ESR2 – WERTINGEN 1805
Last night in the Wargamorium we had our first proper game using the second edition of Et Sans Résultat or ESR2. The rules are set at Corps level and are quite different to what we are used to and so it took some time and discussion to get going. We did not have enough time to finish our first game so we have left it set up until next week.
The game was chosen from the campaign booklet for 1805 called ‘Roll Up That Map’ which contains scenarios for 5 battles in the Ulm phase and another 6 battles in the Austerlitz phase of the campaign. The first is Wertingen in October and this was the initial clash between Napoleon’s Grande Armée and the Austrian Army. The author says that this is an ideal battle for two players at beginner level which is us.
I cheated a little by increasing the size of the Austrian Force and I gave them some artillery but this was so that we could try out as many elements of the rules as possible rather than worrying about who wins or loses this test game.
The main emphasis is on the Command Phase and we found out quite quickly how important the Order system is. In fact the Command Phase requires most attention as the subsequent phases – Movement, Fire and Close Combat are very streamlined and move quite smoothly after some practice. We did encounter some minor problems but these did not stop the game. The author operates a Yahoo group for the rules and answered my queries within a few hours.
The game started with an Austrian ‘Force’ which had just arrived at the village of Wertingen in Bavaria north east of Ulm. Their commander – Auffenberg – did not realise the French were so close and was surprised when 2 French Dragoon Divisions appeared across the stream east of his position. The French had attack orders and immediately started towards him bypassing the village and heading for his cavalry behind. It was obvious that they were going to try to separate the Austrians inside the village from the rest of their command. The French have overrun two isolated Austrian batteries already and are moving at full speed towards their target. The game continues next week.