Monday, 25 July 2011

1813 Skirmish

Von Jagow's Bde - 2IR on the left, 27th RR (Wesphalia) on the right

Unlike the rest of our crowd, my mate Doug is self employed. Since he takes his business very seriously its a rare weekend that he is available to join in a biggish game. So occasionally he comes around of a Thursday evening for a game and a beer (I find conducting the post-game discussion over an ale helps the thought process tremendously!)

With Teutonic antecedents, Doug prefers to take the part of the Prussians when it comes to the Napoleonic wars, so I duly dreamed up a small meeting engagement set in the Spring of 1813, what the Germans still refer to as the 'Befrieungskreige', or war of Liberation, the attempt to reject their unwilling 'alliance' with Napoleon...

Broadly speaking each Bde would be of the same size and quality, but I beefed the Prussians up with a detachment of Russian Cuirassiers to partially offset his relative inexperience with 'Black Powder' rules, although of course they are very easy to pick up, and Doug is very knowlegeable about this period, as the evening would show...
The Prussians March on - 'Raise high those black flags children!
As this was an informal game there were no set objectives or victory conditions as such, and there were no obvious tactical aspects to the terrain, so I expected a headlong clash...But Doug immeadiately realised what an asset he had in the Cuirassiers and deployed his infanty off the road to his right to give the Heavies a clear run on the left - Gulp!
The French Light Cav looking rather nervously across at the Russian Cuirassiers. Perry plastic Hussars in the foreground, Front Rank Polish Lancers, Front Rank Cuirassiers in the distance supported by Calpe Prussian Uhlans.
Keeping calm, I immeadiately formed my Infantry into attack columns to engage the Prussian Infantry, successfully splitting off 2 of my 3 Bn's to go left flanking to outmanoeuvre the plodding Prussians.
Pas de Charge! - Crusader in the lead, then Perry plastics, followed by Victrix. Minifigs gunners shooting them in...
I perhaps rather hastily attempted to order my Polish Lancers to charge the Prussians so that I could ensure that they were supported by the Hussars when they went in, rather than waiting for the inevitable Russian charge and only being able to counter attack with the Lancers unsupported...Unfortunately their was a staff snafu and the order was failed - would Doug send in the Cuirassiers this early in the game, or would he keep them prudently in reserve?
Meanwhile over on the Prussian right flank Doug has succeeded in deploying his Bde to match my cunning flanking move, so it was all for nought! Some lucky shooting by the Prussian Fusileer Bn and the Silesian Jaeger had also disordered the supports, so my lead column went in alone, but was rebuffed after a brief bout of hand to hand melee. He also formed the Landwehr into square. It would be down to my Light Cavalry Bde to regain the iniative!
Zolnierz Polski Urrah!
However more staff bungling meant that the gallant Poles went in unsupported by the French 6th Hussars, which was doubly frustrating as I just knew that they were champing at the bit!
Doug duly countercharged:
Cavalry Clash! Clever Prussian staffwork ensure the Cuirassiers are supported by the 3rd Uhlans.
With the perhaps inevitable result that the Lancers came off second best...

At this stage, with my Infantry all disordered and my Lancers fleeing the table, I conceded defeat. Well done Doug and Von Jagow! I congratulated Doug with a cold suitably Germanic beer brewed to the exacting standards of the German Beer Purity Laws, and plotted my revenge...

2 comments:

  1. Great report Sparker. You guys have some very nice troops.

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  2. Great looking game and figures.
    Cheers
    Paul

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