Saturday, November 14, 2015

Battle of Quatre Bras after action report

We used the v0.4 version of the rules which makes close combat a bit more deadly.  There is less opportunity to retreat as a combat result, but it may be a little too deadly now.  Maybe a bit more tuning.

Dave and Brad played the French and drove hard up the main north-to-south road toward Quatres Bras.  The Guard Light Cavalry division led the way, clearing out most of the 2nd Netherland Division led by Perponcher.  This unfortunate division was entirely destroyed, nearly all by the GLC. The GLC finally burned itself out just east of Quatre Bras.  It has accumulated 7 fatigue markers, and the Iron Duke was able to disperse the unit with a well-timed king of clubs card.

However, by this point the Brunswickers had invested the crossroads and were fighting hand-to-hand with Kellerman's heavy cavalry.  Picton's division was keeping one of Reille's divisions pinned, and it looked like it would be a near-run thing.

The climax of the battle took place at 7pm when Reille got a little too close to the front lines, and a stray artillery shell left him wounded and dazed.  With the loss of his I Corps commander, Ney was too overburdened to control his army, and the French attack stalled, and then withered.  The French fell back from the crossroads just as two fresh British divisions arrived to secure the critical position.

The British - played by Marc and Cheatin' Bob - successfully traded space and troops for time, and were able to stop the French.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Battle of Quatre Bras

This weekend we'll be fighting the Battle of Quatre Bras.  The French, led by Marshall Ney, attack with Reille's II Corps and Kellerman's IIIC Corps.  Opposing them are a mix of forces from Britain, Hanover, Nassau, Brunswick, and the Netherlands led by the Prince of Orange and Wellington.

The view from the south of Quatre Bras looking north.  The cavalry of the II Corps is in the front to the right.  One of the divisions of the II Corps is next to it, and another is back with Ney. 
French far left.  The Guard Light Cavalry appears, but the terrain around Quatre Bras is heavily wooded.  How effective will they be? 
In the distance in the center of the picture the French see a brigade of the 2nd Netherlands Division guarding the approaches to Quatre Bras. 
The cavalry of the II Corps is not well-positioned.  A brigade of Nassau infantry sits behind the town. 
The overall situation.  Quatre Bras is the town at the crossroads in the deep center of the picture. 
The view from the southeast.  Note the streams and woods making an attack from this direction more easy to defend. 
The Iron Duke is on the hill on the left.  Nassau and Dutch infantry along with two batteries of Dutch artillery are all that stand between Ney and his objective. 
The Prince of Orange is near Quatre Bras. 
A brigade of Dutch cavalry are in the distance, approach Quatre Bras from the northwest.  They are just barely within the command radius of the Prince of Orange. 
Bird's-eye view of the opening moves in the battle.  French are to the top of the picture. 
The dense woods to the west of Quatre Bras.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Battle of Friedland photos from the final session

The rear of the French right.  Most of the troops have crossed the bridge over the Millstream near Posthenen.

The front of the French right.  Ney's Corps is pushing into Friedland, but was unable to clear any of the town before nightfall. 
Friedland is garrisoned by the Russian 1st (GUARDS) Division, and there is a Cossasck brigade heading through the town towards the French lines. 
The French left.  They managed to retake Heinrichsdorf, but have not made much progress beyond that.  The Guard Corps is behind Heinrichsdorf. 
The Russian right and the French left lined up many batteries in the center of the battlefield and exchanged shells for hours. 
The Russian right.  There are several strong cavalry formations between the stream and Friedland plus some remnants of Uvarov's cavalry on the far side of the stream near the copse of trees. 
The Russian right has relatively little infantry support at this point, but is strong in both artillery and cavalry. 
The Russian 1st Division holds Friedland. 
Platov and his Cossacks stream toward the Alle River and Friedland.

