|Starting positions and general course of battle.|
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Pretzen 1807 Report
Played: April 12th 10am to 2:30pm
Length: Played 16 turns
Commanders: Mike (von Netting and Dohorov) and Jeff (Ushakov) vs. Gary (Ferey), Carl (Amey), and myself (Vivies, Artillery, and Durousnel)
So, with a quick moving game in mind, we played out our battle on Saturday April 12. Mike began the battle as the sole Russian commander as Jeff was a bit late. Each side set up 24” in from the table edge while the 3 objectives were lined up along the center line of the table. Not very complicated and certainly not very original!
It became obvious early on that each side was employing a similar strategy. Both sides rushed to gain the village in the center while attempting a right hook to flank the enemy. As it turned out, the Russians won the race to the village and seized control of it while Vivies deployed his Legere battalions into a skirmish screen to spar with the village occupants. In concert with this, the French guns deployed to the righ t of the village to hammer away on von Netting's Russians while Ferey pressed the Russian flank.
At the other end of the French line Amey's troops were trying to hold the hill against Ushakov's larger brigade. The fact that Ushakov had artillery support and Amey's men did not quickly began to tell. Amey's units suffered a series of lucky Russian volleys and heavy fire from the Russian guns. Soon, the Frenchmen began to waver under the weight of fire.
By turn 6 it was becoming apparent where any reserves would go as Ferey and the artillery was battering von Netting's Russian brigade at the same time that Ushakov's Russians were beginning to push Amey's Frenchmen backwards. The Russian reinforcement proved to be a single Hussar Regiment (VETERANS) while the French drew 2 Chasseur Regiments (LINE). The Russian cavalry galloped towards von Netting's wavering wing while Durousnel's Chasseurs moved as quickly as possible to support Amey's crumbling brigade.
As soon as they arrived on the wings the cavalry units went onto ASSAULT orders and formed to charge. The Russian cavalry charged into Ferey's troops as a battalion of the 46e was FALTERING. This put the French battalion into flight as it RETREATED while the Russians pulled up before hitting the hastily formed squares of the remaining French units. This charge stalled Ferey's advance for a long time as the French had to organize themselves against the lurking cavalry.
Menawhile, true to my form, I attempted to charge the flank of the Russian Lithuanian Musketeers with both Chasseur regiments and both failed to charge! This gave the Russians time to form squares which relieved some of the pressure on Amey's shrinking battalions. The Russians began to break off from Amey's brigade as they organized to repel cavalry. After reorienting themselves, the Chasseur brigade charged the Russian artillery on the hill. After a weak blast of defensive fire the artillery was swept over by the French cavalrymen. Ushakov's units were now pinned in between the remnants of Amey's infantry and Durousnel's cavalrymen to their rear.
Such was the situation when von Netting's units finally began to succomb to the ongoing fire from the French artillery and Ferey's volleys. While von Netting's brigade did not break, which would have emptied the village and ensured a French victory, it was now a shambles and it would soon be compelled to leave the field.
At this point the battle was declared over. The French cavalry and Ushakov's infantry were jointly occupying the hill on the French left wing. Amey's brigade was retreating back towards the French center having lost @ 50% strength. Vivies' units were still sparring with von Netting's infantrymen in and around the village. Ferey had swept von Netting's men off of the right wing hill and were ready to press on towards the Russian's center.
The battle was judged to be a minor Russian victory since they still held the village and everyone felt that the numerous Russian squares could, sloooowly, push the French cavalry off the hill. Due to the relatively small number of units involved the battle was a tense affair as each shot, morale check, and move had a bit more importance. For once, I think we remembered enough of the important rules during the game that nobody felt like we missed out on something that may have been a “game-changer”.
If Gary shares some of the photos that he snapped then I will try to post them later...