Sunday, August 3, 2008

Essling 1809

Another great game was played over the weekend. This time we had a go at the Battle of Essling. The Scenario was picked from General de Brigade Napoleonic scenarios 2 and was played using the old Shako rules. The scenario was a 'what if' game, designed to see what happens if the Austrians try to attack the area between the village of Essling and the channel separating the riverbank from Lobau Island. It offers the Austrians the change of a decisive victory by cutting off Napoleon and his troops.

Austrian and French deployments. General Boudet deploys in the town of Essling. Napoleon and the Guard to the north of the town. FML Dedovich deploys his column to the west of Essling and FML Hohenlohe deploys the 5th column to the south of Essling.

On role of honour for the game was - on the French side: Brian, Terry and John Williams. On the Austrian side: Leroy, Jeff, Jules, Mike and John Maguire. I decided to run the game and stay away from dice rolling for a while, going on my last few games there was no way in the world I was going to win, no matter what side I was on.

Austrian Columns converge on Essling.

The game started with the Austrians columns set up - one to the west of Essling, on the command of FML Dedovich, and the other to the south of Essling and under the command of FML Hohenlohe. The Austrian mission was to cut the Essling/Lobau road and take the town of Essling. The Austrians had a small brigade of four converged grenadiers battalions as re-enforcements.

Austrian infantry, from FML Hohenlohe column, charge into the Essling.

The French under the over all command of Napoleon was to prevent the Essling/Lobau road from being cut and to try and hold onto Esssling. French re-enforcements where the Old Guard and two regiments of Cuirassiers. Both units were not to come on to the table until either the road was cut or the whole of the Young Guard and Guard Cavalry had been committed. The French deployment allowed one French Division, under the command of General Boudet, to deploy into the four town sections of Essling and the Imperial Guard (less the Old Guard) were to deploy north of Essling and behind the raised dyke.

With two town sections and the Granary falling to the Austrians, Napoleon commits his Young Guard and Guard cavalry in hope of stemming the Austrian tide.

In total the Austrians deployed 24 Infantry battalions, eight gun batteries and seven cavalry regiments. The French deployed 20 Infantry battalions, four gun batteries and six cavalry regiments (most of the French regiments were Guard). However their presence and that of Napoleon was not to change the French players bad luck. The town of Essling eventually fell and and the road was finally cut, leaving Napoleon and his Guard on the wrong side of the Danube. But the Archduke Charles did however fall in combat, leading from the front the 1st Jager Regiment, which was repulsed from one of the town sections by the Ist Battalion of the 3rd Legere (well done boys).

The Guard cavalry charges forward over the raised dyke and defeats the Austrian cavalry only in turn to be defeated by senseless charges on the Grenadier converged columns (that was Brians fault). With these fine horsemen gone it signaled the beginning of the end for the French.

Napoleon finally commits his Old Guard but he is too late.

The whole collection of figures used were from John Maguire's collection. All figures are from Elite Miniatures, Front Rank and Wargames Foundry.

The road is cut following the defeat of the French Cuirassier Brigade.


Bluewillow said...

supurb mate, lots of nice stuff on the table


Vinnie said...

Cheers Matt
Not mine though