Birds-eye view of Friedland.  North is to the top of the photo.  The town is very well defended to the north of the Millstream, and the town itself has the Guards division. 
The hill in the center had 10-12 total batteries on it at one point.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Friedland final casualty report

The group finished the Battle of Friedland last night.  The Russians held onto the town of Friedland to earn a draw.  Bagration's wing was completely destroyed, but the 1st (Guards) Division, the remnants of the 14th Division, and the late-arriving Flying Corps under Platov managed to hold off a furious push by Ney's Corps.

Losses from the third and final session:

5 artillery batteries
3.000 cavalry
3,000 infantry

14 artillery batteries
4,000 cavalry
5,500 infantry

And total losses from all three sessions of the Battle of Friedland:

9 artillery batteries
11,000 cavalry
15,000 infantry

26 artillery batteries
16,500 cavalry
28,500 infantry

Lannes' Reserve Corps and Grouchy's Cavalry Corps were severely mauled.  Bagration's wing was annihilated.  The other Russian wing was also pretty beat-up, but the French could not exploit the situation to drive into Friedland before the dark of night.

I'll upload some pictures of the final dispositions of the troops tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Battle of Friedland, session II

We'e through the 19:00 turn of Friedland.  The Russians will not win this battle, but they have a very good shot of holding onto the town of Friedland and earning a draw.  The French losses earlier in the day -- in terms of ground and troops -- were heavy enough that the Russians have left themselves in a strong position.

During this session we had Brad and John as the French, and Dave and Cheatin' Bob returned as the Russians.

The French right after the arrival of Ney's VI Corps. 
The French right.  Victor's Corps is in front of Ney's, and they have pressed the Russians back beyond the Sortlack Woods. 
The French assault a line of Russian artillery batteries.  Some of the brigades are heavily fatigued, but there is not much of the Russian left with which to counter-attack. 
The French left.  They are close to Heinrichsdorf, but have not yet re-entered the town. 
The French left consists of the shattered remnants of the Reserve Corps plus the newly arrived Guard Corps.  Mortier's Corps is also present, but is at the rear. 
The French left.  Heinrichsdorf is in the foreground. 
The Russian right.  The force is very light on infantry, but strong in artillery and cavalry. 
Bird's eye view of the Russian right and Friedland.  The French seem unlikely to be able to force the river and enter Friedland on this flank before nightfall.  The Russian 1st (Guards) Division is occupying Friedland. 
Russian right.  Note the artillery in the center. 
Platov's Flying Corps has entered the map and is on the east bank of the Alle River, and is approaching Friedland. 
The Russian left is pretty thin.  The Support Division is gone, and most of the other divisions of this wing have been either destroyed or nearly destroyed. 
Russian left. 
The artillery batteries on the Russian right should be able to pivot left on the hill to support the beleaguered Russian left wing. 
There isn't much left of Osterman's 2nd Division other than a line of artillery batteries.  They will soon be overrun, but they may take out a few French companies as they go! 
The Russians have committed their reserve -- the 14th division -- to the left wing to support Bagration's mauled command.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Battle of Friedland, session II

The group finished our second session of Friedland.  We played the noon through 19:00 turn (so eight turns total).

The additional casualties through the 19:00 turn:

1 artillery battery
2000 cavalry
6000 infantry

Lvov, commander of the 6th division
10 artillery batteries
2000 cavalry
10,000 infantry

Total casualties from the start of the battle:

4 artillery batteries
8,000 cavalry
12,000 infantry

12 artillery batteries
12,500 cavalry
23,000 infantry

Monday, September 7, 2015

Version 0.3 of the rules are available

The Rules page now has a link to the published v0.3 edition of the rules.  This version contains new rules and mechanics to support the Battle of Friedland scenario, such as handling movement of reinforcements.

The next version of the rules (v0.4) is underway based on our experience playing Friedland.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Battle of Friedland casualty report : through the 11:00 turn

The Battle of Friedland is a 19-turn scenario.  The battle begins with the 06:00 turn, and ends with the 24:00 turn.

