Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Napoleonics: The Russian Front

Mike & I added  2 divisions each to Chris' Napoleonic Russians so it was time to give them a run.  We rate the Russian infantry as about as inefficient as the Spanish, but instead of Break if Spanish they have our Stubborn rule = add 1 to all Break Test totals. They also get lots of artillery & have reasonable cavalry (except for bad command). 
The French are on the left with 3 infantry brigades of 5 units, hussars, dragoons & 3 batteries.  Mike commands the left, Jim the right.  The Russians have 3 infantry brigades of 6 units & 2 batteries each, light & heavy cavalry.  Steve commands their left, Mitch their right. 
The French plan was to attack on their right with most of their force hoping to break the Russian left & roll up their line while their poor command inhibited any Russian counterattack on the weak French left.   They crossed the creek with infantry supported by cavalry & artillery & seized the farm to cover the flank of the attack. 
Regrettably the pics I thought I took of the fight over the creek disappeared in some kind of glitch so  a lot has happened between the last 2 pics.  The French cavalry was slow to advance & the Russian cavalry counterattacked the infantry after it crossed the creek.  The French got crazy brave & took on the cavalry in line with some unfortunate results.  But a second line of squares supported by artillery & eventually cavalry turned the tide.  The Russian cavalry was eventially beaten with both brigades broken.  The French cavalry is largely shaken, but the surviving infantry is in good shape, has formed columns & has resumed the advance to attack the left of the Russian infantry to complete the plan.
In the centre the French have held onto the farm under heavy fire.  On the far flank not much has happening other than Russian reinforcements being sent towards the centre .
The French are being pushed back out of the village by the Russian Guards.  The French have redeployed their battery to assist their centre.  Their right is still advancing on the left flank Russian infantry brigade which has already lost units in the fight for the farm.
The Russian guards have taken the farm, but the defending brigade has pulled out without breaking. The French hussars have forced the Russia infantry into square to stop it retreating & is waiting for the infantry to arrive to finish them off.  The dragoons are still being rallied now well in the rear.
One of the Russian guard units got a blunder and charged the guns.  Defensive fire drove them back, but even repeated volleys from the massed battery didn't break them & they retired behind the house shaken, but not broken.
After putting up a desperate fight the surrounded Russian square at the end of their line (now removed from the hole between 2 French columns & the cavalry) has finally broken.  With its loss the Russian left flank infantry brigade broke & that was 3 brigades out of 5 so the Russian army broke.

The difference the different break test rules make between the Spanish we got so familiar with in the campaign & the Russians is stark.   They say it was not enough to kill the Russian infantry, you had to push them over as well.  The French won again, but it was a tough struggle even with a good battle plan & good use of combined arms.  The French cavalry only has a couple of unshaken units left & 2 of the 3 infantry brigades are on 1 bad break test off of breaking.

1 comment:

Gonsalvo said...

Sounds like you got the right feel for the Russians; competent but not great troops, uninspired leadership, but very stubborn to yield!