Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Black Powder - 1812 - Just another village...

The right, northern, flank of the Russian defense - 'Ware Cav!
Solo gaming, as we are all doing these days, needs due preparation to result in a great games. But occasionally one casually throws down an oft played favourite scenario, and through sheer chance ends up with a cliff hanger of a game.

The Russian position viewed from the north. The all important village is garrisoned by a battalion of Musketeers. 

The mainstay of the left, southern flank - a large medium battery!

My favourite period to wargame is the advance to contact phase of the fateful summer of 1812, when Napoleon was trying to rapidly encircle and defeat the Russians in Byelorussia. Unusually, massed heavy cavalry was committed early and often, resulting in unusually rich but small scale encounter battles amidst the unending dusty steppe.

The French advanced guard emerges from the dust...

In this hastily contrived scenario, the Russian rearguard is charged with holding a key village at a road junction for 8 moves. They are outnumbered 2:1 in all arms, but the terrain forms a natural chokepoint. Intelligence suggests the French cavalry will emerge on the northern track, with just a brigade of infantry, whereas the remainder of the infantry Corps, with light cav brigade, are expected on the southern track.

As expected, lots of horse on the northern flank.

The French close quickly...

Advancing in massed columns - such impatience!

In the sweltering heat and dust, greatcoats and shirtsleeves actually make sense!

Voltigeurs lose no time in engaging the large battery.

A brave but foolish head on charge is soon blown away by canister.

The Russian southern flank is soon pinned all along the line.

Despite interference from the voltigeurs, the Artillerymen bloodily repulse all assaults

However, the remainder of the division starts to push the Russian infantry back, isolating the gunners

Battle is now general all around the village.

To the north, the French cavalry engage the Russian Infantry columns.

The Dragoons leading the charge

The Russian Musketeers duly form square and repulse the cavalry, but are then vulnerable to French infantry

The Russian Heavies plug the resulting gap...

And the Pavlov Hussars do their bit against the Dragoons too!

Whilst the Russian northern flank is holding...

The other flank is starting to crumble...

The Russian reserve, the Pavlovski Grenadiers, are sent in to shore up the line.

But they can't compete with the agility and cunning of the French - the battery is outflanked and swept away!

The Russians are pushed further away from the isolated village garrison

The garrison is assaulted from the northern side..

The resolute defence of the village holds!

The Russian southern flank is in rout - the garrison is now isolated.

A French attack is now also mounted from the southern side...

And is disordered and shaken by the closing fire of the steadfast garrison, who also beat off the northern melee!

A Russian victory! Urrah!


  1. What a great looking game Sparker, superb minis and wonderful mass effect...even if Russians won!

  2. Great looking game! But if this is an example of and "unusually rich but small scale encounter battle", then you and I have different definitions of a small scale battle. That table looks packed! I doubt I'll ever paint that many 28mm miniatures in my life.

    1. Thanks Craig, very kind! I see what you mean, but I was referring more to the campaign itself, where there are more opportunities than usual to field heavy cavalry up forward, where they normally shouldn't be!

  3. A spectacular looking game and lovely armies.

  4. I real pleasure to see a traditional Napoleonic wargame. Thank you and congratulations on the superb armies.

  5. Excellent, great to see all the 28's! :)

    1. Thanks Mate! Yes they bring a certain something to the table in that scale, thats for sure!

  6. My dearest Sparkles

    Great to see the Napoleonic toys out en mass. Wonderful. And to then see them shooting, stabbing, clubbing etc each other is just a sight for sore eyes! Exquisite. 8O)

    von Peter himself

  7. I thought the Russians didn't have a chance for a while, when the garrison was isolated. Great seesawing battle! I had no idea you could muster that many 28mm Russian troops. You certainly solo game in style! Thanks for sharing.


    1. Thanks Caesar! Once normality returns I'll see if theres interest in a big 1812 Sunday game...

  8. The game and figures look fantastic!

  9. Very, very impressive gaming and figures! I just ordered a Perry Russian Brigade deal - and your figures are inspiring!

    1. Thanks Dean - glad to help with the motivation. The Perry figures are by far the best - although I like to source my heavy cav from Front Rank for a little extra bulk!

  10. Great battle report and great to see Russians on the table. Beautiful!

  11. A fine new collection & a great looking game. Welcome to having some "space" to play with.
    Stay safe, best wishes,