Having agreed a game with Trevor and Andy at the club, we deferred to Trevor's preferred set of rules - Age of Eagles. I've no particular disagreement with the rules, I'll say in advance, but two issues arose during our game. Firstly like many American rule sets, they are dismal to look at and terribly laid out, would it have killed to include an index? And secondly, whilst I like to play a relaxed approach to wargames rules, gleefully skipping parts I don't like or interpreting vague bits on the fly, Trevor is one for going by the book; and this sure slows things down.
Anyway, so far as preparation for our game I had a lot on and so could devote no time to organisation, but I did chance upon a scenario months back on the Age of Eagles website that looked to fit the bill so I sent it on to Trev to consider. Lo' we ended up playing it.
To summarise the situation; Ney was ordered by Napoleon to seize the crossing of the Danube at Elchingen in the Face of Riecsh's Division. Initially with significantly greater forces than Riesch, Ney found the defense anchored on a Convent, that effectively acted as a fortress. Riesch was also able to call upon a second division of Von Lauden's men. In the end the French prevailed, but the engagement took all day and cost them a thousand casualties, the Austrians five thousand; mostly prisoners.
Trevor, being in the luxury of retirement, had more time than I to prepare for the game. He spent some time painting a terrain cloth specifically for the scenario, a nice touch. We finished the layout from a mixture of Trevor's own terrain and the various 15mm club buildings (all made by my own fair hands). I deployed Riesch's division, trying to offer a broad defence.
|Elchingen to the centre of the frame, the Danube to the right|
|A sneak preview of a new Grenadiers unit there...|
|The Cavalry advance|
|The Grenadiers turn to the threat|
|This could give the impression we can turn the French flank...|
|Here they come...|
Over with James, Von Lauden's cavalry continued to parry Loisin's cavalry, whilst Von Lauden's infantry were unlucky in an attack on a French square.
|This isn't going to end well|
Time was against us, and we had to call the game. The French may not have won by the terms laid down in the scenario, and the Austrians were far from destroyed as a fighting force, but it was hard not to call the result anything other than a French victory.
A good game in the end, despite mine and James' dice rolling being the very worst imaginable; I think we averaged rolls of '3' - Age of Eagles is a D10 based system. Conversely our opponents seemed to have the 'One Ring to Rule Them All' of D10's which rolled a ten about one in every three throws and averaged about an 8. By the end of the game both sides used the same dice just to give an impression of fairness. Somehow we were still able to slow the French down despite being incapable of making any counter-attack stick.
Given the entire Austrian army was carrying the additional jinx of 'New Unit Syndrome' this wasn't too bad a performance.
Hopefully things will go better next time...