Sunday, August 14, 2011

Battle of Raab

Using the Napoleon’s Battles rules and scenario Richard and I refought this battle yesterday.  We took an hour or two the previous night to set up the table and sort out the troops.  Play commenced at 1pm and by 6pm we had an outcome.  We had played eight turns which was four hours in game time.

I was the French and I made sure to bring up the reserves immediately, even it meant the Italians on my far left flank languished for a turn or two.  With all the troops now moving forward, it was rare that there were any French command problems.  The Austrians however couldn’t maintain their whole front in command.  Not such an issue while the attack was developing, but a serious handicap once the engagement was across the whole front.

The first picture is after the French first turn and already the head of the Italian Guard can be seen on the road behind Prince Eugene while the division of Dragoons moves up on their right. 

The first attacks occurred to the north of Kis-Megyer and were beaten off by the Austrians without too much trouble.  This is the situation depicted in the second picture which occurs after about four turns of play

The main assault on Kis-Megyer was also repulsed as were the initial probes across the ford by the French cavalry.  The third picture is after the repulse of the French left, but with the Italians getting ready to attack again.  The detail of which is in the fourth picture.

The Italian brigade in the above picture are actually my figures, all the other ones are part of Richard's collection.  The Italians were the first 15mm Napoleonics I painted.

However weight of numbers and quality of troops started to tell and while the second French assault north of Kis-Megyer was again repulsed, the French cavalry obtained a bridge head. 

A third assault by the Italians was successful and in the centre the French began to mass fire against Kis-Megyer.  It was then that a series of very successful French cavalry charges occurred as they broke out from the bridgehead and in a short time the Austrian army’s moral broke, their grenadiers narrowly escaping from being surrounded.  The Austrians still held Kis-Megyer, but it was becoming a killing ground for them.

In the last photo above, the cavalry on the hill are French staring down on Archduke John.

The Austrians had five brigades dispersed and five routed (and being ridden down by French cavalry) while the French had two brigades dispersed and one routed.
If I was to refight the battle again, I would add in a requirement for the French cavalry to search for the ford.  One method would be to place six chits on the stream in the general area of the real ford, one being the actual ford, the others dummies.  The French cavalry would have to contact the chit and role under their response number to complete the search.  Only the Austrians would know and they could choose to defend and possibly betray the ford's location or even defend in another place hoping to deceive the French. 

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