Monday 4 December 2023

Austerlitz 218th Anniversary Game, but not the Ridley Scott interpretation.

Saturday 2 December 1805. The day of Austerlitz, Buonaparte’s greatest victory. Saturday 2 December 2023. Austerlitz the refight. Will history repeat itself or be overturned?  Mike had organised the game, using his extensive collection of 1/72 miniatures, held on a cold snowy day just like 218 years ago, and nine of us arrived to play with Mike umpiring. I’m not going to bore anyone with the story of the real triumph or debacle that was Austerlitz depending on who you were fighting for, so here are some photos and a brief narrative which should explain how the game panned out. Mind you, I was on the allied right so have no idea what was going on in the centre let alone the left! 

The allies advance off the heights. Most of our army were required to do so forth first three turns.
Richard’s command was destroyed so he was allowed to hog the radiator.

Bagration on the allied right.

Looking along the allied line from the right.

Me as Bagration.

Prschibishowski’ troops advance, and beyond them is the Russian guard.

Lichtenstein's cavalry under my command on the right. This was not a good location as we were facing lots of French infantry and artillery in quite a compact space.

The French facing our right flank.

The same French crossing the stream to attack my troops on the right. 

The French reserve cavalry, poised facing our centre.

Our left flank - it was along way away from my corps.

I'm not having a nap. Honest! But I am thinking of the venison casserole one of the guys made for us dinners.

Bagration’s corps, supported by Lichtenstein’s cavalry begin their advance.

The extreme right flank of our army.

Davout arrives on Kollowrat’s flank, putting an end to any aspirations of capturing Sokolnitz.

Our flank being rolled up.

The allies putting a brave face on for the camera.

The following are more of the battle as it developed.

The French reserve cavalry smash through the Austrians in the centre. Three battalions were swept away.

The end!

Paul and Richard’s commands on our left had been brutally destroyed. Our attack led by Dom and Nick was stalling due to heavy losses and my advance had ground to a halt in the face of overwhelming numbers of French infantry and artillery. So, after nearly six hours of fighting the French were able to claim a victory, although a victory not nearly as decisive as in the real battle (so say us defeated allies).

This proved to be an excellent game and a great way to spend a snowy Saturday in December. The French commanders (John H, John the Red, Alex and Nick?) were a formidable team, or at least they were a more formidable one than us. Paul, Richard, Nick, Dom and me were faced with a bit of an uphill battle (actually a downhill one) against far superior Frenchmen. I am beginning to feel the love for Absolute Emperor as a set of rules (a bit), insofar as they work quite well with large games such as this. They’re quick and easy to pick up, even if some of the rules and mechanisms are a little odd, to my grumpy ‘I remember when I were a lad…….’ brain at least.

Big thanks to Mike for setting up and running the game and for letting us play with his lovely 1/72 scale collection, and to everyone for making it such an enjoyable game. Of course a big thanks also to Dom for his succulent venison casserole, and everyone else who contributed home made bread, cakes, biscuits and even roasted vegetables to keep us going.

Please note Sir Ridley that there were no frozen oceans, entrenchments or camouflaged artillery anywhere on the table.


  1. Looks like a great table and a great game.

  2. A fine effort. I got tired just following that, let alone playing through it!

  3. Brilliant looking game Colin

  4. The photos are really impressive. So many HäT, Airfix and Italeri figures. Great job! Great game.