Friday, January 15, 2016

One Ridge, Two Bridges - Jan 2, 1746 - the battle fought

Following defeat at Pristina, the Libagioni army has retreated precipitously northward back toward Libagioni. The unseasonably mild winter weather has encouraged Le Marquis de Fromage to pursue closely on their heals. The demoralized and exhausted units of the army of Libagioni straggle over the bridges of the Lower Cabrera and back into Libagioni territory. The Marquis has chosen to ignore the tradition of winter cantonments and force a crossing with his advance guard in hope of dealing further damage to a weakened enemy.

One Ridge, Two Bridges - Jan 2, 1746 - scenario notes... click here

Unfortunately, Le Marquis de Fromage (this time in the guise of my daughter-in-law Melissa) has chosen poorly. His attack across the river has ended in defeat and has resulted in a more accepting attitude toward the thought of winter quarters for his army. Despite the exhaustion of his army and their resultant unreliability (untested in Black Powder terms),  Il Prinicipe Martellato (in the form of Captain Dan, of Red Over Blue) has achieved some semblance of retribution for the thrice-defeated Libagioni army and assured the protection of the river for another winter season.

Le Marquis chose to concentrate his advance guard against only one of the two bridges, while Il Prinicipe was forced to guard both with the Libagioni rear guard.

I've selfishly lifted photos of the game from the post on Red Over Blue. Captain Dan was using his new camera and his photos are far better than mine.

A view of the table, looking south. The Gourmandie advance guard approaches the river in the top right of the photo and the Libagioni rear guard units are on the north side of the bridges. You can also see Il Prinicipe's plan sitting in plain view of the enemy!

The grand Libagioni plans.

Gourmandie advance guard approaches the western bridge. And yes, those seem to be Napoleonic Spanish cavalry in the van but really they're Les Dragons Bleu and Les Dragons Jaune of the Gourmandie army. Any similarity is purely coincidental. Really.

Battalion guns from the Gourmandie advance guard deploy to harass the Libagioni forces at the eastern bridge.

Ulanen Hasseroder watch the proceedings of the bridge defence from the safety of the heights beyond.

The first Gourmandie battalion makes it across the western bridge only to be quickly charged by the Cavalerria di Strega. These fearsome riders possess the Black Powder characteristic of Terrifying Charge. Though a small unit, the alacrity and ferociousness of the charge made the Gourmandie movement across the bridge problematic.

Freikorps der Jagers Radeburger formed part of the western bridge defence, led by  Reichsgraf Reinhard von Blumhardt. A significant difference between Gourmandie armies and those of Libagioni and Das KaiserReich (the latter remain as part of Il Prinicipe's army) is light troops. The northern allies have embraced the need for skirmishing light troops while Le Grand-Duc de Gourmandie has yet to be persuaded of their usefulness.

Despite an initial setback when trying to deploy on the northern side of the bridge, the Gourmandie advance guard commander, Phillipe Grand-Nez, Comte de Roquefort, was eventually able to push away the meagre Libagioni advance guard and deploy his battalions.

Le Comte de Roquefort glances back at his own regiment, Infanterie Roquefort, to assure their dressing before pushing on to the ridge ahead.

Looking from the south, the Gourmandie advance guard has gained a bridgehead and deployed. The heavy cavalry of the main Gourmandie army, Grenadiers à Cheval Boursin, deploy on the right flank and the remainder of the advance guard cavalry on the left. The Libagioni main body infantry have begun to move down from the ridge in the top right of the photo.

KaiserReich infantry brigade moves forward from the ridge to attack the Gourmanide bridgehead: Musketiere Krombacher followed by Greandiere Oettinger.

Grenadiere zu Pferde Warsteiner, the premiere heavy cavalry regiment of the Libagioni army, begins to move forward against  the Gourmandie advance guard, expecting to engage Les Grenadiers à Cheval Boursin (see below).

Les Grenadiers à Cheval Boursin after a long march onto the battlefield are deployed with the advance guard infantry, ready to move against the ridge. KaiserReich heavy artillery on the ridge quickly began to target this magnificent cavalry regiment. Unfortunately, the result was a huge blow to Le Marquis' plans. Regiment Boursin broke and ran under the stresses of the bombardment, leaving the Gourmandie army with precious little cavalry support.

Il Prinicipe Martellato gazes approvingly on the progress of his troops against the Gourmandie bridgehead. 

After the loss of the Gourmandie heavy cavalry, Le Marquis was beset with further problems. The KaiserReich infantry began engaging their enemy counterparts, supported by three cavalry regiments. The lack of cavalry support and a decided lack of enthusiasm in his Gourmadie infantry while defending against the enemy infantry attack, persuaded Le Marquis to adopt the "better part of valour" and withdraw his army.

Libagioni victory!  ... no doubt largely accomplished by KaiserReich forces. But that difference in perception is for another story...

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