In our last game where the Prussians were outnumbered and took up a defensive position and prepared to sell themselves dearly. This time it was the French who put up a defence and faced a full Prussian brigade (division) with a smaller, mixed detachment of a couple of brigades and a small Russian brigade with some formidable 12 gun batteries in tow. The French fielded two small divisions each of a 3 or 4 brigades.
The Prussians were Peter & I with our newest addition the our growing GdA group ~ Jim and his Russians. Robin & Andrew once again played the French. While it sounds like the French were heavily outnumbered it has to be remembered that quite a lot of the coalition troops were Reserves and Landwehr whilst the French were predominantly Line with some Elite cavalry.
So, the French took up a defensive deployment centered on some hedged fields with a walled farmhouse on their left and a small group of out-buildings in the center. For the purpose of the game a unit in the walled area was considered to be occupying the yard and farmhouse likewise, any unit on the crossroad was considered to be occupying the group of out-buildings.
The Coalition deployed with the Russians on the right facing the farmhouse and the and Prussians in the center and left.
From what I could make out, the Russians were having trouble getting their forces moving (Jim's first game with GdA) and their cavalry was stuck in a place unable to move out due to Andrew's decision to push out to his left. Jim deployed his horse battery in front of the regiments and they proceeded to perform appallingly with bad dice rolls resulting in several Fatigue Casualties and Low Ammunition.
On the Prussian left, the French attempted to launch a charge at my battery on the hill. But, before they committed, some confusion and a recalculation of the charge distance left them standing where they were (no doubt an outspoken captain explained to the colonel that the prospect of being stranded in the middle of the surrounding Prussians was a distinct possibility).
Unfortunately for the dragoons they started to take telling casualties from the Prussian skirmishers.
My new divisional commander figure makes his debut
(below on the right with some ADC's).
Robin does some tricky maneuvering whilst Andrew
and Jim discuss life on the Russian Front.
The French counter hook came in close and I tried to counter it by wheeling my furthest battalion to face them. We won the initiative and I managed to launch a charge at the leading French battalion. I attached the brigadier and also gave them a Glory tasking.
In the center, Peter kept up the pressure forcing Robin to draw back where he formed a steady line. Pete constantly picked out the center leger battalion for long range fire from his battery in order to create a weak point in the French line. He then launched a charge on the leger using an Infantry Assault ADC tasking. Unfortunately the lead charge unit had to be his line regiment and not the Gurde zu Fuss with their big white plumes.
The leger's defensive fire and fire from the support battalion was very good and Pete's troops suffered for it, but they passed a Discipline Test and kept going in. However, the casualties counted in the end and both units retired back to their starting positions.
I'd lost track of what was happening with the Russians but I was aware that the poor under-performing horse battery finally gave up and dispersed. Their poor dice rolling resulted in 4 Fatigue Casualties and constant skirmish and counter battery fire kept the casualties mounting.
On my flank I kept up a constant accurate fire on the French dragoons who became Hesitant and, due to a Discipline Test became Unformed, just stood there and took it. Then came the shot of the day... My skirmish line fired and I rolled:
This took the dragoons up to 10 casualties.
In the next turn the French took the initiative and the Dragoons launched a charge at one of my Reserve battalions.
And a cry was heard: "Unleash zee Landwehr!"
I had been holding my landwehr in reserve and I was lucky enough to roll 4 ADC's in the next turn. I gave them ADC, Redeploy and Forwards taskings. This sent them on their way with the cavalry leading.
I thought the Russian flank was quiet but all of a sudden things started to happen. Seemingly from out of nowhere, Jim launched an Infantry Assault on the farmhouse. We've never done an assault on a BUA before so this was new... In the final tally, Andrew rolled 6 dice and Jim rolled 4. Andrew rolled very badly with zero hits and Jim scored two hits. Enough to drive the French out.
That was unexpected. I did mention to Andrew that some Russian general had said that "the bayonet was the true weapon of the Russian soldier." To which he replied, "Lots of generals say stupid things."
The lances of my brave boys forced the first battalion to retreat and they then Charged On into the next battalion which resulted in a melee and eventually saw the Frenchmen ridden down.
The French flank collapsed and the farmhouse was in Russian hands. It was late in the day and the game was called: a Coalition victory!
Another great fun game and the first real win for my brave Prussians. I figure that all they needed was direction and the presence of an actual Divisional Commander figure on the table was just what the doctor ordered.
It was great to have Jim join us and I hope we can get a few more club members who have expressed interest on board for a demo game or two. We have players with Austrian and Polish armies as well as more French. Peter also has Confederation of the Rhine (Bavarian's if I recall rightly).
We're getting more and more fluent with the rules with every game and some turns seem to fly past. I think today's game resulted in somewhere around a dozen to 13 or 14 turns. Missing from this report is a lot of shooting an battery fire, which took place all over the table. My central battalions took decent casualties but held the line and allowed the breakthrough in the end.
And some bonus pics from other NWA members:
My new battalions doing their thing.