On the Allies right the Prussian 1st Corps launched a series of counter attacks catching the Italians in square formation following their successful repulse of the Prussian heavy cavalry. The French 3rd Corp took heavy casualties losing its French Infantry Division and one of its Italian Infantry Division. However to its rescue the sheer weight of numbers in French cavalry broke through on the Allies right flank and destroyed the remaining Prussian Light Cavalry formations. The French heavy cavalry also charged breaking a few Prussian squares halting the counter attacks.
At this point the Old Guard infantry and Guard Heavy Cavalry was committed to reinforce the French 3rd Corps and drive the other Prussian Corps off their defending ridge supporting 4th Corps attacks in this area. The French 4th Corp commander launched his Neapolitan cavalry at the defending guns on the ridge and they were repulsed several times however they finally were destroyed by the Guard Cavalry. The Guard Cavalry went on to destroy one more Prussian Infantry Division and sent a number of Heavy Prussian cavalry units into retreat. This forced the Prussians to commit their last reserve their remaining heavy cavalry division.
The day was drawing to an end. The French were behind the Prussian left flank but had failed to crack the centre and the weight of cavalry of the French left flank had not got around the Russians. Noel declared a tactical French victory but a strategic victory for the Allies for holding the ground. At the end of the game the losses were as follows; The allies 52 infantry battalions (34.21%), 43 cavalry regiments (54.43%) and 9 gun batteries (45%). The French had lost 70 Infantry battalions (48.95%) 16 cavalry regiments (15.23%) and 3 gun batteries (13%). The greatest losses on the French side 3rd Corps and the Allies side the Prussian 1st Corps.
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.