Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Battle of Montereau (part 2): Conclusion

When last we left off, the Austrians had just managed to neutralize the forward French advance. With a rattle of drums and clarion of horns the French Guard had just arrived on table. The duo of Austrian commanders let out an audible *gulp*, shrugged their shoulders and tried to guess how long it would be until they were crushed.

We had decided to play 20 turns (considering a turn is approximately 30 minutes), already have the game had been whiled away (meaning it was early afternoon).

 Luckily for the Austrians, a large block of Reinforcements had arrived on our side of the river. This was turning into a foot race to control the all important village of Montereau (hence the battle title no doubt!).

We can see that Doug and Seth are consistently turning out some finely painted figures. Part of their conscious design decision has been to encourage the visual spectacle of their game. This means 28mm on large bases. I believe many of these are Perry figs, with some other (older) lead found amongst them as well. The lead austrian infantry units are guard.....not as quality as the French guard, but it will certainly help slow the blue tide.

Given a dearth of command points, the Austrians hurry their guard to reinforce the town of Montereau, while attempting to place their cannon batteries (each base is (from what I recall) about 30 guns) flanking the bridge and commanding the village as well.

 To the right we can see the Austrians have managed to rush their guard to the town. The French guard can be seen in the top left moving down the road.

 The french guard included young, middle and old. There were so many elements that the force was divided into 2. Seth and Doug took control of this highly desirous command (game design hath it's privileges). Unfortunately (in hindsight) they split their commands in an inefficient way. Seth took the cavalry and cannon, while Doug had the infantry. Due to the high pip costs of moving and deploying artillery it meant that the cavalry largely didn't come into effect, and the cannon support was late to help the infantry versus the Austrian cannonade.

Above we see the french infantry is cleaning out the woods and outlying village (?name) of the advance Austrian garrison (line in the village, and a brigade of light infantry in the woods). This would let the depleted French flank resume it's march against the bridge head and create more pressure  on the Austrians.

The guard vs guard fight has started on the crossroads. The Austrians have manage to withdraw their horse artillery to the rise and the heavy cannon has been glowing red hot for a while now as they steadily cannon the guard advance. One of the more controversial discussions was shoot thru damage from cannon. A second unit can be damaged (with reduced chances) if right behind the primary target. Apparently this had made frequent appearances and disappearances in various forms in the rules.  

 Victor has started to get his troops moving again, the presence of the French chasseurs has created issues for the Austrians holding this area. The troops in the village are getting a hard handling but some horse cannon just out of sight behind (diagonal) the village.

 Back to the main event we can see the forest and village are cleared. There is still an incredible mass of french troops charging down on the Austrian thin white line. Besides the 2 guard there are only 3 bases of cannon (although this represents almost 100 gun!).

Note the french cannon to the left of the column which has started an artillery duel with the austrian heavy cannon at the top of the rise. The austrians would slowly be whittled down by this fight, as they were distracted with steadily cannoning the french infantry as fast as they could manage.

Even after the cannon are cleared the french face a tough battle against a final unit of guard holding in the village (with cannon across the river covering the approaches).

 The turn counter is running pretty high though......The french need to claim some solid progress soon.

 Another via of the left French flank with Victor clearing out the troublesome village by cannon.

Both the austrian infantry and the French guard are starting to look fairly worn under the intense crush of musketry and cannon from both sides.

French crisis! With a cataclysmic clash of force, numerous brigades are wrecked as fighting formations. Austrian and French fall back from the field dragging their injured comrade. The jewel of the french fighting formation has taken a rough handling this day. Napoleon eyes the depleted cannon on the rise, and the strong defensive position of the Austrians beyond. The day is late and the guard is needed elsewhere. A series of recall messages and trumpets are sounded as the dark of night is creeping across the field.  THE AUSTRIANS HAVE THEIR CROSSING. HUZZAH!

As with the historical event, Victor's command  was quite delayed but managed to eventually (after being relieved) take his objective. This was a tough nut to crack with the (unseen) austrian cannon off the bottom of the picture overlooking the village and road.

The final overview of the battlefield.

A huge thanks to Doug and Seth for posting the game with a great setup and figs. All the players were a treat to play with as well.

The rules continue to develop with each battle. Doug and Seth didn't like how the road rules played out and have decided to remove them again (it's questionable that the roads would help as many troops as each base represents on such a small time scale while being deployed). The new cannon rules seemed to work quite well, but changes to blow thru damage (bounce thru?) and the arc of fire  needs some tightening up as well (I will admit under the current rules I was managing some amazing sniping down narrow firing corridors).

More of Doug's great painting (closer up) on his blog Dots of Paint.


I forgot to put up the awards for the Austrian commanders! The historical result had the French come charging hell for leather down the rise above the town and panic the Austrians. They were flung back over the bridge forthwith. During the game we noted the fantastic job done by the centre artillery batteries and thought that they (and us!) deserved awards.

Rod was diligent in looking this up post battle....

Now, I think the Commanders that David and I got to play may have earned either of these below.  HOWEVER, I don’t think the Commanders were of the appropriate noble rank to receive the Order of the Golden Fleece…. 
Take care, and please pass the attached on to David!


The Military Order of Maria Theresa

Founded by the Empress Maria Theresa on 22 June 1757 as a reward for merit for senior military officers. The order was to be granted as a reward for acts of military valor and to perpetuate the memory of the brave officers receiving it. An officer had to command in a battle or a unit in a winning action to be eligible for the higher grades, and even Oberlieutenants had to perform prodigious feats of duty and valor to receive the knight's cross. Not often awarded in the Austrian army. As with many high orders the decoration was to be returned to the Chancellery of the Order on the death of the holder. This is one reason for its great rarity, especially of older issues. Almost all known copies in commerce are 20th century, most from the First World War or insignia made for holders of the Order after the end of the war.

Ribbon: Equal stripes of red, white and red.
Grades: Three: Knights Grand Cross, Knights Commander and Knights

The Austrian Imperial Leopold Order

Established by Emperor Francis I on 8 January 1808 in honor of his father, and to provide the Empire with an order that could be used to reward noble subjects for service to the Emperor and the State. The existing senior orders before 1808 were too limited in their scope to permit rewarding sufficient subjects for their duty. The choice of Leopold for this order's name is not too strange, since he was Francis' father, but he is also the most shadowy of the modern emperors with his brief two year reign. The Knights Grand Cross were also addressed by the Emperor (as Grand Master of the Order) as "Cousin" as with Grand Cross members of the St. Stephen Order. Collars and insignia were returnable upon death of the member, the collar to the Grand Master and the insignia to the Registar.

Ribbon: Red with two thin white edge stripes.
Grades: Three: Knight Grand Cross, Knight Commander and Knight Ordinary.


  1. Great looking game and nice BatRep. I like the notion of single (large) stand maneuver units.

  2. A very well written battle report, my dear "Cousin" in the North. Well played, very well played.

    I want to add that as a person who enjoys games, and miniatures, this rule set that Doug and Seth are developing is a great play. The scale lets you enjoy the figures and the sense of military might, while not getting so massive you cannot figure out what you are trying to accomplish. The rules are rather intuitive and you get more time playing than being a rule expert.

    Huzzah to the Red and White! ;-)