Slaughter in the Austrian Hills

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Blathergut
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Slaughter in the Austrian Hills

Post by Blathergut » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:34 pm

Unfortunately, both sides were slaughtered!!! :shock:

Austrians deployed all but a unit of grenzers and some light horse on one half (having actually gained initiative! :shock: )(though they did mill about a bit wondering what to do with it 8) )
-I think they had 5 large infantry units, all average, but all deployed deep, and all with cavalry/artillery/skirmisher attachments...all side by side along with a large artillery unit...

They finally learned their lessons, and kept tight, and just surged across into the French, using 6MU moves since they moved first.

French were basic line infantry along with two large light infantry units supplemented with arty attachments. Both sides ended up with hussars/lights on one flank and 2 units of heavies on the same side as all the Austrian infantry.

While the French managed a couple key points in the battle (hussars driving off Austrian lights and then raiding the LoC)(which proved critical since Austrians suddenly had great difficulty rallying), the main mass of Austrians, so deep and so tight together, couldn't be harmed for the most part. At medium range a French unit would have 3 dice reduced by cavalry attachment to 1. The 1 potential hit would be shrugged off by the large Austrian units. If I actually gained 2 or 3 or possibly 4 dice on a unit, I had to gain 3 hits to actually drop them a cohesion level. The entire French line was eventually mauled. The only thing that made it equally horrible for the Austrians was that unit of French hussars got behind the Austrian lines and started a sequence of charges into wavering Austrian units that would eventually take out most of them in a cascade.

The Austrians prove tough to beat when handled like this. The only portion of their line that was badly handled by French was where they faced 2 units of French arty and a unit of light infantry. But supports on both sides eventually cracked and left the French ripe for plucking even there. :evil:

Blathergut
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Re: Slaughter in the Austrian Hills

Post by Blathergut » Mon Aug 19, 2013 9:46 pm

A couple points of observation:

1. The thing that best helped the Austrians was the use of cavalry attachments. This avoided the need to have cavalry units nearby. The French have become adept at staying at about 5.9MU, to ensure they stay away from pesky Austrian horse. This no longer mattered since the individual Austrian targets all (or many) seemed to have dudes in white on horses prancing about, waving cheap Austrian swords! :( French fire was reduced in almost every case because invariably units were not lined up exactly and firing had to be split, invariably with at least one Austrian target including cavalry attachment! :( :( The Austrian units were out-shooting the French at medium range.

2. They kept tight. This minimized as much as possible firing on individual Austrian units. It meant there was little movement other than straight ahead, but, it was effective. :evil:

So how do you deal with this, oh French commanders out there? It was a 'small' Austrian army, in that there was no fluff about, no cheapies in a second line giving support. But they didn't need that since each infantry unit supported itself. How do you crack it? Just sheer luck of shooting dice? You probably can't get around a flank since the Austrians usually out-base a French army. Ideas???

BrettPT
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Re: Slaughter in the Austrian Hills

Post by BrettPT » Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:32 am

I have learned the hard way from fighting lots of Brits that it is most unwise for your infantry lines to frontally take on tooled-up infantry, in solid masses (unless you are similarly tooled up).

But a few of ideas:

1. Go around them. If the Austrians have no cavalry units in their centre, skirmishing infantry in extended line should be able to mask them allowing you to load up on, and overwhelm the flanks. Your infantry can face off and neutralise his mounted units while your own mounted maneovre for flank charges etc. If you have the initiative and a L2 DC, perhaps consider an off-table outflank.

2. Go for minimum and cheap infantry and instead spend your saved points on artillery - 3 batteries should do it. Two divisions can provide small batteries each, with a 3rd large battery and attached BC giving you 8 gun models, wheel to wheel, facing off his infantry mass. Guns don't care about cavalry attachments. Have a cavalry unit or two (especially lancers) behind the guns to reduce enemy skirmish counter-fire and assault through the artillery line to clear enemy skirmish units or when/if you manage to waver the Austrian foot. Allocate your shooting dice to concentrate as much artillery as possible in single units (and leave little gaps between batteries so you can pivot to concentrate fire), to maximise your chance of getting hits (and maybe even forcing retirements on the odd enemy unit). Put what infantry you have on the flanks to neutralise and forget about Austrian horse, and focus on blowing away, then running down, their centre.

3. If you have veteran French Infantry units and plenty of CPs (or attached commanders), consider alternating infantry and cavalry units (again, lancers if you have them) in the centre and go for a Hail Mary combined arms charge.

4. Turtle up in defence, make him come to you and opt for a delayed reserve to surprise and counterattack one of his flanks once he is in your third of the table.

5. Field as many small LI units as you can, with cavalry attachments. He is paying 72 points each for his Austrian super-units. You can get a LI unit with a cav for 54 points. You will have 3 dice shooting to his 2 (or probably 3 as no doubt his skirmisher attachments will be rifles). You can flick to skirmish formation to avoid casualties if needed. This will probably result in a stalemate however the 20 points per unit you save should allow you to tool up your cavalry and get an advantage on the wings.

6. Field a cavalry corps, mock his skirmish shooting, and overwhelm/go around both flanks with massed mounted.

7. Work some combo of the above.

- And as a habitual Austrian commander I don't know why I'm trying to help! Ignore me. Go hard Whitecoats!

Cheers
Brett

deadtorius
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Re: Slaughter in the Austrian Hills

Post by deadtorius » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:48 am

Contrary to to le claims Francais only 2 units had cavalry attachments with artillery also attached, that also ignores enemy horse. I had to have a single large battery of guns as per list restrictions ausf 1809. 3 guns minimum, and no guns in either mixed division but may attach artillery. A single jager unit in an infantry division that had the single artillery battery.
Kuirassier from the reserve division also joined the fray.

The initial cavalry bash involved both Austrian kuirassier charging both a francais cuirassier and dragoon that was set up to provide rear support but was sticking out by one base. End result saw both sides lose a cavalry unit with the survivors spent. Eventually the Austrian's took the French Loc, much too late to make much difference, and the two cuirassier had a final confrontation that saw Austria victorious. Although we had both hit our break points at the end of that turn.

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