Saturday, January 18, 2014

Borodino Part 3

This post will concern itself with the rest of the second and the beginning of the third day's play, with the emphasis on my end of the table, as that's where my attention was most of the time.

However, I'll start this post with the action at the southern end and centre of the table. I wasn't able to keep track of the action, but the gist of it was that there was a real arm-wrestle at the other end of the table with Poniatowski's Poles (commanded by Darren B.) assisted by some of Davout's troops (Jenko) up against Pete E. and John R. in a real backwards and forward tussle.

In the cnter Andrew S. as Ney was consolidating his forces in the dead ground in front of the Russians' position, while the Cavalry Reserve commanded by Macolm, as Murat, assembled in between Ney and Davout's position. It looked unstoppable until you lifted your gaze at the Russian guns facing the French!

Polish infantry in square and closed column facing down a wave of Cossacks.

Poles in possession of Utitsa

Polish infantry facing down the Cossacks, who are trying to outflank them through the woods.

In the background, the Cavalry Reserve masses, while the dead ground fills with French   

A section of the Reserve Cavalry make an attack, but are beaten back by the Russians

More cavalry are on their way, though. Murat in the foreground.


...and lots...

...and LOTS of cavalry!
Back on the Northern front IV Corps was doing a lot of standing around waiting for an attack that didn't eventuate, so Boney (Robin) decided to relieve me of the Young Guard and the light cavalry of the Cavalry Reserve, and orderded me to capture the bridge.

Confronted by skirmishers over the other side of the bridge, I thought the best option for capturing the bridgehead would be to put some cavalry across the bridge first, followed by infantry. This time I led with quality, sending the Italian Queen's Dragoons across first, then followed up with my best troops, the 92e Ligne, all rated as Grenadiers! This should work!

IV Corps deciding what to do. Jim's I Corps troops have re-occupied Borodino, and my Grand battery fire over the buildings on the left while my infantry mill about.

Some order is installed. The Italian dragoons head towards the bridge, while regiments get into nice orderly lines. I still haven't got the marching order ready, as the 92e ligne are nowhere to be seen!

My troop movements as seen from the Russian artillery postion in the Gorky Redout. Thankfully, my troops were in dead ground. After they cross the bridge is another matter, though...

Quinny cunningly left his counter-attacking force in dead ground, too.

The view down the table from my end

Quinny's force is all that stands between me and the flank of the Russian line. It doesn't look like much, but it certainly was effective!

The Cavalry Reserve leave for greener pastures.

OK; the dragoons are in place, but where's the 92e? They're just to the right of the picture, waiting for the regiment in front to make way!

The Grand Battery breaks up into its constituent batteries, ready to follow up behind the successful cavlary/infantry combo after they've taken the bridge

Jim looks on at the more exciting end of the table; "I wonder how I can get a gig down the other end?"

The dragoons are across! Back, you jaeger scum!

The traffic jam on the other side of the bridge awaits the command to cross

The 92e ligne and the 8e legere are in position, with Italian artilery ready to follow. The other brigades in the division are also on standby.

After suffering 25% casualties from artillery fire and a determined Russian conter-attack, the dragoons are pushed back with multiple diosorders! If I hadn't rolled so appallingly in the morale test, they could still be on the correct sie of the bridge, dammit!

Another shot down the table. If I could only have established myself on the peninsula, I could have thrown the cat among the pigeons!

Time to break some more eggs; The battered dragoons have recrossed the bridge and the infantry is hurrying across behind them. Jim has moved out of Borodino on Boney's command to form up in front of the Grand Redoubt. I have formed my heavy guns in front of Borodino into another Grand Battery to try and fire on the redoubt.

As the infantry cross the bridge, the cavalry are again attacked, take casualties and are forced back throught the infantry. inflicting disorders on everyone on the bridge!

The dragoons are the little engine that could, flying back into the fray, even though they are carrying the maximum disorders. The infantry are now in not much better shape after crossing the bridge and having their cavalry ride through them.

I still had hope, though! If only they could hold on enough for the other regiments behind them to cross!

As you can see, though, the resulting counter-attack...

...forced my tenuous toe-hold on the bridge... melt like snow in the spring!

Quinny's Russians bait the battered French: "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough!"

The chances of taking a bridge in the face of the enemy are always long odds, but I truly thought that I had a chance with the Queen's Dragoons and the grenadier rated 92e. However, the dice god was against me when the dragoons lost their first morale test after taking 25% casualties. It wasn't a fait acompli by that stage, but after losing that morale test and retreating into the infantry, the odds got longer and longer.

I did provide Quinny with a lot of action resulting in a crushing victory to him, which always puts him in a good mood!

To paraphrase Arnold Schwarzenegger:

"Quinny! What is best in life?" "To crush your enemies -- See them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!"



  1. Stunning - I think this is the largest game I've ever seen; table size and number of troops - and in my preferred scale of 25mm no less. Just awesome to behold. Dean

  2. Fantastic report! It can be so hard to attack across a bridge but you have no other choice!! Love the photos, an awesome looking game!

  3. Too much.... (demasié in Spanish!)
    Watinig for the next installment

  4. If you want to force a defile, bring up your guns! Awesome looking table: huge battle, fine terrain without being overelaborate, and attractively painted troops. Just the thing!


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