So after the battle of Guignes the French forces of Oudinot and Marmont retired North East on Coulomnieres. Their escape rout was therefore now west to Lagny and across the bridge on the River Marne to Chelles. However, they have 6 divisions and the road restrictions meant only 3 divisions could move at a time, so their choice was either move 3 divisions to Chelles and leave 3 in Lagny or consolidate to Lagny.
They chose the later.
Now Osten-Sacken who was bested by Marmont at Vitray, then had Marmont escape him at Nogent now had a chance of Vengeance.
So we have the Battle for Lagny.
The Map for Lagny battle field is below. The French had to hold the village in the North East corner which controlled the bridge over the River Marne. Otherwise it was flat terrain with a stream running through the centre and 2 other small villages. There were 2 walled or hedged areas with internal woods which dominated the centre of the table. The game was 6 turns with Marmont having arrived first and then Oudinot and Osten-Sacken arriving later in the day.
Marshal Marmont had 3 weakened(normal stamina is 3 but they were all 2) divisions of 11 bttns which could deploy up to 24 inches from table edge. Marshall Oudinot had 8 weakened battalions, 2 regts weakened cavalry and 1 weakened artillery battery which could deploy up to 12 inches from table edge.
Osten-Sacken had 2 forces. The initial force was a Cavalry Corps(2 Dragoons, 2 Hussars, 2 Cossacks and horse battery) a division of Russian infantry( 5 musketeers and a jager plus a battery) and an Austrian Line Division( 4 large foot and a battery) which deployed up to 12 inches. Skirmishers and Marauders could deploy up to 24 inches. On turn 4 the Allied reserve of another Russian infantry Division and a Russian Cuirassier Division(3 regts) would arrive(well, in theory they would arrive). I finally get to have a game and command the reinforcements!
The table was our normal 12ft x 6ft table. The terrain in my humble opinion favoured the defender. The village was 4 separate defensive zones with the bridge crossing the river from the middle of the town. There was a central stream, a well placed village on a flank and a central wall with 2 woods, perfect for legere to go play in. Certainly not ideal for cavalry.
Initial setup below where the 2 hedged and walled gardens in centre. French have troops in village on right edge then a line of skirmishing legere up against the wall supported by columns then in distance more columns and the heavily guarded village. Allied have infantry on the left flank and cavalry on the right.
Turn 1 and Osten-Sacken(PaulW) sends the Austrian large line bttns supported by the Russians into combat. No time for softening the enemy up with artillery or skirmishers, there is only 6 turns to vanquish the enemy!
Its not going well, after the battle of Vitray we suggested to PaulW he needed to change the dice he uses for morale checks. He hadn’t. Oh dear. Conversely Marmont(Robert) is throwing above average most of the night. Good times for the French!
A bit further on and the carnage in the centre continues…half the Austrians have gone…other 2 getting battered but locked in combat. The Russians are suffering as well.
Here we are at turn 5! The Austrians have gone, the Russian infantry of PaulW are looking very sad…. the artillery have shot up the corner bttn in the village and Marmont has suffered some damage as well. Very bloody… and PaulW needs change his dice!!
My reserves decided on turn 4 not to move on the table, I remonstrated with the French loving Unpire, but, yet again, he would not allow me 1 move onto the table(that’s how we normally play games). Gggrrrrrrr.
The French legere have moved into the woods in the walled area. Paul3 is commanding as Oudinot and is pretty raw as a gamer but is making a good go of it. He shot up the Dragoons who sortied forward but otherwise the cavalry would not move!
So we are at Turn 6, Allies move first. There was a shaken French column sitting in their front line, a shaken cavalry unit behind it, perfect target for a Cuirassier regt on a ‘Follow Me’ order! And of course they failed order to move.
It really is one of those days.
Okay…now will send 5 bttns into the village using Osten-Sacken for a reroll if needed. Get the order away and in we go…bttns hit the vilage and supporting column. Then Lieven grabs the last bttn and with a ‘Follow Me lads’ they race across battlefield into the shaken French bttn. PaulW then moves his surviving infantry up in support of the attacking bttns. Naturally the shaken column does NOT get blown away. Sigh.
Woohoo! My 2 bttns attacking the village inflict hits, for the first time all night, Robert throws a bundle of ones….both bttns in buildings then fail break tests and I storm into the buildings! The dice Gods finally smiled on us. Robert had moved a shaken bttn out of a building last turn and it was sitting behind on the road, it now broke and that was the division gone. Allies now held the town. In the French turn Robert in desperation grabbed a bttn and charged into the corner building but was repelled.
And that was the Battle of Lagny with Marshals Marmont and Oudinot surrendering and the Allies in possession of a bridge over the Marne with the lights of Paris now on the horizion.
Still no sign of the Prussians nor a number of French commanders and formations. If the French have retired on Paris then we will be having a long seige as if this game is an indication with the restrictions on attacking forces moving down roads, we won’t be attacking Paris. While PaulW had a well balanced strike force, only 60% could be deployed and we were lucky in the end to win against a damaged force. Against a French force in Paris full of the AWOL Old/Middle/Young Guard etc then we have no hope.
Perhaps we will be allowed to burn every French town to the ground until the French venture forth!!