In our second game at Cold Wars 2018, the French prevailed as they successfully isolated one Austrian korps from the other. Ignoring the northern ford, both French corps pressed towards the bridge crossing. The action opened with audacious action by both sides as an Austrian hussar brigade and a French infantry division, both ployed in column of march, collided head-on. Both attempted to deploy on the move but the cavalry was able to break out more squadrons faster and the infantry division was beaten badly. The French lead element made a retreat back from which it came just as its supporting cavalry charged into the rear area of the Austrian hussars. While the hussars badly mauled the French chasseurs, they were themselves greatly fatigued and disorganized by the event.
After a brief pause in the action while the second Austrian korps, under Hohenlohe, slinked northward, along the length of the river setting up a defensive line and the French consolidated their forces towards the town crossing at the bridge, there was a brief clash between the French cuirassiers and the uhlans of the Austrian avant garde. While the uhlans took the worst of it, the cuirassiers did not breakthrough and withdrew rather than be caught between the uhlans and an Austrian line division that had taken up position in a large wood.
As French infantry poured forward in support, Hiller’s korps was pinned in place, its hussars too tired and demoralized to provide relief and its avant garde too weak to maintain their position linking it with the northern corps. The French cuirassiers charged again, this time breaking through and turning on the baggage of the southern corps’s infantry division. Unable to relocate fast enough to take part, Hohelohe’s korps could only conduct a rear guard.