Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Catching Up On Past Games (9): Battle of Austerlitz, the Attack of the Russian Guard, 2nd December 1805

I should not have got out of bed!

32nd ANF game, played 24th March 2013
Back in March of this year we were preparing for our Lützen re-fight, so wanted to do a couple of games that would be easy to run. As we have so often, we turned to Chris Leach's Fields of Glory book, this time selecting the two scenarios based on parts of the Battle of Austerlitz.

The first of these was the "Attack of the Russian Guard". It did not go according to history...

Overview of the battlefield. The hill is none other than the Pratzen Heights.

Turn 1
Russian guard approached the French positions on the hill. Some casualties from their guns inflicted on Vandamme's right-most unit, while the left-hand one formed square.

Turn 2
Help on its way for the French; in the form of the guard cavalry (not photographed).

Turn 3
The Russian guard infantry attacks, French square broken, weakened infantry unit also broken, Vandamme's division demoralised.

Turn 4
A big one!

Chevalier guard vs chasseurs à cheval, 6 v 1, latter broken! Broke through onto grenadiers à cheval, 6 v 6 draw, round two 6 v 4, chevalier guard pushed back, but immediately rallied. Chalk up a small win for the "big heels", but now a stand-off as both units, blown! Russian staff officer killed.

Vandamme's light infantry and Russian guard exchanged volleys, with the lights coming off the better! However, another unit of the Russian guard broke the last of Vandamme's line infantry units. His division n'existe plus.
First turn Russian troops on Pratzen Heights (scenario victory conditions require them to hold it for six consecutive turns).

Turn 5
Russian guard infantry secured position on Pratzen Heights, taunting the grenadiers à cheval.
Depreradovich's guard hussars charged the second unit of chasseurs à cheval. The Russian were worsted, but not broken.
Drouet's and Rivaud's divisions continued their advance on the right and left of the French position respectively.
Second turn Russian guard on Pratzen Heights.

Turn 6
'Napoleon' decided to try to win without the guard (for a better outcome from the scenario victory conditions).
Honours even. Chevalier guard charged grenadier à cheval and the former were beaten and broken. The grenadier à cheval charged Russian guard infantry and were given a bloody nose, but rallied.
On the French left, Rivaud's infantry overran Depreradovich's horse artillery. Some of his infantry exchanged volleys with Russian guard jäger and came off the worst.
Third turn Russians on Pratzen Heights.

Turn 7
Russian guard hussars defeated guard chasseur à cheval, then broke through to break the still blown grenadier a cheval! The chasseur à cheval did not rally and so will retreat off board in Turn 8. Morland's guard cavalry division demoralised—I'll say!!

Russian Empress cuirassiers overran the old guard horse artillery.
Fourth turn Russians on Pratzen Heights.

Turn 8
Drouet's infantry attacked the Russian guard infantry, failed, was forced back in retreat and did not rally in the command phase.
Rivaud's infantry attacked the Russian guard jäger in Blasowitz, two draws, one unit broken by casualties, then a second unit broken in the fourth round. Rivaud's division retreated (roll 1)!
Two units of Drouet's infantry were all that remained.

Turn 9
The Russian guard hussars attacked N and his staff, defeated the duty squadron of gendarmes d'elite and captured N!
No beau soleil d'Austerlitz this day!
The gendarmes d'élite should have died of shame...

The Napoleonic era ended as it was just beginning?!
Leach, C and Conliffe, A (1997) Fields of Glory: Historical Scenarios for Corps Sized Napoleonic Battles in Miniature. Quantum Printing, New York, NY. 35 pp.