French vs. Bavarians June 1815

Been a few months since WR reported on the monthly 25 / 28mm napoleonic gaming at Bob’s garage (Redondo Beach, CA). With Bob recently on a long european vacation, including sightseeing the June 18th 200th anniversary of Waterloo and battlefield vicinity for almost a full week, the garage has been quiet from the sound of dice rolling. Well, time has advanced with Bob’s return,  and the dice once again are rolling their favorite numbers to torment the gamers. This month’s napoleonic era scenario was a joint Bob and Dan creation. Dan rostered up the historical eastern French army under General Rapp circa 1815, including those favorites like national guard battalions, vs. Bob’s entire painted full strength OOB Bavarian army, again circa 1815 organization. So we have the opportunity to see Bob’s painted Bavarian kuirassiers, guard grenadiers and those late era jager battalions acting tough against French national guard.

Standard pick up game set up in the garage. Both sides sort of lined up their wooden deployment blocks using 1/3 placement group clusters. Dan placed his first third of French blocks, then Bob his Bavarian, then Dan’s 2nd third of blocks…etc. Each side had one or two dummy commands for placement within their deployment zone. Block deployment was in 1st foot square row and all blocks had available extra 1/2 map movement point to enable the commands, in battle mode, ability to advance quickly forward one square on first move.

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Opening block deployments with French on left side and Bavarians on right side of table. Should note this and all the following pictures can be clicked on and enlarged to full 3MB size.

Terrain was typical Bob layout. Central hill with standard low slopes, a central town cluster of buildings, and scattered woods and low hills. Stream was either 2″ cost or 2″ cost and terrain disorder. Terrain disorder depends on d6 die roll upon 1st unit touching the stream terrain piece. A roll of 1 or 2 meant that stream length was terrain disordering. We marked those stream lengths with a small blue ring.

Team France was Dan (CinC), Daniel, Tim, and Andy. The French army consisted of two cavalry divisions of mixed cavalry types, four line infantry divisions, and three national guard divisions.

Team Bavaria was Bob (CinC), Rob, and the furry WR. Bavarian army had three large infantry divisions each with a cavalry brigade included in their organization, the light cavalry screening division, and the Bavarian reserve or guard division. Tabletop weather was a typical warm & clear So. California beach day. Rainy tabletop days at Bob’s garage are unheard of….;-)

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First Bavarian movement phase completed. The Bavarian army marches forward. Note the arrow small blocks. These extend the command into additional tabletop foot squares.

Note: The tabletop is gridded off into one foot squares (hard to see in the photo). Blocks movement rate based upon command type (infantry, cavalry, etc), if in strategic or battle mode, and entering terrain costs. This is summarized in this link on the WR blog:  Block Movement.

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Turn two completed and time to place down the miniatures since the foremost commands are in adjacent squares. Neither side used scouts to gleam enemy command size and type information.

Opening miniature deployment since commands come into adjacent tabletop squares. First the non-phasing players (ie.. the Bavarians) since the French block movement placed them adjacent. Bavarians place their units on the tabletop then the French. Reason why the Bavarians first… it will be their movement next. Interesting to note neither side used any scouting or their senior commanders to scout out the opponent’s commands, their strength and unit composition.

Miniature deployment reveals the Bavarian light cavalry division screening the main Bavarian body of infantry divisions (crossing the stream behind). The French reveal their unusual deployment with two cavalry divisions center position on the hill. Three infantry divisions flank the cavalry near the centre town (two on French right flank, one beyond the town).

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Miniature deployment. Bavarian light cavalry screening vs. three French infantry division supported by two cavalry divisions.

The Bavarians place their infantry into battle mode formations then slowly advanced in the center. French cavalry advanced forward and then ordered several charges to chase away the screening Bavarian light cavalry.

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French cavalry charge and chase away the screening Bavarian light cavalry. Both Bavarian flanking divisions advance forward while the central division holds back.

Spotting an opportunity, Daniel son of WR, charges his French hussar regiment into the Bavarian chevaulegers. He is seeking the limbered 12 pdr reserve artillery behind the cavalry.

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French hussars charge into the Bavarian chevaulegers, seeking to ride over the exposed reserve batteries behind.

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Sending the startled Bavarian chevaulegers in flight, the French hussars charge into the Bavarians gunners and saber them down..

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Charge completed, the spent French hussars have ridden over two Bavarian batteries and sent several Bavarian cavalry regiment in flight.

