As far as I can recall, I have never had a game decided "completely". There was always alot of "as I see it","what if"...and "yes, but" discussions that would go on at the end of games as each side tried to show what more would happen if more time existed.
Not this game.
It was a bit of a meeting engagement, a bit of a set piece battle that was based on the premise of a retreating Russian army having to stop outside a village and hold their ground. No more retreating! In this scenario, the rest of the Russian army was retreating and needed to have the town in the bottom right corner held so that the bridges (off board) could be used to get across the river. The French of the other hand had tried to cut off the retreating Russians and would arrive spread out across the game board. Each side would essentially be trying to condense the front towards the "right" of the picture,
The French entered the board to the top of the picture and promptly moved straight forward. Around game turn 3, the French were able to engage across their entire front. On the left, the French light cavalry crashed through 2 Russian hussar regiments and a horse artillery battery before getting stopped by dragoons 45 minutes later. The Russian plan prior to this charge was to move from the far left entry road and take a cavalry division with trailing a infantry brigade as well as 2 batteries and reinforce the center. The French cavalry crushed the front of that command and took them out of the game. The Russian infantry did not even try to enter.
This shows the Russians trying to push through the French light cavalry screen. Notice the unformed 12 gun Horse Artillery.
In the center, two French regiments marched against the Russian Combined Grenadier division deployed in depth and with a 12 lb battery deployed in split sections. By turn 5 the Russian guns were out of ammunition, one section overrun and a regiment with 3 battalions of Russians suffering significant losses. While the Russians grenadiers were being actively engaged along the entire front, the French Heavy Cavalry Brigade was in position to punish the Russian left of center with a charge across the whole front. The Russian grenadier battalion in front of the approaching French cavalry also was getting hit by artillery and musket fire, so forming in square was not an option. No doubt the Russian center was 2 turns from getting rolled up by a curaisser charge in the flank from the Russian left to right.
This picture is taken from behind the French advance against the Russian grenadiers in the center. The hill to the front would slow the French advance down the most.
Now to the battle in front of the town on the Russian right flank. A French regiment of 5 battalions attacked 2 Russian regiments containing 12 battalions which was deployed in line in front of the town. The Russians were to hold this part of town until the other troops could arrive safely. The attached Russian battery had a wall behind which half of it was placed. Lots of damage should have been inflicted on the soon to be attackers. The French marched across the flat field, took 2 rounds of cannister and had one of the soon to be heroic battalions take 30 percent casualties. There certainly were casualties, but not along the lines of what both commanders expected. This French battalion then was able to charge home on the battery and destroy it, while also pushing back it supports. The French battalions on each side also were able to drive back the Russian battalions to their respective fronts, intermingling lots of retreating Russian battalions hopelessly in the streets.
At that point "my wife called" and I said it was time to shut down the game. Keith, Tom, and Jack pulled off an amazing French victory; while myself and a few others who I will not name (to protect their reputations) showed uninspired leadership and found our Russian division crushed before it could safely arrive at the river. Another game of General de Brigade that finished in 10 turns or less. Forces involved were 3 Russian infantry divisions and a mixed heavy and light cavalry division. Many of which were never really engaged as they routed off the board.
The French had 3 regiments of 5 battalions each, 3 batteries and 2 cavalry regiments.
As a further foot note: many Russian battalions were "just painted". Perhaps this was the problem?
This was possibly the first time that everyone looked at the battle field and said in a hushed embarrassed tone..."we should clean this up". Nobody had to dicker over who had won this battle.
I think it was unique in my wargaming experience
I believe that other games/rules systmes may will have been less decisive. In fact, I wanted to try to play this using the Carnage and Glory system, but had no luck in getting myself organized enough to do it. Maybe next time. Lots of thanks to the participants!
Giant Commission -- Prussian Jager
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