French vs. Russian 1812 Napoleonic scenario

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.

Grand table of 24 by 6 feet. Initial forces marching on using block movement system.

Grand table of 24 by 6 feet. Initial forces marching on using block movement system. Looks open…. before the two armies arrive. Ty is directing the initial placement of arriving commands.

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.

Initial contact. French cavalry on hill as Russian cavalry arrives.

Initial contact. French cavalry brigade on hill as Russian cavalry division arrives. Two French blocks advance on hill.

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).

Grand view of initial forces deploying on table.

Grand view of initial forces deploying on table. Team Russia (l to r) Dave, Ty, Tim, Daniel…. missing Theron and WR in the photo. The French left side of table has Andrew, Dan then Bob looking on.

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.

More arrivals. Russian infantry division in foreground, some french on road and the distant cavalry fight.

More arrivals. Russian infantry division in right foreground, some French cavalry on road and the distant cavalry fight. Theron as a Russian appears at corner of table.

Grand view of the table as another Russian corps enters the tabletop and marches towards the central town besides Ty’s left arm.

Grand view of the early table action. Russians win the race to secure the central town.

Grand view of the early table action. Russians win the race to secure the central town.

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.

Russian cavalry are mauled by the French Cuirassiers and light cavalry. Not a good start for the Russians.

Russian right flank cavalry are mauled by the French Cuirassiers and light cavalry. Not a good start for the Russians. Note the charge angle templates in use.

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.

Massed French infantry columns clear the Russian Jagers from the woods.

Massed French infantry columns clear the Russian Jagers from the woods.

View of the French side as the morning action heats up.

Team France: (l to r) Andrew, Rob, Dan, Bob and Andy.

Team France: (l to r) Andrew, Rob, Dan, Bob and Andy.

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.

The beat up Russian cavalry rally as another cavalry division arrives alongside (block). Onr the hill the reformed French cavalry join up with their two infantry divisions (in block form)

The beat up Russian cavalry rally as another cavalry division arrives alongside (block). On the hill the reformed French cavalry join up with their two arriving infantry divisions (in block form).

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.

French infantry advanced but charged by the massed Russian cavalry. Caught out of square, the infantry was cut up and shattered.

French infantry advanced from hill position but charged by the massed Russian cavalry. Caught out of square, the infantry is routed, cut up and shattered.

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.

Meanwhile, Russians hold the central town with their artillery batteries (cannon) and infantry division.

Meanwhile, Russians hold the central town with their artillery batteries (cannon) and infantry division. Another French infantry division arrives (block).

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 shattering the French infantry, the Russian cavalry see a void of Frenchmen.

After shattering the French infantry, the Russian cavalry see a void of routing Frenchmen. French cuiraasiers at base of hill. That lone French infantry battalion, in linear formation, wasn’t there for long…

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.

Pulling back, the Russian cavalry regroups after their charge of the French infantry.

Pulling back, the Russian cavalry regroup after their charge of the French infantry.

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.

The other flank starts to heat up. Daniel holds the French central attention as more Russian divisions arrive on the French right flank.

The other flank starts to heat up. Daniel (r) holds the French central attention as more Russian divisions arrive on the French right flank represented by the green wooden blocks.

View from the other end of the table.

View from the other end of the table.

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.

Russians arrive on French right flank. Russians in foreground (division) with French milling about in woods.

Russians arrive on French right flank with French milling about in or besides the central woods.

French in central woods with Russians deployed in front (at top).

French in central woods with Russians deployed in front (at top). Russian masses seen advancing with rear area reserves (blocks).

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.

Reinforcements arrive in French center. One deployed French infantry division with another in block. Russians are pushing forward with combined cavalry and Infantry out of central town.

Reinforcements arrive in French center. One deployed French infantry division with another in block reserve. Russians are pushing forward with combined cavalry and infantry out of central town position at right.

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.

French right flank securely positioned besides the woods. Russian divisional general is killed as his division approaches.

French right flank securely positioned besides the woods. Russian divisional general is killed as his division approaches.

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.

Artillery batteries seek position and engage in counter battery as Russians slowly grind forward.

Artillery batteries seek position and engage in counter-battery as Russians slowly grind forward.

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.

Another russian infantry division and cavalry arrive to add pressure on the French central front. position.

Another Russian infantry and cavalry division arrive to add pressure on the French central front position.

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 reserve marches forward. We have them now...

Russian reserve marches forward. We have them now… as French artillery attempt to stem the advancing Russians.

Russian massed columns forward!…. the French quickly give way in the center…. the battle is ending.

Another view as the Russians attack with the bayonet. French start to think about retiring....

Another view as the Russians attack with the bayonet from the town. French start to think about retiring….

Russian victory as the victorious masses surge forward. French vote to declare the Russian win.

Russian victory as the victorious masses surge forward. French vote to declare the Russian win.

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.

WR

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4 thoughts on “French vs. Russian 1812 Napoleonic scenario

  1. Nice report and a fine looking game. Huge table – I’ve only attempted games that large at conventions, although I do have a 20 x 6 foot table in my basement. One advantage of running it at home is much faster set up and take down. I agree about the building tension; hard to get players to commit to that much time now days, though! Gald to see you out and playing, Michael!

    • Hi Peter,
      Bob does have a large gaming garage and his table can grow to 24′ x 6 ‘if needed. WR is jealous….
      Just posted my write up of our recent Lodi 1796 (sort of) game. Hope you enjoy the reading. I have followed your Danish articles on your blog and via TMP. Excellent job. Makes me pull out my small Danish miniature collection for a tabletop game.
      M

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