The French Army consisted of:
C-in-C Gen Prost
1st Division (Carriere - Decisive): 12 Tra SK1 Infantry, 3 Tra SK2 Infantry, 1 8lb Ft Bty
3rd Division (Dupraz - Plodding): 10 Tra SK1 Infantry, 3 Tra SK2 Infantry, 1 8lb Ft Bty
Guard Cavalry Brigade: 2 Vet/El Heavy Cav, 1 4lb Hs Bty
Dragoon Division (Maas - Decisive): 4 Trained Dragoons, 1 4lb Hs Bty
Lt Cavalry Division (Desmenez - Decisive): 4 Trained Lt Cav, 1 4lb Hs Bty
The Austro-Hanoverian Army consisted of:
C-in-C Prince Lauda
1st Division (Weissenberger - Plodding): 12 Tra SK1 Infantry, 1 Tra SK2 Infantry, 1 6lb Ft Bty
2nd Division (Wagner - Capable): 12* Tra SK1 Infantry, 1 Tra SK2 Infantry, 1 6lb Ft Bty
3rd Division (Bosnar - Capable): 11 Tra SK1 Infantry, 2* Tra SK2 Infantry, 1 6lb Ft Bty
Advance Guard Division (Manninger - Capable): 2 Raw SK2 Infantry, 2 Tra SK1 Infantry, 2 Veteran Lt Cav, 1 3lb Hs Bty
Rearguard Division (Pogatetz - Plodding): 2 Raw SK2 Infantry, 2 Tra SK1 Infantry, 2 Veteran Lt Cav, 1 3lb Hs Bty
Dragoon Division (Wawra - Capable): 4 Trained Dragoons
Independent Cavalry Brigade: 3 Trained Heavy Cavalry*
* = incorporating defecting Martinstaadt units.
|The battle lines, looked at from the west, behind the French positions. The battle was fought to the northwest of the city.|
|The French Left: Carrière's Division faces that of Weissenberger. Wagner's Division occupies that central hill.|
|View from behind the French Right: Dupraz' Divison faces Bosnar's troops, supported by Desmenez's Light Cavalry. Manninger's Advance Guard Division is in support of Bosnar, with Wawra's Dragoons further back still.|
|And finally, the centre: Maas' Dragoons and the Guard Cavalry face the open fields in front of Wagner's Division.|
|The view along the line from North-to-South|
|The view from behind Weissenberger's troops on the Austro-Hanoverian right.|
|And the far-right-rear of the Austro-Hanoverian position. These three units are Martinstaadt Heavy Cavalry from the base in Martinstadt (the city) who defected en masse to the Austrians...|
|And a view from the Austro-Hanoverian left-rear|
|A closer view from behind Weissenberger's battalions, facing their French opponents|
|Similarly effective French artillery fire on the left achieves the same effect|
|The attack goes in on the right; Dupraz leading his light infantry from the front|
|The Austrians deliver a perfect volley at point-blank range and decimates the leading French battalion, which breaks instantly: the supporting battalion recoils shaken too (single dismounted figures represent shaken units)|
|A little disheartened, Dupraz leads another, larger attack|
|The pomp of Napoleonic warfare: French infantry, following its skirmishers, beat the pas de charge into the attack!|
|Carrière closes up to the Austrian Right; the smoke marks a temporarily ineffective Austrian battery|
|Back to Dupraz' attack: although a bit less crushing than the first volley, the other Austrian battalions deliver very effective fire and the French recoil again, with all units very shaken.|
|The French brigade fails its morale test and withdraws!!! Dupraz's division is looking distinctly threadbare. The French Light Cavalry starts to roam around the right wing.|
|The unlucky failure of Dupraz' division puts the pressure onto the French left to deliver results, so Carrière prepares his attack.|
|Dupraz hastily tries to reform his division; meanwhile Desmenez puts his light cavalry into line of battle.|
|Finally, a bit of French success! The main attack on the left failed and was thrown back in considerable disorder, but the left-hand battalions manage to throw back the Austrians and get into the farm enclosures.|
|A closer view of the repulsed French units|
|Meanwhile, Desmenez's Chasseurs crasah into Wawra's Dragoons...|
|Another shot. Note Austrian Hussars riding hard up in support.|
|The swirl and two-and-fros of cavalry melee: the Austrian Dragoons have the upper hand in one, or losing in the other|
|The Austrian commanders quickly restore a degree of order before the French can push their advantage on the other flank; Weissenberger himself seizes the colours and leads a single battalion into a countercharge|
|The reinforcing Austrian Hussars rout their French opponents (left); there was no decision in the centre, so both sides pull back to reform|
|Meanwhile the French Light Cavalry on the extreme right break the Austrian Dragoon regiment opposing them! However, more Austrian Dragoons are approaching|
|Unfortunately the French yet again fail their morale check; this led to the entire French Division pulling out! Luckily the Austrian Dragoons were similarly shattered|
|Wagner advances out of the enclosures to put more pressure on Dupraz's Division|
|Carrière's Division is pushed back, shaken. And yet again, a French brigade fails its morale check!! General Prost feels that he cannot win after losing four brigades and being back at his start line, and decides to withdraw.|
|The French withdrew successfully, as the Austrians decline to pursue closely, fearing the heavier French cavalry reserves.|
French: 2 x Inf units broken, 1 x Lt Cav unit broken; 2 x Infantry brigades spent, 2 x Light Cavalry brigades spent. The Lt Cav unit was permanently destroyed.
Austria: 1 x Dragoon unit broken; 2 x Dragoon brigades spent.
Considering the results, the overall casualties were quite low; this is because French morale failed rather than enduring massive casualties.
The French Army has fallen back to regroup after its defeat.
The French had almost no luck after the first few turns. Indeed, their good luck in their artillery performing so well in punching holes in the Austrian lines worked against them, as this encouraged the early attack. The failed infantry morale tests were against the odds - effectively two 1:5 shots, which they lost both times. The main mistake - as opposed to bad luck - was to launch the French Light Cavalry independently, rather than support it with either the Guard Cavalry or the Dragoons - that might genuinely have turned the Austrian left.
The Polemos rules continue to give a good game generally. I still have a few qualms about the calibration of some of the factors, but nothing too serious. The main difficulty is to not make some troops too overpowering, but at the same time not unbalance the rest of the tactical factors. What do I mean?
The basic combat mechanic is an opposed D6 die roll, like DBx.
If Veterans are +2 and Raw are -2, then the swing is +4, incredibly hard to beat. The Raw troops need a lot of tactical factors (support, secure flanks, terrain) etc. to give them a chance. We might feel that 1 or 2 of these should be enough to equalize things. So we reduce the troop factors to +1 and -1 respectively. But then we are saying that being Veteran is equivalent to having a supporting battalion on the flank which might not feel quite right either. This is why I am still mucking about with these things! However, this is small fry compared to the many things that I think Polemos gets spot on, so I persevere.
Incidentally, the actual way I am conducting the campaign is very old school - a small map and some home-made counters, with the army records on index cards:
Figures by Baccus 6mm.