We decided that day two of our game would be an extension of our first days battle rather a separate second day of fighting so all troops were left in place from the day before and we all started where we left off. Some command changes were made. Ross took over Francis’ Austrians who could only make the Friday and I took over Simon 3rd French Corps. Noel continued to do a great job as umpire!
The Centre of the table was still extremely congested, the French were still attacking with the 4th and 3rd Corps along with the Young Guard, Guard Light Cavalry and a heavy cavalry division. This was forcing the allies to draw more of their reserves into the fray with Austrian Heavy and Light cavalry being committed. Both side were taking casualties in this very congested battlefield. The Bavarian Infantry Division finally succumbed to the huge pressure put on it and broke but the Austrian Grenadier division was in place to avoid a collapse in the town.
On the Allies Left the Polish 5th Corps were engaged along their front with the Russians. The Polish were being supported by its own light cavalry and were reinforced by an additional French Light Cavalry Division, and two heavy cavalry divisions. Most of this cavalry was pushing to get around the Russians right flank but had very little space to manoeuvre. This cavalry destroyed the Cossacks and started to remove the Russian supporting cavalry. The Russian artillery was however wearing away the Polish units and there was little progress being made. The Russian stubbornness in defence was very much on display.
After several turns of artillery fire the French 4th Corp started to advance on the Prussians and Austrians facing them. This was followed by the French 2nd Corps. The town proved a strong obstacle to the French 2nd Corps and became a bit of a meat grinder. The 2nd Prussian Corps artillery did some serious damage to Mark’s French 4th Corps at the start of the game and continued to do so as it advanced. Neither French Corps made significant progress in the centre. The Austrians in response to the pressure in the centre committed some of their light cavalry units.
The 3rd Corps with orders to pin the Prussian opposite decided to more aggressive with their pining orders and advanced rapidly towards the Prussians bringing forward significant amounts of cavalry. They managed to push the Prussians back and saw off a Prussian Heavy cavalry division in the process. Towards the end of the day orders were given for the Polish to advance towards the Russians. The Young Guard were sent to reinforce the French centre along with the Guard Light Cavalry Divisions to help punch the hole in the centre. The Bavarians in the town were being reinforced by the Austrian Grenadier Division to counter the significant pressure being put on them by the French 2nd Corps.
As the day ended the French had were struggling to punch a hole in the centre but had made significant progress on their right flank against the Prussians. It was all to play for on day two. On the first day the casualties were as follows Allies 21 infantry battalions (13.8%), 15 cavalry regiments (19%) and 3 gun batteries. The French had lost 23 infantry battalions (16%) and 4 cavalry regiments (3.8%).
Total numbers for both sides were as follows; for the French, 143 Infantry Battalions, and 105 Cavalry regiments 23 Gun Batteries. For the Allies they had 152 infantry battalions, 79 Cavalry regiments and 20 Gun batteries. The players for the French side were on day one C & C & Guard (Gary), 2nd Corps (Alan), 3rd Corps (Simon), 4th Corps (Mark), 5th Corps (Brian) and Cavalry Corps (Gary / Scotty). On the Allies side 1st Prussian Corps (Phil, 2nd Prussian Corps (Jonathan), 1st Austrian Corps (Francis) 2nd Austrian Corps (Dave) and the Russian Corps & C&C (Pete).
The object for the game was the French to drive the allies from the field. The table was set up as a valley running from the length of the table with a stream cutting through the valley and a number of villages and one small town with a few woods scattered across the table. Over the previous few nights I set up all the troops to save time and the players were allowed to make adjustments within their Corps boundaries. In certain areas the forces were within close artillery range but outside canister range. Despite the fact we were playing on a 22’ 5” table with the sheer numbers of figures on the table this was going to be a pretty crude frontal assault. The French were positioned from their left to right 5th Polish Corps, 2nd French Corps, 4th French / Neapolitan Corps and the French / Italian 3rd Corp. The Cavalry Corps sitting in reserve with the Guard off table. Facing them from the Allies right to left were the Russians Corps, 2nd Austrian Corps, 1st Austrian Corps, 2nd Prussian Corps and the 1stt Prussian Corps. Their cavalry was also in a second line behind the main infantry and artillery positions.
Both teams put together their various plans. The French plan involves pining down the flanks; the Russians by the Polish 5th Corps and 1st Prussian Corps by the French / Italian 3rd Corps whilst in the centre the 2nd and 4th Corps were committed to punch a hole in the Allied centre. The French formed 2 grand batteries to punch a hole in the Bavarians holding the town and the second to punch through the Prussian 2nd Corps. The Guard were be launched when the gap had been created.
