Monday, December 18, 2006

The battle of Mastenhaas 18xx?

Sunday was my last game before the Xmas break, and featured another bout of the Napoleonics in the form of a unlikely facing of Dutch against Austrians and Bavarians. I suppose such a battle was a plausible as many ancients match ups I'd try, but it was basically dictated by the available figures.

The scenario was a classic village assault, with a small force of Austrians defending Mastenhaas.

I was commanding the Dutch under the Prince of Orange, and outnumbered the initial defenders about 3 to 1. I went with what Phil, my opponent, seems to thing is my classic tactic; a thin centre and a strong flank, intended to hammer the enemy flank then roll him up.

Here you get the sort of aerial view most commanders could only dream of, of my centre.

My centre got going fairly quickly, whilst the Right flank took some manoeuvring to get started. Initially, all the Austrians could do was bide their time awaiting reseves.

Eventually some reserves did arrive in the form of Lancers and Hussars, the Cavalry fight that ensued in open ground to the left of my army lasted the rest of the day, and ultimately had little bearing on the out come of the game, though it ultimately saw my cavalry beaten.

At the high-water mark, my forces began an assault on the manor and one of the village houses; managing to bring off a simultaneous assault. The Austrians were initially having no luck stopping me, although cannister fire from the artillery ravaged one of my battalions who can be seen running in the centre.

It was downhill all the way from here for the Dutch. Both houses proved unassailable. My losses were not desparate, but each assault failed to maintain any pressure. At this point a Bavarian infantry column appeared on my right flank. I was able to meet it in good order, and thought I'd have it soon beaten, when one of its' battalions broke to well coordinated musketry. But things soon reverted to the dismal note they'd been playing for a while.

In melee after melee I was defeated, for round after round the Dutch stood impotent whilst the Austrians laughed at them from inside their houses. At the bitter end I made one last desparate effort to attack the houses again; but instead found both attacks under threat by reserves.

It seemed like a good point to throw in the towel. Although at no point in the battle were the Austo-Bavarians anything other than outnumbered 3 to 2, the village was such an effective point of defence, I couldn't make the slightest progress. In retrospect I think I should have moved the artillery in to more or less point blank in the centre and hammered each building in turn. but overall I felt my plan was sound, merely beyond the size of my force to achieve.

Good fun, and a nice way to round off the years games.

No comments:

Post a Comment