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Thread: [Test] The Battle of Turnhout

  1. #1
    Barry Goldwater's Avatar Mr. Conservative
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    Default [Test] The Battle of Turnhout


    It is the 27th of October, 1789.

    While all eyes are currently on the unrest brewing in France, a much lesser-known rebellion unfolds in the Austrian Netherlands. The centralizing reforms of Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II, a man who fancies himself the ultimate enlightened absolute autocrat, have run into stiff opposition among the bourgeoisie of the Southern Netherlands, who perceive these efforts to centralize & streamline the local administration as an attack on their ancestral liberties. Tensions boiled over in January of this year when the burghers of Brabant and Hainaut refused to pay their taxes, which imperial authorities responded to with an aggressive crackdown and a suspension of the rights guaranteed to the duchy of Brabant some months later. Secret societies and exiled Brabantines in the Dutch Republic to the north alike organized to oppose the Habsburg Crown, and have now moved into the open.

    Two thousand exiles led by Jean-Andre van der Marsch, a former French and Austrian officer, have crossed into the Southern Netherlands from the North and occupied the town of Turnhout, close to the border, without any resistance. Now alarmed, the government of the Austrian Netherlands sends a force of 2,500 men and half a dozen cannons led by General Gottfried von Schroeder to suppress the rebellion before it spreads. The rebels are outnumbered and outgunned, but they have the advantage of fighting inside a town and knowing of the Austrians' advance ahead of time, allowing them to prepare fortifications. The stage is set for the Battle of Turnhout...

    Map


    Brown block: Each block represents a complex of houses, small shops, etc. that a single unit can be garrisoned in. The garrisoned defender receives +3 combat rolls, whether firing out of the buildings onto attackers below or fighting defensively against an assault.

    Black curves with lines: These represent Belgian barricades erected at the main entrances of Turnhout. The Belgians receive +5 combat rolls while fighting at these barricades.

    Alleys: There exist narrow, un-barricaded alleys between the brown blocks. The Austrians don't suffer a direct point penalty from attacking through these narrow, winding streets, but if they run into Belgian defenders, only one unit from each side (presumably, the companies leading the columns trying to push through the alleys) can fight at a time.

    Grey: The town square of Turnhout. If the Austrians can take and hold this part of the town for three consecutive phases, the Belgians will be sufficiently demoralized to surrender en masse, producing an automatic Austrian victory.

    Victory conditions
    Belgians:
    • Hold out for five phases without letting the Austrians hold the town square for three consecutive phases.
    • Kill or rout 25% of the Austrian forces.

    Austrians:
    • Take the town square and hold it for three consecutive phases.
    • Kill or rout 25% of the Belgian forces.


    Belgian forces
    General: Jean-Andre van der Mersch (+1 Infantry Command) - CF
    Colonels: Emmanuel-Joseph van Gensen - Fred
    8 Militia Companies
    8 European Rifle Companies
    2 European Infantry Companies
    2 European Grenadier Companies
    1 European Horse Artillery Section

    Austrian forces
    General: Gottfried von Schroeder (+1 Infantry Command) - Jok
    Colonels: Richard D'Alton - Chess
    14 European Infantry Companies
    3 European Rifle Companies
    2 Austrian Grenzer Companies
    3 European Dragoon Companies
    3 European Grenadier Companies
    3 European Horse Artillery Sections

    Please post whether you are claiming a general or colonel position below. Obviously, both sides can only have 1 general.
    Last edited by Barry Goldwater; September 01, 2019 at 05:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Dave Strider's Avatar Dux Limitis
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    Default Re: [Test] The Battle of Turnhout

    I'll take a colonelcy in the Belgian militia. (Sentences you never thought you'd hear yourself saying...)
    when the union's inspiration through the worker's blood shall run,
    there can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun,
    yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one?
    but the union makes us strong.

  3. #3
    Jokern's Avatar Mowbray of Nottingham
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    Default Re: [Test] The Battle of Turnhout

    I'll claim the position of the Austrian general.

  4. #4
    Barry Goldwater's Avatar Mr. Conservative
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    Default Re: [Test] The Battle of Turnhout

    Noted, thanks guys.

