Monday, 21 November 2022

Village Assault, with Soldiers of Napoleon

 Testing a new historical scenario, with the French Imperial Guard holdings a village and its church (let’s just call it Plancenoit) under attack from my Austrians (standing in for the Prussians). An very different sort of game, with tough, but small units holding fortified buildings (some of which where already on fire, so not much use). Two small brigades holding against three attacking ones would also be a tough ask for the defenders, down a card from Turn 1 onwards, and also badly out-shot in artillery. In all, the balance seemed about right. It would be close, and in the end very close.

This would be an almost all infantry fight, my attackers had a single 2 stand hussar unit… so, yep, not much use in an assault into buildings, and maybe VPs waiting to happen if I got them destroyed. Best keep them out of trouble.

The 'Austrian' attack would be with three infantry brigades, with artillery support, but mostly line and some landwehr infantry.

Here are shots of the progress of the game as the 'Austrians' fought their way into the village. The French defended the first line of cottages, mostly with young guard’ inside them, skirmishers deployed. The couple of old guard battalions were held back as the counter-attacking reserve. Main attack up the centre and against the closest cottage and paddock below (Austrian left).

The village and central church (and yard). Attackers will deploy from the right side of this pic.

Old Guard hold the church yard, as the church is well on fire already.

More French scattered around the village.

Austrian deployment, the left and centre brigades, both led by a skirmish line, carrying the attack.

Young Guard hold a small cottage and paddock with their skirmishers. It would be the scene of heavy fighting on this flank.

The Austrian centre moves up, skirmishers, light infantry screen and assault columns behind. Supporting fire kept the French heads down.    

Height of the assault in the centre as the French battery is overrun. Their counter-attack would then drive the Austrians back in complete disarray.

Landwehr column is peppered by skirmish fire as they try to advance on the right, but they break and run. The attack here never got going. Landwehr vs Guard in fortified positions... not much hope. Just a demonstration attack then.

Reserve battalion, awaiting the call forwards. Maybe waited too long.

Fierce skirmishing at the paddock as the French are pushed back, Austrian hussars behind harassing the voltiguers back to their parent units (they came in handy). Howitzer fire eventually set the cottage on fire and forced the Guard out.
The assault on the right reaches the paddock and drive in those skirmishers but the assault on the cottage is thrown back, with heavy losses, before it burnt down.

Old Guard advance to counter attack in the centre, but just too late to turn the day. With both sides requiring just a few VPs to break the other the Austrians just knicked it, pulling back with a few good rallies saved them (and obscuring smoke helped). The French finding the small battalions hard to preserve (but good in those fortified cottages). French broke by -3 points, Austrians at Break Point, so a very narrow win. The village will fall. 

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