Tuesday 13 February 2018

Napoleonic Skirmish in the Peninsula

We played a skirmish game using my individually based Napoleonic figures at my local club. The rules we used are called "Fistful of Lead" originally written for western gunfights. Unfortunately, the rules did not work so well for the Napoleonic period. The rules called for  a full turn to reload, which really slowed the game down. I think next time I will try reloading in half a turn. In this scenario, the French, led by a general who looked remarkably like Marshal Ney, were retreating, carrying the general's lady, a chest full of gold,

and a Spanish priest as hostage. In this game the British and their Spanish Guerrilla allies never got close to the wagon and were almost wiped out attacking the rear guard. Note: the cotton puffs mark those figures who have fired and need to reload.

Saturday 10 February 2018

Battle of Maloyaroslavets 24 October 1812 in 54mm, beginning of the end of the Grande Armée

Feb. 4th,  in Denderleeuw, the Battle of Maloyaroslavets 24 October 1812.

10 Players present 4 French/Italian players, 5 Russian players.

As this is already far into the 1812 campaign I supposed  the strength of the units would be halved, and seen the actuals number of soldiers involved, that’s an overestimation.  For having a balanced game, the French strength proportional strength has been upgraded.  The Russians should also have received more artillery.

Key of the game was the city of Maloyaroslavets itself. The side in possession at the end of the game was the winner. If the French can take two hills, they have a mjor victory

We start the game at the second part of the battle. Where, at great effort, the divisions of Delzons (he died in the process) and Broussier have retaken the city from the jäger brigade of the 6th Russian corps.  7th  corps of General Rayevsky joins in while the French IV corps of Eugene de Beauharnais throws in their reserves of the Italian division Pino, and the guard brigade of Lechi. 2 divisions of Davout’s  I Corps also arrive on the scene. Most of the French units however, are on the other bank of the river. They can cross it over 2 bridges, or in mars column , which takes a full turn.

Russian 8th and 3th corps, both having a grenadier division are on their way to the battlefield.
The game starts with the Russian  7th corps assaulting the town. Bad command dicing for the 6th corps results in a delayed advance.  8th and 3th   corps start a slow advance.

  Gérard Div of Davout’s corps commences crossing the river. The Italians use the bridge, Compans the other bridge. Crossing the river in mars column, is a risky business, so the major part of the divisions has to wait, while a grand battery is formed. The units of Compans using the bridge are too small in numbers to  g into the offensive. The first unit being légère, goes into skirmish formation is attacked by Cossacks and destroyed.  The Russian 7th corps gains no foothold into the town and start suffering heavy losses.

A jäger unit of 6th corps destroys a French unit into the town, but are attacked by the Italian guard, and with fierce fighting trown out of Maloyaroslavets.  Gérard division is pushed back over the river by the 3th corps grenadiers.  Broussier with the aid of the Italians succeeds in holding the ground, and 7th corps reaches its breaking point. 

On the other side of the town, the Italian guard cavalry countercharges the Russian hussars, breaking both units.  But get out of command range of their general, which units are spread all over the table.  

One charge of a Russian unit supported by two units, lead ton..3 flags thrown against, no flags inflicted, resulting in the Russian unit destroyed , the supporting units forced back. 6th corps has no reserves left to start offensive moves.  

 With the Cossack units also on breaking point, the battle is over.   Yet taking the hills is no option, as the French left is now under such great pressure from the 3th and 8th corps grenadier divisions, reserves have to be send to that side of the table to secure the city.  A French victory, yet not big enough for the French Grande Armée to force a passage south. Napoleon will be forced to make his fatal  historical decision leading to the almost complete destruction of his army.

Davout I Corps ( 19 bn 3 art 2 cav)
3rd Division: Général de division Gérard 9 bn  
1st Brigade: 7th Légère: 3 bn
2nd Brigade: 12th Line: Major  2 bn
3rd Brigade: 21st Line & 127th Line 4 bn
Bavarian Cavalry Division: Major Général von Preysing-Moos   2 cav 1 horse bat
21st Light Cavalry Brigade: 3rd & 6th Bavarian Chevau-Légers
22nd Light Cavalry 4th & 5th Bavarian Chevau-Légers:     
5th Division: Général de division Compans 10 bn 2 art
1st Brigade: 25th Line 3 bn
2nd Brigade: 57th Line: 2 bn
3rd Brigade: 61st Line: 3 bn
4th Brigade: 111th Line 2 bn
IV Corps Prince Eugene de Beauharnais,  18 bn 3 art 4 cav
13th Division: Général de division Delzons(killed) replaced by Guilleminot  5 bn 1 art
1st Brigade: 8th Légère: 1 bn ,  84th Line, 1 bn  1st Provisional Croat Regiment: 1 bn
2nd Brigade: 92nd Line: 1 bn 106th Line 1 bn
14th Division: Général de division Broussier 5 bn 1 art (horse)
1st Brigade: 18th Légère: 1 bn 53rd Line 1 bn Joseph Napoleon (Spanish) Regiment 1 bn
2nd Brigade: 9th Line: 1 bn  35th Line: 1 bn
15th Division: Général de division Pino 5 bn
1st Brigade: 1th Light Italian: 1 bn 2nd it Line 1 bn
2nd Brigade: 3rh light Italian 1 bn Dalmatian Regt 1 bn
3th Brigade 3th it line 1 bn
Italian Royal Guard: Général de brigade Lechi  2 bn 2 cav 1 art
Infantry Brigade: Général de brigade Lechi – 2 battalions
Royal Velites: Guard Infantry Regiment Guard Conscript Regiment
Cavalry Brigade: Gardes d’honneur Guard Dragoon Regiment :
 Queen's Dragoon Regiment:
Corps Cavalry : Général de division Ornano  2cav
12th Light Cavalry Brigade: 9th Chasseurs a Cheval:  19th Chasseurs a Cheval
 13th Light Cavalry Brigade 2nd Italian Chasseurs a Cheval:  3rd Italian Chasseurs a Cheval:

