Monday, May 06, 2013

Garden Wars battle of May 5 - somewhere between Italy and Austria

Garden Wars season five opening game
In order to put the new Austrians to the test and take advantage of some early beautiful weather I laid out a meeting engagement between those Austrians, all of them that I have, and an Italian French allied force.

After mowing the lawn back to provide the flat ground and leaving some tall grass sections to become the 'forests' for the game area (and the front lawn - not used in the game) I was able to lay out the two forces for all to see.

The Austrian forces consisted of 6 divisions with some 19 combat battalions or squadrons (Shako does not count the artillery as part of the victory determination) while the Italians were commanded by my custom Eugene miniature had a total of 15 units across 5 divisions.

Garden Wars forces for May 5
While my eldest and youngest sons took some time to lay out the buildings on the field that I had cut and set out a pair of river onto.

Garden Wars map with rivers and woods enhanced to see
My eldest son laid out the traffic cone for the far corner of the field then set about making the plan for attack with his youngest brother.

I then laid out the defenders and watched as their divisions closed in ...

By turn seven the first divisions had reached within three times command span (our chosen rules for 'detection') and beyond artillery range ...  at long last the new Austrians were going to make their first appearance!

New Austrian Corps makes their first appearance in a Garden Wars game
By turn eight there were more detection of forces ...

Garden Wars detection range ... three yards
We had started to use this detection method of movement with cardboard 'blanks' for the troops as it was much simpler to do the long range moves where limited information and no chance of combat would occur.

The troops were moving fast and so were the turns as another turn passed before I took some situation photos of the Italians and French along with the advancing Austrians, who had crossed the north river ford and appeared to have the town as a target.  Artillery fire was starting to happen from the French guns in the town, drawing first blood on the Austrian Hessen-Homburg Hussars (just for you Jim).

Italian Infantry - with attached Voltiguers out ahead in the edge of the woods

Austrian columns approaching the north ford, taking some long range artillery fire

French in the town, above the flag you can see the opposing Austrian columns
Then the longer moves started to happen as the troops now needed to be moved, this permitted a few more photos, in this case the two boys laid out their plans as they moved, it also gives a better sense of scale.

Garden Wars boys moving their forces
Now the French foot artillery was starting to have some effect as the Hessen-Homburg Hussars were taking casualties and becoming disordered (see the artillery wheel in amongst the blue hatted, red pants riders).

Shako rules, used in Garden Wars call for disorder in units, here marked with the wagon wheel (center right)

Two Austrian divisions marching in column towards the north river ford
On the south side, more divisions were into detection range, the Austrians were crossing the south east ford, while French Chasseurs and Hussars waited on the west bank of the south west ford.

South east ford as Austrians are crossing

Same group as above different angle, the board with the horseman is the Austrian Cuirassier div - just out of range of detection, though moving too fast to be an infantry formation
The French Carabinier were also having a debut in Garden Wars and their division moved into detection range as they approached the town after being sent new orders on turn 12.

French armored cavalry Carabinier
By this point only two Austrian formations were not now visible and all of the Italian French were.

The Austrian attack appeared to be a widely separated double envelopment, the two arms were too far apart to support each other ... so the French response was to concentrate on the one that was closest ... unfortunately for the Austrians they did not bring in their Grenadiers in time ...

Garden Wars general situation at turn 13
Now the Italians and French went into motion, the Heavy Cavalry was sent to the 'no mans land' between the north bridge and ford and the Italian foot division was sent into the same area, while Eugene redeployed himself and the reserve foot artillery into ... the same area.  Now the Austrian militia division was going to be sorely tested,  was the line infantry division at the north east ford.

French Heavy Cavalry into column thru the town

Carabinier's red crests stand out

Italian horse battery sets up and drives off the Hessen-Homburg Hussars

Left without a cavalry screen, the Austrian militia division seeks cover of the woods

Now the Austrian Cuirassier had new orders to push forward and pressure the French light cavalry at the south west ford.

