Monday, 27 May 2013

The Battle of Hanau - the actual game!

Finally, after the months of build up, with planning, rule play testing, and of course the painting etc., the game was presented at Enfilade 2013.

We took considerable time explaining the concept of the rules, the history of battle and the extremely poor but historically accurate deployment of the Austro-Bavarian army, and the objectives of each side and of course the rules themselves.
Seth and I are very pleased that the players gushed with praise for the game and seemed to be very pleased with the results.  That is pretty good for Napoleonics!

The game pretty well went to historical form - or would have had we not had to shut down.  The Allied center was very fragile (in spite of forgetting to downgrade half the troops as they were Bavarian Landwehr Kreis units!) and so kept retreating as not to be eliminated.  Unfortunately the player with Drouot, having the cream and very much the majority of the French force, was extremely cautious and would not be told to take advantage of the enemy weakness even after having given him a d6 roll of six more (!) movement as a bonus from Napoleon.  Had he been more aggressive, the game would have gone the path of historical battle and the French push through the Allies we speculated.

The initial deployment of the Allies per history. The River Kinzig was uncrossable except by the one bridge (upper right) which is almost in the French area!  Thus 1/3 of the army was cut off. The photo also shows the fortified town of Hanau which Seth built specially for this game. He did a wonderful job.  Built from paper houses and foam to be light weight.

The Allied center as seen from the French perspective. The near woods have the French forces yet to be disclosed.
The Austrians attacking over the bridge against poor French marshal McDonald. Lance, playing the Frenchman knew he was the anvil for the Austrian hammer.  I had made some blank element stands from those from which I had removed figures, so placed them on the table (lower left) to indicate possible French coming from that direction.  The historical Bavarian commander thought that likely in any event.  The Allied commander thought that too as he kept some of his force facing that direction as you can see.
The Allied left flank as seen from their side. This photo is from later in the game as removed elements produce gaps in formations

The French emerge from the forest

A good photo of McDonald's command.  Historically this was both McDonald's and Victor's Corps which were in name only.  They were extremely under strength and were composed of very weak and fatigued regiments most of which could only count 100 or less soldiers in the ranks!

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