Friday, April 25, 2008

Bonaparte at Marengo: Ladder Round 9, 4/21/2008

In Round 9 of the BaM Ladder Nick Avtges accepted my bid for the French at Morale 16. I have played as the Austrians 5 times before on the Ladder but this would be only my third play as the French. The game ended at the end of the French turn 14 with the Austrians resigning after thinking there was not enough time left to either capture two victory locations or demoralize the French.

French At Start:
Ladder Game 9 had me with the French this time at 16 morale. The initial French deployment had two of the French cavalry camped out in the rear areas in locales 23 and 64. The third cavalry unit was in Marengo.

French 6 AM End:
The Austrians need to push hard from the very beginning in order to have a chance to win. Seeing that I had only 1 French cavalry unit up front I figured it would be best to try to delay the Austrian push so I could start moving my other cavalry units forward by attacking into locale 2 with my lone cavalry unit in Marengo.

French 8 AM Start - Pretty Horsies All In a Row:
I didn't delay them much and my straggler cavalry units are still sound asleep. Nick pushed forward with 5 calvary units all along the Fontanone. This was the first time I had seen this and the French were worried about a quick Austrian breakout.

French 9 AM - the Battle of Marengo:
The French pulled back from the Fontanone except in locale 9, while the straggling cavalry began to move forward. The Austrians advanced across the river with 4 of their cavalry units with two going into Marengo. I believe this was one of the most important turns as the French infantry unit cleared the Austrian cavalry from Marengo with an assault. The lone French infantry would hold Marengo for quite some time afterwards.

French Noon Start - Austrian Bulge:
The French cavalry have finally made it to the front lines, or is it that the front lines finally made it to the cavalry. It looks like the cowboys (French cav) are herding the cows (Austrians) down the middle. I like the fact the Austrians are pushing down the middle as it takes up a lot of command points but I don't like the fact that there are only single units forming the line for the French. The saving grace is that they are cavalry.
ps. The Austrian guns have not fired in the game yet.

French 1 PM End - Expanding the Bulge:
I finally had a couple of spare commands to pull the infantry back into reserve in locale 9. Hopefully they can catch up with their bretheren. French fall back slowly, what else can they do?

French 4 PM Start - The Final French Fade Begins:
Up to this point I was trying to hold as much as possible and the line had stabilized by 4 PM. At this time, with reinforcements coming in the next two hours, I think it is time for the French to head for the hills.

French 5 PM Start - Austrian Cavalry Machine:
Down south Nick has set up his Cavalry Steam Roller. In the remaining turns all I can do is block, fallback, and retreat with my cavalry unit down south. I looks like I'll be giving up a blue start location. Hopefully I can hold the other two. It has been quiet up on the North road so far but I can see an end around coming up if I don't get more troops up there. At this point I'm unsure about where I want to send my artillery unit so he camps out in locale 63.

French 6 PM End:
I decide to give up the south end of the map and send all my 3 strength infantry units up North to help cover the green and red stars.

French 7 PM End: - the Austrians Resign:
At this point, Nick resigns seeing that he doesn't have enough commands and time left.

Another enjoyable game for me. As always different from all the other games I've played. The 5 cavalry line was quite a surprise and shock and I look forward to using it myself in the future.

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