Friday, 16 February 2018

The Battle of San Giovese

One again we are in Italy, recording the ongoing struggles of the French and Imperialists for control of that land.  The action centres on the convent of San Giovese which sits next to a vital crossroads; vital because the roads in question are the quickest route between the respective camps and the best inns in the region.  Le Compte de Carignan, the French commander, has determined that he will seize the initiative and has ordered his forces to move forward to the crossroads.  The way was led by his cavalry in two brigades, under le Duc de Gamay and le Marquis de Merlot.  Each brigade has two units of gendarmes, a unit of men at arms and a unit of stradiots.  Behind them came the Swiss contingent under Lord Landroter, (2 units of pike, 2 units of arquebusiers and a small unit of halberdiers, plus a light gun) and the Compte's own command, 2 units of pike, a unit of arquebusier and a medium gun.

The crossroads from behind the Imperialist right wing.
The view from behind the Imperialist left wing
Le Compte concentrated his infantry for the attack on the convent and place the cavalry on his right, in the more open terrain.  As the French advanced they found that their opponents had also advanced in force.  The Duke of Tempranillo had received a report that the French were moving and resolved to forestall them.  He too had placed his two brigades of cavalry on the open flank; the Count of Barbera, (2 units of gendarmes, a unit of men at arms and a unit of mounted crossbows), being joined by the Duke of Trebbiano, (a unit of gendarmes, 2 units of men at arms and a unit of mounted arqubusiers).  The Imperialist foot had Graf von Spatburgunder with his landsknechts, a unit of arquebusiers and a light gun on the right, and Tempranillo himself, with two units of pike, a unit of arquebusiers, a unit of swordsmen and a light gun in the centre.

Carignon's command advance
Carignon led his men forward, the pikes heading for the landsknechts, the arquebusiers for the walled convent precinct.  In the centre, the much vaunted (and well paid) Swiss seemed reluctant to commit themselves.  Landroter was evidently taking great pains to make sure his unit commanders knew exactly what their orders were!  Gamay's cavalry, with the exception of the stardiots, also milled about aimlessly.  However, Merlot's men needed no urging, as they responded eagerly to the order to advance.  Indeed, Trebbiano's arquebusiers, who he had hoped would harass the plodding approach of the gendarmes, were all too soon racing back for the security of their own lines and disordering the leading unit, the men at arms, in the process.

The dithering Swiss

Gamay's reluctant cavalry
The clash, when it came, was brief.  The Imperialist men at arms were hit at the halt by their heavier opponents and were soon racing for the safety of their camp.  Behind them the leading unit of gendarmes ignored the fleeing rabble and  met the rampaging French gendarmes with resolve.  Casualties were heavy on both sides, but it was the French who pulled back to reform.

The heavy cavalry clash
Barbera was having more success.  Taking advantage of the dithering of Gamay, his cavalry took the low hill and had the briefest of chances to fall on the open flank of Merlot's command.  However, at that point indecision prevailed and the chance was gone.  With the enemy now clearly in view all dithering by Gamay ceased and his units were soon advancing to meet their foes.

In the centre, the Swiss still prevaricated, a tentative advance by the arquebusiers was soon stopped and Tempranillo was able to get his men forward to the crossroads without hindrance.  On the Imperialist right, Spatburgunder managed to win the race to the convent, with his arquebusiers taking up positions where they could fire on the French as they crossed the wall.  The landsknecht pikes advanced in support and the leading unit was soon engaged with a unit of French pikes.  The French were defeated and fell back, disorganising their supports.  Sensing an opportunity, the landsknechts charged again, but this time were defeated and had to retreat themselves.

The Imperial centre advances
The landsknechts advance
 After a strong reminder from Carignan on the terms of his contract of employment, Landroter eventually moved his men forward.  To his right Gamay's cavalry had by now wrested control of the hill from Barbera following a determined resistance from the Imperialist gendarmes.

Gamay overcomes Barbera
Merlot had by now driven Trebbiano's remaining men from the field and was manoeuvring to advance on the Imperialist centre.  Tempranillo's men, having advanced so easily, now found themselves having to fight desperately to hold their position.  Landroter's arquebusiers outnumbered them and their fire was slackening as casualties mounted.  Then, over the hill came one of the Swiss pike blocks.  Tempranillo sent a unit of pikes to stop it, but it was like trying to stop a battering ram with a snowball.  The first waverings in the Imperialist pikemen were seen before the two units came into contact.  In seconds it was all over, the remnants of the Imperialist unit fled to the rear.  The pressure was now increasing dramatically for the Imperialists.

