Friday, May 16, 2014

Campaign C0ntinues Part 2

We had a half day at school today, so we took advantage of that by meeting to resolve two conflicts in our campaign.  The largest battle was a follow-up to the last encounter.  The Prussians decided to press forward into Austria, bolstered by their alliance with France.  Two blooded Austrian infantry brigades made a stand against two Prussian brigades and one Hessian.  It looked like the clear advantage was with the Prussians, but reinforcements would be entering on both sides early on in the conflict (both rolled a "1" for the turn they would enter on.)  This was to have a profound impact on the battle.
This is the field before the first shot has been fired.

This was the unpleasant surprise that threw a wrench into the Prussians' plans!
A brigade of Austrian cavalry arrived on the Prussian left flank and there were only two depleted Hessian cavalry units to counter them.  And their orders had them marching away from the threat.  Though it took a few turns to shake out into position, they did manage to completely overrun a Prussian battery and stopped the primary attack cold.  Hulsen's brigade also attacked, but met stiff resistance from Puebla's Austrians.

A French brigade came in right behind a startled Austrian grenadier brigade, but the men in bear skin caps were able to reposition themselves in time to deliver some devestating volleys into the deploying Frenchies.  A double six required a check upon the French brigadier; the result was a three.  The poor commander's horse bolted straight toward the Austrian lines and he was captured.  This left his men without a commander and  thwarted any offensive plans they may have had. 

Overall, casualties were light, but it was clear that the Austrians had given the advancing Prussians a black eye.

On the other table a small action took place between an Austrian light brigade and one made up of Scottish highlander mercenaries.  The objective was a small village at a vital crossroads.  The highlander commander rejected the advice of his aged mentor (that would be me) to seize the town as quickly as possible and then hope to hold on.  Instead, this brash young commander decided to move right into a charge.  The results were predictable and bloody.  When the smoke cleared, nearly half of the kilted warriors lay crumpled on the field.   Austrian casualties were negligible.

The highlanders foolishly attack a bristling line of Austrian infantry.

The beginning of the battle.
So, it was a very good day for Austria.  The campaign aspect of the games, meaning that casualties count in future engagements, has dramatically changed the mindset of the players.  They enjoy seeing the counters on our campaign map plunked down onto a table with something tangible on the line.

Looking to the future, the Russians have been fairly cautious.  But with the bulk of Prussia's forces embroiled in the south, they may muster up the courage to make a drive on the enemy capital.  The Austrians aren't out of the woods by any means.  Their western frontier is literally wide open.  A concerted effort by the French could cause a panic in Vienna.  And crafty Hanover has formed alliances with both France and Prussia.  Should Hanover have a change of heart, things could change dramatically.

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