Monday, June 13, 2011

Napoleonic Battle Mlawa 1807

Our most recent game was a fictional encounter at Mlawa, Poland set during the 1807 campaign. We use the General de Brigade Deluxe rules with unit sizes reduced by 1/3 as our armies were designed for other 1:30 ratio rules instead of GdB's 1:20 ratio.

The French division opened the battle in possession of the village but the Russians stormed and seized Mlawa on the first turn. After that, it was a parade of poor dice rolls (and a misread chart for casualties) resulting in the French cavalry being badly mauled by Russian Cuirassiers. During the battle each side lost a brigade commander captured by the enemy. The Russians lost Prince Dolgorukov to troops from Chantome's Brigade while the French lost GdB Maurice to troops from Ushakov's Lithuanian Musketeers.

On the right wing there was a furious charge to open the battle as Prince Dolgorukov stormed Mlawa while his "support" from Ushakov's Grenadiers came to nothing as they failed their roll to enter melee so badly that the Grenadiers withdrew. Once the Russians had the town they never let it go. Sporadic fighting around Mlawa never led to any French advantage and the Russians still held Mlawa at battle's end.

Meanwhile, on the left wing the French Dragoons were being ridden down by the Little Russia Kuirassiers. The Dragoons were destroyed in a pair of dazzling charges that ended in rout results for the hapless Frenchmen. Only a Retire to Own Lines result on the Russian Pursuit Test halted the Russians. Eventually, the French cavalry, led by the Chasseurs, began to push back the tired Russian cavalry.

In the center, the Russians under Titov were trading volleys with Guily's Frenchmen. Casualties were fairly even as there was no room to add troops nor maneuver for advantage. Suddenly, near the game's last turn, the Russians failed a string of morale checks that sent Titov's brigade packing as it withdrew from the battle line to reorganize.

We were under a time limit so the battle was ended at 3:30 and the Russians were declared the victors as they still held the town. At that time the Russians were seeing their cavalry being slowly pushed back, although the Cossacks were still available to help, Titov's brigade was reforming and ready to stabilize the Russian center, the fight in the woods between Ushakov and Maurice was stalemated, and Chantome's brigade was in columns and ready to assault Mlawa in an attempt to pry it away from Dolgorukov's brigade. At best, that assault would have been a "near run thing" for the French.

As is customary at our club, I was on the French side (as Augereau, Chantome, and Maurice) and I lost. However, it was fun and I look forward to our next GdB game.

Below is the scenario info and a map:

Situation: At the battle’s opening, troops of GdB Chantome’s brigade (Desjardins’ Division, Augereau’s Corps) are holding Mlawa village against the advance of a Russian Division under LG Baron von der Osten-Sacken. The French troops in Mlawa are expecting the support of more units of Augereau’s Corps to arrive in time to drive away the Russians in order to hold the Heilsburg Road and allow Napoleon to strike at the main Russian body to the northwest.

Both sides know that the enemy has formations nearby and enter the area deployed for battle. See the Special Scenario Rules for set-up restrictions and any other rules in play. The French have stolen a night march and have managed to get the 14th Regiment into the village of Mlawa. These are competent troops under an experienced officer. Both sides want control of Mlawa as it commands the Heilsburg Road.

Possessing the village of Mlawa is the goal of both armies. It is the key to controlling the Heilsburg Road. The village is considered to be “held” by the last army that had FORMED troops in the village. Routed, retreating, falling back, and pushed back units do not count as FORMED when determining ownership of Mlawa.

Special Rules for Mlawa

Mlawa village can hold up to 48 figures. The village counts as BUILDINGS for cover modifiers.

The stream is small but fairly deep. It is DIFFICULT terrain. PAGE 87

A stand of Pioneers/Sappers/Genies must be attached to a unit in order to give benefits. If they are attached then they suffer the first casualties if the unit is fired upon. They may be fired upon if they are “working” on water crossings and such. Otherwise, they may only be shot at if they shoot first. See rule 12.10 to find their fate if they help in an assault.

Pioneers/Sappers/Genies See rule 12.10 on page 120. In our scenario the sapper rules apply to BUILDINGS too. Thus, troops assaulting a town with the aid of sappers may re roll ONE of his dice in melee.