The Swiss advance
There is no stopping the Swiss !
Would the landsknechts regain the initiative?  This was not to be their day.  Twice they charged the French pikes and twice they were beaten off.  The second time so disordered that it would take some time before they could resume the fray.  In the convent, the French arquebusiers gained the upper hand and forced the Imperialists to retreat.  From the convent precinct they could now bring fire onto the flank of Carignan's command as it attempted to halt the seemingly inexorable advance of the Swiss.

The landsknechts retreat

The final position
Plainly the day was lost, so the Imperialists fell back, relinquishing command of the crossroads to their opponents.  Perhaps there would be a good inn somewhere else?

Many thanks to Steve for devising the scenario.  A most enjoyable game, (even though I came second).



Sunday, 11 February 2018

Trycziner Hof, 11th October 1812: a Shako scenario

This week's game returned to the Napoleonic period, but is something a little unusual.  The main protagonists are the Russians and Austrians, two armies which are usually allied against the French.  However, during the Russian campaign, the Austrians were required to provide a corps of troops to form the force guarding Napoleon's southern flank.  As autumn drew on the Austrians began to withdraw westwards, 'encouraged' all the way by the Russians.  The Austrians, with their Saxon allies, made a stand at Trycziner Hof, blocking the crossing of the Muchavietz river by the road from Brest Litovsk to Kobryn.  The area near the bridge is swampy and there are two fords, passable to infantry and cavalry but not artillery.


East
West

At Klinicky on the western bank of the Muchavietz, Frimont (3 battalions of Grenz, 2 skirmisher units, a regiment of Hussars and a horse gun) had failed to destroy the bridge, but had erected a barricade to slow the expected Russian attack.  Near Pecky, Rosenberg, the Austrian commander, had two divisions, Weiss (6 battalions and a foot battery) and Meyer (6 battalions and a foot battery).

Across the river Kamensky (8 battalions and a foot battery) was preparing to attack Frimont..  Osten-Sacken, the Russian commander had two further divisions arriving, Berg (8 battalions and a foot battery) and Glukov (2 regiments of light cavalry and two of cossacks).

The objective for both commanders is to hold at least two of the crossings.  In the case of the bridge this means control of the village of Klinicky.  At the start of the game the two commanders have the decision of where to commit their two on-field divisions.  In addition, both could have additional forces arriving depending on dice rolls.  A roll of the dice allocated command of the Austrians to Steve, meaning that I commanded the Russians.   We each decided on the orders for our two arriving divisions and then placed them on the table. 


The view from behind the Russian position.  Kamensky's division are ready to attack across the bridge.  The white threads show the deployment areas for the arriving divisions.  I opted to send Berg's division to the right and Glukhov to the left.  Steve sent Weiss to oppose Glukhov and Meyer to the other ford.

As the attackers, the Russians had the initiative and began to move forward.  I had hoped that the cavalry would win the race to the ford on my left, but Steve managed to get Weiss's men there first.  Faced with a solid infantry line, supported by artillery, it was obvious that I was not going to make much progress without infantry support.  Therefore the cavalry fell back screened by the cossacks.

In the centre, the first attack, by both battalions of the 26th Jaeger  charged over the bridge.  The 1st battalion  was hit by artillery fire and then  sniped at by Frimont's skirmishers.  nevertheless they prepared to charge.  Behind the barricade, the Deutsch Banater Grenz prepared to repel the Russians.  A close range volley stopped the jaeger in their tracks.  A second volley ripped through the ranks and then a third, which completed the units destruction.  Swept up by the fleeing ruin of the 1st battalion, the 2nd fell back over the bridge to regroup.  Osten-Sacken reinforced Kamensky's divisional artillery with a 12lb battery and ordered the artillery to 'soften up' the defenders before another attack was launched.