For our Easter 2 day game we decided to play a big Napoleonic game. Noel volunteered to put together the scenario and the end result was a huge game of over 11,500 15 mm figures from the collections of Phil, Noel and Dave. The game was set in 1813. With Prussians, Austrians and Russians against the French and their allies, Italians, Neapolitan and Polish. We decided to use a marginally modified version of Shako but dropped the skirmishers for speed.
The French forces were made up of 5 Infantry Corps and 2 Cavalry Corps, 1st Corps was the Guard which had 2 Infantry Divisions, the Old/Middle Guard and Young Guard and 3 Guard cavalry divisions, 1 Heavy and 2 light. 2nd Corps was 3 French infantry division and a Light cavalry division attached. 3rd Corps was formed of 1 French Infantry Division and 3 Italian Infantry divisions with 2 Italian cavalry divisions attached. The 4th Corps was made up of 3 French Infantry divisions and Neapolitan Infantry Division with 1 French Light Cavalry Division attached along with a Neapolitan Cavalry Division. The 5th Corps was made up of 3 Polish Infantry Divisions and 2 Polish Light Cavalry divisions. In reserve were 2 Cavalry Corps 1st heavy cavalry Corps consisting of 3 Heavy Cavalry division and the 2nd Cavalry Corps consisting of the 1 Polish Heavy cavalry Division and 2 French Light Cavalry divisions.
On The Allies the Prussians formed 2 Infantry Corps each of 3 infantry Divisions and attached light cavalry divisions. There were 2 cavalry corps in reserve the 1st was comprised of 3 heavy cavalry divisions the 2nd was made up of 2 light cavalry divisions. The Austrians were also made up of 2 Infantry Corps. The 1st had 4 infantry divisions and a Light Cavalry division. The 2nd was formed of 2 infantry divisions, 1 Grenadier Division and 1 Bavarian Infantry division. This had 2 light cavalry divisions attached 1 Bavarian and 1st Austrian. In reserve for the Austrians were 1 heavy Cavalry Corps comprised of 2 divisions. Finally the Russian were made up of 1 Infantry Corps of 4 infantry Divisions and 1 Cavalry Corps consisting of 1 Heavy Cavalry Division and 2 Light Cavalry division. Roaming around the flanks were Cossack brigade.
Our quest to find a set of rules for this period continued. Richard brought along his great collection of 15mm figures and we tried Field of Glory Renaissance rules again. Richard did a sterling job of umpiring the game and he fielded two early war armies with the Royalist having Pike heavy foot and the usual good if slightly uncontrollable cavalry. The Royalist also had some Dragoons and a unit of Commanded shot. The parliamentarians had better infantry and their cavalry was inferior although 2 units were determined horse with a unit of commanded shot.
We rolled to see who played who which side. Noel, myself, Jonathan and Patrick were for Parliament against Mark, Simon and Alan for the King. Phil watched avidly whist Richard worked hard to keep us all in check. Parliament won the initiative and Jonathan, despite being outnumbered launched his Parliamentarian cavalry forward to try and sweep away his opposite number with his determined horse in front. In the centre the parliamentarian infantry advanced forward to engage their opponents. On the Parliamentarian left their cavalry also advanced to take advantage of their superior numbers having three cavalry units to the Royalist two. The parliamentarian infantry came under ineffectual artillery fire as it advanced but the parliamentarian artillery had a bit more luck taking first blood. The Cavalry battle on the parliamentarian left was a mixed affair the Parliamentarian Determined Horse mowed down their opposition but their flanking cavalry were taken out by the charging Cavaliers. The Infantry meanwhile moved forward slowly.
At last the Parliamentarian infantry and their cavalry on the right flank were engaged. Despite being better quality in shooting the Royalist got the better of the firing and once engaged in melee they also got the better of the fight. The dice gods yet again were showing their thoughts. The Royalist could not stop rolling 6s whilst the Parliamentarians seem to see more than a few ones! The parliamentarian Cavalry on the left despite the numerical advantages were struggling to get through and were threatened with Royalist Infantry. In the centre the Parliamentarian infantry were in retreat whilst on the right wing the Royalist Cavalry had recovered and were bearing down on the remaining Parliamentarian cavalry. It look like it would be a victory for the King when time ran out. The rules worked well and we decided that another outing would be good and we all vowed to read them over the next few weeks.