Battle of Wagram

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This is the record [reconstructed] of a recent wargame fought in the Featherstone Library. We hope you enjoy it. If you are interested in taking part in other wargames, please contact Simon Shakewell.

If we get enough decent chaps together, with leave passes duly stamped by the old Sargeant Major, we should be able to have a regular club night.

And just in case anyone wants some further background reading on the battle please see [1]...

Anyway, on with the battle.

Verbatim Report of the Battle

Simon Shakewell said "Fancy meeting you here Brigadier. Well actually it is the only decent place around, now that those rotten chaps have started cluttering up the place."

Brigadier Peter Young said "You look a bit tired, Simon. Not the best of times. What is that you are reading... oh that old book by Charles Vasey. I was quite taken with those rules, though I could never encourage young DOnald to take them seriously."

Simon Shakewell said "I had just got to my favourite campaign, when Archduke Charles, has to defend the Danube crossing after his abortive assault a few days before."

Brigadier P Young said "Quite an interesting campaign. You know Simon, I happen to have rescued some models and a few odd bits of terrain... I am sure we could get a game going. I'll just set up my soldiers here...and here.... why don't you play the Austrians?

Simon Shakewell said "OK."

[Noises of tables being shifted, chair legs being scrapped over the floor and then that glorious old smell of rubberised lichen being fetched out of their zip-locked bags.]

Brigadier Peter Young said "Right then I have deployed my forces. The grand battery will be there covering the advance of the Old Guard, with some cavalry looking menacing on their flank. I do hope that old bridge will last. Pity it is only about 2 and half bases wide."

Simon Shakewell said "OK. So I have put my blue trousered Croatian light infantry into the woods. Behind the river line and the tree line are my beautiful white fronted regular Austrian infantry. A good solid single line. And massing behind them the cream of the Austrian cavalry."

Brigadier Peter Young said "OK, my battery fires... I get a 3, that is a hit I think...."

[Sounds of pages being turned rapidly and a few muttered calculations.]

Brigadier Peter Young said "Yes that is a couple of figures off that unit there."

Simon Shakewell said "OK, but they do not have to take a morale test just yet, no advancing enemy infantry within 18 inches and behind a natural obstacle, that's the river."

Brigadier P Young said "The main trouble is getting the figures to fit on the bridge, I should really have a bridge that is 4 figures wide - they look terribly jumbled like that..."

Rotten Guacamole said "Uhmm..terribly sorry to interrupt you gentlemen, Is there any chance I could stay here for a while to get some rest I'll gladly assist you if you need any help with the uhmm...smelly, limping fellas that seem to be everywhere in the streets. One of them tried to bite me! (again!) Can you believe it?! Oh and, perhaps...if the attacking force were to attempt a charge to get to the other side of the river, engage, then feing a retreat to get the defenders to cross the river into a nice ambush?"

Rotten Guacamole said "I remember someone said something about a bit of woods, it would be splendind ground for an ambush :) Sorry If I'm not making sense, I'm not well versed in gunpowder era tactics. it's medieval warfare for me :)"

CCGlazier said "Imperial Guard?! Did someone say Imperial Guard? Just great -Now all the middle school kids will be crowding in here dumping unpainted plastic on the nice tables, arguing, rolling buckets of dice, and shouting WAAAAAAGH all the time."

Simon Shakewell said "Well, I was hoping we could avoid all that sort of thing - next they will be talking about Bruce Quarrie and that unspeakable Phil Barker. I was hoping that a nice game of CHARGE by that gent Charles Vasey, would not attract the wrong sort of chap."

Simon Shakewell said "Anyway, Peter, I think now that I have had a chance to look at the rules a bit more closely, you do indeed get a half move of fire from your grand battery."

George De Lacy Evans said "There were several zombies over at Groser PD. One of them suggested that the Prussians should send a forlorn hope against the French guns so the cavalry can sneak over the bridge. Typical zombie tactics. Had to kill the lot of them otherwise..."

Simon Shakewell said "Damn cheek. Just shows that those rotten chaps just don't know their history. The Prussians did not assist the Austrians in this campaign, which was why Napoleon could send his entire army against the brave, honourable, but doomed Austrians."