The defences of Klinicky
On the right, a foot race developed between Berg and Meyer's divisions.  Berg won by a whisker, but the initial attack by the Bielevski regiment was repulsed with heavy losses.  Soon volleys were being exchanged across the waters of the  Muchavietz and losses began to mount for both sides.  Berg had the advantage of a 12lb battery which soon began to cut a swathe through the Austrian ranks.  Meyer was determined to seize the initiative and ordered 3rd battalion Deutschmeister to attack.  The Austrian veterans stromed across the ford and made short work of the 2nd battalion New Ingermanland regiment.  However, their success isolated them.  Suffering volleys of canister at short range and then charged by a fresh battalion the Austrians were all but destroyed.  Their supports, the 1st battalion Lindenau were also subjected to close range artillery fire and destroyed as a fighting force.

The Austrian attack across the ford
In the centre, the Russian artillery was pounding away at Frimont's position.  Casualties were being inflicted, but on the supporting units not the grenzers manning the barricade.  A second attack, led by the jaeger, but supported by the Suzdal regiment, again reached the defences, but was repelled by the gallant grenzers.  

More troops now began to arrive.  Rosenberg received Reynier's Westphalian division (7 battalions and a foot battery) and Hessen's grenadiers (2 battalions).  For the moment he held these in reserve.  Osten Sacken also received reinforcements, Neverovsky's division (8 battalions) and Raevsky's grenadiers (4 battalions).  Neverovsky was immediately sent to the left to support Glukhov, whilst the grenadiers were held in reserve.

The Austrian grenadiers advance
On the Russian right, Berg sensed the initiative was moving in his direction.  Two of Meyer's battalions were Landwehr and they were struggling to maintain their place in the line.  1st battalion Deutschmeister had taken heavy casualties and had to fall back.  He ordered forward the fresh battalions of the Alexopol regiment and they surged over the ford.  The attack was preceded by artillery fire which destroyed the Viennese Landwehr and drove back the remaining Deutschmeister battalion.  Meyer's command was disintegrating and he began to fall back towards the village of Pecky.  Rosenberg immediately ordered Reynier and Hessen to the right to contain Berg's attack.

Berg's decisive attack
Kamensky now ordered a third attack on the defences of Klinicky.  This made no more progress than the preceding attacks, but it did maintain the pressure on the Austrian centre. 

At this point, time caught up with us.  The Austrians were awarded a victory  They held two crossings and even if Berg did break through the new defensive line it would take too long to be decisive.    

Sunday, 4 February 2018

Vapnartak 2018

February traditionally sees the first 'show trip' of the wargaming year to York for Vapnartak.  This year Steve and I were not involved in putting on a game for the Lance & Longbow, just doing a voluntary stint on the society stand.  We arrived at the venue just before 10 to find a sizable queue, but once the appointed hour arrived this shuffled pretty quickly into the building. 

The ground floor was its usual bustling throng, so I headed up to the second mezzanine where the smaller, participation games were on show.   The first to catch my eye was Actium by East Leeds Militaria Society Wargames Club. 




The splendid triremes are from DarkOps and the figures from Gripping Beast and Foundry.

There was also this game from, I think, the Harrogate Club? .




There was a demonstration of Arcworld game system from Warplaque


The terrain was very well done.

An adjacent game used the Sharpe Practice rules for a Renaissance scenario



On the ground floor were the larger games.  Two were more static displays than games, a fictional scenario for the 3rd battle of Preston, 1745.




and a fantasy game


The best game was the one from South London Warlords, set in the Sudan.



The show had the usual good range of traders, with plenty of tempting products on offer, just as well I had prepared a list, otherwise a bit too much cash may have left my wallet!  All in all an excellent day out.    Congratulations to the York Club for their organisation of the event.


Saturday, 27 January 2018

Richards Smithy: a Pike and Shotte scenario

In Kelhamshire arms and armour production is limited to just a few locations; one of which is  Richards Smithy.  For the last 9 months it has been supplying a good percentage of the Royalist forces' requirements and Sir Victor has determined that that state of affairs has to change.  Accordingly he gathered a force of 4 brigades, two each of infantry and cavalry and marched north to seize the village from its small Royalist garrison.


Looking north towards Richards Smithy
Sir Victor's troops will enter from the south on the two roads, (a brigade of horse and foot on each one).  Once the Parliamentary order of march has been decided the Royalist defenders will be put in place.  The dice decreed that I should take the part of Sir Victor, whilst Steve would be Sir Royston Addams, a temporary commander for the Royalists appointed by the King to serve whilst Lord Melchett recovers from his wounds.  (see the post on Millbridge ).

