Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Yet Another Russian-Style Spanking!

As the old saying goes "When at first you don't succeed, try, try again!"

Well, I've been bloody well trying a lot lately, and trying it is, I tell you!

Last Friday's club game was another attempt to get my French forces balanced enough to crush the might of the Russian Empire, and I thought I'd got it right after the previous drubbing I had at the hands of John W. As always, one prepares to fight the previous war, rather than the one facing one! As I had no idea of the forces that Garry would be assembling, I was taking a punt on my OB. Base on my experiences in my last outing I decided to go infantry heavy and have minimal cavalry and artillery: 21 infantry battalions and only one regiment of chasseurs accompanied by a battery of horse guns.

Needless to say, Garry went for a more balanced OB, including two 12 figure regiments of cavalry, which he  split as per our rules, into 4 smaller units, causing me an immense headache with my infantry heavy formation. I had assumed that I'd be able to use some of my infantry hordes defensively to ward off his cavalry, but didn't bank on the number he had available!

It was a real arm wrestle for quite a while until Garry launched a brigade charge in the centre-right of my line. Because of a couple of units that had copped flank fire and broke or retreated, my counter charge failed and was pushed back, leaving the extreme left battalion of my formation doubly disordered and sticking out in front of another battalion that had fouled its line of retreat. Garry exploited this by charging the isolated unit, breaking it, and carrying on through the one behind. In his next turn he launched his cavalry in a coups de grace that cracked me wide open. As I'd spent my reserves in shoring up the other flank against his attempts at outflanking me, I had nothing to counter attack his successful breakthrough in the middle. Game over!

While I think I was on the right track with my hordes of infantry, I probably should have given myself more cavalry to protect the flanks, instead of wasting my reserve in this role.

My tons-o'-troops!

I had to scratch around to fill the numbers. These Italeri figures were some of my first efforts  after starting wargaming  and haven't seen the light of day for a while!

Garry's Russians

Apparently they 're a South African knock-off of Foundry figures!


I won the initiative and sent my strongest brigade straight at the enemy, hoping to overrun his battery early

Steadily marching forward

Second line in support

Infantry's view of the Russian artillery

Damned dragoons and the flanking infantry.

Secured one of the BUAs

Chasseurs head right to head off the Cossack threat.

Too late! The infantry should have anchored itself on the woods, but instead have left a nice flank target for the Cossacks, who remain hidden behind the crest, with a vedette out forward.

Meanwhile, the rest of my infantry advance in chequer-board fashion.

On the left I hurry to establish a defensive line against Garry's approach.

The Italian and French regulars move up to threaten the Cossacks, while the brigade cresting the hill change into mixed order.

The idea was to launch a charge at the guns and the supporting infantry , thus protecting the open left flank of the  brigade that has just crested the hill...

...but Garry had cunningly angled half of his dragoons in a supporting manoeuvre which stymied my forward motion. 

With the 2nd BUA occupied, my elite light troops are moving to the left, while the Velites and Conscripts of the Guard remain in reserve.

The cavalry decide where to go to be most useful. The general has definite views!


OUCH! First casualty.

Cossack's-eye view down my line!

My elite light brigade prepare to meet cavalry.

The 2 regular battalions hope they don't have to plug the gap between the BUA and the light brigade!

They were going to get whacked anyway, so I told them to march towards the cossacks, in the hope that they'd miraculously survive close range artillery flank fire. They didn't.
The empty gap in front of the Cossack battery where an infantry battalion once stood!

Meanwhile on the right flank, the light brigade shakes out into mixed order

The line falls back to prepare for a Russian attack.

Garry's Dragoons and infantry press on my left flank.

I was regretting not anchoring the line on the nearest BUA by this stage.

Looking down the line from the French left flank.
Garry shuffles his infantry further to my left...
...while his Dragoons edge further to the flank.
Dragoon's-eye view of a lovely flank and rear of my line!

Meanwhile, on the right flank; In hindsight I should have pulled the right flank back further, but I wanted to be able to see what was coming over the hill.

Finally got my artillery into postion to do some damage and threaten the Cossacks. THis relieved the pressure on the right flank...temporarily!

Garry contemplates his next move, while I pray the line will hold!

It was the extreme right hand battalion in the front row that was his target.

2 against 1...

Run away!

Next was his brigade charge which I met with a counter-charge.

That previous retreat, plus the breaking battalion from the artillery flank fire caused my brigade to fail its pre-melee morale test, halt at 2" with disorders!

In the ensuing melee I was forced to retire, but the left hand battalion was fouled by the battalion directly behind, causing extra disorders and leaving it exposed.

Guess what Garry's next target was, then?

One down, one to go!

Run away!

I had hoped to get in the flank of the two isolated Russian battalions...

...but a well timed cavalry attack put paid to that! (and the rest of the game)

In a desperate attempt to salvage something from the night, I charged his Cossacks. Ordinarily they should have folded like a deck of cards, but they actually resisted my charge and pulled off a draw (oh the shame!).


  1. What a lot of flags those Russians have.

  2. Another cracking game, but still no luck eh; you need to be careful with post titles like this as well! You might get all sorts of unusual traffic! :D

    1. Thinking of naked flogging with birch branches after a turn in the sauna? Sorry to disappoint! ;-)

  3. Another good report; at least you were able to drag out all of your infantry. You'll find that balance, and then let them beware...

  4. Good report and some very cool pictures

  5. Good report Rosbif but russians are great warriors and it's always a long rush to beat them. As we use to say in France: "If you want to bring down a russian, it's not enough to kill him, you also have to push him!"

  6. Gripping report, Rosbif! Some of my friends who play a lot of musket era games put so much lead on the table that the game is a head on slog with double and triple lines.

    This is quite the opposite and much more exciting. Hanging flanks, irregulars sweeping around a flank, holes opened up. Well done, even if the "W" eluded you this time!


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