Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Stare Vinohrady, an Austerlitz engagement

A SHAKO II battle was fought in October, at a local hall food prep area (the other part of the hall was in use) and I discovered that a 'higher' table, such as the one we used in this game, which was meant for food preparation, could be an excellent gaming surface as the minis were up higher and not as much 'stooping over' was needed to reach across to your troops as with a standard table height.

new boundary markers combine the 5th Brigade Eagle with a chess base and wooden disc

field of battle, Austro-Russian forces to the right, French left

field of battle, Austro-Russian to the left (with the great vineyard lower center) and French right

French batteries with infantry in reverse slope

another view of same

Bonaparte with his staff, Guard and Guides nearby.

Kutuzov and Alexander with allied Austrians nearby

Center of the French lines

view from the right of the French lines

Russian Center

Austrians covering Pratzen at the plateau

far right of the French lines
The Russians needed to retain the plateau and even a tenuous connection with the left flank would allow the command to recover the situation to the south and perhaps stop the losses at the Satchan...

French outright victory would come if they could command the whole of the plateau before turn 6, otherwise simply victory would be the result if they could kill off or chase away 12 Austro-Russian units before losing 12 themselves before turn 12.

Russians advance across the line with French closing in to musket range also ...

French Heavy Cavalry hold back

while the foot advance in lines (taking casualties from the heavy Russian batteries at the top of the vineyard)

Austrian Division holds firm

French batteries pound out towards the Pratzen garrisons

massed Russian lines advance ...
Amazingly the Russians chose to take aggressive action to get at the French directly.

in mere moments the Cossacks of the Russian left vanished ...

now the lines of foot troops were in great volleys exchanging fire

meanwhile the French Guard start off in motion

Austrians held at Pratzen ...

while more Austrian heavy cavalry roll onto the field, moving to the center-left from behind the cover of the great vineyard
now the field action was fierce all across the lines

confused situation in the center

lancers race in against the flank of an unprepared Russian line

French Guard horse gunners now set up for action

Austrians were to be the Guard's target!

more live action from the French batteries on the left ... taking fire from the great position batteries of the Russians

the mangle of dead men and horses before an active Russian horse battery, looking along the line of the Pratzen plateau ... still no French units on the plateau.
now French troops have cut off all communications to the south, so no Austro-Russian victory was going to happen, while the rest of the field is in a pause as a Russian division collapses, then a French one falls back....

French battalions in a scattered mess attempt to rally while others are battered and disordered holding the flank of an artillery battery

Guard Cavalry slam into Russian Dragoons after having crushed a couple of battalions of infantry underhoof

The Guard foot move into position ...

getting around the flank of a French Division holding the attention of the Russian Grenadiers

More allied cavalry arrives and is thrown to the attack in column!

with no room to deploy nor time to organize a fancy attack the allied horse arriving are put into action instantly as they arrive

they rid directly into battle in columns for that is the amount of space that they have ...

The opportunity missed!  the French were not yet in control of the plateau and the arrival of more Austro-Russian cavalry was immenent.
A hush came over the battlefield on this turn 6, 12h40, as the opportunity for an Outstanding Victory passed by ... outdoing Napoleon is such a hard challenge!

The French heavy cavalry is cut loose!

The Austrian heavy horse drove back the French Guard light cavalry!  Though with losses...

the French Imperial Guard have swept away the Austrians masking Pratzen

the Austrian light horse get ready to attack again ... having been thrown back from their first assault

The grand position batteries with their massive cannon

Austro-Russian light cavalry push back French one more time from the position just before Pratzen

masses of Russian dead litter the base of the plateau

more French march over the mounds of dead

French troops were on the plateau, yet do not control it ... yet
So the Outstanding Victory was not possible, as it is so very hard to out-do the grand master Bonaparte ...

now the fight moved onto the plateau, even as more allied cavalry arrive

One French division holds on by a thread as they struggle to rally battalions

while the lancers smash into more Russians and recover

now alone at the rear of the action, Bonaparte surveys the damage

before him the Guard has one more column of allied horse to repulse

the chaos around Kutuzov is seen here as more allied cavalry rolls through ...

no troops challenged the vineyards itself

the score seen here in the background as Guard infantry forms square to repulse more allied horse
no hope further for any sort of victory, now the Austro-Russians fight to inflict any or all casualties they can ...

French Dragoons race past the now rallied French infantry in the south of the plateau

Allied horse push past Pratzen

more damage dealt by Guard Horse guns

Russian Dragoons mass up, now riding in disorder through the vineyards

tenuously held, the town of Pratzen remains in allied hands
field of battle at the end of action, south at the bottom is totally held by French, Pratzen plateau was 50/50 and the town of Pratzen still in the hands of allied forces.  Clearly a French victory, though not more than a tactical one ...

Russian position batteries would withdraw while cavalry held off the masses of French foot.

Lancers were able to clear the south of the plateau, just not engage directly towards the north and Pratzen itself

shattered remnants remain at the base of the plateau

Guard infantry ready to assault Austrian militia in the town.

Score at battle end ...
It is always great to get the Napoleonic troops out on the table, this time including the MAN himself.

Next plan is for some Pulp Action ...