MikeDeth said "Empire III= easy and simple: discuss"

Doom MD said "Sorry, I've always referred to Napoleonic's as the Black Hole of war gaming"

A zombie killed Carlos Plynkes.

George De Lacy Evans killed a zombie.

George De Lacy Evans said "That zombie said the buff coloured facings of the 2nd Brunswick Light Infantry reminded him of brains. Had to kill him for that."

John Rawls said "Right. Because if these facings are buff, then they're clearly the First Light Infantry."

George De Lacy Evans said "No, no. My point exactly. Egregious error, can't have that sort of thing in here. Carry on, now what about that bridge?"

Brigadier P Young said "Well, we certainly seem to be attracting interest with our game Simon, perhaps some of the people in here might be war gamers after all."

Brigadier P Young said "Now, let me see - I'll push the Guard over the bridge towards your centre, Simon - what do you think about that, old chap?"

Simon Shakewell said "My Croatian light infantry will retire, in the face of your overwhelming skirmishes. Ah... I have to make a roll here. Shaking dice. A one! Damn, [sounds of pages turning] they retire in disorder. Never trusted those Croats."

Simon Shakewell said "Oh no, now I have to test the Austrian gunners. Come on chaps, ignore those excitable Balkan types. [Shakes a dice, very well, blowing into his fist, and muttering a prayer] A three. That means...... yes they are unsettled and have reduced fire."

Simon Shakewell said "So at that range they can't miss a bunched target like that. I can never understand why these Austrians never formed grand batteries. So the two, only two, batteries near the bridge roll a 4. That will cause a couple of casualties to the guard."

Simon Shakewell said "You need to check the Guards morale. As if they will crack?"

Brigadier P Young said "I see, well Simon, lets see just how sturdy those Guard are, oh dear I've rolled a 1....but it bounced off that flare gun - do you think I could roll it again?"

Brigadier P Young said "So, Simon, I'll just re-roll that die - oh that's handy, a 6! Meanwhile I'll just move up the cavalry on the right."

Simon Shakewell said "That's OK, Brigadier [cough] we must have some sort of rule about munitions and handling of guns at this club. I'll make a note."

Simon Shakewell said "And that reminds me that chap who died here earlier, he left an awful blood stain on the terrain cloth - I do hope it comes out in the wash."

Simon Shakewell said "Sorry, pardon me. Yes the guard advance, with flags flying, drums beating and bugles sounding. What a sight. Oh sorry they only have drummers and standard bearers in the Old Guard, in 1809. Silly me."

Simon Shakewell said "But that figure there has a bugle. I say! Shall we remove him, hate to spoil the effect, what?"

Brigadier P Young said "Oh, sorry Simon, I was distracted by this book I'm reading. It must be may age, but every time I read a book from here I find I'm learning nothing new."

Brigadier P Young said "Now, where were we - ah yes - I do hope the Guard get on better. It reminds me of the Dieppe Raid you know....."

Brigadier P Young said " fact perhaps our next game should be WW2 - I have a copy of Lionel Tarr's excellent rules here somethere..." ¨-- Ed: for anyone interested here are the rules... [2].

Simon Shakewell said "Lionel Tarr, one of my heroes. I do think that the Don was a little cavalier in using him as his example of the Prince of Solo war gamers - I heard some tittering about that."

[Sounds of groaning and moaning, and the library bookshelves start to shake]

Brigadier Peter Young said "We have should have rules and regulations about that sort of behaviour".

[Sounds unsteady footsteps, of chairs being knocked over, get closer and closer]

Simon Shakewell said "What drunks at this time of the day. Place has gone to the dogs."

A zombie killed Brigadier P Young. [Sounds of terrain and model soldiers being scattered as the Brig slumps over the table. Simon whimpers, and hides under the table, pulling the terrain cloth over him.]

[Sounds of gunfire and another body slumps to the floor.]

George De Lacy Evans kills a Zombie.

George De Lacy Evans said "We keep being hit by zombie raids like that. I'm guessing infected people intentionally dying after getting past the barriers. Sort of a zombie forlorn hope. Plans?"

Simon Shakewell said "Thanks chaps for the heal. Pity about the old Brig. At least he died happy, with the Old Guard surging over the bridge. But I don't think I'll be able to set up the game again. And will that blood wash out."

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