Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Battle of Laufenburg

I had a very late game of Volley and Bayonet last night, and given its 10pm-1am nature, no pictures were taken as the Duke of Cumberland and his German allies protected the road to Hanover from the advance elements of la Grande Armée.

It was a 3500 point game on a 4x4 board, which looked like this:
The Laufenfluss river crossing the board there.
The Allies were defending their lines of communication at the south of the board from the French, who attacked from around the Grauberg hill in the distance.

It was a close game until a routing Dragoon unit dissipated the French left, routing them off the board edge they were hugging. Overall, it was full of magnificent Napoleonic imagery. 

In the east, at Laufenburg, the Ruritanian Berhauß Division was quickly cleared out at bayonet-point, except for the Grenz, who lost the castle to the French assault but kept the heights despite all attacks on their position. The King of Ruritania himself led his cavalry in two counter-attacks to avenge his broken division, the first of which was bloodily repulsed by the 26th Ligne, but the second of which broke the back of the French Dragoon division and routed the entire flank.

At the bridges of Lopkopf in the centre, the 2nd Guards brigade faced down a division of the Imperial Guard, pouring such a weight of fire across the bridges that they were burnt and broken in their toils.

In the west by Tauchen Hill, the 95th Rifles (I know, they didn't exist yet) sold their lives dearly in the village below, slowing Du Vallon's division long enough for the Brunswickers and British 2nd and 3rd Divisions to make a line of iron across the valley and the ajoining Hugel Heights that an entire corps of the French threw themselves in vain. By the close of the battle at around four in the afternoon, around 10,000 Frenchmen had died in between Tauchen and Hugel, for the loss of maybe 1500 Allies. Behind them, the Brunswick Hussars had slaughtered their way through the brittle Provincial division.

Even in the moment of the Allied triumph, the French showed their quality as a titanic cavalry battle took place on the south bank of the Laufenfluss and the British Heavy Brigades were scattered. But it was too little too late, and Maréchal Mouranne had to retreat to explain his failure to the Ogre himself...

Man of the Match: Variously the British 2nd Guards Brigade who held up the French centre by themselves, or the Ruritanian Liebgard cavalry who by lucky circumstance routed a flank by themselves. Either way, by the end of play the game was solidly the Allies'. I really need to paint up a few more divisions so that a couple of failed assaults no longer mean game over for a significant portion of the army.

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