Napoleon himself has provided some photos and commentary of this battle so I have updated the report and added his comments on the photos. They are in italics.
So no sooner had yours truelly headed off for a 2 week holiday with ‘She who must be Obeyed’ and the French launch a major attack on Troyes!
So the battle was played while I was away in the Coromandel relaxing…..and we timed the break to start just as the school holidays ended so the beach town of Whangamata where we go, over the first couple of days went from full to almost no one. Check out beach shot below. Did see some whales breaching off the beach and the tails upright before going back down. Very Cool!
Now…back to the game. I had asked for some photos to be taken and a commentary provided by Goldie. Alan has taken photos and they have a couple words on each so thats as good as its going to get! As for the commentary…like Xmas…its coming…one day.
So the game went something like this……Napoleon used his superior movement(he gets to take his troops 3 towns in a turn instead of 2) so that he performed a night march from Nogent to attack Troyes. The Allied pickets outside of Troyes started skirmishing with advancing French light cavalry before dawn.
Apparently when Wurttemburg was awoken from his slumber, he was told French cavalry were attacking, he asked ‘How Many’ to be informed ‘All of them!’.
Not an encouraging way to wake up really(Wurttemberg is my command , Nick stood in for me).
So as dawn lightened the sky 15 French cavalry regiments with horse artillery galloped across the flat plain between Nogent and Troyes to attack the forces of Wittgenstein which had captured Troyes. However, it was the not forces of Wittgenstein they faced, as the survivors of the 1st battle of Troyes had informed Napoleon, but the forces of Wurttemberg they faced. This was not a force of Bavarian infantry including landwher and light cavalry, no this was something entirely different!
As the mist lifted, in the dawn light the French could see rank upon rank of Austrian regular infantry….. rather large ranks at that. Between the ranks were supporting batteries and to the French left, rifle fire commenced from some villages….where regts of Wurttembergers could be seen….. beyond them mist obscured the Allied camp.
This might not be as easy a fight as they though!
Right…so that’s the picture…the French are charging across an open plain, led by Napoleon with a lot of cavalry including Old Guard, Young Guard and line regiments.
There are basically 9 turns in a day and the French by marching at night have a full day to beat up the Allied force. There is a limit of 5 divisions that can come down an Imperial road in each move and there are 2 moves per day so any French / Allied reinforcements would be under orders already and would arrive on turn 5.
Now somehow a French Regt has got around the village with the Wurttemburg Jager in and destroyed the Wurttemberg battery. I do recall giving express instructions on my batteries to be safely positioned as is a campaign, did not want to lose any. Gggrrrr. On the flip side, this cavalry regt doesn’t appear in anymore photos so assuming they did a sweeping advance onto the line regt and they were destroyed.
This is the follow on charge after running over Wurttemberg artillery from Oudinot’s light cavalry which broke.
The photos below is entitled, ‘Repulsed’…I can see a disordered marker so assume the Austrian cavalry won somehow! Go my boys!!
Next up is a picture down the table.
Out of the camp mist, Duka’s Russian Cuirrassier Division rides up along with some more Austrian infantry and guns!
The dice gods are smiling, French charge an Austrian battery…and …lose the combat!
The Death of Duka….. PaulW….in payback mode after the battle of Vitray gets Duka and the Military Order Cuirrassiers destroyed taking it to the Frenchies….. I am recommending an assignment in Siberia next for him.
Cuirassier sandwich presumably when General Duka died too, though I don’t see him there.
View down the table, Goldie is performing a Druid ritual. As you will see later, it was successful.
Mortier’s Corps cavalry Cuirassiers shot to shaken and therefore broken
Next up are 2 broken French cavalry running off the table.
Below we have a French cavalry regt charged by cavalry…then hit in flank by large bttn. Pop.
And its Turn 5 which is the second move of the day. The French have no commands arriving(we were all expecting to see a rush of French infantry coming to join then party!But the Allies do. Osten-Sacken arrives with 12 regiments of Russian Cavalry charging through the Austrian lines. Kretov appears in the French right flank with 3 more regiments of Russian Cuirrassiers!
Guard horse artillery land two 6 hits on the Russian? Cuirassiers who nonchalantly roll double 6s to shrug them off (disordered though)
Miraculous Chasseurs a Cheval of the Guard counter charge supported, follow me!, Russian cuirassiers, suffer 3 casualties, inflict 6 casualties. The cuirassiers pass their -3 break test (merde!) but general (insert name here) dies!
And we have the French now retiring off the table, but not before Kretov also got himself killed. Argghhhhhh. Steve gets the rap for this one.
My sources dear readers, tell me the French lost 7 regiments and most of those remaining have suffered some damage. The Allies lost a battery and 2 cavalry regiments(if wrong will update..still waiting on the Druid mail service to deliver report).
Now readers, I am sure you, like me, have read the Glorious accounts of cavalry pursuits in the Napoleonic wars. However, we had not worked this out before the game, and so Goldie made a call on how it would go.
So some Gaulish Druids were inhabiting a wood close to Saint Aubin and came to wee Nappy’s aid. A deep magical mist rose over the plains, leaving the road to Saint Aubin and thence Nogent as the only route you could take. You have to form column of march, no racing across the flat open plains in pursuit of your weary, beaten enemies. So being chivalrous chaps, our cavalry sat on their steads while the French formed nice columns on the road…and off they went……I dare say in as much shock as we were(but much happier!).
And that was it…..my carefully prepared trap for the French cavalry being stopped by some Gaulish Druids……who would have thought it!
I hope the Prussians have the next battle as am not sure I could handle the stress so soon of another one…..and I wasn’t even there!