Welcome to Marauder Moments - a chronicle of the Mortimer Street Marauders; the games we play, the rules we use, the figures we play with and the scenery they fight over. Hope you enjoy these pages and maybe call back to catch up with our escapades.

Monday, 7 September 2020

The Battle of Flutzen 1809

Now that we are pretty much free to play again at Marauder HQ it's time to play a big game & write a batrep for you. We are now in possession of the latest batch of newly painted figures which once based will feature in the Cloppenhammer game we messed about with during lock-down.

Positions at the Battle of Flutzen - End of turn 1.

This is as usual a fictitious battle but one inspired by one of my favourites to re fight; no prizes for guessing which one. Marshall Ney has camped his Corps consisting of five infantry brigades & attached light cavalry brigade amongst five farms & villages for the night. Without deploying scouts & picquets they are all asleep & blissfully unaware that Archduke Charles is descending on them. The remainder of the army is a few hours march away & Napoleon with the Guard is further away still! 

The scenario

Ney's starts the day in camp having breakfast - le petit dejeuner. Each brigade is based around a farm or village with the cavalry on high ground to the rear. All other French divisions are off table to arrive later. One may arrive on the southern flank table edge the rest along the western table edge. The reserve heavy cavalry cannot flank march and the Guard with the Emperor must arrive last along the main road traversing the battlefield  The Austrians are deployed to attack, their reserves and one brigade are trailing. 

Note that we have begun to deploy by & think of the army in Divisions. Naturally these are made up of Brigades but it adds a level of structure & some deployment limitations and adds further flavour. Once deployed the brigades act as usual within the rules as there is no Divisional level commend in GdA. As the collection matures & grows we can think about Corps levels too. In this game for instance Ney's Corps is depicted comprising two Divisions, one of two infantry brigades, one of three infantry brigades, a light cavalry brigades & divisional artillery which is attached to one infantry brigade, in all 20 battalions, three light cavalry regiments & associated batteries - quite enough to occupy one player for a while at least!   

Marshall Ney directing artillery fire. He is the Corps commander & C-in-C until Napoleon arrives with the Old Guard - everyone loves a visit from Head Office.
To replicate the surprise & confusion amongst the French they suffer penalties to ADC tasking in the first three turns. ADC are only activated on a d6 roll of 6 in turn 1, 5+ in turn 2, 4+ in turn three and then the usual 3+ from turn four. This means most brigades will be hesitant in the early turns although if activated once they are then available on the usual roll of 3+ in future turns. This fits in nicely with Command & Control rules in General d'Armee - our favoured big battle rule set.   

Dispositions of the French & Austrian armies at Flutzen    

The far northern flank, here two brigades of Austrian light cavalry mass ready to move. 

Moving south we see the first two infantry brigades setting off towards their target village. The guns are limbered up, on that note we have now finally got the limber teams back ready for basing before our next game. 

Here we see the French around the village pictured above. They managed to wake up on turn two, begin to sort out some defense & deploy their battery.

Moving south from the position above here we see another French brigade, these fellas took longer to wake up so are still hesitant. The tree lined road pleases me greatly :)

Another French held village - this one looks a bit wonky as it sits on the join between two boards beneath the mat, the floor isn't even, just one of those things!    

More Austrians moving up in the centre.

Panning out from the above shot showing the target village opposite.

The target of the Austrian attack shown above. This French brigade is fairly spread out with it's battery on the road. The hamlet behind has another brigade encamped about it.  

The southern front. Here we see three Austrian brigades. From left to right they are; The Avant Garde moving up onto the hill with their hussars, Grenz & Jaeger follow up. In the centre are the dragoons, three regiments in line one behind the other. On the right is an infantry brigade with guns limbered.    

Looking north from the southern flank of the Austrian Avant Garde along the whole front as the advance gets underway. This is all looking rather splendid!

The first French reinforcements arrive & the battle opens  

On the Northern French flank the first fresh forces arrive to rescue Ney. This is the Westphalian Division consisting of two infantry brigades; each of four battalions, one has a foot battery attached. There is also a Divisional light cavalry brigade of two regiments.     