Austrian Ciurassier cross the south east ford
More positioning happened for both sides as the Cuirassier continued to advance.

one full turn of movement with the horse shows how far they can travel , compare the watermill in the upper photo from turn 15
Now the French artillery in the town had Uhlans to target, though the long range made for limited effects.

More Austrian forces getting their first taste of action in Garden Wars
view of the battle from town - dominated by French infantry, the Austrian Uhlans can be seen in the upper left
Now Eugene had re-located his HQ, and the corps artillery was close to its deployment.  Meanwhile the Austrian Cuirassier division was finally close to the south west ford.

Eugene moves his HQ

Austrian Cuirassier have reached their destination, past the forward deployed infantry

In turn 18 the French dragoons were able to catch a line of militia caught in disorder due to the voltigeurs in the woods causing them to become disordered.  Also a pair of columns of Italian and Irish (wild geese) were finished coming through the woods, not changing formation they charged the disordered square of militia before them!

Irish and Italian columns hit an Austrian militia square

The charge seen from above
Dragoons hit a line from the flank
This was also the point when the Corps artillery got set up with supporting Italian foot behind them.  The Austrians at the north east ford were going to get a taste of effective range ball shot.

French Corps foot artillery make ready to bombard Austrians
View of the north east ford (rocks) from the Italians charging the square, French Heavy Cavalry to the left, Austrians seen in the distance top center to right
Now the French Dragoons were to charge towards the Austrian line just across the north east ford, the Austrian Uhlans were ready to intercept, though they had been wounded by French horse batteries attached to the heavy cavalry division. 

Austrian Uhlans engage French Dragoons

Carabinier stand watch between horse batteries pounding Austrians across the river

Heavy Cavalry Division in action (the white plume in the foreground is the commander)
Austrian Uhlans were no match for the Dragoons, who then drove into their original intended target the line of infantry, that now failed to form emergency square.

French breakthrough in the north, shattering Uhlans and line infantry
Meanwhile at the south west ford, the Austrians were applying pressure, having killed 1/4 of the Hussars regiment with canister fire from Austrian horse batteries.  The French were not holding still though and had reformed in preparation to engage either the horse guns or Cuirassier.

overview of the south west ford

Austrian Horse batteries get in good shots

Austrian Cuirassier, Infantry and Artillery

French Horse battery had managed to disorder the Austrian Infantry for a time before the Cuirassier arrived
The turn order calls for morale rallies and a divisional morale check if the force is below 1/3 losses, at 1/2 losses it is worse.  For the Austrian division standing on the north east ford, they were now at 1/2 losses.  The roll was a '3', not so terribly bad, however this meant that the entire Austrian force was now to have none guarding or active (other than a foot battery alone without any covering infantry)  forces on their right flank.  It was time to withdraw and this force of Austrians would not have success on this first ever outing in Garden Wars.

Garden Wars Austrian Foot

The north east ford final positions and die roll of '3' (next to division command)
The final score was left at Italian French at 6 :: Austria 0.

Garden Wars season 5 for 2013 getting started with lots of Austrians

Another 20 minutes to clean up the troops and buildings, then I re-set the yard for some fun for my youngest son ...

Cold wet fun in the setting sun ...
Your comments or thoughts are appreciated.


Archduke Piccolo said...

Oh well, never mind. There is this to be said for the Austrians: they'll always come back for another go, and sometimes they win.

As usual an intriguing and attractive idea in this scale. If ever I do any of this kind of thing, I have some old Christmas tree wire and plastic branches that I can cut and stick into the lawn as forests. The upside of these is (1) you simply mow the whole lawn in one go (always a consideration for mine) and (2) sticking these things into the ground aerates the lawn.


Jiminho said...

Looks like fun, and the Austrians look very colourful in the sun!

MurdocK said...

Yes Ion and my eldest is already asking about the 'next' Garden Wars.

Be great to see your take on the game in the garden!

Jim, they are great in the sun, though the newness of the gloss coat and the hot sun did make them feel a bit 'tacky' to the touch ... no smearing of dirt or other things have been detected.

Jiminho said...


It would be sad to have grass stains on newly painted white-coated Austrians...