Monday, January 16, 2012

Saalfeld Report

Jeff, Mike, and Carl led the allied contingent while Eddie, Gary, and I commanded the French. Carl commanded the Saxon infantry of von Bevilaqua, Jeff had Schimmelpfennig's and part of von Pelot's brigade, while Mike had von Trutzschler's brigade and a new brigade (dubbed von Von's brigade because we are all so clever) created from a part of von Pelot's infantry using the lone AdC. Gary had Claparede's Legere, Eddie directed Vedel's infantry brigade, while I led Reille's infantry and Trelliard's cavalry.

The battle opened with a general advance by the French. The Prussian left wing moved forward and the large amount of cavalry operating in the area compelled Vedel's Brigade to form squares. The Prussians under von Pelot began to hammer away at Vedel's Frenchmen with artillery and musketry. Trelliard's cavalry slowly walked to the right to offer Vedel support and to threaten von Von's troops to the front of Saalfeld. Meanwhile, Reille's infantry plunged straight ahead and tried to drive a wedge between the cavalry of von Trutzschler and Bevilaqua's Saxons. The Saxons poured heavy fire into Reille's columns and the attack began to stall as units suffered heavy losses (lots of FALTER results in morale tests). GdB Reille took personal command of the first battalion of the 34th Infantry and charged into the Saxon infantry that was deploying from the right of Walsdorf to the area to the left of Walsdorf. After finding good luck in two successive melee's, Reille's Frenchmen had managed to rout 2 Saxon infantry battalions which caused the Bevilaqua's brigade to retreat to the rear of Walsdorf (failed BRIGADE TEST).

With Bevilaqua's retreat the French brigades of Claparede and Reille advanced and consolidated positions in Walsdorf. On the French right, Vedel's troops steadily suffered musketry and artillery fire from von Pelot's Prussians until it was forced back (failed BRIGADE TEST). As this was happening Trelliard moved up closer to support Vedel in the area of Garnsdorf. Soon a separation appeared in the allied lines between von Pelot and von Von. This where Trelliard struck. The 21st Chasseurs hit von Von's line of infantry while the 9th Hussars hit von Pelot's infantry. In each case the cavalry won the melee but rolled about as low as possible and still win. The 9th Hussars hurried back to the French lines due to a Pursuit Test roll while the Chasseurs retained formation and control. Right away the Chasseurs charged again and eliminated one of von Von's infantry units. Again the Chasseurs had a great Pursuit Test roll and continued to maintain formation and control.

While Trelliard was smashing into the center of the Prussian lines Vedel got his units organized and moving. Schimmelpfennig launched his cavalry into Vedel's infantry to forestall their advance toward Saalfeld. Luckily for Vedel, his units managed to form squares before the Prussian cavalrymen were able to close. When the dust settled the carnage became apparent. The battered French squares were lined with fallen cavalrymen. Schimmelpfennig's horsemen had suffered heavily but had succeeded in stopping Vedel. This left von Pelot's weakened infantry brigade to hold off the numerically superior Vedel. The Prussian left wing would be compelled to give way or be destroyed. The Saxons under Bevilaqua had reorganized themselves behind Walsdorf and it was clear that the Prussian right wing was safe. This left events in the center to determine the battle.

The Chasseurs, led personally by Trelliard, charged into von Trutzschler's Saxon cavalry as they moved over to support von Von's failing brigade. In a very evenly matched cavalry melee the Saxons were thrown back while the Chasseurs were finally forced back to their own lines to regroup. Around this time, Reille was hit (DOUBLE SIX TABLE) and ran off the field in disgrace - completely stalling any hope of assaulting Bevilaqua's Saxons. Bad luck that...

With casualties mounting from melee, musketry, and cannon fire the last turn of the game saw many important morale tests. Most units were lucky enough to pass but von Von's weak brigade had suffered heavily and was forced to retreat into Saalfeld. With von Pelot's weak infantry brigade and von Trutzschler's Saxon cavalry left to face Vedel, Trelliard, and some of Reille's units the battle was declared a minor French victory.

The French began the game with a numerical advantage and better leadership ratings. Unfortunately, they could not move with enough speed to really put these advantages to good use. The Prussian/Saxon troops gave excellent account of themselves as they repeatedly ripped gaping holes in French units as the hapless Frenchmen drove forward. In the end, the superior numbers began to tell as Prussian units were whittled down but it was something of a battle of attrition instead of finesse and maneuver. While Lannes and his troops did win the fight, there wasn't much to celebrate.

1 comment:

John de Terre Neuve said...

Nice report, gives me a reason to paint up some Calpe Saxons sometime in the future. Very nice blog and figures by the way.