After the first six turns (06:00 through 11:00 turns) the casualties have been pretty heavy on both sides.  Overall the Russians have lost more troops, but only by a small margin.

French losses

  • 3 artillery batteries
  • 6,000 infantry
  • 6,000 mounted cavalry

Units destroyed

  • 1B/3rd Div/Res (Saxon)
  • 2B/3rd Div/Res (Saxon)
  • 1B/1st Heavy Cavalry Div/Res
  • Saxon HC Brigade/I
  • 1B/1st Dragoon Div/RC
  • 2B/1st Dragoon Div/RC
  • 9th Hussars Reg/RC

Officers removed

  • Res Officer (Lannes' ADC)
The French losses have tended to be entire units (e.g., all three of the major Saxon Units have been destroyed), and they have lost their edge in cavalry quantity and quality.  The number of eliminated medium and heavy cavalry stands have been very high.

Russian losses

  • 2 artillery batteries
  • 11,000 infantry
  • 4,500 mounted cavalry

Units destroyed

  • 1B/8th Div
  • 2B/7th Div
  • 3B/Advanced Guard (cavalry)
Russian losses have been pretty heavy amongst the infantry, but relatively few infantry brigades have been destroyed outright.  Many of the Russian infantry brigades are pretty mauled at this point.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Battle of Friedland: 06:00 to 12:00

We started the Battle of Friedland on Friday 4, 2015.  Kyle, Dave, and Cheatin' Bob played the Russians. John and Marc played the French.

Situation after the 06:00 turn:

French dragoons have driven the Cossacks from the plateau near Heinrichsdorf.  Russian line infantry have filled the northern end of the town.

French Hussars are pressing a Russian line infantry brigade posted between the millstream and a less formidable stream to the north (bottom of the photo).

Mortier and his VIII Corps enter the battle.

The Saxon heavy cavalry has been destroyed, but the Saxon infantry brigades are holding strong.  A regiment of Hussars is the only thing that stands between the Russians and Posthenen.

The 1st brigade of the 3rd division (Saxon) of the Reserve Corps holds off the Russian Support Division and Advanced Guard, but at a heavy cost.

Situation after the 07:00 turn:

This elite Hussar regiment successfully fights off two Russian cavalry brigades.  The legend of the 9th Hussars begins!

Situation after the 08:00 turn:

The Russians finally destroy the 9th Hussars.

The Saxon infantry continues to hold, but is hard-pressed.

The Russian batteries repulse repeated charges of French cavalry just outside of Posthenen (bottom right).

Stalemate outside of Heinrichsdorf as both sides take heavy casualties.

The situation after the 09:00 turn:

The French VIII corps artillery deploys.

The Russian left wing cavalry mass near the Sortlack Wood.  

Repeated cavalry attacks have destroyed most of the Russian infantry in the center, but at a heavy cost to the French Reserve Cavalry Corps. 
Cheatin' Bob gets ready to advance Gallitzin's command.

The Russian 14th Division prepares to cross the Alle and move into Friedland.

The situation after the 10:00 turn:

The Polish infantry and cavalry of the French VIII Corps move in to stabilize the French right flank.

The rest of Mortier's VIII Corps holds on against determined Russian cavalry attacks.

Lannes' aide-de-camp is wounded during the battle forcing Lannes to take direct command of the Reserve Corps units one by one.  Many have been destroyed, and the survivors are forming near a hill just northwest of Posthenen.

A brigade of French grenadiers in Heinrichsdorf are all that is left of the French left flank. 
The situation after the 11:00 turn:

The Poles push back the lead elements of the Russian left.

But the Russian left is still pretty strong, and has a lot of artillery.

A huge Polish brigade occupies a town.

The remnants of the Reserve Corps form up.

The Russian 1st (Guard) Division smashes the last of the French grenadiers and occupies Heinrichsdorf.

An Emperor's-eye view of the battlefield as Napoleon approaches from the west.