The day dawned bright and sunny and after our usual breakfast we went up to the garage for the second game, a large Napoleonic game.
The setting was an unusual clash between Austrian and Russian forces in 1812. It involved two Russian divisions retreating along the table to exit across a river at one end. The pursuing Austrians counted four commands, each varying between six and twelve battalions, some artillery and cavalry.
The initial Russian deployment
I fought on the Russian side and used my recently raised Russian army, counting twelve battalions, three batteries and two regiments of cuirassiers. My fellow Russian had roughly the same force and was on the table from the start, pursued on turn two by a similar sized Austrian force. I arrived on game turns three and four while the other Austrians were a little slower.
The Russian guns go into action
The first action occurred at the end of the table furthest from the river, where the Austrians deployed some artillery and tore apart a Russian jager battalion, while a brief cavalry clash saw a regiment of Russian light cavalry driven off.
The suicidal charge by the Austrian cuirassiers against a one Russian square and a column
When I arrived on the table I made quick headway but soon found that a farm in the centre of the table was occupied by some Austrian jagers that shot up my leading cuirassier regiment. More Austrians were soon discovered across my front and we Russians now found ourselves fighting on two fronts, with a threat to our flank as well.
Much of the detail of the fight are hard to report here (it was two days ago that we played and we have played another game in between, plus the several bottles of wine that have been consumed on a daily basis have played havoc with short term memory), but in essence we lumbering Russians fuddled around against a force that was stronger than us. In the end we didn't drive off the Austrians, but we were in a position to get probably half our troops away at the end of the game, but at a great loss.
Somewhere around 5:30 we retired cleared the table and I was able to set up game three, my long awaited WWI in East Africa game.
By 6:00 we were on the deck with a few drinks followed by dinner and a few DVDs.