Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Saltanovka 1812

The Battle of Saltanovka was fought on 23rd July 1812.  The Russians under Raevsky attacked Davout's advance guard.  The scenario is taken from The Clash of Eagles, Black Powder Supplement & fought using our Hail Napoleon variant of Hail Caesar.
The French have 3 Infantry divisions deployed on the left side of the table.   The Russians are advancing a division down each road & start with the first brigade of each on the table.  The French have a 4th infantry brigade coming on turn 2 & a cuirassier brigade on turn 3.  The Russians have a dragoon brigade coming on turn 4.  The location of the reserve's entry points on each side's back edge was determined in the council of war of each side but kept secret.
The Russian command team bring their infantry on as their artillery bombard the French.
The French command team.  Their infantry reserve is coming on behind their left.
The Russians have sorted their columns out to make a complete line with their dragoons coming on behind their left.  The French have advanced their right to the river line to meet them. 
The camera position has relocated to behind the Russian left.  On the now far flank the Russians are bombarding the French.  In the centre the infantry are in a shooting match across the river.  On the near flank 2 Russian battalions have advanced with unusual speed.
The French cuirassiers came on behind the French left & 2 regiments have dashed forward to curtail the Russian advance.  The Russians across the river have gone into square.
The critical move of the battle is on in centre where the French infantry have retired from the Russian musketry & artillery.  The Russian dragoons have moved to the centre & are advancing in mass though the infantry.  Davout has taken command of half the cuirassiers & is moving them to the centre to counter the Russian attack.
On the near flank the cuirassiers have failed to break the squares & have retired.  But the main event is the cavalry fight in the centre.  The ditches (brown strips) have inhibited the Russian's use of superior numbers & the cuirassiers have won the first charge. 
The cuirassiers lost a regiment, but broke 2 dragoons to stop the Russian cavalry attack in the centre. But Russian infantry have crossed the river in strength on the left of the cavalry & are advancing on a weakened French centre.

At 10pm after two a half hours of play we called time as is our custom.  The book doesn't nominate a  time limit but provides a VP scale.  The Russians are ahead on casualties & shaken units 15 to 9, but the two villages are 8 pts each.  The French have evacuated Fatova & the Russians can't be stopped taking at half of it in one turn - so 4 VPs each for that & 8 for the French for Saltanovka gives both side 21 VPs - so a draw on that criteria.   But the Russians have got footholds over the river & the French have few units left without high casualties, so the Russians are probably right to feel they have done well to have pushed the attack so far given their lousy command ratings. 


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