Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Borodino - First Day's Action

After the last teaser post using my phone's Blogger app, I give you the first of several posts documenting our club's Great Big January Game; Borodino!

Andrew S. (Marshal Ney and Umpire) made these rough calculations regarding total numbers of figures:

Infantry                 - 3147 figures
Cavalry                 - 963 figures
Generals                - 258 figures
Artillery                 - 1212 guns in approximately 135 batteries
My contribution for IV Corps alone amounted to 384 figures, excluding artillery bases and generals.

We were fortunate enough to have James from the Avon Napoleonic Fellowship visit, so if you haven't already, check out his pictures of the weekend. As he got to see more of how the rest of the game progressed, he'll be writing a more in depth report of the fighting further south, especially around Utitsa, which might as well have been on the moon for all that I could follow from the other end of the table!

As IV Corps was one of the few French units to start the game on the board, I was offered the choice to compress time and have the northern end of the board start in the historic positons until turn 15. I accepted this offer, then found that my orders form Napoleon sent me off to guard the northern flank. So instead of my left flank anchoring on Borodino and the bulk of the corps facing south-east, my right flank rested on Borodino and the corps faced directly east. Robin, as Napoleon, was expecting a big push against IV Corps in the north (more on that later). For the rest of the first 15 rounds I was an observer of the developing struggle to the south. That's what this post and the following one will be about, then my focus narrowed somewhat as the bridge over the Kolocha absorbed most of my attention, but more on that later...

IV Corps with Morand's and Gerard's attached divisions from I Corps furthest from camera.

Same view from different angle

The Grand Redoubt with part of Bagration's command behind in support

The view down the table from the North

Ney and Davout in deep discussion, while Borodino has been repopulated with buildings after the church has been removed

The "Grand" Redoubt! In this scale it doesn't look that much, but it still packs a punch!
The French view of the Grand Redoubt. Special rules regarding compressed artillery frontage were required.

Ney's and Davout's front divisions enter the table

Morand, Gerard and part of the Cavalry Reserve

IV Corps with attached divisions from I Corps

IV Corps Light Cavalry in their starting position, scouting ahead of the main force. This is how they spent the weekend, except in skirmish order to maximise their coverage.

IV Corps and part of the Cavalry Reserve form up between Borodino and Bezzubova, as per Napoleon's orders, then spend 15 turns waiting!

The Russian view of IV Corps dispostions with the Gorki plateau, the Kolocha and Sachavino in the foreground.
Morand and Gerard in reserve behind Borodino

Meanwhile Ney's forces mass in front of the fleches.

Artillery batteries link the two fleches, forming a wall of guns facing Ney's advance

Between Ney's forces and IV Corps, the Wurrtemberg Jaegers dispute the woods with their Russian counterparts.

Behind the fleches, the only close support is a line of jaegers which follows the contours. In the distance some converged grenadier battalions rush up in support.

Andrew S. starts Ney's attack on the fleches after forcing the supporting guns to retire.

The attack goes in...

Meanwhile, behind the Gorki Redoubt, Kutuzov and his toadies eat chicken and drink champagne!
Andrew's attack goes in at an angle to avoid the worst of the artillery fire, while the rest of his forces wait in dead ground. Just in time, too, as the Russian Grenadiers are fast approaching! 

The attack was successful and the fleches are taken. Now the job is to hold them against the oncoming Russian counterattck!

The Russians close in!

French support moves up.

Andrew marshalls his forces to face the counter attack

Infantry and cavalry move up in support

The Russians move stoically forward...



  1. Incredible looking setup! Great work lads. Lovely photos too.

  2. Really great stuff, congratulations. I look forward to seeing the rest of the game. What rules set were you using?

  3. That is jaw dropping stuff, I bet your glad you didn't forget the camera for this one! Just magnificent.

  4. Superb pictures and report thanks for sharing

  5. I agree with the above gentlemen: a superb game and minis. Thanks for sharing and waiting for the rest :-)

  6. Top write-up of the first afternoon-evening of the game Ben. I was there and am still itching to read more!!

  7. Amazing setup. Wonderfully done guys! Thanks for posting it all!


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