"Marching to the sound of the guns."
Further trailing forces for the French. This looks like the Old Guard, heavy cavalry reserve and the Polish division. There are a few more on the other French back board. 

A close in shot of Austrian light cavalry in the north. These are three large regiments, two of uhlans up front with hussars to the rear. The farm in the foreground was my first test piece for the 10mm project, the roofs need painting terracotta, the edges sandy and flocked. The adjoining vineyards are pretty!  

Bergman's German line & LDW advance behind skirmish screen. Two things need doing here; firstly flags; Secondly new Brigadier name plates. Rich has sourced a producer, an order will be placed once Chris submits a suitable list of historical names. Get on it mate ;)  

Cute village from Total Battle Miniatures 6mm aptly named "Big Battalion" range.
I painted these & have a few larger villages & more farms to finish, hopefully this month. 

French foot battery from Magister Militum painted by Barry's boys who did almost this entire collection - Hi guys! 

Another master piece from Total Battle. 

French dragoon brigade arrives with a horse battery. These are in the south facing off against the Austrian Avant Garde & supporting Austrian dragoons.  

Looking due north from the southern table edge. The Poles are due to arrive here at some point.
The newly arrived French dragoons are in the left foreground. This shot also shows the space available to us now - of course there are plenty for toys still to deploy. 

Tony plays a forward order on this brigade - he is determined for this one work!

Close in shot of the French defending this village.

The two southern most of Ney's brigades set up a strong defensive position before the
"White Storm" breaks against them.

Tony's "White Storm" crashing into Ney's southern most positions.
This is a brilliant shot across Tony's attack in this sector - great to see a second line - something we have been striving for since we started the 10mm project.

French infantry columns line abreast ready for the Austrians as Jaegers snipe at them.

The Avant Garde drive off the sheep to occupy the high ground in the south.
(Sheep now top right - they may counter attack)

Austrian dragoons deploy for battle...

French dragoons also deploy for battle near the heights in the south.

Another divsion arrives to rescue Ney. This comprises Swiss & Wurtemberg infantry brigades plus a divisional light cavalry brigade. The Wurtemburgers boast a foot battery, note limber. 

Ney moves up battalions from his rearmost position to prop up the front line.
Nice depth in this shot. 

Voltigeurs engage with Jaeger & Grenz before the close order formations close.   

Ney's light cavalry brigade moves laterally across his rear to prop up/support the northernmost position. Two regiments of hussars one of chasseurs a cheval - pokey.   

Action in the North. Westphalian light cavalry come off worst in initial melees with Austrian Chevau Legere who outnumber them 2-1. This will be an interesting contest; can the Westphalians force a passage to the south influencing the main event in the centre OR will the Austrian lights deny the French some valuable respite. Let's keep an eye on this...       

Austrian light cavalry sit awaiting the order to advance.

The first trailing Austrian forces arrive. An infantry brigade & a brigade of Grenadiers from the army reserve (top right).  

Hungarian infantry & LDW move up to support the front line of attack. 

Pressure builds in the centre. The Austrians have deployed a divisional 12lb foot battery as two others move up limbered. Skirmishers trade shots as the lines close - it's all kicking off!

Someone loses fire discipline at the critical moment. Typically one of my regiments.

Another brigade approaches the target village shown above.
Foot battery deployed to soften up the Frenchies.

That's your lot... 

We managed 8 turns which is a good start. There is real peril for the French centre but with help on the way there is hope. The Austrians look strong but must race against time as they must defeat Ney before The Old Guard arrive to possibly swing the balance - it's what they do! Moving swiftly isn't what the Austrians do, especially under my command!

We play again tomorrow night so I'll try to post Part 2 promptly. The house rules used for the initial scenario moves seem to have delivered a challenge for both sides which is pleasing. Suffice to say, we have a lot of fighting ahead of us & a lot of formations still to commit - it's going to get very bloody as the street fighting starts to bleed both sides.

Best wishes,