Auerstadt 1806 Napoleonic Over the Hills Game

Having finished my 1806 Morand Division we thought we would have a game based on Auerstadt in 1806. The premise being an encounter where my high quality troops would face waves of Prussian Hordes in a fight over the town of Hassenhausen. 
Having played a few games of Over the Hills, we used the optional orders rules for the first time and they proved to raise the game to another level, giving us many more command decisions to make in what became a very fluid and vicious battle.

First to hit the beaches was the 13th Legere, here being accompanied by Marshal Davout, his Aide de camp Colonel Davout (his son), General Morand and Brigade General Bonnet d'Honnieres.

French Order of Battle (14bns, 3 cav regts, 4 batteries) 470 points, 151 fatigue Score
Morands Division- Three Brigades of Infantry
Friants Divison- One Brigade 
Valianes cavalry Brigade- Three Chasseur a Cheval regiments

Prussian Order of battle (20bns, 13 cav regts, 11 batteries) 485 points, 140 fatigue score
Von Winning's Division - Light Brigade and Three cavalry Brigades
Von Alte Larisch's Division- Three Infantry Brigades and two Cavalry Brigades
Von Muffling's Infantry Brigade.

French on the right, Prussians arriving opposite corner. Hassenhausen, the objective, in the middle. 

The aid station sets up in the local churchyard, in for a busy day.

And the Smithy stands ready to fettle !

General Winning's first Advance Guard brigade (Zwiffel and Woebser) arriving.

General Vilannes (looking here a lot like Lasalle but without any talent)- he was later removed from the Corps by Davout for "A less than satisfactory performance" at Auerstadt. However he commanded truly splendid regiments in the 1st, 2nd and 12th Chasseurs a Cheval.

The 13th rapid march to take position to the left of Hassenhausen.

Valianes takes position on my right.

More brigades enter the field, 2nd Brigade Brouard followed by Debilly's 3rd Brigade.

I aim to quickly form a line between the villages to blunt their first wave, being outnumbered I need to deploy quickly to maximise the excellent firepower of this Elite Division. All Brigades under Move orders.

Brouard (centre) heads to Hassenhausen with orders to Hold it upon arrival.

Final reserve arrives. One brigade from Friant's 2nd Division 1/48, 1/33rd, 2/33rd and a Baden battalion to make up the numbers. They will be my reserve with a Ready order.

I think I have left a big enough gap for Debilly to slot into the line between Hassenhausen and Viliane's cavalry. I hope so. Gonna be a tight fit!

The 13th Leger scurry into position as Prussian dragoons loom into view.

Two 4 pounders were always attached to Morand's vanguard, here they fire the first shot and score a hit!

Before fleeing back to the square behind them, leaving the guns. For a while. d'Honniers Brigade (13th Legere) on Hold orders.

The Prussian Dragoons screech to a halt taking fire from two squares...

... And flank fire from the Hassenhausen garrison. Six Fatigue point hits makes them waver. Major Wobeser is shot dead. He is replaced and the replacement is slain instantly - the regiment flees; I would too!

Prussians flood into the plain (Move order), deploy into battle order and then  Attack in the centre. Here we see the Von Zwiffel Brigade flanked by von Pletz Hussar brigade.

Debilly's brigade slots into the gap and deploys. They get a Hold order. The 1/51st  of Colonel Baille in the front with the attached 12lb battery coming up on their right. Davout keeps a watchful eye, placing himself at what he thinks will be the key position in the battle..

My line is nearly set as the first waves of Prussians approach.

The 17th Ligne had the easy job- hold the village. And so it was until two batteries started blasting it at point blank range and - worse- set the village on fire!

As the village burns, outside elite Prussian Jaegers snipe down sixty men of the 13th Legere at long range with their cowardly rifles. How rude!

The Prussian Hussar General Von Pletz (by Paddy's account quite a fine fellow!) had brilliantly led his regiments rapidly across the field with Move orders to arrive at my line opposite my Chasseurs. Now he just needed to receive the Attack order from von Winning at Divisional HQ. My 12lb battery unlimbers and begins target practice as he waits....and waits...

Davout whispers in the ears of the 1/51st that they are the elite of the French army. Nothing can withstand your volleys my boys!

More Prussian Brigades are arriving constantly at the far table edge. Here we see the first arrival of von Alte-larish's Division- von Tschammer's Line brigade

Buoyed by Davout's platitudes, the 1/51st march forward to deliver their cherished first volley. The Prussians arrayed against them are the von Zweiffel regiment who get to fire first. Their volley is incredible as they inflict maximum casualties. The 1/51st reel back in surprise!

Meanwhile on the left flank, the 1/13th legere face Fusileer batallion Klock and Jager companies Werner and Kronheim so fan out into full skirmish. The 17th try but fail to put out the fire in Hassenhausen so abandon it.

The 13th Legere are exceptional troops so are very expensive points wise, my investment paid off as you can see  as they shredded the Prussian Light troops, battering their brigade so much that is becomes broken and is forced to retire. Not without loss to themselves though.

