1813 BLOODY BIG BATTLES PART DEUX!

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We met again at the end of November for another “Bloody Big Battles” Napoleonic game, once again, we set it in Germany in 1813 but somewhat later in the year. Once again, we had Austrians and Russians facing off against the French. The Allies had:

ALLIED ARMY

All Russian Infantry are  Stoic.

ALLIED ARMY

1st Army of the West   Barclay de Tolly

II Corps Baggavout
4

4

1

1

T S

T S

Light Foot

Heavy Foot

4th Div Prince Eugene of Wurttemburg

17th Div Alsufev

III Corps Tuckkov I
6

5

1

1

T S

V A

Light Foot

Heavy Foot

3rd Div Konovnitzin

1st Gren Div Strogonoff

IV Corps Ostermann-Tolstoi
5

3

1

T S

T S

Light Foot

11th Div Olsoufieff

23rd Div Bakmetieff I

VI Corps Docturov
4

4

1

1

T S

T S

Light Foot

Heavy Foot

7th Div Kapsevitch

24th Div Lichatcheff

I Cavalry Corps Uvarov
3 V M  
III Cavalry Corps Kreutz
3 M  
2 Horse Artillery Batteries  
Cossacks Platov
3

3

Lt Ir

Lt Ir

 

Austrians – Schwarzenburg

All Austrians are Passive.

I Corps Colloredo
6

6

1

1

T S

T

Heavy Foot

Light Foot

 
II Corps Merveldt
6

6

1

T S

T

Light Foot

 
III Corps Gyulai
6

1

T S

Light Foot

 

 

IV Corps Klenau
6

1

T S

Heavy Foot

 
Austrian Cuirassiers Nostitz
3 V H  
Austrian Cavalry
3 T M  
Austrian Cavalry
3 T Lt  

And the French had:

Imperial Guard Mortier                                                                 Arrives overnight.
4

5

4

1

2

V A DV

V A

V M A

Veteran Horse Artillery Battery

Veteran Heavy Foot Batteries

(OG) Curial

(YG) Roguet

Cavalry Bessieres

 

I Corps Davout                                                                               Arrives overnight.
4

5

5

1

1

V S A

V S A

T S

Medium Foot Battery

Heavy Foot Battery

1st Division Morand

2nd Div Friant

3rd Div Gerard

 

II Corps Marmont                                                                          Arrives overnight.
4

4

1

T S

T S

Heavy Foot Battery

 
III Corps Ney
5

4

1

1

T S

T S

Medium Foot Battery

Heavy Foot Battery

10th Div Ledru

11th Div Razout + 25th Div Scheler (Wurt)

IV Corps Eugene
3

4

4

1

T

T S

T S

Medium Foot Battery

IT Royal Guard Pino

13 Div Delzons

14 Div Broussier

V Corps (Poles) Poniatowski
4

3

1

T S A

T S A

Medium Foot Battery

16th Div Zayonchek

17th Div Kniaziewicz

VIII Corps (Westphalian) Junot
6

1

T S F

Medium Foot Battery

23rd Div Tharreau + 24th Div Ochs
Murat
1 Horse Artillery Battery  
II Cavalry Corps Montbrun                                                                Arrives overnight.
4 V H  
III Cavalry Corps Grouchy
3 V Lt  
IV Cavalry Corps Latour-Maubourg
4 V H Poles, Westphalians and Saxons

The plan was to play 6 turns, break for a night interval, and then play 6 more turns. The Allies didn’t know about the French reinforcements until the start of Turn 6, so they had some quick thinking to do! The French, of course, knew about them all along!

The table looked like:

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

With the French on the left of the first picture and the right of the second.

The Allies diced to come on – anything but a 1/2 and they were on the table on Turn 1 and able to deploy up to the woods starting on the left of the second picture, running in a rough line across to the far table edge through the next two woods.

The French were all on table and deployed up to the road running across the table in the second of the pictures above with their line continuing through the two woods to the table edge. Poniatowski took the left holding the near village and the wood behind. Ney was left centre holding the next village along to the wood. Then came Eugene across to the hill on the right , which was held by Junot. III Cavalry Corps covered the extreme right and IV Cavalry Corps was in reserve behind Ney.

Both Allied commanders managed to throw low – no Allies on the table on Turn 1! However, they went first that turn and began to advance. Broadly speaking, they split into three groups. The Austrians were on their extreme right and were positioned to turn the French left flank with the village held by the Poles their first objective. Over on their left, one group of Russians was aiming to turn the French right flank by advancing across the stream and onto Junot’s flank. The other group of Russians was aimed directly at Eugene!

Over the course of the next 6 turns, the Austrians first flanked and cleared the most forward village held by the Poles, destroying the division holding it. More Austrians swung very wide and were clearly intent on a deep envelopment of the French left, although they made slow progress. Over on the French right, the situation was not dissimilar, with the Russians on that flank making good speed towards the stream with a view to turning Junot’s flank, whilst Eugene was being pressed to his front.

On Turn 6 the Allies learnt of the approaching French reinforcements, which gave them pause for thought that Turn. We then went into the night interval. This allowed the Allies to move forward, with those that had lagged behind closing up. Poniatowski also used the opportunity to trade more space for time and withdrew to a new line hinged on the village held by Ney and heading back to the table edge. He was joined by Marmont, who formed a new line along the road. Davout and the Guard came on behind Eugene, or at least some of them did! Poor rolls meant they were less coherent than would have been ideal and some did not make it on (we made the reinforcements roll as normal and then they could move a full move/half move/not at all onto the table dependant on the result). Murat brought the cavalry and horse artillery over on the right, even further across than Junot, whose cavalry support had been lost battling Russian cavalry on the first day.

With the scene set for the next day, we cracked on! The Austrians continued to make progress and got cavalry right around behind the French left, forcing the French cavalry to face off against them. Things then began to go Poniatowski’s way. His cavalry threw back the Austrian cavalry and his infantry counter attacked into the flank of the Austrian infantry that was closing on the rear of the French cavalry. The close combat went the way of the French and an Austrian division was sent tumbling to the rear.

Over on the French right flank, the Russians adopted a defensive posture and successfully destroyed the Guard cavalry, which had come too far forward in march column!

The main action was in the centre. Eugene threw his troops forward as Davout and the Young Guard approached as quickly as the movement dice would allow. The Old Guard were predictably slow moving and ended up being diverted to help Poniatowski as there was no chance of them reaching the scene of the action in time. However, Eugene’s troops crashed forward, losing men to the Russians as they approached, but doing damage of their own. Assaults were mounted and halted or thrown back. Russian cavalry also threw themselves into the fray, holding back another French division.

And then we had to call it a day. There should have been two more turns, but the need for some to leave early meant we called it as was. We concluded that the Austrians had been halted, but that they were well placed to mount a further attack in due course, probably after using the night to sort themselves out. Poniatowski was reasonably placed, but had run out of space to trade for time and would have had to have held his current position, which we felt would have been difficult. The Russians on the French right/Allied left were relatively unscathed and not under any pressure, they could act as they wished. In the centre, we felt weight of French numbers would have told in due course, but probably not in the remaining two turns. We therefore concluded that the Allied centre would have suffered damage, but that they would probably have been able to hold on until nightfall and withdraw during darkness. This would probably have prompted the Austrians to withdraw as well, leaving the French in possession of the field, but without the victory they had sought. Neither side managed a knockout blow and both commanders would have rued the missed opportunity as both sides lived to fight another day.

And here are some pictures of the action:

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

HITACHI HDC-1491E

Monty the Desert Rat

 

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