GAJO Games

GAJO Happenings and Ramblings Blog

2012 - Number 36


Austrian Flank Attack

Mega Game:
Black Powder - Liebertwolkwitz 1813

August's Mega Game returned to the horse & musket era, with a big Napoleonic battle being the setting. Fought on the eve of the great battle of Leipzig, Liebertwolkwitz was a pivotal action setting the stage for the end of Napoleon's dreams of retaining control of Germany in 1813.

The action resulted from the aggressive advance of the Allied Army of Bohemia, which threatened Napoleon's plan to concentrate his forces around Leipzig to seek a decisive battle. A French force under Marshal Murat was sent to fight a delaying action around the village, to allow the Emperor time to concentrate his remaining forces and deploy.

The French Right Advancing

French Forces Deploy to Defend Liebertwolkwitz

Pulling together the forces of the shop regulars who collect 28mm Napoleonics, we were able to come up with a good approximation of the forces used on both sides. Just how closely balanced the scenario would turn out to be, we had no idea. As it turned out, both sides were in for a real nail-biter of a game.

The Austrians on the Allied right rolled really well for command on the first turn, and executed the historical flanking maneuver against the village of Liebertwolkwitz, which anchored the left of the French line. On the other flank, though, the early command rolls and aggression clearly belonged ot the French, as they advanced quickly up to the boggy ground (from downpoirs the night before) in the center of the table.

The Poles advance to Challenge Prussian Control of Croehem

French Forces Assault in the Center Right

As more and more Austrian troops poured on the field on the Allied right, the Austrian CiC sent his considerable cavalry force into the center, while all of the French cavalry was committed on their right. The Austrian cavalry, supported by some Russian cossacks, managed to pin much of the French center in square for most of the game, but they likewise were unable to make much of an impression, or threaten the key windmill marking one of the 5 objectives (3 of which needed to be controlled to secure victory).

As the French right became embroiled with the Prussian and Russian forces opposite them, the boggy ground slowed them down and allowed the Allies to absorb much of their impetus. The Prussians, after poor command rolls and a blunder to start, recovered and went on the offensive. In a key move they managed to rout a tough Polish unit holding the end of the French line, and went on to seize the key village of Markkleeberg (another objective).

The Defenders of Wachau

The French Left Center Supports Liebertwolkwitz

With the Austrians also holding an objective on the far right, suddenly the Allies needed only one more objective to claim victory, with two turns remaining. Spurred to action, the Austrians and Russians threw everything they had at both Liebertwolkwitz and Wachau, hoping to seize either of them. The action was incredibly close, the Austrians managed to take one half of Liebertwolkwitz, only to be pushed out again, and then managed to take the other half, but they just could not secure the entire village.

At the same time the action for Wachau spurred back and forth. It came down to the very end of the final turn, with Allied units locked in combat with both villages, and needing only one victory to win the game. Anxious eyes watched the critical rolls with anticipation, and when the dice fell silent the French had managed to narrowly hold on in both locations, securing a victory by the thinnest of margins imaginable. Kudos to all of the players for an exciting and fun afternoon!

Allied Cavalry Enters the Fray

The French CiC Massed His Cavalry on his Left

Putting Intense Pressure on the Allies

The View from the French Heights

The View from Liebertwolkwitz

The Splendid Austrian Cavalry

Wachau Almost Falls

Fighting Rages Around the Contested Village

While a Hungarian Unit Takes over the Assault

The Cossacks Advance

The Final Assault on Liebertwolkwitz

Masses of Austrian Infantry Approaches Liebertwolkwitz

Allied Cavalry Forces the French Center into Square

The Final Assault on Wachau Fails

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