Sunday, March 13, 2016

SHAKO at the Library - Return to the Danube Valley

Once again I put out the Napoleonic troops on the table at the local library.  This time an old hand came out to test his mettle against me on the attack with French, while I held the line with Austrian forces.

We randomized the terrain and laid out the troops, in near record time!

Austrian forces on the ridge line
The woods across the center of the map made for a more limited battlefield, and the Austrians made full use of the cover and strength such a natural defensive feature provided.  While the French were going to march out from a series of built up areas, a 4 sector and 2 sector town.  Oh, and there was a small hill on the far left flank of the French position, of no consequence for this battle.



Ney in his HQ with heavy artillery


Austrians line the ridge

all the way

Austrian horse was on the left

The deployment marker, silver lion

View of Austrian lines along the ridge
Artillery started, though the French guns were soon masked as the foot advanced

Italian columns

Guard, maneuvering so as to march around a town

Germans in columns also

Ney screaming orders

Austrian Guns pound out punishment on French horse

Austrian horse make ready to charge, beyond the Austrian HQ
Horses clash with devastating results on the French
French reach the Austrian advance line ... taking casualties without result
By turn 5 the situation was not looking good for the French attack.

Two division commanders had 'stalled' having made contact with the Austrian line, they had fallen back and converted to defensive.  The French light horse was in 'desperation morale' having failed to rally from the loss of the first of three brigades.

the supreme moment of action needed for the French

at last the Austrians were taking casualties

pressure was building on the Austrian line

troops were getting thin in the French lines

The Guard was moving forward

repeated charges were having an effect

There were literally mounds of dead to march over as the French pressed up the hill ...
Turn 6 was the telling one.

at last the Austrian forward defense was beaten

only one force of foot was holding the forward line
The problem was it had cost more French men to win that position, and while the French light cavalry had recovered their courage ... they were now open to Austrian artillery and horse counter-charge.

Leading to a final thunderclap in turn 7:

a series of charges and counter-charges along with the Austrian artillery were to end both the Italian Division and the French light horse

Davout was to see his command shattered by artillery fire

the guard was simply not able to engage before the battle had ended

Austrian command had remained stationary with a close-knit interior line of communication that was not tested all game

The action had been concentrated in the open flank

High ground proved to be all powerful

indeed the Austrians had never really been pressed on the hill top

French artillery was not well placed all battle long

allowing the Austrians to use the woods to screen off anything coming from their left flank

German allies of the French proved to be very adept at staying out of the line of fire ...

the carnage of the hill

Austrian artillery, while not deadly every shot, proved to be effective when needed

combined arms was the trick for making the French pay for every inch of their advance

General Victor was twice ordered into the Austrian lines, and twice was not able to press home

some of the carnage

the ground of the repeated cavalry charges and counter-charges was the most deadly this day.

This makes the match-up between France and Austria so far 1:1 in the library.  One final match ought to be run to determine a final winner.

It was great to have the experienced opponent, who was capable of taking his own decisions and moving the men quickly.  We were able to play out the full 7 turns and come to a final conclusion in just over three hours, from about 12:45 to just after 4 pm.

In the meantime, my eldest was busy running an active game of Long Live the King!

The Long Live the King players

1 comment:

Ross Mac said...

That looks and reads like a very enjoyable game. (and kudos on raising a GM. Good Work!)