To describe a battle is never a simple question of numbers but this time is different. During the last two week ends my club organized and played two times the battle of Austerlitz.
Numbers: 21 players, 19 hours of game, 1,982 miniatures, 3,6 x 1,8 meters of table, 2 days of preparation, 16 club members involved in the study of army list, troops preparation and so on ...
Miniatures scale 15mm. Rule systems: Black Powder. Miniatures are Ab, Essex, Old Glory, Fantassin and Campagin Game Miniatures
A special thanks to: the Duke Luciano (who studied all the army lists), Ezio and Riccardo (for their historical and rule knowledge), Alessandro Barbero (one of Italian most important historians that decided to play with us the battle), Massimo, Stefano and Dennis (that comes from Milan), Alessandro and Max (from Novara).
The historical battle was one of the most important clash of the Napoleonic Wars. It was fought on December 2, 1805 between Napoleon's Grande Armée and Allies army composed by Austrian and Russian troops.
The battle started at dawn with a French army outnumbered. The French were 72,000 with 157 guns against 85,000 Allies and 318 guns. Napoleon was hoping that the Allied forces would attack, and to encourage them, he deliberately weakened his right flank. At 8.00 am, 53,000 Austrian-Russians, divided into 6 columns, attacked the French right flank. Davout and his men, among great difficulties, blocked the enemy attack. On the left flank, Bragation and Lichtenstein hit Lannes that, thanks the divisions of General Caffarelli and Marshall Suchet, kept the position. At 10.00 am only a veil of Allies infantry controlled the center on Pratzen hills. Marching throught the fog, Napoleon launched Vandamme, Saint-Hilaire and Oudinot divisions against the guards of Grand Duke Constantine. After an hard clash the French troops conquered the hills. General panic seized the Allied army and it abandoned the field in all possible directions.
In "our" battles this is the initial deployment ...
... but every group of players have decided the strategy in a separate way
First battle. Allied "command room"
We decided to put some items on the table to separate the commanders ... a simple way to "simulate" the fog of war.
French left flank. Lannes and his V corp, even if receives a lot of losses, block the Russian Bragation with two divisions of infantry and a brigade of cavalry. The Imperial Guard of Grand Duke Constantine is forced to move from the center to push the attack.
French right flank. Soult, with Davout force that arrives at 6th turn, engages Kienmayer and Doctorov troops. Soult uses only three divisions because the Saint Hilarie units are used to support the center. A great clash but with a no decisive result for the battle
Center: the French attack is directly against the Pratzen hills. A Soult division is launched against the right of Langeron while the Corp of Bernadotte and (after) the division of grenadier of Oudinot assault Langeron, and Przebyszewski units. With great sacrifice two courassier units of Murat division attack and eliminate some enemy batteries on the hills but all the holes are closed by Russians.
9 turns and 10 hours of game. Result: tie. Four division for each armies destroyed and a Russian Corp (Langeron) force to reatreat because broken.
French left flank. Lannes moves quickly against Bagration. The 1st division of Caffarelli and the 3rd division of Suchet takes the control of the hill on the left. For great part of the game Bragation tries to push away the enemies. The two divisions lose four regiments and Caffarelli division is near to the break but Russians are forced to use two Guard regiment of cavalry to do it.
French right flank. This time Soult move all his three divisions against the Allies. Davout arrives at the 5th turn. Wave after wave the French units force the Austrians and Russians to move back till the iced marshes.
Center: the French attack against the Pratzen hills start only at the 6th turn. This time Murat units go to support the left flank as well as Bernadotte. No French attack columns engage the Langeron. Only batteries and muskets fire. At the beginning of the game, Constantine and Kollowrat units create a second line on the hills but, at the 6th turn, with a right and left flanks under pression, Constantine guards is forced to abandon the idea to stay in reserve.
6 turns and 9 hours of game. Result: tie. no divisions destroyed but the Russian and French left wing in great difficult. Caffarelli division near to the be broken but Bernadotte and Murat ready to enter into the battle.
A worried General Kutuzov is thinking the next move
Great game ... funny moments that will be part of our Club ... thanks to all for the stunning work!!