So finally we reach the demo game of Empire V at BIG (Brisbane Independant Gamers) at the Serbian Hall, South Brisbane. Peter again supplied a section of his immaculately painted 25mm armies.
"... I was working on the staff of Archduke Charles and was promptly given a note to be delivered to our Corps of Austrians holding our right flank and the lines to Vienna. I literally stepped into the orders office for about 5 seconds before I was informed of a enemy force approaching us from our right and its apparent attempt to cut our lines of supply. I had to get these orders to the commander of that Corps.
I rode for hours and came across the headquarters of the Corps I was after. I had been reduced somewhat. I learned it comprised of only 1 division of infantry and a single regiment of hussars. From I could glean from HQ, a larger force of French was heading in this direction from the north.
The Commander was committed, I will grant him that. His subordinate was breifed and together they flew about organising their troops. I grabbed some food and rested my mount.
Later that morning, I stirred to the sound of cannon nearby. I roused about and flung myself onto my horse and raced in the direction of the guns.
The Austrian Corps (if you could call it that) was firing all of it's artillery as French columns of infantry were bearing down upon it.
The 1st brigade and a position battery of 6 guns were occupying a small ridgline that ran almost across the front of the defensive postion. Perfect for repelling attackers.
The 2nd brigade had 2 foot batteries and was continuing the defensive line further east to another ridgeline which had a small hill atop it. One of the batteries had managed to get up on the hill while the other was on the ridgline. All the infantry was in column awaiting the attackers.
On the right of the 2nd brigade, the regiment of Hussars was attacking forward after spotting enemy horse to their front. I squinted through my telescope to see 2 light cavalry formations being the target of the Hussars attack. They were a much experienced unit, so I was keen to see the outcome. Accompanying the enemy horse was a full horse battery but they did not have the chance to unlimber as the Hussars charged forward. One of the enemy horse units countercharged and soon the 2 formations was at grips with one another. After a short and relatively bloodless combat, the French cavalry were repelled backwards but they were still in good order and ready to continue the fight.
Meanwhile, our artillery were trying to cause as many casualties to the enemy infantry as they made their way across the small valley to the ridgelines we were defending. Enemy artillery could be seen moving as well and I began to feel a little nervous. I think I saw one of the battalions of Austrian infantry in one of the regiments in 1st brigade, change formation to line in order to bring more firepower to bear.
Back at the Hussars, the fresh regiment of enemy horse charged them and another round of hand to hand combat ensued. I held my breath and sure enough, I began to see a trickle of french horsemen breaking contact and galloping away. The trickle soon grew and after a short while, most of the enemy formation was fleeing the field. Our Hussars surged forward in order to capitalise on the success. The enemy horse guns were madly trying to turn their pieces as they noticed were soon out of their arc of facing. We slammed into the already spent unit that had already been pushed back and it to fled the field. The horse guns did not stick around. With both their units gone they ran for their lives. The right flank was now ours. All we had to do know was get word to them of where to attack in the centre. But the commander had other things on his mind.
The French columns had struck our infantry on the left ridgeline, right in front of me. Our guns fired valiantly to try to dislodge them but their efforts soon rewarded them as our 1st regiment were pushed off the ridgeline. A counterattack brought about no new result and they traded musket fire for ages.
On our right, our 2nd brigade were firing into the french formations as they approached. One of the enemy battalions decided to go through a small copse of trees and it disordered greatly to the amusement of our artillery crews before them, while the other battalions just went around them. There was firing all along our lines now as the battle was truly joined in earnest.
I saw new orders go out for the Hussars but I learned after the battle that they did not arrive and so the Hussar played no further part in the battle.
The French had gained a large portion of the ridgeline on our left, threatening to cut us off from the main army. A fresh regiment from the 2nd brigade moved to reinforce the position as the enemy rushed down off the ridge towards the right in their attempt to roll up our lines.
At that moment the light rain that had annoyed us for the past 2 hours evolved into the most horendous of summer storms. I could barely see my hand before me as day turned to night and hail struck down upon us.
Our troops abondoned their ridgelines and formed up to the rear across the valley. The Hussars joined them. There was no enemy to be seen. It appears they too were receiving vengance from the storm and had decided to stay on their newly captured ridgelines until the fury of nature played its hand."