Wednesday, 1 December 2021

The Battle of Zwettl – The Game

I have to confess that I was pretty confident going into this game that the French would be able to hold off the Allies whilst gaining at least one of the VP locations. In hindsight I’m not quite sure why I thought this when I had neither cavalry or skirmishers in my force and only one artillery battery. As you will have guessed it didn’t go well for the French!

The French get off to a good start with four infantry columns pushing forward towards the VP locations.
Likewise, the Allies are making a general advance.

As Poniatowski's troops crest the central hill they start to come under fire from the Austrian artillery and a group of rifle-armed Jagers on their flank.

Eugene's lads are nearly at the VP location to their front but the unit of Brunswick Hussars on the hill opposite are well placed to make a charge against them.

The Brunswickers draw sabres while their escorting Foot Battery prepares to unlimber.

In the centre of the field the 51st Gabriel Spleny Regiment is advancing in line supported by the Toskana Dragoons.

I chose to keep the Nassau Grenadiers in reserve to protect my lone battery but perhaps this wasn't such a smart move as it left the flank of the 8th Poles exposed.

Eugene had no choice but to order his two Battalions into square and the Brunswick artillery immediately took advantage of such a lovely dense target.

The 8th Poles were taking increasingly heavy casualties including losing their Colonel, so Poniatowski was obliged to step in personally to shore up a rather rocky morale throw.

The Jagers continued to pop away unhindered as I had no skirmishers of my own to counter them. The supporting Austrian Hussars were snuggly out of line-of-sight of my battery.

This is how things looked after 4 turns. The 8th Poles (outlined in yellow) are now disordered.

The centre viewed from the Allied side. The Brunswick Leib-Battalion is pouring fire into Eugene's squares while the Spleny's exchange volleys with the 4th Swiss.

Unsupported, and with their Colonel down, Poniatowski tries to steady the wavering Swiss with unfortunate consequences. On the plus side there will be no swimming in the Elster for him.

The Swiss and the Spleny's slog it out with some sharp musketry.

Eugene's squares are snookered - they cannot advance because of the Brunswick Hussars but their dense formation is causing casualties to mount up and morale to become shaky.

The Swiss have had enough and head for the rear - who can blame them?

Seeing that the Combined Voltigeurs have become disordered the Brunswick Hussars seize the moment and charge with predictable results.

The Austrian Hussars move up to take the second VP location.

The situation at the end of play (Turn 8). The total game VP's were 16 to zero in favour of the Allies - some might call that a crushing defeat for the French!

Eugene ponders his future in the Grande Armee.

Of course the Austrian Press couldn't resist putting out this special edition. I must say that the chocolate does sound quite yummy.

Under the Campaign Rules Eugene must now retire back to the town he came from (Karstiff) and Poniatowski’s old Division must go with him although it will not be able to take part in any offensive action until a new leader arrives from HQ to take command.

Rob gets a total of 6 Campaign VP’s (5VP’s for winning the battle and 1VP for destroying my Combined Grenadier unit).


Rob said...

It really didn't seem to be the French Army's day - they surely must've thrown some dodgy dice for morale and shooting? I suspect they were dazzled by those Austrian Dragoons who look absolutely stunning.

Wellington Man said...

I can't help feeling that if you'd kept all your men in line you would have shot those Austrians to pieces!

Aly Morrison said...

A lovely looking game indeed…
It would appear that cavalry isn’t just there to look pretty… although it does look very pretty.

All the best. Aly

David said...

A tough nut for the French to crack with all of the hills for the Austrian and Prussian cavalry to shelter behind and fire lanes for the allied artillery. Of course this may be your plan to lure the allies into an ill-conceived advance into the waiting jaws of a French trap...

A beautiful game and a fun read. Thanks Ian!

the Archduke said...

Those Frenchies would never stand in line against proper German cavalry. It does look to have been a tad courageous of Eugene. Poor old Poniatowski.

Matt said...

I must say when i first saw the troops involved I expected a French walkover.

Good to see the newly recruited units did not turn and run to protect their lovely new paint jobs!

'Lee. said...

Wonderful stuff once again and the photo narrative works very well. Troops of course are stunning.

Wargamer Stu said...

Nice to see the Swiss making an appearance - always liked the red / sky blue combination

Stryker said...

Thanks for the comments chaps!