    Also, you don't need to wait for some starting signal from me, once there's at least 1 general and 1 colonel for both sides you can begin planning out your strategy for phase 1 and just work any newcomers in later as they join. Note though, that once I receive both sides' final draft of their plans and begin rolling, no further volunteers will be accepted.

  5. #5
    chesser2538's Avatar Senator
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    Default Re: [Test] The Battle of Turnhout

    I'll take an Austrian Colonel.

    Under the Patronage of the venerable General Brewster

  6. #6
    Barry Goldwater's Avatar Mr. Conservative
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    Default Re: [Test] The Battle of Turnhout

    The Battle of Turnhout opened with the Austrians' initial maneuvers, while the Belgians took up positions within the town's many buildings on at the ends of its streets. The Austrians moved all of their artillery north of Turnhout, massing them on hills well beyond rifle range, and fired as their soldiers advanced to exchange small volleys with the Belgians guarding the barricades or Turnhout's side alleys. After the barrages ceased, the Austrians attacked in earnest, with the bulk of their forces - including all of their grenadiers and non-Croatian riflemen - concentrated against the northern barricades, which were defended by a single rifle company with support from the militias in buildings above them. The Austrian grenadiers spearheading the assault pushed past deadly fusillades to engage the defending Belgian riflemen with bayonets and blow apart their defenses with grenades, shattering them in remarkably short order and opening the way to the town square. One building complex was also razed to the ground by the concentrated fire of the Austrian artillery, sending the militia garrisoned there scrambling with significant losses, though the other has managed to remain standing and prevent the Austrian artillery from being brought into the site of the northern barricades as originally planned.

    As the Austrians' northern division stormed through the broken barricades in pursuit of the retreating Belgian riflemen & closed in on the market square though, they found the main streets increasingly blocked by the Belgian reserves of line infantry and grenadiers. The latter successfully halted their advance, and worse than that, there were still buildings nearby - fortunately empty, for now - from which other Belgian defenders could effortlessly snipe them.

    Everywhere else, the Belgians successfully held back the Austrian assaults. At their southern barricades, the Belgian artillery directed personally by Colonel Van Gensen mauled the Austrian southern division which was advancing without any artillery support of its own, and in the east and west the Austrian columns were not only bogged down in fierce street fighting - where the narrowness of the alleys negated their advantage in numbers - but also constantly raked by Belgian snipers in the adjoining blocks. The Austrian dragoons remain unengaged, dancing around the city perimeters as they were.

    The battle continues on...

    Updated map


    Red X - eliminated Belgian barricade/building
    Gold circle - Location of the Austrian northern division, currently stuck on the main road outside the town square

    Austrian survivors
    1,346 line inf
    290 riflemen
    183 grenzers
    300 dragoons
    267 grenadiers
    6 light cannons

    Belgian survivors
    722 militia
    717 riflemen
    196 line inf
    198 grenadiers
    2 light cannons

  7. #7
    Barry Goldwater's Avatar Mr. Conservative
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    Default Re: [Test] The Battle of Turnhout

    The second phase of the Battle of Turnhout opened with both sides attempting new gambits, which in many places directly collided with one another. As the Austrian artillery outside the northern edge of town continued to shell the remaining un-leveled block of buildings to the left of the shattered northern barricades, the Belgian militias garrisoned in the utmost corners of the settlement left their fortifications and actually went on the offensive, marching outside and trying to attack the Austrian guns. The Austrian artillery has begun to rake these militias with their blistering cannon fire, but without any supporting infantry to protect them, they're in dire straits indeed: it's a matter of time before the Belgian militias reach their positions. The highly trained cannon crews still have their horses and thus can limber the artillery to flee before they're overrun, but where would they go? Alternatively, they could wait and hope that someone comes to rescue them - for indeed, a single unit of dragoons is racing to protect the guns and in so doing has ended up charging into one unit of militia approaching the Austrian guns from the southeast, but that leaves the other militia company attacking from the southwest to worry about.

