This past June Bob’s monthly napoleonic game was game mastered by Ty. Featuring a variable entrance and strength scenario, the group players, including WR and son Daniel, arrived early looking forward to Russians vs. Imperial French 1812. The battlefield was open spaces in western Russia with the typical dusty sunny weather.
Russian players: Dave, Daniel, Tim, Theron and WR
French players: Andy, Andrew, Bob, Dan and Rob
Opening situation has the French and Russian advance guards blundering into each other with variable entrance points for the successive arriving corps. Most corps, pre-game rostered by Ty, had two or three divisions within their organizational structure. Using our wooden block movement system, the initial game opening movement and deployment quickly determined the opening contacts.
Opening contact. A Russian cavalry division advances towards the off-center low hill with a deployed French light cavalry brigade. Behind the French light cavalry was one French infantry division (block being measured for placement below) and surprise….. a French cuirassier division.
While the Russian cavalry looked nervous at the French before them, the Russian central infantry corps quickly marched towards the central town… arriving just before the French. Note the two center table wooden blocks representing a Russian Infantry corps (two divisions).
Closer view of the central table action. While the two sides cavalry divisions line up for their converging charges, a French corps, screened by a French light cavalry brigade, spots the deploying Russian corps and holds position before reaching the central town.
Grand view of the table as another Russian corps enters the tabletop and marches towards the central town besides Ty’s left arm.
The grand cavalry fight was swift and sure for the French. With their cuirassier division, they repulsed the Russian cavalry division, inflicted severe damage to some regiments while chasing the rest towards the rear. French are soon threatening the Russian right flank with collapse.
As the Russian right flank cavalry division fled for the safety of distance from the French, the Russian infantry corps anchored themselves along the center road and the central town. Massed French infantry formed in and behind the woods. Token Russian jagers skirmishers were chased from the woods by slow advancing French columns.
View of the French side as the morning action heats up.
Just in time another Russian cavalry division arrives to support the rallied but weakened Russian right flank cavalry. This halts the French infantry divisions descending from the their hill position for a moment while their cuirassiers reformed in support.
French left flank infantry divisions became aggressive and advanced to turn the Russian right flank. Seeing opportunity, the Russian cavalry divisions wheel quickly into charge positions and thundered home….. whist the French cavalry, out of position for the moment, looked on.
Meanwhile, in the standoff central zone, both sides exchange artillery fire with the heavier French 12lb batteries causing Russian infantry losses. Supportive Russian artillery attempts to engage their French opposite numbers in counter-battey fire with little effect. A French two division corps arrives behind the French artillery position.
Back on the Russian right flank, the Russian cavalry is finishing off the leading French infantry units by routing them or cutting down the valiant French defenders in place. Soon the Russian cavalry is faced by the reformed French cuirassiers….
After some back and forth between the Russian and French cuirassier cavalry, the fighting dies down with both sides back to their starting positions. The French infantry divisions suffered heavy losses and remained atop the hill for the balance of the scenario.
With the French left flank attack stalled by the sudden Russian cavalry charges, the scenario and tabletop attention turned to the other flank. Two Russian infantry corps arrived, causing serious flank pressure on the French right flank infantry corps deployed around the table center woods.
With the deployed French infantry before them defending their woods…. the center Russian corps advances, knowing that heavy support is arriving behind them and on their left flank. Soon the growing odds are five Russian infantry divisions vs. two French infantry divisions. Good Russian odds…. we can win this forthcoming fight.
French try to start some action against the Russian right flank, between the Russian right flank cavalry and the central town. A French infantry division advances with light cavalry support as the French artillery continues to bombard the stationary Russian infantry defenders.
The Russian flanking infantry divisions advance on the French right flank wood defenders. The action starts with the Russian infantry divisional commander losing his head while his artillery is dragged into firing position before the French lines.
The central battle rages…. artillery bombarding close ranked formations as small cavalry charges weave the battlefield. Another Russian corps approaches the central town and starts to reinforce the strained Russian infantry defenders.
More Russians seen approaching the central French woods position. Russian cavalry march in columns to charge the French central position while Russian infantry battalions approach the woods edge.
While the French attempt to push forward on their left flank, the Russian center and advancing flanking corps grind their way into the French woods and center position. With mounting losses, growing odds, and giving ground, the French see the battle is turning against them. Even the late arrival of a distant French small corps far behind Russian left flank comes too late.
Russian massed columns forward!…. the French quickly give way in the center…. the battle is ending.
Another great day long battle at Bob’s. Interested readers are welcome to contact WR (see contact info on blog) and request the group’s gaming schedule. All players (of all ages) are welcome to join in, toss dice and enjoy a day of napoleonic gaming. No miniatures or terrain are required…. all is provided. WR’s Contact info.
The group’s rules, unit formations, national characteristics, and game play videos can be located on this blog site under the Napoleonic rules section. Information on the wooden block movement system and instructional video also found in Napoleonic rules section linked above or on front page of blog.
Cheers from the warren….as I compose more reports on recent WR game events.