17 Ağustos 2016 Çarşamba

Battle of Montenotte (and some FoW games)

Once again I got a chance to go on a little vacation and played some FoW and one Black Powder game. My friend, Ruhi, who wrote the scenario to the Black Powder game and played it with me, requested that I take pictures and produce a battle-report so here it goes first. At the end, you will find brief reports of my FoW games with few pictures.

Battle of Montenotte: Black Powder Game with 10mm Miniatures; French vs Austrians

For anyone insterested in info about historical battle, here’s the wikipedia link;

As a summary;
It is 1796 and France is still struggling to fight its enemies after the Revolution. Napoleon Bonaparte is given command of the Army of Italy and first combat is about to begin against the Austrians near the village of Cairo Montenotte. A French vanguard has captured a redoubt, defending a mountain pass but Austrians are on them. First day, the small French force defends the pass and the second day, Napoleon sends help, led by capable general Andre Massena. French under Massena attacked both from the pass and Altare direction, catching the Austrians by total surprise and driving them back, delivering a French victory.

On to the game then...

Ruhi commanded the Austrian side (his beatifully painted miniatures) and I went for French. (the ones fully painted with flocks are also Ruhi’s work, the rest are painted by a young friend, Mustafa, and all French models are from his collection) The game table represents the Mountain Pass where a little French force occupies. The road runs from the pass to the village of Montainette. Two Austrian brigades are on table, one near the pass and the other inside the village. French main army shall arrive from the reserve at 5th turn, half from the pass and half from the other side of the mountain. (Altare direction) Game will run for 10 turns at max, Austrian objective is to capture the pass or at least hold the village, French objective is to defend the pass for certain and also to capture the village.

We played with 10mm miniatures, halving all distances in Black Powder rulebook. We also applied the Column vs Line rules in Albion Triumphant books.

French Blocking Force: 2 Line Infantry, 1 Artillery Battery
French Reserves (from the Pass): 4 Line Infantry, 2 Small Light Infantry
French Reserves (from the Open): 4 Line Infantry, 1 Dragoon

Austrian 1st Brigade: 3 Line Infantry, 1 Light Infantry, 2 Hussars
Austrian 2nd Brigade: 2 Line Infantry, 1 Light Infantry, 1 Artillery Battery

I formed a defensive line at the pass with my small force and Ruhi marched his 1st Austrian Brigade on my brave Frenchmen. I was lucky that they could not reach my lines and I could shoot them for two turns, each time moving just a little back, keeping the French at musket range and at the same time away from a single movement distance. In my second shooting, I was able to disorder two units and effectively postponed the Austrian assault.

Seeing that, Ruhi threw one Hussar unit to one of my Lines. Cavalry did their job, my infantry formed square but took a bad beating, score was a draw and Hussars retreated to their starting location, leaving my line shaken. Meanwhile, Austrian light infantry formed skirmish and came very near to my other Line Infantry. Next turn, the Austrians were now clear of disorder and they assaulted my Lines.

Close combat continued for two turns, resulting in total defeat for my small French blocking force. Line infantry vanished and the artillery battery started to move towards the table edge. But the Austrian Lines were also shaken now, before they could form a proper defensive line, French army entered the table.

Forces from the Mountain pass engaged the Austrians right away. French Light Infantry started to shoot the Austrians from one side while four Line Infantry battalions (1 Line, 3 Assault Columns at rear) went for the other side.

From the other side of the pass, commanded by the perfect General Massena, the French moved at full rate and after two turns, placed themselves in flanks and rears of the Austrian 2nd Brigade. This brigade was very much affected by poor command rolls and stood without moving for a couple of turns.

In an effort to save the situation, Austrians rushed the Light Infantry and Hussars against the French. Hussars were stopped by a French square and Light Infantry exchanged fire with a Line battalion. But next turn, it all ended. The two French battalions which blocked the way to the village, now assaulted and destroyed the Hussars and Austrian gun battery. French dragoons, personally commanded by Massena also galloped to the rear of an infantry unit.

At the pass, two Austrian infantry units routed one after another. This was too much for the Habsburg forces, facing a total pincer movement, the whole army was routed as the Austrian general conceded defeat.

Ruhi is always a very good player and did his best to take the pass on time. He was also unlucky with command rolls when my reserves arrived so he could not set up any kind of defensive line. Also, the scenario gave Massena a deserving Staff Rating of 9, which combined with French "Pas de Charge" (basically Reliable Attack Column) made sure French flanking force did its job very well. A highly enjoyable game for me! Ruhi, thank you very much!

My other Flames of War games were as follows;

Mid War, Me: German Gepanzerte (list with Remer), Deniz: British Rifle
Deniz, seeing me command a mechanized force and believing I could do better on the offensive, decided to go for Night Attack. Then, I had to defend against his British rifle platoons. He made some good progress with initial assaults but by the time he had cleared the objective, my reserves arrived and Brits could not hold on to their gains. Victory for me...

Late War, Me: Red Army Strelkovy, Levent: SS Wiking Kampfgruppe
Levent had a very good defensive position so I was basically unable to break through. Most of my infantry were shot down on road, when some could launch their assaults they were already underpowered. Victory for Levent...

Mid War, Me: Africa Panzer (list with Rommel), Deniz: British Tank
It was a very enjoyable Fighting Withdrawal. I was on the defensive and Deniz did his best to take me out before I started to pull objectives. My plan was to pop-up my ambush of Panzer IV F2 tanks to counter one British tank platoon, delay the other tank platoon with my Panzer III Ns also hold the third objective with armored cars and infantry. While it took some time for my PIVs to deal with enemy tanks, this plan generally worked. Victory for me...

Late War, Me: Soviet Tankovy, Levent: Fallshirmjagers
This game was also very good, fighting against Fearless Veteran Germans are always tough! After a good round of shooting, my tanks could effectively destroy most of the anti-tank guns in the defensive line. German paras did their best to stop my horde of tanks but seeing the reserves delay, they could not protect every flank. This game set a stop to the long time tradition of Levent beating me! Victory for me...

Hope you enjoyed this post. Take care!