.
Austrians appear to be holding their left flank as Tim’s first French infantry division crashes into the grenzer screen in front of the Austrian line battalions. Tim has another French infantry division (block) awaiting its orders to advance down the hill slope and support their brother infantry. Dan’s right hand French infantry division marching forward to attack along the roadway.
WR surveys Table B battlefield as Bob maneuvers his Bavarian division around the exposed Dutch left flank. Ty has been forced to commit his last reserve, the Polish infantry division to block Bob’s flanking Bavarians while Daniel’s left flank Bavarian pressure his right flank under Andy’s steady hand.
Swirling cavalry charges and French infantry columns mark the battlefield between Dave’s right flank Austrians and Dan’s French.
After the grenzer skirmishers were totally crushed by the French infantry, the French column masses now face the linear Austrian battalions. Can Paul hold position? Those two French reserve blocks advance and prepare to deploy…. another French infantry division and worse… fresh French cuirassier division on the roadway.
Having advanced past the center village, WR’s Bavarian division grinds forward into the Dutch defenses. A failed French chasseur a’ cheval regiment charge is blown apart by Bavarian musketry. The unlimbered Bavarian reserve 12lbs are firing canister into the shattered Dutch ranks. The Bavarian attack is clicking on all points….
General view of the closing actions on Table B; Dutch with Poles vs. the Bavarians.
Surprise! The Bavarian transferred cavalry is determined to arrive on the rear flank of Tim’s French. Immediately the French reserves are drawn to face this new threat. Both the intact reserve French infantry division and Cuirassiers are sent towards the initial arriving Bavarian cavalry regiments. Two more Bavarian cavalry regiments are expected, followed by a transferred Bavarian infantry division. Austrians are pleased and should be able to stem the weakened French assault causing a scenario contested table result on Table A.
While Austrian cheers couldn’t be heard on Table B, the crafty WR has brought forward his remaining Bavarian dragoon regiment and sounded a charge against the weak Dutch “hinge” position. Time to seize the Dutch LOC road exit and force the retirement of the remaining Dutch Polish corps from Table B.
Dutch battalions break from the charge, routing towards their rear. The exposed Dutch 8lb battery will fall under the swords of Bavarian dragoons. The Dutch Corps headquarters exits the battlefield, soon followed by the tattered remains of the Dutch infantry. Fresh Polish battalions form the rearguard defense from the advancing Bavarian infantry.
The final view of the Dutch Polish positions as Table B is declared a Bavarian victory and controlled by the Bavarians. Daniel’s left flank infantry division is soon sent to exit the tabletop zone of Table B to enter behind the Bavarian cavalry engaged on Table A.
With the pending arrival of Bavarian infantry reinforcements, the French cannot push the Austrians from the Table A tabletop zone. This will lead to a contested battlefield for victory points determination. With the expectation of many hours of fighting on Table A, the group called the holiday game action to a close since “holiday parties” are summoning several players.
In summary the scenario and inter-table transfer worked well. Created a different feel for the two separate battles and how the two player teams handled the overall situation. The Austro-Bavarians team attacked with no commands held back, a total “win quickly” plan. The Franco-Dutch-Polish team held back reserves which saved their Table A from the flanking Bavarian arrival but prevented the destruction of the Austrian corps.
Table victory points: Table A the Austrians had zero terrain objective points, French had 3 points for terrain objectives. Table B the Bavarians had 5 for uncontested table zone and all 8 terrain objective points = 13 points in total. The Dutch and Polish had zero table points.
The command losses victory points WR is unsure of… Table B Bavarians had two infantry divisions at 20% so 4 points earned to the Dutch. The Bavarians caused the Dutch 40% loss in the two Dutch infantry divisions and reduced the Franco-Dutch cavalry division by 60% loss. Total of 4 Dutch and 11 Bavarian VP’s for enemy % losses on Table B.
On Table A the Austrians had both infantry divisions at 20% loss and their advance guard at 40% so French earned 8 VP’s. Austrians destroyed one French light cavalry brigade (90%) and damaged the other at 20%. Two French infantry divisions reached 20% losses so Austrians earned 8 VP’s for their efforts.
Combined total victory points from both table zones: Franco-Dutch-Poles had 15 VP’s and the Austro-Bavarians had 32 VP’s. WR declares, with agreement from the players involved, the Austro-Bavarians team winners for this inter-table scenario game.
Holiday cheers for all and lucky dice rolls from the cozy warren.
Ps. Today’s weather outside is 72 degrees, sunny, with light breeze. Time to hop about outside then bake brandy chocolate chip and butterscotch cookies for the evening celebrations.