Saturday, 7 January 2012

The Battle of Holfschader 1806

As French move to attack the German states once more, the Ruritanians and their Brunswicker allies decide to try and defeat them in detail. Having gained intelligence that a French corps is reuniting at the town of Holfschader, they force march to assault the forward elements before the rest arrive.

The plan half worked - the French army was divided when the Germans struck, but only just. As the battle continued, they would receive many more reinforcements.

This was a 1,500 point game of Volley and Bayonet, pitting 4 German divisions against 5 French ones.
The German army was comprised of Ruritanians using the Early Austrian list (linear infantry, massed cavalry) with 2 infantry divisions and one cavalry, and a division of Brunswickers using the Late British Allies list (everything but the Guard skirmishers).
The French (Middle list) had an Elite Infantry Division (Polish Legion), a Guard Division (Grenadiers and chasseurs), a large Dragoon division and two divisions of two infantry regiments.

This was a game with maximum 8 turns, burden of assault on the Germans. Victory conditions were: Exhaust all French Divisions for the Germans, survive with an unexhausted division until turn 8 for the French.

Holfschader, before the armies arrive. Note the castle on the hill where the Poles started, the central town (Holfschader) where the Marechal and his Guards were quartered, and the road behind the orchards at the top from whence the infantry reinforcements came.

Early moves. The Ruritanian cavalry blitzes ahead to flank the town while the infantry are more cautious. The Black Duke hangs back at the riverbank, unwilling to disorder his troops in front of the deadly Polish Legion.
The French infantry march up to support the Marechal, who leaves Holfschader for a commanding position on the heights...

Which is no help as the gallant Ruritanians charge into his Guard, shockingly annihilating the Grenadiers and sending the Chasseurs packing, albeit with gross casualties and SO MANY SIXES.

The French Dragoons arrive, ready to help their countrymen!

The Ruritanian hussars sell their lives dearly, and the Cuirassiers, flush from routing the Guard, destroy the Dragoons who were rash enough to attack them over the hill. One lonely brigade remains...

As the Ruritanian king and his division move to take Holfschader, the Poles and the French surround him. Luckily the old town's buildings are stout and only a few men fall to their withering fire.

Emboldened by the Polish abandonment of Holfsberg, the Brunswickers advance, pounding the Polish right with deadly fire.

The Ruritanian infantry shakes itself into line, free to organise itself now that the French are concentrated on one flank.

The French retreat across the River Weisen, taking firm positions against the advancing (and very lucky) Germans.

The view from the French left.

The view from the French right.

Tired of stalemates and exchanges of fire, the Brunswick Hussars assault the French wing and rout the 32nd regiment of infantry.

The 19th regiment's attempt to avenge their brethren fails, and they retire across the rear of the French lines.

With a daring river crossing in the face of the enemy by the Ruritanian 13th Regiment, massed fire annihilates the French 26th regiment.

The Hussars rout the 39th against the river, and with the Polish hiding the orchard bedeviled by painful Brunswick fire, the game ends - the French sorely defeated.

Butcher's Bill:
German losses 3,000
French losses: 17,500

This game was massively influenced by luck - the early breaking of the Guard, and the performance of the German cavalry in general was in all ways the deciding factor in this game, along with some very shaky die rolling for French morale. But La Republique Ne Mort Jamais! I'm sure we'll see another game soon.

This was a 2mm production for Volley and Bayonet by A-historical gaming =]

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