The grand charge ends with a mutual cannon fire phase. The exposed French cavalry remaining on the hill suffers losses from the unlimbered central Bavarian divisional batteries. The right flank Bavarian division needs to be miniature deployed (adjacent tabletop square) while a battalion of Bavarian uhlans seek their charge on the exposed French division beyond the town.

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Aftermath of the French hussar charge. The center Bavarian infantry division holds its ground and unleashes artillery fire on the French cavalry. Block represents the Bavarian Reserve Division.

Bavarian uhlans (split regiment) line up their charge on the French division and promptly fail their charge test. Several French battalions quickly form squares while others enter the town buildings.

  • Note: Large cavalry units (8 or more miniatures) can split into two half “battalion” units before scenario start. The shock combat CMR rating remains the same but the morale is reduced one CMR for the “2nd battalion” unit portion. The same rule applies for large 10+ miniature infantry battalions. 
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The split uhlan regiment calls a charge… and fails its morale test. The French still form defensive squares and enter the town buildings.

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General view of the opening battles around the town. The right flank Bavarian division is now miniature deployed.

Time to start the Bavarian plan of attack. Pin the French center left and left with the Bavarian right division. The center and left Bavarian division will seek to develop a gap along the stream line into the French right center position. Then the Reserve (Guard) Division will rupture the French right center towards their line of communications road exit.

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WR’s left flank Bavarian division advances to pin the two French divisions before them. The point of attack is just to the left of the French infantry.

The battle of the town starts with Bavarian infantry columns entering the town against the French defenders. The center Bavarian division is still a bit ruffled from the snap French hussar charge, slowly dragging their divisional and reserve cannon batteries into position.

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Center Bavarian division remains in squares, with artillery support, keeping the French cavalry at bay. Distant Bavarian right division starts their infantry assaults into the town.

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Team France in action. Dan, Andy, Daniel and Tim conduct their units.

WR’s Bavarians approach the stream defending the stream. Two French divisions in their column formations facing WR. The blue rings means the stream is terrain disordering so the Bavarian assault will be difficult.

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Bavarian left division approach the disordering stream defended by the French divisions. The blue rings denote the rolled terrain disorder status.

Another French division joins their cavalry behind the town. Parts of the central Bavarian division are repositioned to assist the right Bavarian division embroiled in the town.

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Another French division is deployed behind the town, columns ready to advance into the town, and retake building lost from the initial Bavarian assaults.

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Grand view of the tabletop action. All the Bavarian divisions, including the advancing Bavarian Reserve Division are deployed. The French still have some National Guard divisions to deploy.

The town battle continues, dragging infantry battalions into the maelstrom from both sides. Building exchange ownership several times as infantry columns seek their opposite numbers in the roadways.

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Bavarian and French battalions are dragged into the back and forth town fighting. Big Bavarian battalions at nine miniatures each…. WR thinks every Bavarian miniature except the dismounted cavalry were on the tabletop by scenario end.

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Hay…. Daniel pushing his French battalions into the town maelstrom.

While the French eyes are on the town fighting, WR sends Bavarian dragoons charging across the stream to force back the front infantry lines. Several French battalions form squares, which soon have Bavarian linear lines firing musketry volleys into their dense ranks.

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After pushing back the French skirmishers, the Bavarian dragoons charge across the stream to break into the French ranks.

The French battalions beat off the Bavarian dragoons for now. More exchanges of artillery fire rip into the exposed ranks. Miniature removal is quick and deadly on this flank.

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Bavarian dragoons lose their charge attempt. Time for more exchanges of artillery canister into the exposed ranks.

As the smoke clears from the last artillery shots, Bavarian infantry column surges across the wet dragoon bodies in the stream. One Bavarian battalion assault the French battery frontal, charging across the stream in linear formation.

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Bavarian column surges across the wet dragoon bodies lying in the stream. Other Bavarian linear battalions assault the French squares and cannon.

While the left flank has periods of heavy musketry and cannon blasts, the right flank cavalry and the regrouped Bavarian light cavalry form up to press back the French division holding the town outskirts.

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French left flank is soon pressured by the massing Bavarian cavalry.

Victory across the stream but losses in several Bavarian battalions… now to expand the lodgment across the stream. The French divisions mass on the hillside, a bit defensive when a quick counter stroke may have thrown back the leading Bavarian battalions.

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Lodgment across the stream but a possible French counter stroke from the French packed hillside.

Instead, the French charge several cavalry regiments into the gap between the center and left Bavarian division…. right into the path of the approaching Bavarian Reserve Division. Bavarian skirmishers and two chevauleger regiments are quickly forced to retire. The French mounted effort shows the weak cavalry position in their center right…. time to advance the Bavarian Reserve Division and win this scenario.