Troops in woods accompanied by sappers can move at normal rate if sappers are attached to a battalion.

Pioneers can erect a stream crossing in one full turn. This will be nothing more than a pile of logs dumped into the stream bed and covered with planks.  However, this quick bridge will allow normal movement for columns of infantry, cavalry, and limbered artillery.

Set up:
Each side will have 4 sections and there must be at least one brigade in each section.

Russians must have a minimum of 1 brigade in each zone ABCD

French must have a minimum of two brigades in zones 1 and 2 of 1234

Optional Rules in use:
Smoke is a -1 modifier to shooting (instead of a -2) and ANY doubles thrown in shooting reduces casualties by 1/2 per rule 16.4 on page 146

Brigade morale:
Any brigade who suffers 50%, or more, casualties must test Brigade Morale EVERY TURN per rule 16.6 on page 146

Russian Force – Part of Osten-Sacken’s III Division
Lieutenant General Baron Fabian Gottlieb von der Osten-Sacken (Average) w/2 ADC
Brigade MG Ushakov (?)
  • Tauride Grenadiers (2 bns) Elite SK2
  • Lithuanian Musketeers (2 bns) Veteran
Brigade MG Titov (?)
  • Kaporsk Musketeers (2 bns) Veteran
  • Muromsk Musketeers (2 bns) Veteran
Brigade MG Prince Dolgorukov (?)
  • Tschernigov Musketeers (2 bns) 2nd Line
  • Dnepr Musketeers (2 bns) 2nd Line
Cavalry Brigade MG Count P.P. von der Palen (Average)
  • Little Russian Cuirassiers (12 to 16 figures) Elite
  • Kurland Dragoons (12 figures) Veteran
  • Ilowaiski Cossacks (16 figures) Line
Artillery Brigade Colonel von Bril
  • Heavy Company Colonel von Bril 12 pound (4 gun stands) Veteran
  • Light Company Major Mitrofanov 6 pound (4 gun stands) 2nd Line
  • Major Afanasev’s Pioneer Detachment (12 figures) Veteran
1.       The cavalry brigade may be divided by using one of Osten-Sacken’s ADCs as a new brigade commander. This must be done prior to battle.
2.       Colonel von Bril’s Artillery Brigade may be disassembled and the batteries may be assigned to the infantry brigades. The pioneers may be reassigned to other brigades as a single unit or by companies. If any of the Artillery Brigade’s units are removed then the entire brigade must be disassembled. Colonel von Bril is removed from play if the Artillery Brigade is disassembled.

French Force – Part of Augereau’s VII Corps
Marechal d’Empire Augereau (Average) w/2 ADC
14th Regiment (2bns - Veteran) begins the battle ensconced in the Mlawa village. Chef de Battalion Massy (Excellent) is acting as a brigade commander to the regiment.

GdD Desjardins  (?)

Brigade GdB Chantome (?)
  • 16th Light Infantry (2bns) Elite SK1
  • 14th Regiment (2bns) Veteran SK1
  • Major Defranc’s Genies (12 figures) Elite
Brigade GdB Maurice (Average)
  • 44th Line Infantry (2 bns) Veteran
  • 105th Line Infantry (2 bns) Veteran
  • 8lb Foot Artillery (3 gun stands) Elite

Brigade GdB  Giuly (?)
  • 24th Line Infantry (2 bns) Line
  • 106th Line Infantry (2 bns)  Line
  • 8lb Foot Artillery (4 gun stands) Veteran

Cavalry Brigade GdB Durosnel (Average)
  • 20th Chasseurs (12 – 16 figures) Veteran
  • 4lb Horse Artillery (2 gun stands) Veteran

Cavalry Brigade GdB Saviarelli (Average)
  • 7th Dragoons (12 figures) Veteran
  • 8th Dragoons (12 figures) Veteran

Cavalry Brigade GdB Legace (Excellent)
  • 9th Cuirassiers (12 figures) Elite


Andy said...

My family was out of town and I wanted to make it down for this, but got sick all weekend. DAMN!

James said...


That was some rotten luck! We will be doing another Napoleonic game at the end of July. Keep us in mind...