Friday, 27 February 2009

Battle at Alexandro

Just a week after the last action at Campo Formagio, French and Austrian forces again clashed at about divisional level near Alexandro. This time there was no clear cut victor and both forces found themselves occupying their original positions at nightfall. The Austrian Jaegers seeing action for the first time advanced into a wood only to be set upon by twice their number of French voltigeurs and lost any advantage that might have been gained with their longer ranged weapons.

Over on the Austrian right the single Austrian battalion supported by the Frundsberg Radstadt Light Dragoons was attacked by two newly arrived Polish battalions supported by some French chasseurs a cheval. The Austrians resisted valiantly , but their Frundsberg supports were routed. However the Frundsberg Stocwold Horse that had been held in reserve drove off the hussars. At this point calamity struck and French dragoons that had penetrated the centre swept round and combining with a renewed Polish assault resulted in the annihilation of the Austrian battalion that had fought so valiantly and the capture of its colours and many of it's men.

Meanwhile in the woods between left and centre the Frundsberg II/4 and an Austrian grenadier Battalion entered the woods to clear out the French voltigeurs.

The left was generally quiet until some French hussars advanced and the Austrian hussars and dragoons attacked and drove them off. However the French dragoons that had been in reserve covering this flank and the centre had now switched into the centre and in combination with their infantry launched a combined arms attack.

The centre had started quiet except for the concentration of french artillery fire, supported by more French voltigeurs occupying the marsh to their front on the Austrian battalion in the centre of the line which was forced to withdraw and reform. At this point French cavalry and infantry launched an attack that succeeded in shattering the line and driving through. As already mentioned one unit of dragoons circled around to take the Austrian right flank in the rear. while a french infantry battalion took the opportunity to attack another Austrian infantry regiment that had formed square.

All seemed lost, however the victorious cavalry returned from the left flank the dragoons surprised the french infantry column before it could fully exploit its success. The hussars with their greater pace moved further and assaulted the rear of the French dragoons while the Stocwold Horse engaged them to their front. The combined assault succeeded it forcing the trapped dragoons to lay down their arms.

meanwhile over on the weakened left flank fresh French infantry launched an assault assisted by the voltigeurs from the marsh and the returning hussars, somehow the Austrian/Frundsberg line managed to hold. But in the centre there were continued attacks and the second French dragoon unit inspired by the leadership of General De Bonnaire crashed upon the reforming Austrian line, while the Poles and Chasseurs a cheval broke the Frundsberg II/4 and the artillery supporting them. The Austrians facing De Bonnair were made of sterner stuff and drove off the dragoons and the body of the general could be clearly seen amongst the bodies.

On the left the spirit seemed to have departed the French infantry and most withdrew to reform so the Austrian battalion took the opportunity to attack the remaining formed french battalion and drove it off as well. In combination with this thrust the Austrian Leichtenstein hussars drove off their French equivalents and the Frundsberger II/3 advanced on the voltigeurs in the marsh causing them to withdraw. This just left the chasseurs a cheval in the centre who were dealt with by the three fold attack by the Stocwold Horse and two Austrian battalions who then fled to the safety of their own lines.

With darkness approaching and both armies quite depleted by the fighting combat ceased with both armies holding their original positions.

The was a real pell-mell battle with lots of situations to test the French Revolution rules.

After the last game I had decided to re-instate 2nd cavalry charges, but with a 50/50 rule that they either pursued or could charge again. This worked well, but I need to document how to deal with some of the possible cases where a unit gets in the direct way of the rout/pursuit.

Similarly the option for evading needs to be incorporated from my SYW rules.

The actions of De Bonnaire in inspiring the dragoons was astounding, his +1 was just what was need to enable the dragoons to ride through a storm of fire from the defending battalion, although he was wounded at this stage. very lucky dice rolls saw the Austrian infantry drive off the dragonns in melee and to compound it De Bonnaire was killed.

So over the next week or so I'll formalise the rules and post up a first draft for those who might be interested.

1 comment:

Frankfurter said...

At least somebody is getting some gaming done ...
I'm jealous, but awful glad you're having fun.