Making the Omelette – 2×2 Napoleonics

After my first successful attempt at playing a Lasalle scenario with 2×2 Napoleonics I immediately set up another one. This time it was scenario 4 – Making the Omelette (in reference to Napoleon’s “You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs”). As the French lost the last one I assigned them the role of the defender. During a bigger battle this sector of conflict has already seen an attack by Austrian forces but the French have beaten them back. At the beginning of the scenario the Austrian reserve arrives to deliver a second attack and carry the day. The French are outnumbered but have the terrain advantage. This is the deciding action of the battle and no quarter is given by either side.

This time I reduced the battlefield to 2′ by 2′ and moved the Austrian deployment zone (bottom) closer to the enemy. The French hold the village of Szlebwitz on the western hill for 2 victory points and a point top center (green counter) worth 1 victory point (represents some form of link up to forces on the flank).

The Austrians advance under heavy fire from French artillery which staggers their formations. Their plan to deliver a decisive left hook falters early. The initial assault is beaten back decisively.

As one Austrian commander tries to bring order to the chaos on the left, enemy heavy cavalry emerges in the distance. Own cavalry is brought up but is it in time to save the disrupted infantry? The Austrians are also shaking out into a rough line along the front. French artillery is murderous though.

Austrian Cuirassiers were in time intercept the French heavy cavalry charge but suffered a defeat. Both units are beaten back disrupted (lower left) and the enemy horse (top left) now has free reign to ride down many of the disrupted units in front of them. The Austrian attack on the left has not only failed but the entire flank is suddenly in danger of collapsing Austrian commanders ask for reserves, but they are the reserves.

As disaster brews on the left, the Austrian right fares better. After probing attacks with conscripts (green markings) the larger formations (flags) and artillery are brought forward to drive the French back.

After several hours the Austrian left flank barely stabilizes. The French horses are blown (left) and is called back while being raked by canister. This shows how dangerous heavy cavalry on the breakthrough can be. Two units destroyed 5 Austrian units.

Austrian infantry crushed the enemy on the right flank however and will continue to do so over the next turns, handily capturing one objective.

Shortly before nightfall the situation gets increasingly chaotic. What’s left of the French and Austrian center is committed in a series of charges and counter charges which carries the soldiers in white to the gates of Szlebwitz (red arrows). Can they capture the village in the last turn?

The Austrians are beaten back in the center and darkness thankfully covers this very bloody field of battle. The white lines denote everything the French have left. Their horrendous losses grant the Austrians a victory point and another one for the objective in the east. The French hold on to Szlebwitz for 2 victory points as well. A draw with many losses among the soldiers, officers and generals alike (2 out of 3 HQs have been lost).

Aftermath

Again the scenario looked like just a variation of the standards (this time Attack-Defend) but clever terrain and weighted forces produced another nail biter. Limiting the battlefield and bringing the belligerents closer to each other was the right choice after my last experience. The original Lasalle scenario has a limit of 8 turns but with the much slower movement speeds and pinning mechanics of 2×2 Napoleonics it seems best to add a couple of turns. With a limit of 10 turns this scenario worked very well and portrayed the desperate struggle of the last forces available quite well. There are no force morale checks here, the game only ends at the turn limit and both sides were, by normal standards, utterly broken and exhausted by the end of it.

With two good games in the bag I will probably continue my trek through the Lasalle scenarios with 2×2 Napoleonics.

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