Home Forums Horse and Musket Napoleonic Club Day and Another Grand Napoleonic Battle 16-June

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    Avatar photoOotKust

    Yes, not what you may think.
    Despite the date coinciding, we were not going to replicate that battle in any way.
    So setting out on the road to more inclusive gaming we hoped, our little local club set about holding a series of ‘Anniversary’ games to recognise the 50+ years of our existence with what are now politely called ‘historical models’.

    So my efforts, were turned this time to a broader scope than a mere scenario that will go unnamed.

    With a wide variety of ‘legacy’ 1970s and ‘80s metal figures on hand, (Allies of the Allies, not the other) and a few ‘armies’ of plastic origins, the attempt was to have an 1813 scenario, not specifically a refight but more an attempt at a ‘coalition’ type battle, where, true to form players would do their own thing.

    Terrain was set, an L-shaped table and various sides, 3 players apiece, were assigned deployment sectors. As progenitor and rules determinant, I gave a scant briefing and the 3 ‘Allies’ deployed using a British, Russian and Prussian ‘Division’ in a loose sense of the word. The Brits were player owned, the others my collections.

    Experience levels in the period were, in order of seniority, poor to nonexistent, and our youngest member was just 14 and transitioning to historical from fantasy realms. I didn’t realise the largest struggle would be mine! Rules in use were Shadow of the Eagles- by Keith Flint and were assessed to be more reliable and flowing than any of the possible ‘vintage’ rule sets that we may otherwise have tried.

    So deployment saw no French troops on the table, various woods and hills eliminating any ‘god-like’ line of sight for the Allies, as they moved forward from far edges two moves before a detached corps of French were reluctantly allowed to show, near a distant fortified town.

    1. Broad view of the main table space after 2 hours-

    The terrain was placed for needing some troop dispersion. I hadn’t quite inspected the routes as the terrain was laid- what I hadn’t counted on was a somewhat slow and inept deployment by most, such that traffic jams were created where unnecessary, and hesitation to advance was a major factor by many parties.

    I inconveniently had forgotten the ‘Grand Tactical’ march of units outside 18” of enemy- which were the entire forces for at least 6 moves! Doh!

    1. View from the French side (deployment area)-

    This within 5 moves meant that the first contact with enemy were 1-1 encounters- Prussian hussars charging an open earthwork on top of a hill- repulsed of course but only just.

    Another cavalry unit was ‘in support’, sort of- a British hussar regiment was competing for the narrow space between woods on the hill approach and a small swampy ground adjacent to the headwaters of a narrow stream.
    Seems these inconveniences were largely ignored when luckily the French were nowhere near there, except a battalion in the earthwork.

    The other Allies, Russians, had rushed forward on the extreme left with infantry, but having taken a built up area, stopped there instead of moving forward against a village opposite side of the pre-mentioned stream.

    None of the players, save the French, had deployed artillery, nor even had theirs in the front line. The French had a hill of sorts at their base line, and thus had a small area of LOS between woods and BUA. Thus both sides suffered from this limitation.

    • Confusion among the Allies-

    The French, whom I informed were standing on the defensive to this point, and had a critical LOC to protect on their left across a major river (bridged), were slightly better organised without any superior commander present. The latter clearly defining to each player that they were basically, on their own as to how they played and acted, with the proviso of any retreat relying upon the cited LOC.

    Per below, in the centre/right both the Prussians and British had a single axis road to negotiate, though they could have done so easily in columns. The Prussian hussars are shown here in long range view, having shaken into line to the right of the road and were advancing to attack on the earthwork.

    Because they were competing for the space, the British hussars are immediately to the rear of the Prussians and somewhat too close for comfort given the situation. British lights can be seen (but shouldn’t have been!) advancing through the woods below the hill.

    As shown above, the Allies drifted forward without intent. The Russians on the right, had most of their infantry in a mire of confusion- infantry march columns advancing against a flow of retreating jaeger- who had advanced to near contact with the enemy (column of route march cannot combat!) while the cossacks that had advanced to the stream, had taken effective range artillery fire and incurred minimals losses, but they turned around and retired one move blocking egress to or from the woods behind them. A regiment of Dragoons that had been advancing behind them also turned tail and rode back toward their lines.

    In the centre were the Prussians, two full regiments of 3 battalions each, the Silesian Schützen Battalion (rifles) supported by the West Prussian Uhlans. Their foot battery, as the others were dragged up from the rear and never saw action.

    The schützen eventually got through the woods and would unleash fire upon a French column who appeared later. Over an hour later the Prussian hussars had two close combats trying to take the earthwork had sufficient losses that they were Weakened and on the limit before routing. Once they were repulsed they acquired more losses, and so, routed.

    One battalion of the West Prussian infantry had occupied and deployed beyond the hill once the hussars had fled. They were immediately charged by French lancers who had meanwhile come forward. See below.

    Behind them were two more regiments, the dragoons in front of hussars. The lancers fought and stood against the West Prussian infantry, who shot into the cavalry mass and stood before them in combat. Both units suffered crippling (ie Weakened status) casualties and so both fell back after the combat.

    The lancers left the scene but those dragoons and hussars rode onto the halted British hussars who had not made a decision to move.

    It was by now 4 pm, nearly 6 hours after the start, and despite a late push all along the French lines, including a new cuirassier brigade coming forward, the stalemate continued.

    The cuirassier brigade was finally fired upon by the Russian Heavy Battery (even canister range) and suffered a few losses. This dissuaded their commander from any further movement forward!

    In a round the table discussion it was agreed that no result could be achieved- everybody was too weak at all points ! Thus it was resolved that the Allies could not win, and the French were barely holding the line, as night drew close it was no better than a draw of sorts.

    Actual losses were marginally in the French favour when micro-analysed by a certain party, though this was without quantified data- truly the Allies lack of broader attack had caused losses in units and retirement among many, that, under more positive leadership, may well have had a different result.

    All the players enjoyed themselves, particularly those enamoured of ‘other’ rule systems, and those who had not actually played a game in decades. Unintentional mistakes by me notwithstanding, the rules were generally well received and future games discussed briefly.

    Regards, dave

    Avatar photowillz

    Thanks for sharing, very 1970’s feel to the game.

    Avatar photoSkip

    Nice looking game, Not unlike my games here.

    I am tagged to play 2 Waterloo games on two days at Historicon,  can’t wait

    Avatar photoOotKust

    Thanks guys- enjoy your past-times !!

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