Murgatroyd's brigade

On the left hand road Nathanial Parker's brigade of infantry, (3 regiments of foot, a unit of commanded shot and a light gun), with the support of Colonel James Meldum's cavalry, (2 units of horse and one of cuirassiers), had orders to seize the farm complex and then move up onto the ridge.  On the right, Colonel Boyes was to advance his infantry (3 regiments of foot and a light gun) towards the central hill.  Meanwhile Sir Roderick Murgatroyd's cavalry (2 regiments of cavalry and one of dargoons) were to advance between the road and the woods  seize the high ground and threaten the flank of any units defending Richards Smithy.

Richards Smithy from the farm complex
 As his troops advanced Sir Victor scanned the ridge in front of him and saw that the Royalists outnumbered him slightly in cavalry and they were placed on the flanks.  Only three units of foot held the central ridge; if that was all the opposition he faced, the day should be his!  On the ridge Sir Royston gazed at the approaching Parliamentary forces, hoping his plea for reinforcements would be answered.  The sound of the first musketry exchanges had hardly died away before a rider galloped up with the welcome news that another brigade of infantry was on its way.  Soon the leading ranks of the first regiment were spotted approaching Richards Smithy.

It was none too soon.  Parker's infantry had reached the farm, his commanded shot had occupied the barn and begun sniping away at the Royalist infantry on the ridge.  One regiment had deployed in the field to the left of the road and their first volley had driven off the dragoons placed there by Lord Withers, who commanded the Royalist right wing cavalry.  He ordered one unit to remain on the ridge to threaten the flank of any infantry advance on Richards Smithy and led forward the other two regiments to prevent Meldrum's cavalry advancing any further.  The ensuing melee was won by the Royalists, but they were too battered to follow up and by the time they had recovered, Parker had deployed his light gun to support Meldrum's horse.

Meldrum and Withers clash
On the opposite flank events were moving in the Royalist's favour.  Murgatroyd's cavalry had been repulsed in their first advance and Hope's dragoons, who had been ordered to advance through the wood and fire on the flank of any Royalist attack, seemed to have got lost.  Colonel Boyes' leading regiment, having seen signs of wavering in the enemy line following their opening volley, charged across the field  intent on driving off their opponents.  They were met by a telling volley and then found themselves outmatched in the ensuing melee.  Falling back, they were hit by a second volley and then a third.  Retreat dissolved into rout and the unit fled the field. As his own forces diminished, Sir Victor saw that the enemy line on the hill was thickening, more Royalists were entering the field.

Whilst one unit began to exchange volleys with the Royalists, Boyes sent his remaining unit straight for the ridge, hoping to push back the defenders before they became too strong.  Unfortunately, the Parliamentarians became disorganised crossing hedges and as they reformed they were swept by musketry.  Boyes galloped forward to rally his men, but as he moved up and down the ranks he was felled by a musket ball and command devolved upon Ezekiah Clarke.   Clarke pulled the men back over the hedges hoping for a respite.  However, Sir Hugh Tipton spotted the opportunity and approaching the nearest Royalist infantry unit called "Follow me they're running".  Streaming off the hill the Royalists reached the hedge line before Clarke's men could rally.  Another volley crashed into the milling ranks with the inevitable result that the unit dissolved into a mob streaming from the field.  Sir Victor and Clarke tried to stop the rout but to no avail.  All Sir Victor could do was to order Clarke to hold his position at all costs.  Indeed the Parliamentary right was on the edge of disaster.  Murgatroyd's cavalry had made no headway against Hesketh's men and Clarke's remaining unit had it's flank 'in the air'.

Following the death of Boyes, his infantry rout
It was Parker who saved the right wing by moving one of his regiments to threaten the flank of Sir Hugh's charge.  The old soldier recognised the danger and withdrew to the ridge, not wishing to weaken the defence.  On the ridge things were not going well for the Royalists.  Parker's commanded shot had 'whittled away' at the unit facing them, which by chance was composed of raw recruits.  Unnerved by the fire they had broken and fled back from the ridge towards Richards Smithy, leaving a gap in the line.  Parker sensed he had an opportunity and after ordering one unit to advance up the road towards Richards Smithy, he personally led his remaining unit up onto the ridge.  Meldrum supported Parker by once again advancing against Withers.  The resulting melee was a bloody affair with no quarter.  Both sides suffered losses, the most significant or which was Meldrum himself, who had to be taken to the rear to have a wound dressed.  His command was saved by fire from Parker's infantry and gun which kept the Royalist cavalry at bay whilst Meldrum's command rallied.  Indeed the fire was so effective that one Royalist unit was driven from the field.

