Both armies rushed to fill the ridge lines on their side of the valley but Charles was far from pleased to hear a second French corps had arrived to join the VIIth
Panic set in among the Austrian High command and they adopted a defensive stance as Lannes IInd corps rounded the northern end of the French lined ridge. From his viewpoint on the Wiener road Lefebvre smiled and smelt blood.
The Austrians threw a one on turn 5 and the French repeated the experience on turn 6. The French now outnumbered the Austrians by 3 corps to two. Lefebvre had tasted victory
His joy was short lived as almost in ambush, a third Austrian corps a appeared on the same flank. The Saxons deployed to meet them as in the centre the Bavarian cavalry advanced into the valley to threaten the infantry on the ridge.
Yeap another damn 1 from the Austrians! (I played the French) To top it all the Austrians had Bluchers version of a mobile machine gun. Yes a horse artillery battery. It began to pepper the Saxon conscripts with alarming accuracy
In a flash Bernadotte ordered the Saxon cuirassiers to charge the guns. Saxony's finest thundered into the massed battery accompanied by the sound of the dice of death (6 hits of 8) they were later repelled with some casualties by the Austrian hussars.
Meanwhile in the the north Charles believing he had the measure of this mixed bag of European scum, ordered both his corps to advance. and advance they did flags flying and drums beating. As the midday sun rose high in the sky, Lefebvre sensed the Austrian brigade holding the centre of the ridge was weakened and placing himself at the head of a cavalry brigade charged the infantry and swept them away. As the dust settled the Bavarians found their commander gasping his last breath among a pile of dead horses and enemy infantry.
In the north the French broke the Austrian attack with casualties so high that little else could be accomplished. On the south side of the Austrian ridge the Austrian cavalry held the Saxon infantry in a mexican stand off.
Only in the centre did the Austrians make headway.
As darkness fell they occupied the town of Wiener and held it till nightfall .
The French centre was unable to evict them having been forced into squares by the Austrian cavalry . This final act gave the Austrians a limited victory. As night fell Charles breathed a sigh of relief knowing his troops were on the point of breaking.
The next day would not be a happy one for the French emperor . Not only did he lose Lefebvre but as the last rays of sunlight broke through the northern tree-line, Marshal Jean Lannes had led his infantry in a glorious last charge to break the Austrian heart. He failed and died.
The dance of death ended at night fall
A great days battling with my new opponent Eric playing in his first game of Blucher. We had a ball with a battle that could have gone either way at any time. Mrs "D" supplied a fine mid day meal and we ended the day played out, full up and ready for another game in the near future.
What more can a man ask for