Tally Ho!

Saturday 26 February 2022

Shadow of the Eagles - Lutzen, part 1

Lutzen was one of the battles in the Leipzig campaign, in which Napoleon tried to prevent an attack by Prussian / Russian forces. This is the first of three scenarios we'll be playing and covers the initial Prussian attack.

Lutzen scenario

The Prussians deployed with their elite brigade  facing Rahna and a brigade each aimed at Gross-Gorschen East / West. The French deployed with a single brigade in each village, with the better troops in Kaja and Rahna.    

Rahna defenders

Prussian elite brigade 

Gross-Gorschen east


Kaja defenders

The battle began with Prussians on the offensive. In this game we judged victory solely on objectives so there was no point holding back.  Within a couple of turns they had cleared Gross-Groschen west and columns were approaching Rahna. 

With Gross-Gorschen west secured the Prussians were able to also launch an assault on the eastern village. Not shown in the pictures in the centre the single unit of French Hussars was able to rout both Prussian light cavalry and delay the arriving heavies until the French reinforcements could intervene and win the central melee for the Emperor.    

Heavy fire from the 12pdrs on the hill and the timely arrival of some Leger helped to stop and then push back the attack on Rahna, with the defenders even able to advance and threaten Gross-Gorschen west. The Prussians captured Gross-Gorschen east but were too exhausted to attack Kaja.  

So a draw with both sides holding two villages at the end of the game, albeit with the Prussians suffering heavier losses. Next week Napoleon arrives with the Guard looking to  recover the lost ground.   

Saturday 19 February 2022

Shadow of the Eagles - capture the crossings

We've paused the 1813 campaign while I do some rewrites so this week we played one of the scenarios from the rule book. In this game the French are attempting to capture three river crossings while the Austrians try to hold on for reinforcements.

The French opted to attack all three crossings, with cavalry massed in the east and infantry in the centre. The Austrians were split with light troops on the far side of the river to slow the French advance. 

German brigade

Austrian garrison at the western bridge

The opening move saw French Cuirassiers storm across the eastern bridge. Initially they were pushed back by some Hussars but weight told and after a couple of moves they managed to push across.     

Centrally the French advanced and their German brigade began pushing the Austrian lights back towards the central ford. In the meantime the Guards crossed the river at a convenient ford and moved to attack the village holding the western bridge.   

Guards brigade - Young Guard to the fore

Centrally the French lancers pushed back the enemy cavalry and stood poised to capture the ford. Meanwhile the Guards deployed and began their attack against the western bridge.   

At this point the first Austrian reinforcements arrived and immediately marched to the central ford, forcing the French Lancers to pull back and so secure the ford. The Guards attack went rather better though pushing the garrison from the village and routing a recently arrived unit of Austrian Grenadiers. 

At this point the French had control of two crossings and had been able to rout 6 units of Austrians. This hit the breakpoint of 8 units, so so it was a French win.  

An interesting battle and one where the Austrians reinforcements were able to arrive in time to make a difference. Its hard to pin down an exact reason for the French win - the only thing that could have been done differently would have been to have the Austrian lights not deploy forward but instead stay behind the river.  

Sunday 13 February 2022

Shadow of the Eagles - battle of Seehausen

With the French closing in on Magdeburg from two sides, the Russians finally got into the action, forcing the French back so they would not be squeezed between them and the Prussians. 

Sensing the trap the French C-in-C ordered the division to not contest the town itself bit to withdraw behind the river and block the Allies route north. The river had three crossings so the French defended two strongly and left the third with only the cavalry covering it to delay the enemy. The game would last 12 moves with the Prussians possibly arriving from turn 5 onwards.      
Germans at the ford

French centre

French right

The Allies deployed across the line with troops challenging all three crossings but the strongest force facing the weakly guarded eastern bridge. Their initial plan seemed to be to hold back and seek to weaken the French with artillery while awaiting the Prussians arrival. They went half-and-half though and after a few turns attacked against the eastern crossing and holding back elsewhere.  

Allied horse

The Allied horse advanced to cover the  flank of the eastern assault, fording the river and attacking the waiting French. Things were pretty even but stronger French dice pushed them back. The French followed up but left a few units to slow the Russian infantry advance. 

They could not stop them taking the eastern crossing but did force them to split their attack and so reduce the troops available to attack the central bridge.   

Over in the west the German brigade on the French left decided to cross the river. Pushing aside some Cossacks they got in position to block the Prussians who were marching to join the fight.  

Prussians arrive

As we hit turn 7 the Russians had captured the eastern bridge but lacked the numbers to push into the centre. The Prussians were deploying but were somewhat blocked by the Germans. So we declared for the French.      

So a second French win. In this case the key decision was actually the strategic one not to hold the town as this avoid the Prussians appearing on the French flank. 

Saturday 5 February 2022

ECW 20mm - Adwalton Moor

In this battle the Earl of Manchester attacked the Fairfax's and after being initially pushed back, stabilised the front and  launched a counter. 

The outnumbered Parliamentary forces began in a series of enclosures looking to attack the lower quality Royalist forces. 

The Royalists  attacked on the flanks with their horse and in reversal of history it was their left that had success and was able to rout the Parliamentary Dragoons guarding the hedge line there.   

Centrally things were pretty even, but the victorious Royalist horse turning in began to roll-up the line and so forced the Parliamentary infantry to withdraw. So as in history Manchester won for the King.   

Wednesday 2 February 2022

Shadow of the Eagles campaign - Helmstedt, Part 2 and bonus Liebertwolkwitz

At the end of last weeks play we were 5 moves in and the Prussians had just arrived on the field to bolster the flagging Austrians. In terms of losses the Allies were 7 /10 and the French were 5/ 9 so both only needed to lose 3 or 4 units to  be defeated. None of the objectives (with 2 kills) were captured. 

The French pushed forward as they had the advantage hoping to break the Austrians before the Prussians could make their presence felt. Turn 6 saw light casualties on both sides but in turn 7 they were able to break 3 Austrian units and take the victory.   

The key move was the decision to push forward with some fairly fresh units so that they shielded the most damaged French units from fire and stopped them routing. So a pleasingly close affair with  French coming out 1.5 kills ahead.

I think the decisive moment was about a third of the way through when the Austrians spotted they outnumbered the French in the centre and so decided to attack rather than waiting for the Prussians. This could have destroyed two French units and netted them an objective but accurate artillery fire blasted them and the attack failed costing them 3 units lost to 1.     

Bonus Liebertwolkwitz

Having a couple of hours play left we staged a quick battle based on the great cavalry battle at Liebertwolkwitz that preceded Leipzig. Both sides had 2 light cavalry brigades, 3 heavy brigades and a battery of guns. The aim was for the Allies to break through the French lines. 

View from the western end

Austrian and Prussian lights

Austrian heavies

French Dragoons and lights

French lancers

The allies attacked on both flanks whilst the French focused their attack in the west where most of their heavy cavalry was located.  

Russian hussars

Cavalry is pretty bloody and needs a slice of luck we declared it a draw after 6 turns play. About 25% of the Allies could have got off but were pretty damaged. The rest has been routed and the French controlled the field.  

Tally ho!

Ney appropriately rated Inspiring