IntroductionIt's some time towards the middle or end of the Napoleonic wars. Somewhere in central Europe, a Bavarian brigade is quartered in the sleepy town of Kufstein. In the early morning, a frantic messenger arrives with news: an entire Russian division is approaching and will be here imminently!
General Hausmann, the Bavarian commander, quickly arrays his forces for defence and sends his own courier for help. The nearest allied force is General Cotillard's French brigade, but can they reach the town before the Bavarians are attacked? Even if they do arrive, the allies will still be outnumbered; can they avoid being overwhelmed by the Russian assault?
Terrain:There is a small town (Kufstein) in the centre of the board. The town is split into 2 districts by the road that runs through it; each district may be garrisoned by 1 unit. All of this built-up area provides substantial defensive bonuses for any troops who are garrisoning it.
A few fields are scattered around the table. The hedgerows which surround these provide some cover from shooting and a minor defensive bonus in melee.
There is a line of low hills to the east; these give height advantage when firing but they are too shallow to impede movement.
|The 3rd and 13th Bavarian line regiments garrison the town of Kufstein, whilst a couple of companies of the 6th light infantry hide behind hedges in a nearby field.|
- 1 brigade of Bavarians (2 battalions of line infantry, 1 battery of artillery, 1 regiment of light cavalry and 1 small unit of light infantry). These are deployed anywhere on the table before the game starts.
- 1 reinforced brigade of French (2 battalions of line infantry, 1 battery of artillery, 1 regiment of light cavalry and 1 unit of light infantry) will arrive on the southern table edge from turn 2 onwards. They need successful command rolls to move onto the table.
- 2 brigades of infantry, each with 4 battalions of infantry and 1 battery of artillery.
- 2 brigades of cavalry (1 light, one heavy), each with 2 regiments plus a battery of horse artillery.
So, the Russians outnumber the Bavarians by about 4:1 . Even if/when the French arrive, the Russians will still outnumber the combined allied force by about 2:1 .
VictoryThis is determined only on possession of the town by the time the game ends (because we run out of troops or exceed a given time limit. Or because we need to stop for lunch). If either side holds both districts of the town then they win outright. Otherwise if each side holds 1 district then it's a draw.
Our GameBefore the start of play, we decided to roll for the command abilities of each general and brigadier. We used the very simple method of starting with a rating of 8 (competent) and then rolling a 'fudge' dice to adjust this up, down or not at all. The results were thus:
- Bavarian: General Hausmann has an average rating of 8
- French: Both the allied commander in chief (Gen. Cotillard) and his brigadier (Gen. Leboeuf) have a dashing rating of 9.
- Russian: The Russian commander, General Raevskii, has an efficient command rating of 9. Sadly, all of his brigadiers are plodding 7s. Looks like Gen. Raevskii will need to do much of the work all on his own!
AftermathThat did not go as I had imagined it might! Poor General Raevskii was surrounded by dullards and incompetents. Even though his plan was quite reasonable and didn't require much finesse, his subordinates just wouldn't behave. In fact, it looked strongly as if the Russian cavalry commanders were more concerned with their inter-service feuds than with fighting the enemy. I wonder if Raevskii was an infantry officer before his promotion to General; perhaps the cavalry looked down upon him?
Some awards are due, I think:
- Unit of the match: The 6th Bavarian Light infantry did fantastically well. This was a small unit (just a couple of companies, really) that was expected to be little more than a speed bump. Instead, they destroyed 2 Russian infantry battalions and single-handedly held up the entire Russian advance on their side of the town.
- Most incompetent: Major-General Emannuel of the Russian hussar brigade probably wins this. At least 1 unit of the dragoon brigade did advance a little at one point (though they retreated almost immediately when the French jeered at them), but the hussars just stood where they were for the entire game.
- Most frustrated commander: has to be the poor Russian leader, General Raevskii. He spent the entire game trying to marshal the 2 infantry brigades into action only to be frustrated by his subordinates. As soon as the artillery deployed, an infantry battalion would march in front of it and block its line of fire. Units which were sent to outflank the town would either wander in the wrong direction and obstruct other battalions or would advance too far and find themselves isolated and shot to pieces by the enemy.
- Most bored unit: The Bavarian 13th line regiment spent the game holed up in the houses of Kufstein waiting for an assault that never came. Even the Russian units which fired at them failed to do any damage. At one point it looked as if these enemies had been issued sawdust instead of gunpowder: their shots literally couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, let alone the carefully-constructed Bavarian loopholes in the masonry of the buildings.