The sixth game of our Wagram campaign, and the French’s third assault on Aderklaa, the last at this village I think. This time Morand’s division launch the assault to drive out the last Austrians, mostly grenadiers and infantry, with neither side with any cavalry support at all this time. So, a big infantry brawl.
The game started (same battlefield as last time) with the French assault moving up, the German troops in the centre. Learning from last time, I decided not to offer the same resistance up front with my weakened grenadiers this time, battered and with fewer stands, the grenadiers would hold back and maybe launch a counter-attack, but I would try hard not to lose them (and the game) this time.
On my right, the fresh grenadier brigade would launch a counter attack, and they started in march columns, for a swift advance, then into line or assault columns to drive into the French. Hopefully, their good resolve and musket and melee would see them give the French line infantry a bloody nose. I’d also attack on the left, my own line infantry, pushing up to divert troops from the village and threatened his weaker right, although there were a lot of French and Saxon batteries to face. They would do hellish damage for 2 turns, until ammo low events slowed them down a bit.
In the centre, the German allies were soon in the first buildings, and claiming the objective, a good start, but my grenadiers were mostly unscathed this time and could counter-attack. French guns started brilliantly (helped by all three intense cannonade cards) and the Austrians were feeling the pain, one battalion breaking under the accurate fire. The French leapt out to an early lead in VPs as the Austrians were still moving up.
With just skirmish fire in the village, both sides wary of pressing the other (it was too close to call really), the Austrian’s right grenadiers used a timely ‘well-drilled’ card to march up and deploy into firing lines, knowing a withering volley card was hand. The French suspected it too, but there was little they could do about it, as the grenadiers got another play and immediately unleashed a hellish volley that saw two French battalions badly damaged. One grenadier battalion also charged and drove off another French battalion in melee, the fightback was on. The French were forced to rally, battalions ragged after losses now. On the right my infantry pressed on, the cannon fire slackening thankfully, but now the infantry fight was on, skirmish fire, then a few volleys started to add to the carnage. I had saved a card until last, the second withering volley! Ouch! My grenadiers poured the fire in again and as the smoke cleared 3 French battalions had been broken, fleeing in a turn that saw the French left brigade shattered with just 1 battalion left facing 3 grenadier ones with their dander-up. That flank was in big trouble. Next turn and I could press my advantage here, the Austrians were now in the lead on VPs, but the French knew they needed a win in the centre or on their right to pull it back. A furious turn of charges, volleys, counter-charges followed, and one Austrian line battalion broke under German bayonets, but as they did, so did the final battalion of the French left, leaving just an artillery battery of the entire brigade, under counter-battery fire from my artillery and on the verge of breaking too, having seen the columns gunned down by my grenadiers. We added up the VPs, the French had not quite done enough damage to salvage the battle, whilst they had broken, just, themselves. It was close though, just 1 VP left for the Austrians, but enough to score them a first marginal win of the campaign.
Great game, it really swung hard in turn 3, with carnage from my grenadiers, that did the business as my best infantry should (but rarely do). No cavalry to worry about was a fun twist, we both just get stuck in, not having to worry about cavalry attacks. Maybe the Austrian comeback has begun, as we go into game 7, leave Aderklaa behind, and head over to the French right with Davout’s Corps and his attack on, and around, Markgrafneuseidl. Let see if the Austrians can hold as well… another infantry brawl (but no grenadiers).
|The field, over the Russbach stream from the Wagram slopes. Aderklaa and not much else. |
|The grenadier brigade arriving on the right, at the quick, hauling guns up to. Go, go, go... no time to waste. |
|The infantry on the Austrian left, beyond, burning Aderklaa. |
|French and Saxon gunners give the Austrians a good hammering to start with, until the ammo ran low. A lot of heavy work for the gunners. |
|The grenadiers arrive and with smooth precision deploy into two battalion lines, facing 4 French battalion columns, muskets leveled... wait, wait... fire! |
|Little action in the actual village, but the French have some houses, the Austrians loiter towards the rear and look for chance to counter attack. |
|After two withering volleys the French are reduced to 1 battalion left and in big trouble. My boys with the big hats would pour it on again next turn too... crushing the French left. |