Wagram II has come and gone. Gone several weekends ago in actuality. von Peter himself really should write up something about it!
Why Wagram II? Because Wagram I had been fought a few weeks prior. If this is news to The dear reader then details can be found here. Wagram II was enlarged in almost all respects over Wagram I …
- Paul W had confirmed his particular brand of madness by expanding his custom terrain
- more units had been added
- the game was to be played over two days rather than just the one
- more terrain and more units of course meant more players.
For the record Wagram II was played over the weekend of the 5 & 6 August 2017 at the Wellington Warlords annual Call to Arms convention in Wellington, New Zealand.
Wagram II may have been scheduled for two days but von Peter himself was scheduled for Day 1 – Saturday – only. von Peter himself would be reprising his GdK Freidrich Hohenzollern role as commander of the Austrian II Army Corps. It was fervently hoped that at the end of Day 1 there would still be a II Corps to hand over to Ray H who would take over on Day 2. Fortunately only a single battalion had been lost from II Corps by the time of the hand over. Admittedly some of the other units were a little battle worn … but this was war. What does one expect?! 😇
Above: the extension to the playing surface at the extreme right of the Austrian line. A burnt out Aspern at the near table edge and Essling at the far edge are on display. The scene before the battle commenced.
Above: The extreme left of the Austrian line shows more additional real estate in the environs of Markgrafneusiedl. This image from the end of day 1 – Saturday. The gentleman stooped over the table is Garage Gaming Terry who herded the cats to make the game an actuality. Most people had already left the convention for the day. Only a few fools left! 😃
Above: early action in the environs of Markgrafneusiedl. Grouchy – Brian S – commanded the troops at this extreme end of the French line and by all accounts his command rolls were the worst ever seen by the the surrounding players. Failed command rolls and blunders were to be Grouchy’s constant companion over the two days of the game. It is to Grouchy’s great personal credit that he suffered these continual disruptions to his plans with good humour and sangfroid. A fine example of gaming etiquette to us all.
And before any unfortunate rumours should start the stain / wet patch on the table between the opposing lines was a donation from a spectator who leaned over the tale with his cup of coffee! ☕️ 🚫
Some more pictures from the end of Day 1 …
Above: the French have finally claimed Markgrafneusiedl at the bottom left of the photo though the tower remains Austrian territory. The fall of Markgrafneusiedl has meant that the adjoining French have begun their attacks over the stream.
Above: the central battlefield. One of the first actions in this sector was the powerful French cuirassier command blundering and disappearing off the back of the table … and not coming back until near the end of Day 1! Shame!! 😃 Rumours circulated around the Austrian command that many a French brigade had been chewed up and spat off the table in this sector.
Above: Aspern has just been reclaimed for France. The Austrians had made a lightening raid down the table to claim Aspern despite the off board French batteries from across the Danube. Napoleon released several formations including the Bavarians, cavalry and some guard artillery from his reserve to hold and then push back the brave Austrians. Not that Archduke Charles was as thrilled as one might expect. The charge down to Apsern had meant charging past the open flank of the main French line. A quick left turn and an even quicker piling into that open flank had been the Archduke’s plan! The joys and unpredictability of multi player gaming. 😃
Unfortunately this is where the photography ends. von Peter himself arrived near the end of Day 2 to see the final moves – and recover his figures! – but there was an almighty rush to pack away the figures, terrain and tables once the final dice had been rolled.
From the keen observations of von Peter himself throughout Day 1 the game had been a success on several levels …
- the game had spurred on the painting output of several gamers
- there seemed to be many gamers having fun playing the game and the related social intercourse
- quite a few spectators spectated over the game. Some making multiple visits to keep abreast of the proceedings. Some were even lucky enough to engage in verbal dialogue with von Peter himself and they were universally complimentary in their comments.
As to the result … not that it really matters with the hobby being the winner etc etc etc. Once the points for brigades lost, commanders lost, terrain features lost and held had been totted up the Austrians were ahead by a whole 3 points. Given the scale of the game this was an amazingly close result and some would argue not without reason – and mostly with a French accent! – that it really was a draw. There are many reasons to agree with such a politically correct sentiment but we – the victorious Austrians – know differently!! 🏆 😃
Idiots corner – the latest rendition
So there was von Peter himself on the Saturday morning of the game all ready to travel from New Schloss von Peter to the field of battle. Those unbearable over reaching and overly smug French required a damned good kicking for the honour and glory of Austria. They were due! von Peter himself was planning to do his bit by (hopefully!) holding his portion of the line whilst other Austrian commanders garnered the glory by crushing their opponents … or at least not suffering too severely. It’s always good to have a plan!
Fraulien von Peter herself had most kindly “volunteered” to play the part of the Austrian Transport Corps and deliver von Peter himself, troops and assorted supplies to the venue. The
carriage car was loaded and we were all set to leave on the big military adventure. But something didn’t quite feel right. von Peter himself set his sights on a quick final check inside New Schloss von Peter to make sure that nothing had been inadvertently overlooked. However upon trying to reenter New Schloss von Peter the evil and apparently French sympathising Keela – the local Irish Terrier of ever growing ill repute – managed to escape her incarceration and make a dash for freedom or at least the grounds of New Schloss von Peter. After much cursing and cajoling the errant still a puppy thing was finally restored to the prison that is the inside of New Schloss von Peter. Crucially no check had been made of the internals of New Schloss von Peter. (The Keela thing could now relax. Her job was complete. Surely that Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur would now be hers!)
“Have you quite finished and can we get going?” enquired the uppity transport driver Fraulien von Peter herself. She had many plans for her day once she had divested herself of her toy soldier playing spouse. A still muttering von Peter himself clambered into the
carriage car and good time was made to the venue as we beat the worst of the traffic. A quick unloading of the contents of the carriage car and a much relieved Fraulien von Peter herself finally made her escape to her own day.
After some obligatory socialising – well you’ve got to really don’t you – the task of unpacking and setting up the troops began. This was going swimmingly with the usual associated banter until someone asked for von Peters Austrian dragoons that they were to command. Immediately von Peter himself had a good old fashioned heart stopping “Oh bugger!” moment. The tray of Austrian cavalry had not made it into the
carriage car. The Austrians would be down a unit each of hussars and dragoons … and two units of kuirassiers!
On the plus side of the ledger the evil Keela had been outed as a French agent by her dastardly actions of distraction. On the minus side those four Austrian cavalry units were required to help see off the French and their minions.
In the end all was put to rights. The cavalry literally came riding to the rescue thanks to the good offices of transport driver Fraulien von Peter herself who wasted a further two hours of her finely tuned day on an extra return journey in an ever increasing morass of traffic to the venue. Not that she was totally happy about it. Not that you could blame her. A big thank you to the Austrian transport drivers who put in a battle saving performance on the day.
Now … where did that Keela get to? We have some business to discuss … again!!! 🐕 🚫
If any more pictures of Wagram II come to light they may get posted in the future. And there is an accumulation of bits and pieces that await dissemination that similarly await a future post. For now this is von Peter himself signing off.
Until we meet again …
von Peter himself