On my first Sunday off in four weeks I was able to take The Boy over to Lee's and get the Bautzen game started. The Boy decided to fight on the same side as me and so took two Prussian Divisions nearest the open edge. Unfortunately these were stuck behind the river so would possibly have the least action of the allied troops. I had the other Pussian Division the Prussian reserve cavalry and three Russian infantry divisions.
Lee was commanding a mixed bunch of French, Italian, Saxon and Wuttemburg troops that spanned the quality range between Old Guard through to Milita. This should be interesting.
The first turn saw The Boy and myself happy to stay in our positions and fire our guns into the slowly advancing French.
The Boy set about reducing the Italian cavalry just as soon as it was in range. Seems the curse of the just painted was going to strike again. Not good news as the two Battalions directly behind have also just come off the painting table.
Lee steadily moved forward on his left flank and in the centre. Looks like he plans to try and take the bridges rather than cover them and hit my centre. The Boy was quick to react as he started to move his reserve into the bulge made by the river.
I had a single battalion out front with the job of slowing down the attack and causing as much trouble as possible. Unfortunately the farm was not proving to have thick enough walls and the battalion was quickly reduced to half strength.
The Saxons and French divisions towards their right flank start to move forward now there flank is protected by the captured farm.
I wasted the three Cossack cavalry units gaining neither time nor weakening the French cavalry. I would have been better to have kept them for attacking already reduced units rather than facing fresh cavalry.
But Lee also was quick to come to blows with his Division cavalry which was to allow me to have an advantage when stronger formations came to blows.
The French attack towards Bautzen was now developing, my troops would be outnumbered but had strong walls to protect them, would this be enough?
Lee brought up his Italian Division to try and force the small bridge. His fire was able to force back the one battalion but he was also taking casualties. I was quite confident that the attack against the bridge would not succeed.
A little along the river Lee manages to get a single battalion across the large bridge and has four more battalions lining the river in an attempt to push The Boy away from the bridge. However with three fresh battalions close to the bridge he elects to stand and fight. The French battalion is quickly isolated and driven back across the bridge a shadow of its former self.
Blocking my way to the battle for the bridge is three battalions of French infantry. My Prussian cavalry has forced them into squares but I just can't get infantry up to smash them so a time consuming charge and retire cycle of actions take up the following few turns. I really needed to get these battalions away from the river to open a fresh attack of my own.
The French launch an attack to the right of the captured farm. This ties up the troops earmarked for the attack on the larger bridge and will possibly change the course of battle in this sector.
One of my cavalry regiments is under compulsory retreat (yellow die) but has bought me yet more time on this flank. I would be able to rally these cavalry back and bring them back into battle again after a few turns recovering their order. At this point the battle seems to be mostly going my way.
I continue to cause problems for the French, forcing infantry into squares (red dice), the attacks so far have been a little disjointed and most have lacked much in the way of support. However greater numbers are massed in the rear.
The Italians clear The Boy's Prussians from the little bridge, the Prussians are at this point quite weak but have troops close enough and in large enough numbers that they could contest the position if the Italians cross over.
Not that the Italians lack numbers with eleven battalions a light cavalry regiment and a battery of guns at their disposal. Still a maximum of two battalions can cross per turn, a double move may be required to get enough mass in place to stay on the Prussian side.
So neither side as yet have managed to get any real advantage, Lee is building mass in a couple of points but still continues to send in attacks that are not closely supported whilst I continue to fail to dislodge the French squares blocking my approach to the larger bridge. I also continue to remain mostly passive on the hills leaving it to Lee to make the majority of the aggressive moves.