Well, not exactly. The title of this post refers to two things: (1) We played a FoB2 battle in which both armies had Abysmal decks and commanders and (2) the Austrians performance in the battle.
Yes, we played game two (of three) this past Saturday night of the 1809 Austrian Napoleonic campaign. And, yes, the Austrians did not do well.
We actually had a plan, and in hindsight, should have stuck to it - but we didn't. We won the "Deployment" roll so strongly that practically the entire French army was deployed before any serious committal of Austrian soldiers. The trouble was that the French deployed where we did not expect them to - and we had to amend our deployment plans on the fly - which did not work so well for us.
I have to tip my shako to Greg Rold and his team's excellent plan, deployment and execution. That channel of terrain was well screened by the town and protected your flank attack and Terry got the job done! If we Austrians had done "the box" after all, the battle may have ended up differently - so, we actually have a "what if" in our tabletop history now!
The highlight of the battle was something we don't often see: two grand batteries and a large cavalry battle!
The French grand battery was taking a good toll on the Austrian infantry and even destroyed an Austrian battery. It was during this time that the Austrian grand battery was maneuvering into position. Once there, they broke up the French grand battery destroying two thirds of it.
The French cavalry, sensed an opportunity to sally forth into no man's land and perhaps take out the Austrian grand battery - using the shadow of the hill for cover in the final approach. Naturally, the Austrian cavalry had to counter this threat. So we ended up having seven cavalry units (3 Austrian and 4 French) fight multiple melees. Each side had its moments, but in the end, after some tough melees, the French horse prevailed. I am not sure if Greg would have sent the battered cavalry forward towards the grand battery, especially after the battery fired upon them and forced them back after the end of the horse-on-horse battle...but...it sure would have been fun to see!
With both sides a little hamstrung by the Abysmal ratings in command (and deck) it was a little interesting. Each side had 6 Lull cards, so there was a lot of opportunity for snatching a free card during the battle. Commands didn't always move as fast as desired. For me, I liked this and think of it as a strength of the rule system - reducing your ability to control things!
Even with all that, and the low-rated commanders, the battle did not drag on - the game was not slowed. We completed the fight in right around 3 hours of actual gaming. That's with about 50 units in play and two Abysmal decks too!
Anyway, thanks guys for the battle - here are some pics of you all and the miniatures.