So the 2nd battle of 3 in this turn has been fought.
Marshall Victor(Russ…yes he is also Napoleon…amongst others!) has advanced on Chelles with a mixed infantry and cavalry force. In residence is Wittgenstein with a mixed force of Bavarians/Wurttemburgers and Russians. Quite a few of them actually and for some unknown reason Yorke(Nick) has moved from Claye with 3 Divisions to join him. Why you may ask…alas I can think of no reason why he would leave the pivotal piece of turf in the North for a side road. Both are being reassigned to duties in Central Siberia.
The terrain for the battle is below.
The rules for set up and terrain are below
Above is a map of the battlefield. Basically it is a wood in the north, the Marne River (impassable) in the south. Chelles is two buildings. There are two small streams (obstacles -6″ for non-skirmishers) weaving across the battlefield that lead to the south. Wittgenstein is defending. He deploys first up to 24″ in (skirmishers and light cav up to 36″ in).Victor and Yorck arrive at the same time, so deploy their brigades alternately (dice to see who deploys first). Deploy 12″ in (24″ for skirmishers and light cavalry).Victor takes the first turn. Any unit that retreats off table before Turn end of turn 6 (except for blunder) is destroyed. After turn 6, you may retreat off the table. If you end game before turn 6, then the winner can march troops to the third battle at Claye.
Below we have initial set up with first Wittgenstein(Steve) setting up and then the arriving forces a brigade at a time. Following my instructions from the Umpire I had to retire to my corner…..so couldn’t point out to Wittgenstein, which is before the coach arrived to take him to Central Siberia, that he should be deploying his skirmishers to 36 and not 24 inches(ie in both parts of the town and on the stream banks on the left). He chose to set up his 2 Russian divisions in the centre in belief was rough ground on other side of village between streams and which would have slowed down his columns. It wasn’t. 6One should read the scenario instructions…carefully. Unfortunately Goldie wasn’t attending this game to educate one and all!
Fortunately when Yorke came on he deployed a force on the Allied left. The rest of his force marched on the right of the Russians. The Russians do look lovely, if only they were not so far away from the French.
Victors forces arriving in top right.
View from Victors end of the table.
Sigh..just imagine an Allied gunline on the stream looking at that target! (I am so biased)
Brings tears to my eyes.
We have the Bavarians hiding behind the buildings, and what the Bavarian foot and Wurttemberg horse batteries are doing sitting on a small hill behind the building is any ones guess! On the Allied left Yorck had deployed a brigade up to the first stream. The area between the 2 streams was incorrectly rated as rough terrain, which means skirmishers can waltz through it but formed infantry/cavalry are half pace and artillery cannot enter. French skirmishers have taken over the right hand building. On the right the French have set up defence line on stream bank with cavalry in support.
Victor has formed his lines nicely. He had 2 foot and 1 Cavalry division.
Prussian shooting, can’t beat 3 x 6!
Russians advance around town. Cuirassier regt been thrown in against Dragoons. They beat them but got shaken…and ended up blocking edge of table.
Allies stomping across the table with their batteries struggling along behind. The movement rule for batteries had been relaxed so that they could actually get involved in battles so had gone back to 3 moves allowed if order succeeded instead of the 1 move only. However the players ignored my reminder on that change. I went for a whisky at this stage.
Victor used his cavalry really well on this side of the village to block the wall to wall Russian infantry from advancing. He accepted their 1 shots until eventually some space was made and the jager actually skirmished and got massed shots in. Yorke was trying to send his cavalry through the mess but they either failed orders or had no room to charge into the French.
On left side of village Nick had tried to shoot up and charge the French, but his troops wouldn’t charge and didn’t shoot that well. Russ used his skirmishers well and with the Prussians trying to slog through the rough terrain that wasn’t it was all a bit sad really.
End game. Victor holds on. He has suffered losses but its turn 6 and he is still on the table.
So Victor retires back on Paris and the Allies stay in Chelles with no divisions able to march back up road to Claye to help out in next battle, where the Prussians should have stayed!
So that was battle # 2. A battle the Allies should have won but not reading the scenario rules, tragic set up and Russ being Russ stopped them from what should have been an Allied victory.
It has driven me to drink.
C’est la vie.
Now tonites whiskey is a lovely wee cherry bomb, Hazelburn Aged 13 years in Olorosa Cask and 50.3%!
Tasting Note by The Producer
Nose: Initially raisins, marzipan, Demerara sugar followed by treacle, sticky toffee and wood shavings.
Palate: Homemade strawberry jam, sugary and filled with cream, orange zest, brandy snaps and a white chocolate creme brûlée.
Finish: Chocolate orange, crazy coffee liqueur, buttered popcorn, cocoa beans and mocha coffee with a delicate finish of sweet orange marmalade.
And so that’s the end of the 2nd battle where the only good thing for the Allies is they are relatively undamaged and can assault Paris next turn. Victor has retired on Paris with the remains of his force. Just the battle for Claye to go.
In this battle is Yorcks 4th Division in Claye and Langeron is waltzing down the road to join it. Ney is attacking with Young Guard supported by Nansouty and his Guard Cavalry plus who knows what else! The French had the option after Gonnessee to send up to 3 divisions down the joining road to Claye so if they have, they will arrive on turn 7. Could be fun. Russ has painted more Guard cavalry so will get some good photos in of his Guard cavalry to share(before I destroy it…dreams are free!!)