Tuesday, November 24, 2015

SHAKO 2 Battle at the Library - flavor of Austerlitz

Russian Command with Pavlov Grenadiers to the flank
On November 14, 2015, I had occasion to put my Napoleonic collection on the tabletop.

I chose an Austerlitz 'feel' game, with a plateau defended by Russians and Austrians being attacked by 3:1 French & Allied forces (Italians & Poles).

Bonaparte is on the table!  With the Guard to his flank.
To make things exciting I put on two of the battalions of French Guardsmen in greatcoats that I have.

The French team, plotting...
For these three players the youngest was the expert, and was given command over much of the horse and a flank division of infantry.


deployment from behind the French line

behind the Russian line

closeup of the French line markers I use during table set-up

Russian command HQ

closer view of the French center

Austrians on the hill crest to the left of the Austro-Russian line
Turn one and two were filled with artillery shots from the Russians and French marching to their assault locations.

First two turns filled with artillery shot and shell
not fast movement from the French center or left, plenty on the right

Army of Italy troops

French Center

The Guard

French left, out of range and standing for the first few turns
The Russians and Austrians sent out some probes by Jagers.  Otherwise they stayed on the ridge-line.

French casualties mount as they approach the ridge

horse and foot combine in an assault on the Austrians

heavy Horse for the French slowly move forward to exploit any openings in the line

by turn 5 the French left went into motion

great columns move, screened by Voltigeurs

while Austrian Jagers sniped at French horse

scoring some hits while artillery continued a hammering

the French center was at last ready to strike up the hill
The French took many turns to finally realize that their arrow end points (commands given in SHAKO) were not far enough forward and new orders were sent off to correct the situation.

the entire battle line was engaged by turn 7

the hill storming had begun

some battalions were shattered before reaching the hill

Russian artillery had been shelled to great effect (horse gun in foreground)

French Guard had been shot at many times, not scoring any hits
the center French division halted with disorder and many casualties ... too many to keep going for long

Russian line was holding, though at great cost to horse, foot and gun

the whole of the French left was in squares with no artillery to break up the cavalry attacks

the Austrian flank had been penetrated, then the French thrown out, both with losses

the piles of French horse were thick on the hillslope

while at farther distance the many artillery dead could be seen

the center assault reached to the top of the hill, only to fail and fall back in confusion

the Russian guns poured out fire and death

unable to advance against superior cavalry, the French left simply stopped

the edge of the Stare Vinorady was a horror show of French horse & foot and Russian guns
The clock ran out, though as usual this could be better attributed to the players taking too long in deployment and planning, and we had to clean up at turn 8.

The center was not fully decided, though the French Division there was in 'desperation morale' and had a -1 to all rolls for at least turn 9.  Plus they had no battalions undamaged or not in a state of disorder.  I could not see the French winning this battle...

Next game planned at the library on December 12, 2015.  Looks like SHAKO 2 again, though a smaller game with more opportunity to finish properly.

the Russian battery did not get recaptured ... yet
This custom Eugene de Beauharnais, has become a favorite for Light Cavalry Command and will see many more trips to the battlefield


Norm said...

Thank you, I enjoyed that and I do like the approach of 'in the style of Austerlitz' type games for scenario generation.

Phil said...

Looks great, epic...and bloody!

Jonathan Freitag said...

Game looks great! What was the reaction to passers-by in the library? Any comments?

MurdocK said...

The room we have at the library is across from the main desk and alongside the entry/exit to the library.

There are only a few windows on the one side (that were blocked by stacked chairs last time) and I did see a few folks peering into the windows.

We cannot leave the doors open as there is also a role-playing table active and they can shout out at times or laugh suddenly loudly and the library staff does not like the sudden loud noises. The first day we had in the room I had some minis out for discussion and the doors were open, since the discussion was of interest I had more come check out the minis that day than we did on this past Nov 14.

I have had more promotion going on for the Dec 12th game day and already have a new player ready to come check it out.

Given that this was really the first 'actual game' played on the one Saturday game time, I was pleased with the three players I did have.

Archduke Piccolo said...

That game looked like a lot of fun, even though unfinished. I alawys enjoy your Napoleonic battles!