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Saturday, 12 September 2015

Wiener-schnitzel and the dance of death

           A light haze obscured the course of the river as the sun rose on the valley. The steady tramp of boots heralded the march of the Austrian IInd corps towards Wiener. The archdukes heart swelled with pride as the rumble of boots and hooves resounded through the narrow streets. Meanwhile the French VII corps under Lefebvre filled the gap in the western ridgeline.

 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.

In game turn 4 the French threw a 1 and second corps arrived on table.

Kallowrat appealed to Chartles for help but before Charles could reply the Austrian second corps marched onto the battlefield and stormed onto the northern edge of the Austrian ridge. Charles breathed a sigh of relief as the situation stabilised. Little good it did him as Bernadottes Saxons  swept around the end of the Austrian ridge taking them completely by surprise.

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 early afternoon the Austrian right flank advanced towards the French whose veteran skirmishers began a slow process of attrition that would severely damage the Austrian IInd corps. Eventually the centre brigade broke under the murderous hail of leadshot. 

In the late afternoon both sides were without reserves , the bulk of their brigades severely weakened and their commanders bereft of ideas. A true dance of death with no sign as yet of a clear victory for either side.

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


  1. Looks great, and cleanly a successful day all around... as long as you weren't a French Marshal, that is!

    1. Aye it was indeed a good days gaming. Although new to 6mm Napoleonic Eric was no newby and it was fought to a standstill. I'm still reeling from the loss of two legendary figures heheh

  2. Sounds like a fantastic game.

    1. It was indeed. it could have gone either way at any time during the game. No quarter asked or given heheh

  3. UAU!! Vaya relato!! eres todo un escritor !! Ya veo que fué una partida de las que te gustan, avances, retrocesos, cargas, contra-cargas, combates victoriosos, combates perdidos y todo ello salpimentado con muchas bajas y con un final incierto! FELICIDADES por la partida y por tu nuevo compañero de viaje, que parece que dió la talla en su primer combate :-)

    1. Eric sera un buen elemento en nuestro grupo. Hemos luchado hasta el ultimo gota de sangre y con mucho gusto. Mis pauvres mariscales estan en shock (y paradiso) Hemos quedado Jueves 24 a jugar otra vez. Aver si se apuntan mas de l'associacio