‘Marshall Marmont surveyed the village of Vaucler and the road which stretched from it south east to St Dizier. His scouts had just reported in, a column of Russian infantry was marching up the road. He was shocked to be told they had no cavalry, not even the dreaded Cossacks! Just then an ADC raced up from the west, Le Emperor and Marshall Ney, the Bravest of the Brave were approaching from Chalons with a Guard force and he was to hold his position until they could join him. The Russians were going to pay for invading France!’
So Tuesday night we had the first battle of the 1814 campaign.
Osten-Sacken(PaulW) set off from St Dizier and marched North East towards Vitray. The road could have 3 divisions move up it a turn, so Paul advanced with 3 Russian infantry divisions, each of 4 Musketeers, 2 Jager and 1 battery. For the numerically challenged, thats a wholesome force of 12 Musketeers, 6 Jager and 3 batteries. And as shocked as Marmont was, no cavalry!
Marmont(Robert) commanded 3 divisions, the 3rd Division of 4 ligne infantry and a battery, the 8th Division of 1 legere and 3 ligne, and the 1st cavalry with 2 light cavalry regts and 2 cuirassier regts.
Napoleon/Ney( was to be Rob, but Russ had to sub in for Rob) commanded the 1st and 2nd Young Guard Divisions each of 4 regts, and a Garde d’Honneur Division of 2 combined regts.
Meanwhile…..on the road from St Dizier…..
‘Ivan……I thought some of them thievin Cossacks were sent up the road before us this morning’ Igor said….
‘Nah’ said Ivan….’I spotted the drunken sods snoring in that farm they took over’…..
‘Crap’ said Igor…..’You think any ones had the balls to tell old fancy pants’…..
.’Nah….all pretty boys…no balls them officers’…….said Ivan……
‘You get enough ammo last night’ asked Igor…..
‘Nah’ said Ivan…..’Boris said the supply train is late’…….
‘Oh great’ said Igor……’Hope no garlic breathers are in that town up ahead then’ ….said Ivan…..and just then drums started beating…..
So the battle will be 5 turns followed by 1 turn of dusk when visibility reduce to 6 inches.
Below is Russians who have arrived on the table….the edge…the very edge.
And here is 2 divisions of Young Guard accompanied by Napoleon and Ney, The Garde d’Honneors are off table on the road. Marmont is up in the middle of the table.
And here is middle of table, village of Vaucler with 3rd Division in residence. The light cavalry are forward of them, one on each table edge.
A view from the Russians with the Young Guard now skirmishing to their front and columns and cavalry close in. They still have not moved.
Russians have moved….the 6 units of Jager still have not skirmished, 2 have formed square though…otherwise bit of sideways shuffling. In the Jagers defence…as Ivan and Igor have said, they must be short on ammo…as Umpire only allowing them 2 shots instead of the normal 3, and their batteries seem to have lost 1/3 their guns….oh and its muddy so you can’t move and shoot guns in same turn.
Oh, and the 2 square are because of the announcement 2 Cuirassier regts had just failed order to rush on table beside the Hussars on the French left flank. This lead to discussions on Campaign rules on off table troops appearing…..a rarity in our games.
Anyone would think the French were running the campaign 🙂
Here come the Garde d’Honneurs down the French right flank. They were rated as ‘Ferocious charge’, so they reroll any misses in first round of combats….nasty for light cavalry…..the were nicely painted, well done Russ…very pretty.
What a mess. The Russians hugging the end of the table is now going to haunt them. They have no depth and are all bunched which is about to turn nasty for them, Russ has charged in with the 2nd Young Guards in the square and some columns Paul managed to get over there in the French left. In the Centre Robert supported by the skirmishing 1st Young Guards has also charged in.
The aftermath. A number if Russian units are missing. Paul failed almost every break test. It was truely appalling dice rolling. But Russ is a vastly experienced competitive gamer, he knows EXACTLY how to win in that mess of units!
The End Game. Paul did better in the middle but Robert did enough coupled with Russell’s demo on the flank to make the Russians retire beaten after dusk. Being a Campaign Game and I am not meant to be aware of actually casualties yet, I didn’t keep track of the casualties to either side.
As Ivan and Igor trudge back down the road to St Dizier in the dark…..
‘Well that was a shitfest wasn’t it Igor’
‘Yeah…..ole fancy pants probably shat himself alright Ivan’
‘Who do you think he’s gunna blame?’
‘Bloody Cossacks of course Igor!’
‘Those Frenchies were bit young weren’t they…..one kid I shot hadn’t even loaded his musket…and he didn’t have boots on Ivan!’
‘French Guard ain’t what it was mate’ said Ivan
So that was the first campaign battle.
Sadly, Russians well and truely beaten.