Last Friday I played a 250 point game of Blucher, my French vs Austrians. My mostly veteran French army was significantly outnumbered by it's Austrian counterpart which was comprised mostly of conscripts with a core of elite troops.
Break points for the 2 armies were 6 for my French and 8 for the Austrians.
The deployment in the centre of the field, the Austrians are deployed in three large chunks whilst my French are deployed mostly in a long line with 2 small groups of mobile reserves.
The Austrian first thrust is sent between the urban areas and the forest and is met by French cavalry and allied German Infantry. Horse Artillery also closes in to punish the Austrian infantry who faced with cavalry will have to form square.
Whilst more Austrian Infantry move up on the other side of the urban area to engage the main French line the Austrians in the gap are pushed back, but not without dealing heavy damage to the French Chevaux-Legers.
The very central advance of Austrians has got in range of the main French line now, the French have much better of the initial skirmishes due to their supremacy in this department.
In the background the right flank of the Austrian army prepares to swing in on the French left flank, threatening to stretch the limits of the smaller French army. In the foreground the French continue to take their toll on the Austrians at close range.
On the other flank a stalemate begins which would remain largely unchanged for the rest of the game, mostly featuring long range bombardments of artillery.
The Austrian right flank finally lands on the French left, Austrian Cuirassiers trading blows with the French Dragoons but the Austrian Chevaux-Legers fare much worse, being repulsed with heavy losses.
An overview of the battle at this key point, the disparity in the number of Austrian Infantry is apparent, but at this point 3 Austrian units have been broken to 0 French. Austrian numbers are going to need to start making a large dent in the French lines soon in order to take back control of the game.
The battle towards the right flank continues at a slightly lower ebb, with heavily weakened units from both armies falling back towards the rear .
The far right objective remains under no pressure. These units would be far more useful in the centre for the French than for the Austrians.
French units slowly try to move behind the line to reinforce the heavily outnumbered left flank.
The Austrian General looks on at the cavalry stalemate in the gap, both sides are extremely thinned out by this point.
Austrian Cuirassiers have dislodged the French cannon on the hill, forcing the French reinforcements behind the ridge into immobile squares. The elite infantry on the French left would continue to punish the Austrian infantry, but now had no hope of reinforcement.
By this point the right flank Austrian cavalry have been replused, 2 Cuirassier units, one Chevaux-Legers routed, and 1 light Hussars reduced to 1 strength point for the loss of 2 French Dragoons and 1 French Chevaux-Legers, 1 unit of French Dragoons was able to break into the Austrian rear lines, threatening weakened infantry who had been moved out of the action.
towards the end of the battle the Austrian attack in the French centre had finally collapsed the entire lot. By this point the French Break point of 6 has been reached, with the help of some Austrian Cavalry on their left flank finally breaking the deadlock to rout some weak French artillery.
The French had one last chance to force a mutual break, but were stopped short at 7 Austrian units, with the Dragoons which can be seen in the backfield routing a very weak unit of infantry.
In this final image we can see the final body count.
Austrian Losses came in at; 2 Cuirassiers, 1 Chevaux-Legers, 2 Veteran Infantry, 1 Conscript Infantry, and a massed battery of Heavy Guns (7/8).
French Losses were; 2 Dragoons, 1 Chevaux-Legers, 1 Line Infantry, 1 Allied Infantry, and a massed battery of Medium Guns (6/6).
Overall the game was extremely close, a 14/16 loss for my French boys under the clubs scoring rules, and could have gone either way up until the very end where my opponent managed to prevent my reinforcements from reaching the left flank whilst also keeping the pressure up so that the units trapped there could not simply get away from danger.