Aspern Essling 1809 Revisited

Greetings from the ‘Hermit Kingdom of New Zealand!’.

So named by a former Prime Minister recently during a discourse he made about our beloved current Prime Minister ‘Redcinta the First'(and hopefully last) as she mirrors the achievements of all good Socialist leaders(assuming there is actually one).

So Goldie planned to run a refight in August…then someone sneezed in Auckland, and… lo and behold the entire country closed its borders…again….. and hid behind our castle walls. Thankfully the sneezing was mainly in Auckland so the rest of us have been allowed a degree of freedom while the poor sods in Auckland remain locked up.

So we had out refight in September 2021…….

The Austrians would have 5 players and the French 3. Nick, Alan, Keith and Goldie would have an Austrian Korps each while I had the Reserve Korps. There were 3 French players in PaulW, Rob and Robert. The scenario was Day 2 and each side would set up in the positions they held historically, but you could put any any troops you wanted there.

So below we have the French set up with Robert on the French left running from Aspern Village(out of picture), Rob in the centre and PaulW on right. Paul had the Cuirassiers and put all 6 to move around the right edge of the table……which was wonderful from an Austrian perspective! The 2nd line of French infantry were the elites of Lannes Corp. Some Guard were loitering on the edge of the table.

Then below we have the Austrians with from the left, Nick, Alan, Keith and Goldie with me off table in the centre. The Austrians had 1 division also off table on each flank ready on turn 2 to march on and attack the villages(or rather to remonstrate that they were to draw forces away from the French centre).

Austrians advance on the Frenchies.

Massed Cuirassiers attempting to ride around the right flank. There is not space between Essling village and the edge of the table.

Lannes orders the reserve line from the centre to move around the flank as well. We Austrian players were extremely happy at these troop movements away from the centre!

An oppsy moment, Lannes Blunders and instead of attacking/advancing decides a move to the right is required.

So below we now have disordered Cuirassiers and blundering infantry in front of Austrian infantry in square.

Meanwhile in the centre… that a gap I see……

It is indeed a gap…some French have popped….both sides lost some guns…..French light cavalry charged Austrians in flank…who cared not….in distance French Guard can be seen approaching. On the French left Robert was churning up Goldie.

Panorama shot…Nick still has a Division off table on Austrian left…..Grenz are skirmishing( 2 new units I painted during lockdown) , Alan is looking solid in the middle as the Reserve advance into the table, Keith is taking it to Robert and Goldie is doing really silly things in Aspern(I told him NOT to attack the Buildings).

Beautiful sight. Keith has punched a hole in the French line, I have supported with Cuirassiers and am moving the Grenadiers up to exploit the gap.

PaulW sent some Cuirassiers around the village hunting guns…light cavalry etc….they did well then got forced to retire back in front of building…shaken…..Lannes gets some troops into the square….and the square held.

If you look beyond the village…that is a Division of Austrians that have advanced into the French rear…a beautiful thing. The French Cuirassiers are disordered and cannot charge…

A close up below.

On the Austrian right… not sure…but I think Goldie could be in trouble here. The cavalry are Wurttembergers from Front Rank…so actually only light cavalry…..

And below we have the result of the events of the last turns….PaulW threw the Guard in to stabilise the centre…..they died gloriously…hit by Austrian large columns to front, Cuirassiers to the flank….and with an intact Austrian reserve supporting the relatively undamaged Austrians( we were disavowing Goldie at this stage) the French agreed they had been defeated!

So that was another Aspern-Essling refight in the bag. The French deploying all their heavy cavalry on one flank and also supporting with the reserve infantry of Lannes I feel lost them the game. There was insufficient space to deploy effectively and Austrian large bttns are very hardy and take up space… to much space for the cavalry to quickly take them out.

Now friend Paul Weakley along with his family are leaving our shores for 4 years shortly. and the container taking their supplies(the important items like Whisky and Wine) can only take full bottles. So Paul booked in for a meal/wine/whisky evening. Now after a meal of slow cooked lamb shanks(which were not only HUGE but tasted absolutely amazing)) along with all the trimmings…copious amounts of wine followed by an apple and rhubard crumble Paul had made, we sampled wine and listened to 80’s music for the evening….well til 2ish anyway. So…todays Whisky of the week is…..Bladnoch Adela 15….which has an amazing bottle……

Tasting notes:

Nose: Walnut and coffee cake, juicy cherries and a hint of lemongrass.

Palate: Chocolatey and rich, with notes of strawberry, liquoirce and clove in tow.

Finish: Quite long and packed with Oloroso sweetness.

Now I really liked this one, great colour and capped off a great evening. I shared the last drops with my neighbour John and he has retained the bottle to be his ‘infinity bottle’!

That’s all for now…..more reports to follow!

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