I've been able to get in a couple games of Field of Battle lately. Last week, Michael and I tried out a scenario based on the battle of Teugen-Hausen, during the 1809 campaign. Our first try through this scenario didn't produce a very entertaining game. The French were able to roll over the Austrian defenders before any reinforcements could arrive to help. The second time through we decided to speed up the reinforcement schedule. While this produced a slightly more challenging game for the French (me), the game was never really in doubt. The French in this battle are part of Davout's III Corps and as such are some of the best troops in the Grande Armee, except, of course, the Imperial Guard. The Austrians, while not bad troops, are hampered by poor command and control. I don't think we'll be playing that scenario again!
I'm still having camera problems and I was able to salvage only one pic from the last three games. Here we have some Berg line infantry deploying to attack the Austrian army in the game below. Figures from the collection of Andy Lunny, painted by Steve Thomson.
Yesterday at MIGS, I hosted a small Field of Battle for the Austrian player in our latest campaign. It wasn't a campaign-generated game. Instead, I just wanted to give Alex a chance to play with the sort of force he would have in the campaign. Specifically, his army will be (and was yesterday) made up of a broad mix of troop qualities: everything from raw line troops to the crack grenadiers of the ReserveKorps. The scenario was a basic attack-defend type with the French moving against a prepared Austrian defense. I should point out as well that the French army had no French troops in it; instead, there were three German divisions and a German light cavalry division. Well, the commanders were French at least!
1st (Berg) Division
2nd (Hesse-Darmstadt) Division
3rd (Bavarian) Division
Advance Guard Division
The Austrians deploy to cover the large ridge on the left flank, with the Advance Guard in the small village and the grenadiers in central reserve.
The French begin their advance with the Berg and Hess-Darmstadt contingents aiming at the main ridge. The French left flank is refused to hold the Austrian cavalry in place. The Bavarians are meant to occupy the attentions of the Austrian troops in the village.
The Berg and Hess-Darmstadt artillery unlimber at the base of the ridge and begin to bombard the Austrian infantry there. The intention was to assault the ridge after a preliminary bombardment and turn the Austrian left flank. The Austrian commander saw the threat to his flank and began to move the grenadiers to the left flank. On the French side, the Hesse-Darmstadt commander saw an opportunity to move against (and possibly capture) the small central village, contrary to the original intent of the French general's plan.
After a short bombardment of the main ridge, the Berg division sallies forth and pushes the Austrian defenders aside. The Hesse-Darmstadt division ousts the Austrian Advance Guard out of the village only to see the Austrian grenadiers on the far side. Fortunately for the French commander, the grenadier division commander was mortally wounded just as he was about to push his men into the fray and stem the French advance. This news, of course, was not happily received by the Austrian CinC.
The Berg infantry begins to turn the Austrian flank and Austrian casualties have reached a critical mass. The Austrian CinC decides that the best option is to quit the field and concede defeat. Even if the grenadier division hadn't lost its commander, the successful French attack on the Austrian left flank would still have probably turned the flank. As well, the Austrian grenadiers would probably have turned a decisive French victory into a minimal victory. Fortunately for the French (me), the Austrian commander was saddled with poor and abysmal commanders and the worst possible Field of Battle card deck.