General of Cavalry Matvei Platov 1irr inf 3 irr cav 2 L cav 1 horse art
1st Brigade irregular cav regt
2nd Brigade irregular cav regt
3rd Brigade: irregular cav regt
5th Brigade: irregular inf bn
 2nd Don Cossack Artillery (12 guns)
Attached from res cav 3rd Brigade Mariupol HR (8 squadrons) Sumsk HR (8 squadrons) Delyanov.[
6th Infantry Corps General of Infantry Dmitry Dokhturov 10 bn 1 art
7th Division: LG of Artillery Peter Kaptsevich. 5 bn 1 H art
1st Brigade: Moscow IR 1 bn Pskov IR  1 bn
2nd Brigade: Libau IR Sofia IR 1 bn
3rd Brigade: 11th JR 36th JR  1 bn
24th Division: MG Peter Likhachev 5 bn
1st Brigade: MG Ivan Tsybulsky Ufa IR 1 bn Shirvan IR 1 bn
2nd Brigade: Butyrsk IR 1 bn Tomsk IR 1 bn
3rd Brigade:  19th JR 40th JR 1 bn
7th Infantry Corps LG Nikolay Rayevsky 10 bn 1 art
12th Division: MG Illarion Vasilchikov I  6 bn 1 M art
1st Brigade: Lt.Col. Narva IR 1 bn : Smolensk IR 1 bn :
2nd Brigade: New Ingermanland IR 1 bn Aleksopol IR 1 bn
3rd Brigade: 6th JR t: 41st JR 1 bn
26th Division: MG Ivan Paskevich 5 bn 1 H art
1st Brigade Nizhni Novgorod IR 1 bn Orel IR 1 bn :
2nd Brigade:Ladoga IR 1 bn : Poltava IR 1
3rd Brigade 5th JR t 42nd JR 1 bn
8th Infantry CorpsLG Mikhail Borozdin I 10 bn 1 Art
2nd Grenadier Division: MG Karl von Mecklenburg-Schwerin  6 bn 1 H art
1st Brigade: Kiev GR 1 bn : Moscow Grenadier regiment 1 bn :
2nd Brigade: Astrakhan Grenadier regiment 1 bn : Fanagoria GR 1 bn :.
3rd Brigade: Siberia GR 1 bn : Malorossia GR 1 bn :
27th Division: MG Dmitry Neverovsky  4 bn 1
1st Brigade: Odessa IR 1 bn : Tarnopol IR 1 bn
2nd Brigade: Vilna IR 1 bn : Simbirsk IR 1 bn :
3rd Brigade: 49th JR 1 bn 50th JR 2 bn .

3rd Infantry Corps LG Nikolay Tuchkov I
1st Grenadier Division: MG Pavel Stroganov 6 bn
1st Brigade: Leib Grenadier Regiment 1 bn : Count Arakcheyev GR 1 bn
2nd Brigade: Pavlovsk GR 1 bn Yekaterinoslav GR 1 bn 1
3rd Brigade: St. Petersburg GR 1 bn Tavrida GR 1 bn :
3rd Division: LG Peter Konovnitsyn  4 bn 1 L art
1st Brigade: Murom IR 1 bn Reval IR 1 bn 1st Combined Grenadier Battalion  1 bn
2nd Brigade: Chernigov IR4 Selenginsk IR (1st battalion) &2nd Combined Grenadier Battalion (3 companies):  1 bn
3rd Brigade: 20th JR 1 bn : 21st JR 1 bn

Detached from res cavalry 2 med Cav
1st Brigade: MG Ivan Panchulidzev I
Kharkov DR Chernigov DR
2nd Brigade: Kiev DR Novorossiisk DR