But first some photos I had intended to post from the game before, just some quick shots of the latest productions from our resident brush for hire. Hopefully they will get to take the field this labor day weekend and eat some Romans.
And back to the main attraction a see-saw, nail-biting slugfest between an All-Austrian (on the side of Truth, Freedom, and the "Enlightened" Imperial jackboot of Maria Theresa) force and a largely mercenary "French" force (
on the side of Liberte, Fraternite, Egalite, on the side of Foppery, Wigs, Peasant Oppression, and the Unenlightened Aristocratic Slipper of Louis XV).
The Austrians, led by the infant Feldmarschall Johann Kollowrat (1748-1816), intrepidly attacked a French column under the Duc de Broglie at Grosflachfeld in the vicinity of Masstricht. The French column consisted of 10,000 men (7,500 Infantry and 2250 Cavalry) and two heavy field batteries, two medium batteries and lighter divisional artillery. The Austrians fielded 7,500 men (5,500 Infantry and 2000 Cavalry) and two heavy batteries along with light divisional artillery.
The French set-up to receive the Austrians with cavalry on their flanks. On the French left the German brigade formed lines with a large portion of the French artillery... eight 12-pounders, four 8-pounders and four light howitzers. In the French center the regulars and veterans of the Irish Brigade. On the French right the veteran Auvergne Regiment, some of the few Frenchmen in the French column to take the field. The time is two o'clock. De Broglie seizes the initiative and pushes forward some cavalry to scout for the Austrians.
|French Center, with what appears to be the possibly humanoid brigadier of the Irish Brigade|
Kollowrat, on the other hand, has already reconnoitered the French position and draws a line straight back to the Miltiades and the Athenians at Marathon. The Austrian force is to deploy in depth on the flanks and charge with utmost dispatch!
The Austrians left flank is covered by the Lowenstein and Savoyen Dragoons. The attack on the left is given to the Wallonian Brigade. The green troops of IR 30 Sachsen-Gotha leads the attack followed by Los Rios (IR 9) and Ligne (IR 38). If the Wallonian Brigade fails, the combined grenadier brigade surely will not! The grenadiers form the final line in the Austrian left. On the far right the pandours and Freikorp hold the woods. The Austrian right attack axis is lead by the Niederlander Freikorp in a thin yellow skirmish line, screening the advance of the veteran IR 14 Salm-Salm and the crack troops of IR 4 Deustchmeister. The Austrian center seems to be hanging in the air.... its held by 150 artillerymen with eight 12-pounders and eight light guns.
|The Austrian Right Axis of Attack (Deustchmeister)|
|The Austrian Left Axis of Attack (Wallonians)|
The Austrian dragoons on the left catch the scouting French cavalry at unawares and send back 60 empty saddles to begin the battle. But the French quickly reply with their cannon. Teutonic courage faltered and the 2nd battalion of Salm-Salm and the 2nd battalion of Sachsen-Gotha both run for the rear despite taking little to no casualties. Both attack axes are now one battalion lighter. One of the heavy 12-pounders in the center has been destroyed by counter-battery fire, but not before forcing Berwick's battalion from the Irish brigade to retire.
|Dragoons catch the French Scouts!|
The Austrians press on and make contact on the left. The Lowenstein Dragoons begin a bloody melee with the Royal Cuirassiers. Sachsen-Gotha braves canister to close with Auvergne and their supporting 8-pounder. On the right, the thin yellow line of the Niederlander Freikorp successfully screens much of the incoming hail of shot and shell and, with Fortune and Right on their side, managed to whether the storm with only light casualties. In the Austrian command staff it was much remarked that the cannon fodder, errr.... honorable mercenaries... were doing surprisingly little dieing today. The French may bluster about the "final argument of kings" but they apparently don't spend much time training their gunners!
|Seen from the Austrian Left|
|From the Austrian Right|
|Close-up of the thin Yellow Line|
|Melee developing on the left|
|Lowenstein Dragoons and Royal Cuirassiers trading blows|
The 1st battalion of Sachsen-Gotha breaks but not before making an impression on some of the Auvergnese. Los Rios follows up the attack and force the leading battalion of the Auvergne regiment back and bayonet the stubborn gunners of the 8-pounder battery to a man. The Austrians lose cohesion and breaking into a mob as they attempt to close with the rest of the 2nd battalion of Auvergne and fail to make it. The Irish brigade performs well and forces the 2nd battalion of Los Rios to fall back in disorder.
The time is 3 pm. The French look to be in the ascendent. On the Austrian left they have the chance to drive their heavy cavalry into the flanks of the Austrians and roll up the line. The veterans of the Auvergne regiment are deployed in depth and ready to charge the disordered Austrians. In the center there is little to prevent the Irish brigade from attempting to turn the flanks of either axis of attack. And on the right the 12 heavy French guns are ready with a hail of canister and behind them the German brigade. The outnumbered Austrians will need to seize the initiative if they are to survive the next hour.
|The Austrian Left|
De Broglie accepts the Austrian challenge and orders an advance along his entire front. Auvergne charged the Austrians right attack axis. The Irish brigade advances in the center towards the Austrian guns. Clare's battalion even manages to threaten the flank of the advancing regiment De Ligne on the Austrian left. The German brigade stands ready to receive the Austrian charge, while on the flanks Saint-Dampieres cavalry regiment moves into position to charge the flanks of the Austrian infantry. The Royal Grenadiers, newly raised from militia units, pour out of the house they were "liberating of contraband" and charge the Pandour skirmish line followed by two battalions of the regiment De Saxe in columns. The Austrians tide has risen high, but in another 30 minutes the Austrians may soon be split in the center and each axis of attack caught in a tough double envelopment by a resurgent France if De Broglie has his way.
|Saint-Dampiers retreating; De Saxe and Royal Grenadiers charging Pandours to bottom right|
|Royal Curiassier charged while reforming|
|French right flank at 3:30pm|
|High Water Mark of the Irish Brigade's Advance. Dillon's Regiment is left foreground.|
|The only remaining French between IR/4 "Deutschmeister" and the French Camp!|
|The Austrian Left|
|The Austrian Right|
|The battle "front" showing the over-extension of De Saxe and Dillon|