Parlismentary fire against the ridge increases
On the ridge,  Parker found himself facing a regiment of foot supported by a medium gun.  Undaunted he charged, trusting in the spirit of his men.  Trust was no armour against the storm of lead which swept the ranks.  Of the many casualties was Parker himself , the remains of the regiment fled down the hill back to the farm where Lemuel Ingoldsby,  Parker's second in command, managed to rally them.  The regiment advancing up the road now halted and began to fall back.  All the impetus seemed to have drained from the Parliamentary advance, Sir Victor was thinking he may have to retreat, but the cavalry came to the rescue.

Parker's attack is beaten back
Murgatroyd, with the support of Clarke's artillery and the fire of Hope's dragoons forced back Hesketh's men.  Now it was the Royalists who were clinging on as successive charges pushed the troopers back.  On the left Meldrum returned to the field and immediately galvanised his men.  With the cuirassiers leading the way the Parliamentary cavalry pushed back Withers' battered units until Meldrum reached the crest of the ridge and was able to view the village of Richards Smithy.  Now was the time for Sir Victor to launch the final infantry assault on the ridge, but losses had been to great.  The cavalry alone would be unable to dislodge determined infantry from the buildings and with dusk falling a withdrawal began.

Meldrum's cavalry reach the ridge

The Royalist infantry prepare to defend Richards Smithy
Sir Royston had exercised little real control over the action.  His subordinates had managed affairs for him.  He had been occupied trying to rally units which had fallen back.  In his report to the court, Sir Royston duly recognised the part Tipton, Hesketh, and Withers had played.  However, no discerning reader would miss the implication that all had been done under the direction of Sir Royston himself.

Sir Victor had once again lost valuable commanders in a battle.  In addition he faced an imminent interview with the Kelhamshire Association, which would no doubt like to know when it would see an improvement in the military situation.

Many thanks to Steve for a very enjoyable scenario.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Riesbaden, May 1809; A Shako scenario

In the first game for 2018 I returned to my roots, Napoleonics.  Dipping into Jack Gill's "Thunder on the Danube", I decided on a scenario based on the campaign in the Tyrol, specifically Lefebvre's advance on Innsbruck.  Due to the Austrians 'defending everything and therefore defending nothing'  most of the clashes were one-sided affairs, but a bit of judicious 'tweaking' produced a workable scenario.

A mixed force of Bavarians, Badeners and Wurttemburgers is advancing along the Weisswasser valley towards Innsbruck.  The advance guard, commanded by Stockmayer, (4 battalions of jaegers and light infantry, with 3 regiments of light cavalry and a horse battery), is approaching the village of Riesbaden.  The Austrians have their advance guard, under Frimont, (3 battalions of Grenzer, 2 regiments of light cavalry and a horse battery in and around the village.  Both sides have further troops behind them.  The allies have two divisions of line infantry (both of 8 battalions) and a light cavalry division (3 regiments).  Arriving for the Austrians are 2 divisions of infantry (each of 5 battalions), a grenadier 'brigade' of two battalions and a light cavalry brigade of 2 regiments.  The narrow, steep-sided valley means that there is no chance of flanking movement, so the more numerous allies are at a disadvantage.

Allies enter from right
The allies need to break through the Austrian position and reach Innsbruck.  For the Austrians, stopping the allied advance is the ideal result, but inflicting delay and heavy casualties would be acceptable.  From the table layout it can be seen that there the main line of defence can be located by the St Agatha Convent, the Weiswasser is impassable, covering the flank.  The main task of Frimont's troops at Riesbaden is to delay the allies long enough for the Austrian main body to arrive and deploy.

Frimont's troops await the onslaught
The arrival of the reinforcements was determined by die roll by the commanding general after a die roll had allocated the Austrians to Steve.

