|Klenau's corps await the orders to advance|
At the beginning of the game the initiative lay with the Allies, so they moved first for the first two moves, after this initiative would be decided by die roll. Historically the Allied advance was not very well co-ordinated and therefore Barclay and Klenau rolled a dice at the beginning of movement to see if they moved and if so whether is was a half or full move. In the event historical precedent was followed and Alasdair (as Klenau) spent the first two moves stationary, betrayed by the dice! This slowed the Austrian advance on the Kolmberg and almost allowed Macdonald to get there first.
|Kleist nears Markkleeberg|
Augureau's Corps had by now reached the field and was originally intended to support Dombrowski. However, Napoleon had noticed that the Galgenberg was very weakly held and had therefore directed Augureau in that direction. Their line of advance put them right in the path of a bold attack by Pahlen's cavalry division. Barclay had decided to cover Eugene's advance on Wachau by sending forward Pahlen. The Allied cavalry moved forward to the east of Wachau, with Von Roder's Prussian cuirassiers covering their right flank.
|Von Roder on the Galgenberg|
Von Roder led his men round to east to return to their own lines and found himself to the rear of Albert's division which was part of Lauriston's corps. Giving the infantry no time to react, Von Roder ordered the charge and soon the division was in bloody ruin, totally destroyed in minutes.
|The destruction of Albert's division|
|Pire exacts some revenge|
Further east, Lauriston's men were desperately trying to hold onto Libertwolkwitz. The divisions of Pirch and Mesensov were closing on the village, despite having to pass through heavy artillery fire. Platov's cossacks were swirling round the flanks of Lauriston's infantry, forcing him into square and therefore unable to support the defenders of Liebertwolkwitz.
On the eastern flank the fight for the Kolmberg began. Sebastiani had clashed with Klenau's cavalry and both sides fell back to reform. Macdonald's infantry attacked the redoubt on the Kolmberg, but were forced back by close range artillery fire.
|Macdonald prepares to attack the Kolmberg|
Sebastiani moved forward in support of Macdonald's next attack. While Marchand's division moved up the hill and defeated Zeithen who covered the left of the redoubt; Excelmanns cavalry charged Best's division who covered the other flank of the redoubt. The cavalry prevailed against Best, but a breakthrough charge against Splenyi's Hungarian infantry failed in the face of steady volleys from the squares.
Pirch's men forced their way into Liebertwolkwitz, but their success was brief as Lauriston rallied Maison's division, counter attacked and regained the village. As part of this attack Lauriston sent Demoncourt's light cavalry forward to clear away Platov's cossacks. Outnumbered, the French cavalry were defeated and had to fall back to rally, but it did give some respite to the beleaguered infantry.
|Maison recaptures Liebertwolkwitz|
[ We don't use the Shako tie-break mechanism as we feel it favours the elite troops too much. Instead we re-roll ties with no modifiers applied. The highest roll wins, the loser takes one damage point and falls back]
|Wachau's garrison stands firm again|
Wachau's garrison had repulsed yet another attack by the Russian grenadiers and Victor's line infantry were doggedly holding the line between Wachau and Markkleeberg, though they were coming to the end of their tether.
|The fight between Wachau and Markkleeberg|
This was where the first day's gaming came to an end. The Allies had captured two of the main villages and established a strong artillery battery in the centre. Their guard divisions had arrived and were advancing steadily towards the Galgenberg. For the French they had contained Kleist's troops and halted Barclay, but at a heavy cost. Lauriston had been weakened by the early cavalry attack and the fighting near Liebertwolkwitz. However, they still held Wachau and the Guard was intact.
Sunday's action began with an attack by Victor's cavalry against the infantry supporting the garrison of Markkleeberg. With no infantry available in the area, Victor had to resort to bombarding the town with his artillery. The cavalry made no progress and had to fall back to reform. Pajol's cavalry defeated Gudowitsch's cuirassiers and also Raevsky's grenadiers, but Pire's lancers were bested by Pahlens reformed cavalry. Amid this sea of cavalry the garrison of Wachau held firm against yet another attack.
On the Galgenberg the Young Guard artillery began counter battery fire against the Allied grand battery, though the fire shifted to the approaching allied guard divisions as the range shortened.
Decouz's Young Guard division attempted to charge Liebertwolkwitz, but a timely counter charge by Von Roder's cuirassiers forced the guardsmen into square. Lauriston's battered divisions came to their aid, as did Bourdesoulle's cuirassiers and at the second attempt the village changed hands again
On the French left, Macdonald's successes became a distant memory as the Austrian divisions rallied and began to advance. Defour's cuirassiers made a telling charge against St Germain and then followed this up with a devastating attack on Excelmanns. Suddenly Macdonald's infantry had no cavalry support and with this threat removed Klenau's advance gained pace. To make matters worse the Russian Guard heavy cavalry division moved onto Macdonald's right flank. Lauriston intervened with Demoncourt's light cavalry and against the odds (the Frenchmen had been trounced by the cossacks earlier in the battle) the elite Russian cavalry were defeated. But, before the French cavalry could reform, they were charged by the Light cavalry of the Russian Guard. Brave as they were, the French troopers were overwhelmed, the French left was now in grave peril.
On the Galgenberg a flank attack by Latour-Maubourg's First Cavalry Corps was only partially successful, it slowed the allied advance, but the cost, particularly to Doumerc's Dragoon division was very high. Chastel's light cavalry charged Pirch's landwehr, but with parade ground precision the Prussians formed square and beat off the attack. Alvensleben's Prussian Guards now charged Barrois' Young Guard. It was a close fought melee, but the Prussians prevailed on the second tie-break. Alvensleben's progress was halted by the threat of French cavalry, giving time for Barrois to rally and move onto the Galgenberg again.
|The Prussian Guard on the Galgenberg|
|Austrian reinforcements arrive at Crobern|
Victor launched Pajol's cavalrymen in a last ditch attack on Barclay's infantry. Raevsky's grenadiers were overwhelmed, but Schahowski stood firm. The losses sustained in this attack pushed the French army beyond their breakpoint and an allied victory was assured.
So ended a very enjoyable two days gaming. The action flowed back and forth with everyone playing their part. In retrospect, the key move would seem to be Ian's bold attack with the allied cavalry in the first few moves. This stalled French preparations and gained the time and space for the allies to set up their grand battery in effective range of the Galgenberg, denying the French the opportunity to do the same with their own artillery.
Special mention must be made of Von Roder's Prussian cuirassiers who made several telling charges and also Dubreton's gallant garrison in Wachau.
The OOBs and reinforcements schedules are on the Leipzig page (see gallery above) and I hope to add some more photographs over the next few days.