Monday, 21 May 2018

Austerlitz, 2018

Long time, no post...

One of my gaming buddies is an avid fan of Napoleonics and organised a game with a few other people. Years ago he had played the Battle of Austerlitz using Napoleon's Battles with a friend who has since passed away. That friend's collection was still intact, in the possession of a family member who generously lent it to us to re-play the game.

My knowledge of the period and experience with gaming it are next to zilch. Two weeks ago we had a small run through at David's house- that is the extent of my previous experience.

Although briefing started at 8:00 I didn't arrive until 9:00 but by 9:45 or so we were deploying miniatures. A heavy fog filled the valley, obscuring the forward elements of the French army. The view from the Allied right wing, as the Dokturov deploys the Allied left wing. Solkonitz castle is seen at the centre-top of the photo:
The allied centre after deployment:
From the left wing:

Mid morning, as the fog rolls up the valley, the allied left wing advances hard on the french around Solkonitz (the golden eagle beside the command stand on the hill on the right shows us where Prince Alexander, the Russian commander sits, maximising his command range):
The allied right wing arrives on the table and pushes forward. threatening what looks like a lonely unit of French light cavalry:
The Allied centre and left wing (at the left edge of the picture) push their attack on Solkonitz (the blurry figure in the foreground is Prince Alexander):

The same attack from the french side; the left wing of the allies has melted away, leaving the centre to carry on:
The defense of Solkonitz not only holds but leaves almost the entire allied centre is disarray (the cotton smoke marks units in 'Disorder'):

A bit of bobbing and weaving going on on the Allied right flank. The french light cavalry have been pushed back and the fog has lifted to expose the previously obscured French troops:
A shot of the allied centre and left wing near the end of the game follows. In the background, the allied left wing is gone and the French advance out of Solkonitz and across the river; the Russian reserve continues to advance however they will soon be enveloped; and remember how I kept mentioning Prince Alexander earlier? Well, in the upper left hand corner, on the edge of the photo you can just make out the pennants of the French lancers that charged up the hill and captured him. The golden eagle moved to the right of centre with Kuzutov(sp?) as he comes on from reserve:

Back to the allied right wing. French reserves come in to respond to the valiant efforts on the Allied right wing; the french 12pdr in the defensive position on the hill (middle-right of photo) causes just enough damage to prevent the allies from getting close enough to do some real damage. The game ends with my command so damaged (too many units lost) that it is no longer able to go on the offensive.
We called time at 1:00pm game time, that was 7:45pm in Real Time- a very long game.The end result was some-what historical: the French were victorious however they didn't punch through the centre as happened in "Real Life" as I understand it but crushed the allied left wing (which in our re-fight, never gained Solkonitz and then lost it again). The Allied right under Bagration did it's job, stalling the French attack for as long as it could and I don't believe the french captured Prince Alexander as happened in our game.


  1. Don't forget the allied provisional leader, Meatbollitov, who poorly led the Cavalry Reserve forward for an hour of game time before Kutusov was re-located and roused from his feasting and napping.

  2. I remeber the name but I don;t recall where he showed up.:)-

  3. Welcome back. It is hard for the French to do as well on the tabletop at Austerlitz as they did historically, but they came close here!

    1. I think the allies did a good job of modelling the historical allied chain of command, which is to say it was pretty confused.

      It definitely helped the French that their right flank was rolling red hot dice for most of the day.

    2. Many a battle has been won on the gaming table by RED HOT dice.

    3. I would think capturing the Prince would have been considered a real success. Had we played through a couple more turns French victory would have been beyond doubt. Although the allied centre looked strong at the time we called the game, it was about to be enveloped.

  4. That is a fine looking game! I have not played NB in decades but I recall it being a solid set.

    Austerlitz I have gamed in total too. Great fun but a very large undertaking.

    1. The whole thing was planned by MurdocK- has been organising it since March.

    2. Aha! This is why your game looked familiar. It is over on Murdock's blog too. Finally, I made the connection.