Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Black Powder - Dresden 1813

On Sunday, as consolation for having to postpone our Wagram mega-game yet again, we got together at the Hall of Heroes to refight the second day of Dresden, 1813.

I was allocated the Prussians, 3 doughty brigades representing Lt-Gen Friedrich-Heinrich von Kleist's II (Prussian) Corps of the Army of the Reserve.

My Prussians would come on in the corner of the table, opposite the Royal Gardens, actually, half way inside them, as the rest of the gang had fought the first day of the battle on Saturday and had done quite well...could I now keep my end up?

Although I was familiar with the history of the battle, I suspended disbelief - the French were on the defensive, right? 

I deployed quite aggressively, but was wary of the position batteries in the redoubts - I exploited the Prussian ability to use skirmishers and artillery flexibility to present hard targets...

Philip designed the scenario and umpired the game...

Which clearly required double rations of tea!

My opponent Vic - Marshal Gouvian St-Cyr - lost no time in attacking the Royal Gardens...

And my less protected left flank...

The allied cavalry, deployed well to the rear and hampered by the torrential rain overnight, nevertheless made it up in time to cover my exposed flank.

This allowed me to concentrate my artillery, vapourising at least one unit of Young Guards into red mist...however there were a hell of a lot of Guards pouring out of Dresden like wasps from a disturbed nest!

Speaking of artillery, the French had plenty of field artillery as well as the position batteries - however they were a little careless with it - Philip had decreed that any off road movement risked getting lost in the morass if 2 successive 'bog checks' were failed. Marshal St Cyr duly lost 3 batteries in this way! Probably out of character, after all they named the French Military Academy after him!

However the pressure on the Royal Gardens was relentless, and I had to resort to supporting the skirmishers and lines with columns, taking severe casualties...

Fortunately the Russians, as well as securing my right flank from the start, were now appearing on my left as well - things were on the up!

Threatened by Guard Cossacks, a unit of Young Guards had the embarrasment of having their square broken by mere Landwehr - well done lads!

However, just as we ''ians'' - Austrians, Prussians and Russians - were starting to relax, the French Old Guard showed up...

The French players were going all out to attack - so much for the 'defence' of Dresden!

The Old Guard promptly cleared my artillery off the battlefield without so much as breaking step...

However - Prussian all-arms combined tactics saved the day - multiple cavalry charges from supporting cavalry stabilised the situation. Elsewhere on the battlefield the Allied team had managed to contain the onslaught of the Guard, and Philip judged the game to have been a minor Allied victory. Huzza!


  1. Great looking game with mass-quantities of excellent looking troops!

  2. A great looking game for this famous battle, impressive battlelines and splendid report!

  3. Splendid my friend,

    Hankering fir a good Napoleonic stoush myself!

    Hercé Salon de Guerre

    1. Thanks Matt - you should stage it at your Chateau!

  4. Great eye candy. Many thanks for the post. As a group do you use any of the rules in the various supplements for Black Powder or any house rules? Can't say I'm a fan of the rules "as written", oh well!
    Cheers. Ian

    1. Thanks Ian - yes Philip used most of the troop stats from the Clash of Eagles supplement, and some of the rules from COE and the 2 Albion Triumphant supplements.

  5. Fantastic looking game. (ex LRO (G) v68 - ‘79).

  6. Great looking game and a splendid collection of figures. Well done all.

  7. Unsporting of the French to attack but a great looking game!

    1. Ha! Yes it made things interesting. Thanks mate!

  8. Tonnes of nicely painted figures, just what I like to see!

  9. Splendid as ever Sparker. Did ye use the updated BP2? and what way dii you tweak 1812 into 1813 stats eg. Landwehr etc ?????
    I'm going to game BP2 soon and am still currently using Ady's (author of the BP supplements) own ruleset -damn good it is too ....Over The Hills
    very close to BP so any BP player could easily get a handle on it quickly! I feel its movement etc works better than BP

    1. Thanks so much mate. Yes we applied the leadership rules from BP2 which seemed to work well. The 1812 stats I think were used straight out of the the box, which obviously wasn't ideal for the raw armies of 1813 but then again most of the French seemed to be Guards! I'll take your word for it that OTH is a fine set of rules but we are all very happy with BP2 so having achieved consensus, and with most of the differing interpretation now clarified in the second volume, I think we'll stick with it!

  10. I somehow missed this when you first posted it. Another marvellous, massive game. Beaut pics by your good self and a win to boot!