    In the main street, Colonel D'Alton directed his riflemen into the building blocks nearest to his column with the aim of having them snipe at the Belgians down below. This was a sound plan - but the Belgians were thinking the exact same thing, and as the riflemen they'd posted on the outward-most blocks moved to the inner ones, they ran directly into their Austrian counterparts. A tragicomic melee erupted in which both sides' sharpshooters, soldiers used to fighting at a comfortable distance, had to start brawling with their fists and rifle butts instead of shooting anyone (at least in large numbers) for the contested buildings. A similar clash erupted between the Belgian militia occupying the remaining block adjacent to the northern barricades and a third unit of riflemen sent in to take the place.

    While the Austrian riflemen were occupied, the infantry and grenadiers of their northern division continued to struggle mightily against their Belgian counterparts in close combat. At first grenades and bullets are exchanged, often at fatally close ranges, but soon that range became closer still as bayonets were fixed (or re-fixed). The Austrians' numbers threatened to overwhelm the defense, but the redoubtable Belgian grenadiers and regulars managed to hold their line with the support of another rifle regiment from the southwest, which moved to the adjoining block on the southwest edge of the town square and abandoned its efforts to support the riflemen blocking the narrow alley to back up the Belgian heavy troops instead.

    In the east and west, with the sniper fire from above silenced as the Belgian riflemen in the blocks moved to support their comrades in the town square, the Austrian columns began to make more progress. Particularly in the west side, where the defending Belgian riflemen - now fighting on their own - are being pushed toward their breaking point by the Austrian spearhead of line infantry, whose bayonets and close-combat training give them an edge over the former. In the east, one unit of Belgian riflemen exited their building block and tried to make their way back to the town square on foot, which brought them into collision with the unengaged second company of the Austrian column pressing in down the eastern alleys.

    Down south, the Austrians attempted another all-out attack. While the Grenzer units fell back and reformed here to trade bullets with the Belgian militias in the houses and snipe at the artillery crewmen, two companies of Austrian line infantry mounted a bayonet charge aimed at the barricades, braving rifle fire as they did so. The Belgian artillery here was limbered & wheeled back to the town square to aid in its defense, depriving the defending Belgian riflemen at the barricades of valuable heavy firepower, and the result was that despite a valorous resistance (which bought time for the artillery to get away) they were eventually pushed off their defenses by the Austrian regulars. Now with the southern barricade clear, most of the Austrian troops here began to file into the blocks adjacent to said broken barricades where they clashed against the garrisoned Belgian militias, but not the remaining two companies of Austrian dragoons: those have begun to chase after the Belgian horse artillery and the retreating unit of riflemen previously assigned to the barricade, and will soon catch up with their marks at the southern end of the town square.

    Updated map


    Red X and gold circle - same as before
    Purple squiggly lines - Contested building blocks

    Austrian survivors
    1,300 line inf
    278 riflemen
    167 grenzers
    292 dragoons
    242 grenadiers
    6 light cannons

    Belgian survivors
    698 militia
    699 riflemen
    183 line inf
    188 grenadiers
    2 light cannons
    Last edited by Barry Goldwater; September 02, 2019 at 03:49 PM. Reason: forgot a purple line

  8. #8
    Barry Goldwater's Avatar Mr. Conservative
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    Default Re: [Test] The Battle of Turnhout

    The third phase of the battle saw the Belgians being increasingly pushed into a desperate corner. Up north, the force of the Austrian dragoons' charge and lack of any mitigating defenses resulted in the first of the Belgian militia companies sent to attack the Austrian artillery being shattered and routed. Forgoing pursuit, the Austrian cavalry here instead set out to attack the other militia company going after their artillery. Said artillery had limbered and moved away rather than fire anything at the advancing Belgian militia, who were now tied down fighting the Austrian dragoons at the foot of the artillery's hill. This time however, the Austrian horsemen's charge was less effective, as they did not have enough time to catch their breath and reorder their ranks before plunging back into action - still, their attack did provide a welcome distraction for the Austrian artillery to exploit.

    North of the town square, the northern Austrian division and the Belgian heavy infantry continue to struggle against each other, as did the riflemen of both sides in the houses and shops above them. The Austrian riflemen fighting for the block adjacent to the northern barricade succeeded in pushing back the Belgian militia there, however.