Observing the Austrian deployment, Stockmayer placed his cavalry on his left, with the infantry and horse battery opposite Riesbaden.  Frimont had deployed his grenzer units in and around the village, with his cavalry and artillery on the right.  As the Wurttemburg troops advanced the Leib Cheveauleger regiment came under artillery fire, causing disorder in the ranks.  Undaunted, the allied cavalry advanced and when the opportunity came, charged the Austrians.  In accordance with their proud heritage the Austrian Uhlans and Hussars accepted the challenge and in a brutal melee totally overwhelmed their opponents.  The Leib Cheveauleger were driven from the field and the Jager zu Pferde Prinz Adam forced to fall back to rally.  When the 2nd Cheveauleger tried to intervene the Stipsicz Hussars met them with such force that the Wurttemburg unit was destroyed as a fighting force.  Within minutes Stockmayer had lost most of his cavalry and his attack on Riesbaden was in the balance.

The cavalry melee
For their part the infantry had advanced and pinned the Austrians in position and begun to manoeuvre their extra battalion on to the flank of the Walisch Illyrian Grenz who held the left of the Austrian line.  On the right of the Austrian line, the Warasdiner St George Grenz had been subjected to 'softening up' by the Wurttemburg artillery, the Konig Jager had fired a volley and then followed up with a charge.  The Grenz had fought well, but in the end had been forced back in disarray with such heavy losses they were finished as a fighting force.  Just as they were about to push home their success, the jager saw that their flank was endangered by the success of the Austrian cavalry, so they fell back to form a new flank supported by the artillery and a second jager battalion moved over from the right flank.

Morand's Wuttemburg division advances 
The Austrian cavalry took time to recover from the melee and by then the position for the Austrians was perilous.  Although the Deursch Banater Grenz, who held Riesbaden village itself, had repulsed two attacks by Light Battalion Wolff, the Walisch Illyrian Grenz on the left flank were beginning to crumble under the fire from Light Battalion Brussell and the attending skirmishers.  When the Wurttemburgers charged the Grenz they offered some resistance, but eventually disintegrated and fled to the rear.  Frimont had now lost two of his 5 units and with the cavalry coming under artillery fire he cast increasingly anxious looks over his shoulder willing the reinforcements  to arrive.  He could also see a column of allied infantry marching past Riesbaden to his left threatening to cut him off.  An aide was sent to village to order the garrison to fall back and another was sent to the cavalry requesting them to cover the retreat of the remaining infantry and artillery.  However events now overtook the orders.  In the village, the gallant grenz were finally driven from their positions and the Merveldt Uhlans were charged by the Jager zu Pferde Prinz Adam.  Already weakened by the earlier melee and artillery fire, the uhlans were destroyed, effectively eliminating Frimont's command.

The new Austrian line forms up
Riesbaden had been secured, but the delay had enabled the Austrian main body to begin to deploy along a second defensive position by the  St Agatha Convent.  As Frimont galloped back to give his report, accompanied by the remains of his cavalry he could see the long lines of white-coated infantry forming up, awaiting the coming allied attack.  On the right of the Austrian line, 1st battalion Deutschmeister from Weiss's division, occupied the walls of the St Agatha Convent.  To their left were the 2nd and 3rd battalions, supported by 1st battalion Lindenau and the Viennese Landwehr,   Further left, Meyer's division filled the gap to the wooded hillside.  This comprised the three battalions of the Wiedenfeld regiment, one battalion from Reuss-Greitz and the Salzburg Landwehr.  Each division had an artillery battery and a unit of skirmishers.  The Austrian commander, Chasteler was expecting a brigade of grenadiers (2 battalions) and also a light cavalry brigade (2 regiments of uhlans).  Hessen's grenadiers would fill the gap between the convent and the un-fordable Weisswasser.

Advancing up the valley towards the Austrians were Lefebvre's forces.  On the right, Morand's Wurttemburg division began to deploy to face Meyer, whilst Deroy;s division with Baden and Bavarian infantry moved up opposite Weiss.  Stockmayer's depleted command reformed around Riesbaden and was then ordered by Lefebvre to move though the gap between the convent and the Weisswasser.  Lefebvre was waiting for Sevdevitz's Light cavalry division to arrive, conscience that, after the fighting around Riesbaden he had no mounted troops.  Stockmayer and Deroy's commands got in the way of each other and so Morand's attack went in on its own.