Von Pletz's orders arrive an hour later. By that time the combined firepower of my 12lb battery and Horse artillery had inflicted over three hundred casulaties on his Hussar Brigade as it was forced to stand idle. With von Pletz's own 3rd Hussars having fled and the 7th and 11th now Wavering, the moment was at hand to counter attack - but my Chasseur General, good old Valianes, failed twice to respond when I asked him to charge in with the 1st Chasseurs a Cheval! (Very like him, don't you know)

At the third time of asking the 1st Chasseurs shook off "Freshly painted unit" syndrome and charged home, catching the enemy at the halt; despite this, it was a narrow victory, the Prussians were fighting hard.

Prussian Brigades queue up to attack, their Light Brigade falling back, broken, at the bottom of picture. 

The 13th Leger's Hold orders prevent them from persuing too far. Enough to finish off the Kloch Fusileers though.

The central firefight continues as the Prussian Regiment No45 von Zweiffel  and a supporting battery trade blows with the 1/51st whose plight is not helped by my opponent rolling three ones in four dice throws (max casualties). I need to constantly rally the unit with Davout and Debilly ... just to let them get on with it.

Prussian reinforcements- arriving on left ...

... von Bailliodz Kavallerie Brigade of Kurassiers, Dragoons, Hussars, Lions, Tigers and Bears.

and Muffling's Infantry Brigade from my toy collection. (added to balance force point values before the start).

Hahn Grenadiers. (yes i know -the limbers look suspiciously English!)

The Prussian Hussar brigade has now fled the field, which is nice. My Legere brigade is suffering badly to artillery fire and there looks like another attack coming soon. Morand quickly changes some orders so that Brouard's brigade (17th and 30th Ligne) Moves in behind them as support.

Back in the centre. Yep- they are still at it and he is still rolling ones. Despite constant rallying, the lifeblood of this Brigade is bleeding out. It will lose 80% of its fatigue score in this battle.

The loss of the Prussian Hussars meant i could turn attention to helping the 1/51st in the centre, first wheeling the artillery around and supporting with the 2/51st.

Treufenfels deploys. My Light brigade is all show now. It is down to 8 fatigue points, having started on 17... But he doesn't know that.

Both armies grinding each other down.

Brouard arriving to support the 13th Legere, bottom of picture.

Prussians are forced into square in front of my heavy and soon-to-unlimber Horse Artillery.

Bailliodz Katte Dragoon regiment, part of the heavy cavalry heading to threaten the sector held by the 13th Legere.

I had to buy time to concentrate my efforts in the centre. This meant my Chasseurs, compelled under Attack orders, pinned the Prussian reserve brigade Treuenfels into square and also the Prussian fusileers supporting the fight in the middle.. By sacrificing my cavalry I could hold back his reserves in the centre and right... Then their artillery fired a shot that bounced through my whole brigade!

The 2/51st discover what all the fuss was about in the centre when they try to help out their sister battalion. My brigade is close to break point, but i gamble that his is too so i charge the guns!  Paddy rolls yet more ones and my bayonet charge is flung right back with heavy losses. Beside them though, the last of the Prussian Fuslieer squares is being wiped out.

The 30th Ligne reinforcing the Left flank via the woods.

The Prussian Infantry have waited a long time for Bailliodz cavalry who now arrive. Their attack seems imminent now. My artillery fail to hit but theirs continue to plough furrows through my gloriously unhappy 13th Legere who are close to break point.  
Muffling Moves forward.

Now is the time to gamble on a Coup de Grace i feel. Friant's reserve brigade has not fired a shot all day, now it is ordered to Attack down the road , through Hassenhausen and derail the Prussian forces preparing to attack in the centre and left. En avant!

The 1/33rd charges down the main street of Hassenhausen, burning buildings on their left, the firefight between 1/51st and 1/45th von Zweiffel on their right. A Prussian battery awaits at the end of the street.

The battery fires!   but fails to stop the 33rd so a melee occurs that is hard fought, the constrained formation of the french reducing their attack to only 25% of its manpower... both sides score a hit in the melee but the Prussian gunners of Foot battery No19 von Schienart are slain at their guns.

This allows the 33rd to break through into the flank of a second battery.

..and at that point paddy shook my hand as time was up and it seemed a suitably valiant final act to an epic game.
The game was undecided, though i had the village. I think it could have gone either way. Paddy felt he was beaten but three of my brigades were almost broken. If they had gone it would be hard to hold on. He felt he was too slow in getting his troops engaged, the Prussian staff system was to blame for that as it frequently meant his orders were delayed; we felt this was excellent and added to the realism.

For the record, here is the fatigue score list for my brigades, the first number their starting point, the second their end point. Both army totals had lost roughly a third of their total Fatigue Score.

d'Honnieres' brigade (13th leger) 17 down to 6
Debillys Brigade (51st and 61st) 31 down to 7
Brouard's brigade (17th and 30th) 31 down to 27
Valiannes Chasseur Brigade 47 down to 16
Friants Brigade 27 down to 25


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