    In the alleys, the Belgian rifle companies assigned to the west began hurriedly pulling back to the town center, abandoning the Turnhout narrows to the Austrians. This allowed the Austrian infantry previously tied up there to push ahead and occupy the blocks adjacent to the town center, from where they started pouring musket volleys onto the Belgian defenders. In the blocks northwest & northeast of the town square, the line infantry got tangled up in the melees between their rifle-bearing comrades and the Belgian riflemen, resulting in the latter being decisively defeated and expelled into the adjacent unoccupied blocks. In the block southwest of the town center, the line infantry clashed with another company of Belgian riflemen who had previously been providing supporting fire for their comrades on the ground, a clash which continued to this phase's end. In the block southeast, the former guardians of the eastern alleys fled up there in an effort to get another vantage point over their enemies, but were pursued by another company of Austrian footsoldiers (from the eastern column) who were looking for the same thing and promptly engaged them in another hectic round of combat - preventing both units from providing covering fire for their comrades on the ground as originally planned.

    It was in the south that the Austrians dropped their hammer, so to speak. As the Belgian riflemen and cannons on the ground reached the town square and turned to fight their pursuers, the still-fresh Austrian dragoons here sped up to a full gallop and charged home. The charge, supported by the southern Austrian regulars who left their buildings to support the assault on the town square, was too much for the riflemen and cannon crews, who were effectively driven forward into the rear of their own heavy infantry and in so doing, have lost the town square as well as their own guns.

    Finally, the Belgian militias still manning the blocks on the town's southern corners left their hideouts to amass at the southern edge of Turnhout and attack into the previously contested southern blocks. With the southern Austrian infantry having departed, they only had to battle the Grenzers in these blocks. The Croats however, must be made of sterner and more skilled stuff than the average Austrian riflemen, as despite being outnumbered they were still able to put up a formidable fight in every alley, staircase and hallway against the militiamen now trying to mob them.

    Updated map


    Red arrows - Where the Belgian riflemen in two of the blocks adjacent to the town square have been forced to retreat
    Red circle - Location of the bulk of Belgian forces not already in a building block at this time
    Gold X - Austrian control of the town square

    All other symbols represent the same things they did in previous rounds.

    Austrian survivors
    1,276 line inf
    255 riflemen
    142 grenzers
    279 dragoons
    231 grenadiers
    6 cannons + 2 captured from the Belgians

    Belgian survivors
    643 militia
    656 riflemen
    168 line inf
    170 grenadiers
    1 militia company routing
    Last edited by Barry Goldwater; September 02, 2019 at 10:50 PM. Reason: rout clarification in the survivor list

  9. #9
    Barry Goldwater's Avatar Mr. Conservative
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    Default Re: [Test] The Battle of Turnhout

    In the fourth hour, the battle drew to a close. Faced with increasingly insurmountable odds and fighting from a position that appeared quite doomed, General Van der Mersch insisted on fighting to the bitter end against the overwhelming Austrian forces regardless. The Belgians simply tried to concentrate toward the town square or, if already near it, increasingly frantically fight the Austrian forces in a desperate attempt to recapture said square. The Austrians for their part mostly did the same, except with the obvious objective of holding the town square, and also attempted to use the captured Belgian artillery against the Belgian forces while also peeling away other infantry companies to support the Grenzers in the southern blocks.

    In the end, the Belgians' continued resistance - while valorous - proved fruitless, as increasingly feared after the Austrian regiments got to mass in or around the town center. As too many of their comrades fell to Austrian bayonets, musket balls and sabers, the largely irregular Belgian forces lost heart at last and began to surrender or try to flee. By sunset the battle was most certainly over, and the forces of absolutist order had achieved their expected - though unexpectedly hard-fought - victory.

    Outcome: Austrian victory - Belgian 25% casualty threshold met

    Austrian survivors
    1,235 line inf
    242 riflemen
    119 grenzers
    269 dragoons
    220 grenadiers
    6 cannons + 2 captured from the Belgians

    Casualty percentage: 15.4%

    Belgian survivors
    558 militia
    635 riflemen
    143 line inf
    147 grenadiers
    1 militia company routed (50 survivors)

    Casualty percentage: 25.8%
    Last edited by Barry Goldwater; September 04, 2019 at 08:33 PM.

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