Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Hold the Bridge!

Tuesday's game was Crossing Point from CS Grant's Programmed Scenarios. We divided the army point values by 50 to get the number of Portable Wargame SP's per army then used the suggested lists as a guide.

We made one change in the rules, we shortened Infantry musket fire to two hexes. Light infantry remained at 3. This seems to have allowed them to better perform their harassing task and made them less prone to having to engage in firefights with superior numbers as their only tactic. 
The enemy appears!
I drew the Defender again  and took the Allied army since I could fill much of the roster with troops I had painted. I ended up with a force of 2 medium cavalry, 4 infantry, 2 light infantry and 2 artillery (plus my commander). A total of 30 pts (We each took a free commander). My job was to deny a river crossing to Ron. (Exhaustion pt of 10)

That made Ron the attacker with the Austrians. He chose a list with 1 light cavalry, 1 medium cavalry, 1 light infantry, 10 infantry and 2 guns for 49 pts. (Exhaustion of 16) Then he had to roll to see if he marched on using one road or two. Luckily for me he rolled up 1 entry point. His mission was to establish a substantial bridgehead on my side of the river.

We set a time limit of 15 turns.
As my 2nd battery is wiped out by counter battery fire, I wave my hat at the Austrian commander who can be seen waving back from his position hear the enemy artillery. (Oh for toy soldiers with move-able arms!)
Ron is not usually an impetus commander and he decided to deploy all of his army before making any serious attacks. In this case however, having to arrive by one road meant that the game was half over before he was in position and he had been so busy avoiding unnecessary casualties that he hadn't inflicted many either and the river was still between us, the primary defences still intact. 

Once deployed, he pressed forward, pausing to silence my guns so they couldn't enfilade his infantry but that took time too and my light infantry had moved into position to snipe at a range where they were safe from return fire. 

At this point it became obvious that he had made an error in laying  out the terrain, the folds in the river were far too deep, making the approaches to the bridge too narrow and too enfiladed. None the less it was what he faced.

Now I am a fan of de Saxe and Suvarov and given the narrow space and short time, I'd have massed my infantry and gone in with the bayonet, full speed, packing my units in two deep to prevent the forward ones from retreating.  Might have been a bloody but glorious defeat or I might have pushed him back and forced my way over the bridges. We'll never know.

What Ron tried was a slow advancing fire fight, making sure that all units could retreat if needed. Unfortunately, due to the narrow frontage and the fact that I could enfilade him from across the river, my units ended up inflicting twice as many hits as they received despite being outnumbered 2:1.
Worse than that for Ron, the fight took a very long time with little to show for it.

A dash at the other bridge by his cavalry had some success but each time a counter attack drove him back. 

The battle winds down. My counter attack against the near bridge has resulted in both sides falling back but he has yet to cross a bridge let alone establish a bridgehead.
(The coloured chips mark units that have acted this turn as an aide-memoir.)
At last when time was up neither army was exhausted but he was 3 SP's away and I was at 4. I only needed to hold however and in that bottle neck he needed a lot of time and he didn't appear to have enough SP's to allow him to push across the bridge even if we'd had more turns to play.

After the  game we took the big loop out of the river and Ron may just play it over again solo. I'm quite content with the victory as it was.


  1. Nice report on an interesting game. I'm in favour of differential ranges for light infantry if they are skirmishing - it gives an abstracted sort of way to address the fact that they can nip forwards, fire and nip back again, without getting embroiled in actually making them do it on the tabletop, Only if they are skirmishing, mind - any unit which is really a close-order body with Light Infantry or Jägers in their job title shouldn't get it, I think.

    Great stuff.

    1. Its funny how simple solutions can often be the most effective.

  2. Nice use of the bend in the river as a natural bastion.

  3. Replies
    1. Damned useful stuff. Pity the shipping is so high as is the exchange rate.