Battle of Ravenna

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Rmarsden
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Posts: 40
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:05 am

Battle of Ravenna

Post by Rmarsden » Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:22 am

A tired French army has to attack my superior position and advanced Spanish foot?

Easy.

So I thought.

The battle begins with the Spanish foot and artillery in a walled fort, while a few gendarmes are on the left and center and a mass of mixed cavalry on the right. The Spanish artillery are in three redoubts extended past the main fort walls.

The French have an artillery unit behind an uncross-able river to the south while their main army to the north is supported by artillery on either flank and consists of crossbowmen, various cavalry, and arquebusiers. In their center, a collection of menacing pike await.

The French army has superior artillery and seemed content to fire away at my units as they became visible. A single salvo could, at times, disrupt a unit. Cavalry was especially vulnerable to this. With cannon fire coming from my left and right and behind, I decided to try and be clever.

Taking a crossbow unit, I marched it south to the river where the lone French battery was pounding away. I thought I could get close enough to shoot them. No. A wasted march that the arquebusiers should have taken. Gendarmes hovered to the left, awaiting the French who seemed to know that my maneuver wouldn't work.

On the right, my cavalry (a mix of mounted shot, light cavalry and gendarmes) seemed only a bit outmatched by the French cavalry. Rather than risk a lengthy artillery duel, I moved them forward, hugging the swamp and seeking a way to entice their cavalry forward so I could charge them first, while a pair of my Spanish foot waited in the center fort for them to get tangled up and expose their flanks.

Instead, the usually over-eager AI stayed put and sent down gendarmes from its center and a horde of light infantry. Unable to go back, and not wanting to have my army leave its position, I had my cavalry charge into, what I could tell, would be a slow, but inevitable defeat. I'd like to say it was a clever distraction, but the amount of units that ultimately routed nearly cost me everything.

After a single turn of cavalry engagement on my right, the French center and their right moved in. My artillery pounded at pike blocks and at the arquebusiers whose firepower I learned to respect in the prior scenario. While no units were disrupted, their numbers were damaged enough that I believed I could make them pay dearly at the fort's wall.

I momentarily thought of withdrawing my artillery, but decided to keep them in their exposed forts till the end. As the French closed in, I was able to unleash large salvos from multiple units onto the French pike blocks, which fixated my attention. My belief was, should they crack, then the French army was through.

The AI stormed the isolated redoubts and engaged the artillery units, swamping all three and pressing closer to the fort walls. My Spanish foot unleashed a firestorm, disrupting their units. I resisted the urge to charge an waited for them to try and cross the wall or sit there and get blasted. French crossbowmen, while annoying, lacked the power to do much other than annoy my foot.

When the French army crossed the wall, they were met by my Spanish foot. I tried to have a few units leave the fort and surround the French pike, but the crossbowmen with help from the artillery rapidly disrupted them, costing me one to route before it even engaged the French. The battle for the wall ground on, but the casualties were in my favor and gradually I could bring more units into the fray. I was able to get in a rear charge, but by the time my infantry had set it up, the pike unit was already disrupted and sure to break.

On my left a feeble French cavalry push was met with the same, followed on by my lone crossbowunit and a single unit of Spanish foot. This was more than enough to engage the French, but one my units broke soon after contact, while the French cavalry there collapsed soon after that. What should have been an easy win cost me a unit.

On my right, my cavalry was gobbled up, and in their death throes routed the occasional unit. The only saving grace was that they scattered the French army on my right flanks all over. When the last of cavalry routed, the French turned their battered, but largely intact force toward my infantry who had just finished routing every French pike block. Luckily, they were disorganized and would only arrive in force after three or four turns.

With the French center absolutely broken, still the battle wasn't done. Both sides hovered at 54%. So much for what should have been easy! Fortunately, on my left, my victorious units reached the French artillery after a long march, and my Spanish infantry set up a firing line that focused on the weakened French units coming in on my right. Even so, their arquebusiers managed to route a unit, taking my routed percentage to a grand total of 56% and 63% for the French when the last turn ended.

Hardly a sweeping victory, but a win on the first attempt none the less.

champagne
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Lance Corporal - Panzer IA
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:14 am

Re: Battle of Ravenna

Post by champagne » Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:07 pm

That's great. Not easy to win this one.

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