Friday, 16 April 2021
Thursday, 15 April 2021
An Alternative Seven Years War Remote Wargame
The Battle of Stoliboz, 1 October 1756
A Guest Blog
Part 4 – Battle Phase 3, Probing the Flanks
If you have just joined this then you may want to catch up by looking at some of the previous posts on this battle.
Introduction and details - (I’m sure Ray will provide the link) HERE
Phase 1 – deployment in the fog - (I’m sure Ray will provide the link) HERE
Phase 2 - First Clashes and Jockeying for Position - (I’m sure Ray will provide the link) HERE
These blogs go out after the commanders on both sides have submitted their orders for the next phase. The commanders individually only see and read about what applies to their zone on the battlefield. They can communicate with each other and attempt coordination of action… emphasis on the word “attempt”.
This is the situation at around 10:45am. The early morning fog has now lifted.
In the woods just north of the town of Stoliboz, the Austrian Liccaner Grenzers prove to be able marksmen and inflict significant casualties on the Montagne skirmishers, who are barely able to keep their equilibrium.
Simultaneously just to their south and with breath-taking heroism, the French heavy cavalry throw themselves forward with orders to destroy the artillery and Austrian Hussars.
…but move straight into a crossfire of well-directed shot and canister.
With crushing casualties and their exertions of the last two hours taking their toll, the morale of the French horse collapses and the few survivors scatter in disarray.
However, the sacrifice may not be in vain as Surjit's 3rd French Infantry Brigade’s advance onto the Austrian flank is masked by the cavalry's destruction.
So, as the dust settles outside Stoliboz, this is the situation across the whole battlefield at approximately 11 o’clock.
It continues to be “hot” outside of Stoliboz. An exchange of musket ball and artillery shot leaves the French Royal regiment slightly bruised but annihilates the Austrian gunners.
Returning momentarily to the woods, the Liccaner Grenzers continue to harass the Montagne skirmishers, eventually causing them to retire untidily under the pressure and constant casualty toll.
Whilst towards the south, French gunners from the Carlsberg fire at the distant Austrian cavalry, but their shot falls short.
But back in the north of the battlefield, Ray's 12th Hussars are on a wander as the action in the woods draw French attention away from the passing riders.
The situation at around 11.15am with both flanks beginning to be probed.
Outside Stoliboz, French and Austrian gunners let “rip” with desultory counter battery fire, whilst the rest of the two armies continue to remain quiet and move to seek advantage.
And so, the field of battle looks like this at a quarter past eleven o’clock.
On the outskirts of Stoliboz, the French line unleash a devastating volley…
…which sweeps Ray’s 6th Hussars from the field.
Back in the south, John's French Hussars are trying to worry Ian's Austrian dragoons, who have retired back over the stream, whilst the Grenzers take ineffectual pot-shots from the woods.
In the centre, French and Austrian gunners fire at long range. The Austrians finding their range quicker and causing some nervous tension in the Saintoge regiment.
Whilst north of Stoliboz the attritional skirmishing in the woods continues unabated as the rallied Montagne skirmishers seek to creep round the Grenzers' flank.
Closer engagement between the two armies is developing as the clock turns to approximately 11:45am.
For those that are interested, all the miniatures are from Baccus 6mm miniatures. The buildings are 2/3mm scale buildings from Brigade Models.
A degree of tension is developing on the battlefield and this is being reflected in the players as they seek to make decisions that are hampered by the fog of war. The lads certainly like to ask lots of questions. To which the main response is, “you wouldn’t know that.”
How will the armies develop their tactics to give them an advantage?
Until next time…