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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Confusion to the French

On 14/12 we played yet another game in Northern Italy. The Austrians had decided to hold on a larger river line and Eugene had decided to throw himself at the hugely outnumbered Austrian Force. Now there were two problems with this.:-

1/ The Austrians had roughly the same force levels as the French. They had concealed this as a result of their large superiority in light and medium cavalry.

2/ The Austrian force had been informed by their high command that in their opinion the French were attempting to force the river line before dark and use the river as a supply route.

       Thus the French believing they were going to destroy the weaker Austrian force slowly built their hammer attack  while the Austrians occupied advanced positions  in order to slow the French down and in fact stuck their heads out in order to be chopped off. So to those in the know if the French had simply grasped the initiative they may have eliminated the Austrian advance guard and had a slight chance of winning, while the Austrians could have set up on the river and won the game by default. Reality was very different to those who weren't in the know  heheheh.

       The French commander decided to take his time and prepare a blow that would slaughter the Austrian force. He declined to spend command points on control of the clock, spending his big points to ensure his large divisions moved in the first bids available rather than controlling the clock and hoping the divisions would move by right of integral initiative points.. The Austrians however surrendered movement for control of the time. As a result time flew by. The French moved only a small part of their force , the clock running out before they could move all their troops. The battle had started at 8am and by the time the French commander realised what he had done it was 2pm. He had a battle line but only 4 hours to deliver his attack. In the words of the emperor. " I can recapture terrain but time is lost to me forever!" Once the fighting started it was a vicious and bloody affair but the Austrians had reinforced their positions and the French had no chance of victory. A wonderful battle and a good time was had by all (even the French commander enjoyed himself while trying to make excuses for his actions heheh)

       The game was played using 6mm brigade stands. The rules were a combination of command and control from "altar of freedom" and combat and morale using "snappy nappy" The game was played out in just over 4 hours. Not too shabby when you consider there were 3 French corps and 2 Austrian corps. I have to say that AoF is probably the best attempt at producing variable length turns I have ever seen.  I had managed to paint almost  enough MDF figures to provide the bulk of the French and italians while the Austrians were mainly Adler. Again no one noticed the difference. Unfortunately i only managed one picture and my fellow gamers haven't yet sent me the photos but here for your enjoyment is the one I have, taken at 2 pm just before the French line advanced to combat. 


  1. Sounds like a great game Robert and the table looks good. Nice to know the 6mm mdf figures worked out well. Once on the table I wouldn't be able to tell the difference at arms length.

  2. Nice AAR, both games show time being lost to the attackers, is this just down to not knowing the rules or is it hard to get an attack going?


    1. It's a function of the rules. "Altar of Freedom" see them at the game is based around a 60 minute turn. we use 5 minute impulses. At the start of each turn you either allocate the command points to your divisions or reserve some to bid for control of the clock. both roll a die 6 and add the points they have reserved. Winner controls the clock. the divisions with the highest bid move on the first impulse. player who controls the clock moves first. After all divisions with the same bid move 2 x d6 are rolled and the player who controls the clock chooses which dice to apply to the clock. if a 2 and a 6 are rolled the player chooses to advance the clock 2x5 or 6 x 5 ie ten minutes or 30 minutes. this is repeated until all divisions are moved or an hour is completed. So if one player controls the clock and rolls a six on each impulse only two impulses are allowed and any divisions with lower bids do not move. It's a subtle control on time and initiative. So if you are confidant of controlling the clock you can make low bids on your divisions and always choose the low roll to move the time so that they all get the chance to move. It sounds complicated but it's really extremely simple and very subtle. There is a good summary of the rules at