Some confusion as the allies advance past Riesbaden
At first all went well, the allied skirmishers dispersed their opponents and then began to target the Reuss-Greitz regiment.  The skirmishers had taken to the wooded slopes and their fire unsettled the Austrians.   The Fusiliers Von Neubronn led the way forward with the battalions of the Kronprinz regiment supporting them.  As they neared the Austrian line volleys were exchanged and the grind of a fire fight began.  Over on the allied left Stockmayer's division was approaching the gap between the convent and the Weiswasser, but instead of open ground they found Austrian grenadiers and Uhlans, Chasteler's reinforcements had arrived just in time.



As he surveyed the field, Chasteler noted that the allied advance was disjointed, with the left (Stockmayer and Deroy) unable to support the right (Morand).  He sent an aide galloping off to Frolich, commanding the Uhlans, with orders to advance across the field to fall on the flank of Morand's division.  Frolich sent the Carl Ludwig Uhlans towards Stockmayer, forcing the Wurttemburg battalions to halt and thus give the Schwarzenburg Uhlans the chance to cross the field unmolested.  The uhlans caught the1st battalion Kronprinz regiment totally unprepared.  An attempt to form square failed and the majority of the battalion were cut down.  As the 2nd battalion Kronprinz had managed to form square, the uhlans swept on to hit 1st battalion Prinz Paul.  This battalion was also destroyed, but the uhlans success was to prove their undoing.

1st battalion Kronprinz are caught by the Schwarzenburg Uhlan

The inevitable result of failing to form square in time
The uhlans now found themselves facing the fresh regiments of Sevdevitz's light cavalry division which had just arrived.  Hastily falling back they then found themselves being canistered by the artillery of Deroy's division.  Reeling from the heavy casualties they milled around and suffered further losses as Stockmayer's artillery joined in.  All control was lost and the pitiful remnants of the regiment straggled back to the Austrian lines.  There they found the remains of the Carl Ludwig Uhlans who had been goaded by Stockmayer's artillery into an unwise attack on the guns.  Shredded by canister the horsemen had failed to charge home and had left half their strength lying in the grass before the guns.

Carl Ludwig charge the guns
Heavy  though the cavalry losses had been, they did contribute to a slackening of pressure on Meyer's division.  Weidenfeld and Von Neubronn had been exchanging volleys for some time.  Seeing that Von Neubronn's supports had been destroyed by the uhlans' charge, Meyer ordered an attack.  The Austrian infantry needed no further encouragement and charged forward.  Caught unawares, the defensive volley from the allied infantry was ineffective and in the short melee they soon turned and ran.  Morand suddenly found that he had lost half his division.  He therefore called a halt, seeking time to reorganise his battered units. 

Meyer's counter attack
Meyer thought he saw an opportunity to drive home his advantage, ordering a general advance against Morand's men.   The enthusiasm of the Austrians was quenched by canister from Morand's artillery and volleys from the Ptinz Friedrich regiment.  Vast gaps appeared in the white-coated ranks and the pace of the attack ebbed away.  The Reuss-Greitz and the 1st battalion of the Weidenfeld regiment were to all intents destroyed and now it was Meyer who had to consider how much more his division could take.  With the Salzburg Landwehr beginning to falter under the incessant fire from the allied skirmishers and the sight of a fresh division of light cavalry the omens were not propitious.   The decision was taken out of Meyer's hands by the arrival of a courier from Chasteler with orders to begin to fall back towards his right, the army was going to withdraw towards the Inn Valley.

To buy more time, Hessen's grenadiers were ordered to move against Stockmayer and halt any further allied advance through the gap between the convent and the Weisswasser.  The attack went forward but the cost was heavy.  Grenadier battalion Leningen lost 50% of its strength in its attack on the Konig jaeger, whilsy Grenadier battalion Reuber was destroyed by a combination of artillery fire and volleys from jaeger battalion Neuffer.

Nevertheless, Chasteler managed to extract most of his forces to another defensive position guarding Innsbruck.  For his part, Lefebvre wrote up the action as a victory, though he took the remainder of the day to rest his men, apart from the squadron of hussars sent forward to keep touch with the enemy.

A good day's gaming.  Due to circumstances, Steve and I had a full day for gaming so were able to fight this two stage action.  A couple of 'issues' with the rules cropped up which we discussed over coffee and 'amendments' will be tried out in our next  Shako game.