Four new players opened our initial engagement at Fall-In 2018. As Vandamme’s brigades broke out cross country, three Austrian columns advanced towards his wing. Lannes halted his Force almost immediately and began deployment on the French right, concerned that if he did not push early, he could be screened off, allowing both Austrian korps to crunch in on Vandamme’s weaker Force.
The game played 12 turns, in just over three hours, representing approximately four hours of battle.
Vandamme mulled committing his light cavalry well ahead of his infantry to buy time for his foot soldiers to cross dense and constricting terrain. During this, Lannes’s distraction worked, Hohenlohe’s Korps began deploying both the line division and his grenadier division to directly oppose Lannes. This could give Vandamme a large portion of the time he needed.
Seeing that Hohenlohe was determined to commit against Lannes, Hiller began deploying along a low ridge with the intent to bottle up Vandamme’s advance. His hussars were positioned to watch against any flanking move from the right, and his Avant Garde deployed forward to provide time for his slower infantry deployment.
Vandamme glanced over the impending Austrian deployment and ordered Pajol’s light cavalry forward. The French light horse slammed into the 3rd Uhlans of the Austrian Avant Garde, and despite being outmatched on paper, French luck carried the day, pushing the Avant Garde out of position and opening a hole between them and Radetzky’s infantry. At this same time, Lannes’s second division met the Austrian grenadiers in an open field on the extreme right, as St. Sulpice’s cuirassiers gathered behind them in support. Determined to reinforce success, Vandamme sent Pajol forward again into the Austrian Avant Garde, and brought up his second light cavalry brigade to further exploit the breach. The Austrian Avant Garde broke. There was now a mile wide gap between Radetzky’s and Vincent’s 3rd Hussars. With his flank effectively turned, and Vandamme’s two brigades deploying ahead of him, Hiller looked across the battlefield’s vista toward Hohenlohe’s left flank.
Lindeneau’s grenadiers were folding. Having fought Morand’s French to a standstill, Lannes’s committed the French cuirassiers against them, and the fresh heavies were posed to sweep back the exhausted grenadiers. Hiller advised Hohenlohe by courier: “Extricate Ulm’s division from his attack on my left and Radetzky’s will provide a rearguard, otherwise, I fear a double envelopment.”