So, last night the guys came around to my place to finish playing the first battle of our Bohemian Blitzkrieg campaign. The game cracked along at a fair old pace with twists and turns a plenty. It was without doubt, the best game I've umpired in some time: this is how it unfolded.
The Prussians finally manage to occupy the forward buildings in the village.
The newly occupying unit, a Garrison regiment, was immediately confronted with a hail of lead from the Austrian grenadiers waiting on the outskirts - the Garrison troops somehow managed to withstand the punishment but these were probably not the best troops to hold such a vital position. They would be evicted soon afterwards at the point of the bayonet.
On the Prussian right (south of the stream) the Prussian cavalry stood waiting patiently for any Austrian advances in this sector.
However, the action was elsewhere.
On the plateau north of the village the infantry blasted away at each other with seemingly endless volleys of musketry amidst very heavy squally showers of rain which made powder wet and misfires commonplace (heavy rain is the only logical explanation for such lousy shooting dice - I've never seen so many 1s).
When the day eventually dried up it was the Austrians who felt the brunt of dry powder. The Prussians made four Austrian regiments run in short order.
Although the Austrian infantry line is beginning to crumble the Prussian infantry line is facing a new threat.
The Austrian cavalry has worked its way onto the the Prussian's open, northern flank.
n the nick of time the Prussian infantry, now clear of immediate threat to its front, manages to back-step and form a large open backed box before the Austrian cavalry can organise its attack.
Anyone who has played Piquet will know how tense these situations can be. With neither side knowing exactly how much initiative it will get to do stuff, or what order its action cards will be revealed, it is never easy to say which side will get its act together first.
Even having stabilised it's norther sector, events on the southern sector are now going badly for the Prussians.
The Austrians are advancing to push the Prussian cavalry from the field and, devastatingly, have established two strong batteries on the south bank of the stream which are able to bombard the Prussian infantry on the plateau with impunity.
The Austrian bombardment begins and the Prussians begin to real from it.
The Battle is effectively over.
The Prussians, who started the battle with a bad Army Characterisation Card draw (25 morale) have run out of morale chips and the Austrians (who started with 45) are now able to dictate everything.
A final large swing of initiative to the Austrians forces the Prussians to concede defeat and withdraw, pursued by the Austrian cavalry.
Rule note: Because we are using Piquet we have had to change how battlefield casualties effect campaign army Strength Points (SP). We have decided to do this by keeping track of every Unit Integrity (UI) point inflicted by each side during the game. The result is divided by 6, rounding down, to give the number of SP inflicted.
The Prussians have inflicted 28 UI loss on the enemy during the battle and the Austrians have inflicted 34. Therefore, the Austrians lose 4 SP and the Prussians lose 5 SP.
Rule note: Having written a rule (that worked for Piquet run battles) for casualties caused by post battle cavalry pursuit (called Pursuit Fire in Age of Reason), and within minutes of the battle ending, we threw it out of the window and, within a couple more minutes, came up with something far more elegant: The winner decides if he will pursue. If he pursues both sides add up the number of available cavalry units (not shaken, routed, or blown) counting hussars as double. To the result each side adds the initiative value of its commanding general. The result is the pursuit / rearguard points total of each side. For each point one D6 is rolled. Each side counts the number of '6s' rolled; one side's result is deducted from the other; the difference is the number of SPs inflicted on the player with the lower result. (Last night I ruled that only the pursuer would be able to cause casualties but this morning, having slept on it, I see no reason why this should be the case. With the addition of "The winner decides if he will pursue." that ruling is made null and void - pursue at your own risk!)
The Austrians choose to pursue. They have eight cavalry units, two of which are hussars for a sub total of 10. Lorraine adds his initiative value 2. The Austrians roll twelve D6 and get two 6s.
The Prussians have three cavalry units for a sub total of 3. Moritz is initiative 3, for a total of six D6 on which they roll no 6s.
The Austrians inflict 2 SPs in the pursuit. Total losses for the battle: Prussian 7 (29%); Austrian 4 (11%). Having some knowledge of casualties caused in battle during the SYW, that looks about right to me. I hope this isn't a fluke.
The Prussians withdraw to Nollendorf.
The command, SP and supply situation after the battle of Aussig.