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French cavalry charges force back the Bavarian skirmishers and two chevauleger regiment for now but the gap will soon be filled by the Bavarian Reserve Division’s approach.

The French left is soon retiring to join their advancing reserves… their last line division and national guardsmen find their way onto the tabletop.

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French left front retires a bit and joins up with their reserve line division and a division of national guardsmen.

WR brings the refreshed Bavarian dragoons back and charges home with solid results this time. Several French battalions take flight or are morale disordered in place… easy pickings for the Bavarian sabers. Bavarian battalions push deep into the befuddled French ranks.

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Them Bavarian dragoons are back… and their charge causes disruption and flight for several French battalions. Bavarian infantry pushes into the befuddled French ranks.

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Post Bavarian dragoon charge… the French position is ripped open for further Bavarian battalion advancement.

Fighting still rages in the town. The brawl there was on-going till the scenario end. An opening shows were the French and Bavarian cavalry just melee’d for the brief moment till the advancing Bavarian Reserve (Guard) Division fills the void.

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While the town battle continues till scenario end, the left open void is soon filled with Bavarian kuirassiers and Guard du Corps.

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Smoke above the battlefield parts to allow an aerial overhead view of the scenario center. Trotting Bavarian kuirassiers sound their charge to rupture the French right center.

While the Bavarian Reserve Division advances to rupture the French center right, the French left flank marches rapidly to stem the Bavarian advance, led by their light cavalry regiments and skirmishers.

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Bavarian light cavalry division joins with the right Bavarian division to push against the re-positioning French infantry.

The battlefield feels the massed hoofs of the Bavarian kuirassiers charging. Two French 12 pdr. batteries and the weaken French cavalry soon are overrun, but some stubborn French cuirassiers perform valiant service by countercharging the massed Bavarian cavalry.

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A rare sight… massed Bavarian kuirassiers charging home.

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Two miniatures of French cuirassiers countercharge. They overthrow the Bavarian chevaulegers, then come face to face with the Guard du Korps kuirassiers.

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Cuirassier vs. Guard du Korps. The Guard won the stubborn melee as the other Bavarian kuirassier regiments punched a large hole in the French right center.

With their right center position just crushed, the French army sounds the retirement. Forming squares, they face down the Bavarian light cavalry division till the Bavarian battalions march forward.

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With the French right center broken, the French left forms several rearguard squares and quickly starts their retrograde movements off the tabletop.

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Players in action… WR himself in the pale yellow shirt. Andy, a French player, appears to join the Bavarian side. Bob behind WR while Rob marching the Bavarian center for Team Bavaria.

French left flank retires in formation, the tattered French right center has reforming Bavarian kuirassiers and fleeing French infantry. Even the Bavarian Guard grenadiers have a chance to momentarily cross bayonets with the French gunners.

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Even the Bavarian Guard grenadiers column assault the French artillery trying to retire from the tabletop as the Bavarian kuirassier reform their ranks for another effort.

Scenario called, the French right flank is just dissolving into a fleeing mob. Only a few French battalions to stem the advancing Bavarian infantry or kuirassiers. Having the Bavarian Guard infantry now involved just makes the situation worse.

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Scenario end as we called the game. The French are retiring in square or being ridden under by Bavarian hoofs.

Bavarian victory it seems. Eleven turns played by both sides or almost eight hours of actual game time in garage. WR thanks both Dan and Bob for arranging the scenario and Rob, Daniel. Andy for their participation.

Another 3rd Saturday game in the books continuing our Southern California group’s monthly game for almost for 40 years now (started in 1975). All are welcome to join in… just bring the desire for miniature gaming. Contact WR via his contact information link and be placed on the monthly email broadcast group. WR contact info:  WR

Cheers from the garage.

WR

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2 thoughts on “French vs. Bavarians June 1815

  1. I think I’ve learned something from loosing last time. I thought about how you attacked and have formulated and idea on how to put up a better defense. Thanks for the write-up. Andy

    • Andy. Your game was fine. In practice look for the “backhand” counterattack tactic. Note how I used my cavalry to disrupt your front lines below the hill. Combined arms with infantry and cavalry works best. Otherwise massed dense infantry normally is needed. Artillery I use to weaken the units at point of attack then cover the flanks of my attack with concentrated gunnery. Always open for training games. The sequence of play gives many options how to attack… and defend. Looking over the game photos you can see the assault coming… and the somewhat predictable result. Writing these posts gives me that insight since I try to write the narrative of the player’s unit movement. M

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