It is a foggy morning and as the sun rises the French cavalry commander spots a British unit of Dragoons and orders two squadrons to engage. A little too much pre-game hype led to a rash French opening move. I really hate players who start battles with cavalry charges. It is just not right! Plus I don't know how to deal with it.
The French battery starts the ball rolling in the center, soon countered; compliments of the Royal Artillery.The riflemen in the center are taking some heat from French canister but this means they are in range too. Gunners hate grasshoppers.
The Guards heavy dragoons win the initial fight against the French dragoons, but the lancers soon decide the issue. Both dragoon units are a mess with the lancers firmly in control.
When the French lancers press the confrontation it is too much for what is left of the guards dragoons, they break and run with the lancers in hot pursuit. The French commander wisely attempts to break off the pursuit into the fog but the lancers blood is up and they are not hearing any of it. Oh, oh, there are British hussars in reserve!
The disordered and out of control lancers plow into a nasty countercharge of the 18th hussars! You should always listen to the Colonel, no?
Meanwhile, the Royal Artillery is pounding away at the Saxon column. The entire French brigade is in motion now so the guns fire faster!
Back in cavalry country, the British hussars are driving the lancers back before them. The light dragoons hold their ground in support on the right. Steady lads. The French dragoons wanted to charge but lost sight of their target in the fog, so no support for the lancers for a few more precious moments.
In the center the situation has changed drastically. The fog is getting heavier instead of lighter! This has silenced the guns for a while but as the columns come through the mist the royal artillery goes back to work while the French must go forward with no artillery support.On the plus side, the columns are crossing the killing zone without too much fire.
The cavalry battle is heating up. This shouldn't even be happening but the egos of the commanders have taken control. The Brit hussars broke off pursuit in good order and are reformed ready to rock. The bad news is that the French dragoons are back, and this time they brought their big brothers, the currasiers. Some chasseurs have moved up in support on the left while the lancers reform in the rear.
Off on the British right things are starting to heat up also. The French columns are approaching the ridge, they have had an easy go because of the fog hiding the columns. The grasshoppers in the trees are having a nice turkey shoot though.
The British battalion has recalled it's skirmishers and is sweating bullets as the four French battalions lumber their way to the crest. Sharpie knows they can fire three rounds a minute, but can they stand? :) Notice that Sharp and Harper are hiding in the woods out of the firefight!
The Saxon battalion never made it to the ridge. Between the royal artillery and the rifles, it is just too hot for them and they have stalled in disorder and confusion.
The British hussars make a brave countercharge (they really had no choice) against the curassiers. The remnants of the disordered dragoon guards has come back into the line but they are still badly shaken.
The French columns get a taste. They crest the ridge and are met with the vaunted fire of the redcoats, plus the flanking fire from the rifles. It's damned hot in those boxes! Two of the French columns are stopped, and even begin to edge back from the ridge! The veteran unit in the center is non-plussed however and continues to claw tooth and nail for the prize.
Let's see what the pretty boys are doing now. Uh oh, looks like the currassiers made short work of the hussars and now are looking to finish the poor dragoon guards that just made it back into line. As soon as the dragoon guards see the curassiers start the charge they bugger off, they have simply had enough. I hate curassiers almost as much as lancers.
The overall situation: It appears that the French attack has stalled against the line. Is it possible that these redcoats can pull off the impossible? The poor Saxons are continuing to get pounded by cannister and rifles, how in the heck are they still standing? It has to be the beer.
There is no way the French commander is going to let this battle slip away from him. He puts himself at the head of the 1st battalion and leads the charge! With another effort the 1st battalion has made the ridge and blown a hole in the British line. He pays a high price though because at his moment of glory he is shot through the head. The center battalion is still locked in a vicious fight, and the 3rd battalion has been repulsed yet again from their second charge. With their line pierced, it is just a matter of counting the British dead. Note the sneaky Saxon curassiers who have smelled blood and are looking for their moment.
Saxon hussars move up to give some relief to their infantry battalion that is still standing after taking an incredible pounding. The French artillery is on the move also.
The British light dragoons and the chasseurs a cheval have a go, with the light dragoons getting the better of the deal. Neither unit knows the battle is over yet.
I cannot post any more pics of the aftermath of this battle because it is too ugly a sight. My poor British rear guard is fleeing through the hills for their very lives. Damn that slow light brigade.