Monday, May 5, 2014

Loss of Control

Time constraints of life necessitate that this report be somewhat curtailed.  Narratively not much happened, we smashed two Prussian Brigades with some attachments into D'Erlon's I Corps (equal points each side) doing a Carnage & Glory II group test run.

Overall we played 5 turns with R. in command of the French and von W. taking the Prussians with me on the computer.  R. had to abandon his post at the end of turn 4 so I took over.  5 turns represents an hour and 15 minutes of "battle time".  The first 4 turns were played out with about an hour and 10 minutes per turn, including me having to stop and explain the rules.  By the end of the 5th turn we seemed to be nearing a "decision" in that the Prussians were had many units retiring off table.  It would have been interesting to go one more turn, however, as the "cautionary" brigade integrity warnings were equal/more heavy on the French side and both sides had 2 or 3 units in full rout.  In the hour and 15 minutes ~5,000 hors de combat (in Empire terms 83 figures).

French taking the field.

Prussians and British

Cavalry scrum develops on the right.  The 3rd and 4th Lancers in line face off against the Silesian Uhlans in squadron column, the Prussian get the better of these encounters.

Prussians advance toward their objective, the built up area in the top right corner.  The fusiliers of the 26th Line in open order keep the defending French columns under musketry fire. Von W. focused his fire, as much as the angles allowed on one of the center battalions of defending the wall.

2nd Uhlans are successfully start to force back the French lancers

The victorious 1st and 2nd Sqns of the 2nd Uhlans.... overextended with their flank exposed to a charge

3rd Chasseurs launch an assault on the over extended 2nd Uhlans who evade.... uncovering the 95th Rifles who stand manage to stand, but can only fire at 50% effectiveness due to the 2nd Uhlans retreat.  The rifles are saved by the supporting fire of the 52nd which staggers the Chasseurs (and an error of the umpire didnt properly reduce the 52nd's fire).

Rest of the Prussian cavalry making use of the significant move distances to quickly strengthen the Prussian right.  The first command and control issues start to surface.... the remainder of the 2nd Uhlans refuse to charge.

French 4th Division in the foreground with 3rd Division to the right of the church.  Both antagonist's heavy artillery are in the center engaging in an artillery duel.  The Counter-battery fire of French significantly affects the Prussian artillerists.

D'Erlon at start of the match placed 1st Division on a defend order protecting their objective (the church), then changed the order to attack.  R. also changed the orders of 2nd Division.  Hilarity ensues as the ADC to 2nd Division left without the orders (and another ADC had to be dispatched).  When the orders to Quinot (1st Div.) arrives, Quinot finds them contradictory and chooses to remain on his previous defend order (limiting the divisions charge ability)!  

The I/9th Line with their regimental commander Major von Schmidt attached are ordered to assault the church....except von Schmidt decides the enemy positions are too well prepared and maintains his position instead.

Rout of the 3rd Chassuers; Off camera the Prussian 3rd Hussars charge with their brigader von Sohr... and are roughly handled by the 3rd/4th Sqns of the 3rd Chasseurs and von Sohr takes a mortal pistol wound throwing the Prussian Hussars into further disorder!

The charge of the I and II/26th line causes one of the battalions defending the low stone wall to retire (the battalion that had been the focus of the Prussian skirmishing).  Von W. follows this up with two battalions of fresh landwehr and the French battalions defending the wall fall back in face of these fresh troops.

End result in the middle.  On the right you see a battalion of French deep in Prussian lines.  The Prussian charge falter, and the commander tried to shake out into line.  The French battalion seized upon this disorder and charged the Prussians who retreated... and the French followed up in pursuit, now largely unsupported amongst the Prussian lines.

End game on the left with Prussian battalions routing in the background.

Endgame in the center.  The Landwehr have the wall, (and in fact two of the French units that defended it have routed), but the rest of 3rd Division is waiting to take the wall back.

Final Report

The Prussians came on strongly, partly as this was a test game and got bloodied for it.  The command and control issues on both sides were present on both sides.  The French had a better officer ratio and slightly better officers (in making the army lists I believe I left the French on the default inspirational, whereas the Prussians were ordinary) and it seemed like the French had more success in rallying the troops.  The above report I dont think captures the "fog of war" that C&G creates.  The players were never sure of the exact standing of their units at any time.  Units did not always react as expected.  Staff orders we mishandled. I think it gives a very different "feel" from the standard wargame commanded by two omniscient generals, that always know their odds of victory or defeat before any  single encounter occurs.

Time wise I felt as the umpire that I had some downtime, where each player was still deciding what they were doing so we could have moved somewhat quicker if we had more players pushing lead (in this fairly large game, the French had 336 figures on the table in just infantry). All and all though a decent test game! If C&G becomes a staple we will need to come up with some solutions for the various markers.

No comments:

Post a Comment