Drums and Shakos Large Battles – Dual Objective
Another day, we had a game of DSLB to try out fist scenario Dual Objective from ‘One Hour Wargames‘ adapted to Drums and Shakos Large Battles. Some minor modifications were done and force compositions ended up being mass of Austrians versus Quality of French. Additionally, blinds were tested for development to provide good and realistic fog of war. Game mat layout featured rolling landscape, scattered trees, hedges and then one large hill and one small town. Contested points were the town and the hill. Austrians were close to the hill, French had the town closer at hand. Remarkably, neither was hotly contested like one could assume, but deciding events happened in a between the two.
French force composition: Commander Q3 Charismatic 2 battalions of Line infantry, Q3 C4 SK2, Elan 2 Dragoon Regiments Q3 C5 Reserve: 1 Light Horse Artillery Battery
French victory conditions: Refuse at least one objective from enemy and break enemy army.
Austrian force composition 3 Battalions of Line infantry, Q4 C4 SK1 2 Hussar Regiments, Q4 C5 1 Medium Artillery Battery Reserve: Grenadier Battalion Q3 C5 SK0
Austrian victory conditions: Occupy both objectives with infantry and break enemy army.
The end result was terrible loss for Austrians, played by protagonist but there were some interesting developments. First of all the game devolved into cavalry fight – not exactly something of a surprise considering the quantity of it on the table. Secondly, Hussars are no match for Dragoons – even if they are the good Austrian variety. Probably not a surprise really. Austrians were generally worse off for movement, command failed multiple times, but that was probably compensated by pretty good battle rolls.
However, defeat had much a do with the fact that Austrian deployment was really poor. Whole brigade was spread out and too many of the units were in completely wrong end of the table. Austrians have pretty tough time if attempting to do two things at once, and only way to realistically succeed would be to amass sufficient resources to the objective French are most likely to hold. French were doing precisely what needed to be done. They were there to grab one of the two objectives – the town and not only did they hold the town, but actually collapsed one flank and plunged forward to the second objective at the time Austrians broke and fled.
For Austrians, Artillery battery should have been brought to bear on the enemy cavalry, and then immediately supported by charge of Hussars. Infantry should have been close around the general to benefit the activation bonus since without it Q4 is quite terrible.
The real punching force that could kick French infantry, Austrian Grenadiers should have been the force that breaks the enemy line infantry in the town, or close proximity, but they met their end in the hands of Dragoons far far away. Dragoons just casually surged forward shortly after they had finished the last of the Hussars who went down in bitter fight. It was desperate move to no end really. Without cavalry, French were free to roam around. Even loss of the general in one of the heroic charges did not cause major setback for French.
In any case, scenario is very interesting, and another play of it is certainly needed. Albeit it may not be needed, I think that changing French infantry to Q4 would probably be fair. Elan grants free activation for fresh unit, and general located in close proximity gives bonus and then Q3 unit succeeds with roll of 2+ while Austrian counterparts are most likely require 4+.
Basic Impetus – Carthage vs. Rome
2nd game was a quick match of Basic Impetus that as usual swung from Carthaginian player morale loss to destruction of Roman armies at the eve of victory. Our protagonist again committed the Roman Equites against fresh unit, and they still did not perform. When do I learn.
One of the most interesting things happened when Carthaginian skirmishers and Numidian light horse surrounded one of the Roman legions and peppered it with javelins until they could not have anymore and left the field in disgrace. Yet again an example of the power that Light infantry and light cavalry possess when applied properly in right place at right time. Skirmishers and light cavalry, not having enough fun, then went on to give same treatment for another legion. Mercifully, Equites committed group suicide before that outrage got to conclusion ending the game. That one, followed by general turn of events was one of the funniest for a long time.