Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Battle Report on Cadzand 1809

Date played: 6 February 2016
Rules: General de Brigade Deluxe
Turns: @14 Turns
Time: 10:00am to 3:00pm

General course of the battle

Mike and Jeff took command of the British forces with Jeff acting as overall commander (Huntly). I commanded the polyglot French force of Monnet. The British created a new cavalry brigade by putting the 12th Light Dragoons under the AdC Rosslyn. With the forces set out, the British quickly set off. 

A rapid general advance saw the British get into firing range very quickly. The only bright spot for Monnet's men was the exceedingly accurate counter-battery fire of the French Horse Artillery against the British Foot Battery. The British guns lost 1/3 of their strength soon after the battle opened. This caused the British artillery to linger far behind the infantry for the entire battle as the British did not want to lose what little artillery support that they had.

The brigades of Stewart and Alten arrived before the French lines first and opened a deadly fusillade of skirmish fire on Wagner's infantry. Soon after that, the British brigades of Dyott and Rice hit the French troops under Lawless. After scoring numerous hits with their first volleys, the British accuracy faded for much of the rest of the game. Below average dice rolling caused the British volleys to lose much of their sting.

Eventually, Mike was able to cross the ditches and launch a cavalry charge with the British Dragoons. They lost the combat with the French Dragoons and went streaming back throwing the British right wing into disarray. After sorting things out, the British again charged into melee with the KGL Hussars against the Dutch Hussars. Surprisingly, the Dutch Hussars repulsed the KGL horsemen and pushed them back too. 

The French brigades continued to blast away at the British lines inflicting casualties at a steady rate. Alten's British troops suffered heavy losses and had to pass a Brigade Test in order to remain on the field. Failing that test was probably the best chance for the French to score enough British losses to win the game - but the British passed the test.

Eventually, the superiority of the British side began to tell. French units began to crumble under the effects of heavy casualties. A British volley put the cavalry commander Maschek into a panic and he ran from the field (a 2 result on the DOUBLE SIX chart). A cavalry charge by the British 12th Light Dragoons smashed the remnants of Lawless's French brigade. Wagner's brigade was battered but holding firm. With the right flank turned, a leaderless cavalry brigade, and now significantly outnumbered the French troops began a withdrawal leaving the British as victors on the day.

French losses had been heavy, as expected, with the loss of @40% of their infantry lost. The French cavalry was still in good shape but left with no room to operate. The British had lost 29% of their force. Close to the 33% amount needed to trigger a British retreat that would have given victory to the French. This was a tense battle as mounting casualties influenced the actions of units on both sides. 

If anyone tries this scenario I would really like to hear how your game goes!

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