Monday 23 January 2017

The Battle of Montmirail, 11th February 1814

This was our club game on Sunday involving 12 players. Played out on a 18' x 6' surface.

The French are faced with a combined Russian & Prussian force (four Russian infantry divisions, two cavalry plus two Prussian divisions)

The French start with two infantry divisions & three cavalry but Ney's Young Guard Voltigeur Division is arriving soon.

Black Powder rules with the Russians needing a six or lower to activate each time whereas the French activate on eight or nine (using two dice six), so the French are the more active.

Set up time, Russians on the left, French on the right.

This is the other end, Prussians on the right, French on the left.

Mike is issuing general instructions to those gathered around the table - some are missing making coffee ! 

French Guard artillery deployed on their extreme left flank backed up by a strong force of infantry

Recklessly, I send my Russian columns forward to tackle them (a rare moment of throwing six or less on the command roll !)

Steve has not only the French left flank (Ricard's Division) but also forces facing the village of Marchais (Defrancet's Division). He is aided and abetted by Peter.

Here we see Friant's Imperial Guard Division charging across the centre against Stawitsky and Sass's Russian Divisions

as the French cavalry under Guyot head for the Prussian lines

This is Colbert's cavalry division facing the Prussians of Von Horn

The Prussian lines, von Horn and von Pirch beyond.

The French have hit Sass full on in attack columns.

French Guard light cavalry attempt to charge the Russian infantry supported by "order mixed" infantry on their left.

Further over, massed Guard columns hit the Russians

as the artillery engage in counter battery fire.

Meanwhile, only one of my Russian battalions has made it to the French Guard guns and they are about to receive a dose of canister !

The others are either disordered or in combat with Ricard's columns.

Tallisin's division are fully engaged whilst Bernodossov's wait to receive a lone French battalion which has broken through

Tallisin's men are being ground down by Ricard but he will still have to contend with Bernodossov afterwards.

Casualties are mounting on both sides.

and the battle in the centre with Friant's Imperial Guard is a real tangle !

and Ney's men now arrive.
  Tallisin's depleted force charge again 

but to no avail, the way is clear to Bernodossov

The fight in the centre is wearing down the Russians as big gaps appear

The Prussians are hardly faring any better with enemy cavalry marauding around them

Infantry columns join the attack on the Prussians

and their cohesion is breaking 

French cavalry now punch through one of the holes that has opened up

as Russian cavalry await developments

what can they do ?

Behind you !  French cavalry and guns now threaten the Russian cavalry in flank and rear 

Russian infantry recoil from the attacks

and the French columns keep coming supported by cavalry which have forced the Russians into defensive squares.

Martin looks as if he is wilting under all the pressure !

The Russians are getting separated by the French 

A rare French error - the Guard artillery has limbered up and advanced to support their infantry attacks on the left - but miscalculated

as their infantry are thrown back,

Bernadossov's Russians charge and catch them unawares
Result ? No more French guns left on the left !

One lone disordered French battalion remains on this flank

But it makes no real difference as the Imperial Guard infantry crush the enemy centre

Russian squares are hit by charging French attack columns

and the Russian cavalry are trapped behind the shrinking lines

And its no better for the Prussians on the Allies' left 

With the French in complete charge of the centre and right of field

the Russian cavalry try to evade marauding French cavalry

Only the Russian right stands firm.

The Russian centre is mercilessly "rolled up" by the Imperial Guard

All resistance has gone around the farm.

The Guard cavalry leave the infantry to mop up and head over to shore up the French left

At this point, umpire Mike declares that the French have won the day - we had fought out this game over five hours so were all exhausted !

Good game ! (as Bruce Forsyth would have said in the old TV game show).