Sunday, 27 May 2012

Borodino - The Fleches!

Russian team sets up - L to R Gren, Mick, Bryan (new CinC Russians) and Andrew
Today the Project Borodino team met at the Hall of Heroes for our regular practice game, this time focussing on the Southern sector for the first time...

This would see Poniatowski's Poles, forming the French V Corps, on the table for the first time, the bulk of which were kindly provided by Mick, despite his playing on the Russian side. The Poles would have the mission of operating on the far Southern Flank, to seize the village of Utitsa and or/ the Kurgan mound which dominates this sector...

Duchy of Warsaw Infantry. Figs by Offensive Miniatures.
V Corps would share the table with I Corps, led by the redoutable Davout, with the mission of taking the Fleches. These were fought by Matt today.

I Corps - Davout - led by Matt

As well as these 2 corps the French had the opportunity to commit elements of the Reserve Heavy Cavalry, possibly led by Murat himself. However this would cost them victory points so was not a reinforcement to be ordered lightly. Similalry the Old Guard Heavy Artillery could have been requested...

The French were facing a formidable array of artillery, the heavier pieces emplaced in the Fleches, which arrived on table still damp from the spray painting - thanks guys!

The Russians consisted of Borosdins and Tuchkovs Corps, and again the Russians had the opportunity to request reinforcements under the same penalties.

The French view of the leading fleches - not as formidable as the Raevsky redoubt, but fearsome enough!
Borosdin's Corps supports the North of the Fleches - led by Greg today.
After the usual team briefs, the action started with an aggresive assault by Davout/Matt, but uncharcteristic caution from Poniatowski/Phillip!

A long view of the table - the Fleches in the foreground, then Utitsa, and the Poles and Tutchkov grappling on the Kurgan in the background...

Danger! An officer with a map!

However Matt was to discover there is something more likely to go wrong than an officer with a map, an aggressive wargamer about to launch an all out attack. Boldly giving orders for a Brigade assault on the Fleches to take the bull by the horns before the Russian batteries inflicted too much damange, Matt recklessely threw his dice - Double 6 - the dreaded Blunder table - Units are to retreat 2 full moves!

So that was the pressure off the Fleches for a while!

Manfully getting over it, the French team took the enforced pause to put together a second attempt with a coordinated all arms assault, having committed the Heavy Cavalry Reserve - text book stuff, cavalry forcing squares, horse artillery then causing heavy casualties....

Unfortunately, the attack was disrupted by some unerringly accurate Russian Jaeger volleys...
Beautifully Coordinated attack - Horse, Foot, Guns...
The Russian perspective - do they look worried?
The repulse of the second assault was all we had time for at the Northern end of the table, and further South the Poles and Tutchkov's Russians had been going hammer and tongs with no discernable result either, despite some of the plentiful Russian artillery having been mysteriously ordered to another sector by Kutusov (or the umpire trying to rebalance the game after an earlier error reading the Orbats - D'Oh!)

My fav figure in the game - Bryan's Hetman Platov. Front Rank
All in all not the most decisive or thrilling of our games, but a useful refresher of the rules, and the first time we had used the final 'house rules' we will use for the game - all players seemed happy, much to my relief.

I think the player also enjoyed playing on the more open space provided by the bottom third of the battlefield too....

So our next game for this project, after some diversions into the ACW, Waterloo, and to commemorate the 200th of Salamanca, will be a full table covering the whole battle....


  1. Very good Sparkles. We may play some 1812 games later this year but not on the scale you and your fellow conspirators are planning. All the best with your mayhem.

    I am curious as to the final form of your local Black Powder 'house rules'.

    von Peter himself

    1. Thanks your Vonship - Copy despatched by our fleetest courier....

  2. Excellent report and photos Sparker. Timely too as there is a rather large Borodino refight planned to happen here in Christchurch in September.

  3. Thanks for that post Sparker. I like the way you have represented that part of Borodino battlefield. It is good to playtest a large game in parts isn't it?

    I'll put a link to your post on the Wargaming Waterloo 2015 blog presently

  4. Thanks for the report.I hope there are more refights of Borodino in the furture. I will have to check out Offensive miniatures thanks for the information and painted examples in your game.

  5. Thanks Gentlemen for your kind comments. Yes playtesting not only introduces everyone to the rules, it allows all kinds of imbalances and potential problems to be ironed out prior to the big day...Its noticeable thought that both commanders are keeping the clever moves to themselves until the big day!

  6. Looking real good! I wish I had started with minis for Borodino In time... well there is always 2022! ;-)

  7. wuaooo Awesome!