Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Battlereport: French vs Prussian & Russian

A game at the local wargames club on Sunday, with myself, Ion, Stephen, and Paul.

Paul organised the game and as he said, we "fought a scenario from the Charles Grant Scenario book (a similar scenario to Plancenoit). A French Corp guarding a flank finds itself confronted with a mass of Prussians and Russians coming straight at them. The French, must hold on until the Guard arrive."

Forces were approximately follows and all regular unless otherwise specified. French and Prussian Generals rated as Strategists (5 or less on D6 to activate), and Russians as Competent (4 or less on D6 to activate).
* = Reserves, arriving from turn 1 for Attacker and turn 3 for Defender.

French Defenders - Lobau (25)
3 Line, 1 Light, 1 Artillery, 1 Skirmisher
3 Line, 1 Light, 1 Artillery, 1 Skirmisher
2 Veteran Cuirassier
*4 Veteran Line, 2 Elite Light (Young and Middle Guard)
*2 Dragoons
*2 Elite Light Cavalry, 1 Elite Horse Artillery (Old Guard)

Russian Attackers (19)
3 Line, 1 Grenadier, 1 Artillery, 1 Skirmisher
3 Line, 1 Light, 1 Artillery,  1 Skirmisher
1 Veteran Cuirassier, 1 Veteran Dragoon
*4 Line, 1 Artillery

Prussian Attackers (16)
2 Line, 2 Recruit Line, 1 Artillery, 1 Skirmisher
2 Line, 2 Recruit Line, 1 Artillery, 1 Skirmisher
2 Light Cavalry
*2 Veteran Dragoons

The Game

Here is the start of the battle, with Allied forces steaming ahead towards the enemy positions, with Ion's Russians being characteristically aggressive...

Rules were 321 Fast Play Napoleonic Rules again, with some 5.1 amendments tweaking a few things (will release this shortly after more testing - just trying to decide on cossack rule amendments at the moment!). Here's a shot of French dispositions at start of the game. 

From the venerable Charles Grant, scenario 16 modifed to involve more troops. I believe this is currently out of production(?), but his Programmed Wargames Scenarios book has been re-released and is available from Cavalier Books. I must get a copy once my finances are improved.

French await the onslaught. Stephen was commanding the left flank and myself the right. 

Russians storm towards the ridge, dismissing prepratory bombardment as unnecessary...

Their charge is thrown back with the heavy losses, excepting for Pavlov Grenadiers who overrun the artillery battery smashing through the line, and then forming square to fend off counterattacking Cuirassiers! Prussian Landwehr storms the hamlet in front of the ridge, routing the defenders.

But Guard infantry arrive to reinforce the line on the left, rushing down the road in march column, while two battalions are diverted to the right flank.

The Middle Guard relieve the position on the ridge just before it is overrrun, and rout two Prussian attacks, and throw back a third.

However, on the extreme left the other Fresh Middle Guard attack column is ignominiously thrown back by a highly disordered Landwher unit (which had already suffered 3/4 disorder hits)! 
Note: Odds of this interaction for any Landwehr hero hoping to rely on this in the future - about 2% chance of throwing back the Middle Guard and 95% chance of Landwehre just routing instantly! ;)

Russian Cuirassiers catch a French battalion in line and rout it.

And the Russians take the ridge and valiantly try to hold it as reinforcements arrive.  French and Russian Cavalry exhaust each other. The Pavlov Grenadier square refuses to break despite steady volleys from the Young Guard in their direction...

But turn seven the Russian attack is finally shattered, and the Prussians have also suffered signficant casualties.  12/34 units lost to the Prussians/Russians is 1/3 of their force lost, while the French have lost 6/25 units.

Middle Guard still holding the ridge on the left.


A brutal battle where musketry and artillery was largely dispensed with by the attackers in favour of the bayonet and elan, though at high cost!
Good to be back at the club playing Napoleonics again after some time. A lot of talk and a meal and drinks made for a pleasant day out.  Many thanks to Paul for organising, and to Ion and Stephen for partaking :)


  1. Great to see someone back at the gaming table & in such style. Tense battle by the sounds of it with a sound result. All made so much better with lovely armies on quality terrain. BIG battalions rule.
    Best wishes,

    1. Many thanks Jeremy, yes great to the have the larger game on at a club again! :)

  2. Great minis and house, according to the scenario didn't the russians win due to having a unit in the ridge at the end of the game?

    1. Yeah we had some discussion about this, but was decided that given situation, they wouldn't hold it if battle continued, though in any case Russians had reached their break point.

  3. Mark, it is encouraging to see at least some able to return to multiplayer gaming. Your battle looks super, as always. The landwehr got very lucky but that is OK.

    1. Cheers Jonathan, interesting when some of these low probability events sneak in!

  4. Hi Mark -
    The Russians woz robbed, I tell you! But seriously, even though most of my attacks failed - reckon was a tad unlucky with one or two of them (remember the four hits resulting in four nothings, late in the day?) - it was an enjoyable action, and, by and large, I got to do what I like doing: attacking! Failed attacks, though, are always likely to incur heavier casualties than the defence.

    1. Indeed you did get unlucky given all those infantry charges I think Ion, all failing bar one if I recall. Whereas Paul's Landwehr variously stormed a village, broke a line, and then casually threw back a Middle Guard attack ;)

  5. That looked like a fierce contest with fast-moving action. Great stuff and an enjoyable read.

  6. Lovely looking game! How nice to see a multi player game in real time!
    Best Iain

  7. Mark, very good game! I was worried about the Russians and the Prussians! I read the commentary by Archduke Piccolo - he suffered heavy losses during the attacks.

    1. Thanks Dmitry yes it was certainly a bold attack!