Saturday, 1 August 2009

Second Leipzig: Russian Commanders' Report

Second Leipzig finished on thursday night around turn twenty with both sides having taken heavy moderately heavy casualties but as a clear French victory. At the end we decided that though the campaign had done it's job of allowing us to formulate a useable campaign system we would have one last battle and then restart the whole thing. In its new incarnation there will be stricter controls on orbats and a revised map movement sytem. In addition we'll be raising the number of points allowed from 4000 to 5000. This will also be in conjunction with a two or three week interlude in gaming to allow us to complete more terrain and get the garage nearer to completion. At the moment one half is more like a workshop and we're unable to use one of the tables.
But without further ado here is the Russian commander, Justin's version of events from our last scrap:


I think I, more than most, was disappointed by the sudden demise of our previous campaign, as I was on the cusp of launching a massive (Russian) offensive against Prussia and Austria. This time around I’m Russian again and misunderstood (or wasn’t listening to) the objective of this new campaign and based my force around one of my old corps orbats but on a smaller scale due to figure limitations (a typical lack of investment by the Boy Bilson – yes I know I could have used Prussians but that’s not the point) and intended it to be used in conjunction with other armies – would that it were, would that it were. So, how did it cope on its ownsome?

The first few turns saw the Russians move into position around the three villages (Eric on the left, Noel in the centre with the cavalry and me on the right) carefully trying to avoid the attentions of the French grand battery in the centre behind the rough ground. Much of the early exchanges were artillery duals, where my elite gun teams were able to mount steady casualties upon their opposite numbers, while Dom found that he was unable to get anything below a 10 on his ‘to hit’ rolls, his subordinate Nick having more success. Both sides were wary, sizing each other up like boxers in a ring and not willing to commit too early.

The action really started from about turn 11 and by turn 20 it was all over, so what happened? Well, on the left, not a lot, as Eric consolidated his forces ready for an expected French counter. In the centre, the mauling of a French battalion by a squadron of guard lancers, forced the other battalions in the division to form square (see Noel’s previous photos). On the right, a regiment of French light cavalry disappeared trying to get into position to charge a six gun battery. The Russians moved up to counter a French thrust through the woods, which resulted in a French battalion routing but left the Russians exposed to the French counter punch. This was delayed as its sister division came out of square and moved forward in column/line. Sheer weight of numbers told on the right, as first the Russians in the woods and then in the village (what was left of them anyway) decided that running away was the better part of valour, taking the guns with them (but not before they’d been shot to pieces from the newly taken village). Casualties for this division came in at over 50%. However, in the centre, the French division decided to came out to play and was promptly ridden down by guard cuirassier, who then rallied on the spot and did it all again. This resulted in something of a ‘gentleman’s truce’, as although the French could clearly move in from the right, the cavalry threat prevented them from doing so, while the Russians were unable to exploit said threat due to lack of infantry…..

Finally on the left, the French counter arrived, a massed division in column, with heavy cavalry in support. But Eric had prepared his plans well and was able to reduce the French frontage from three to two battalions, by launching his own charge. Three rounds of combat later on each melee, and the French were routing off the table. This, I think, was due to Eric’s brilliant tactics and general élan and nothing whatsoever to do with the Dice Gods finally giving Nick (The Dice Witch) a bad day at the office. There then followed a quick scrap between opposing dragoon squadrons, where the French came second and Noel was all ready to launch them into the routing mass of French troops to unleash mayhem, except they failed their morale test (yes I know – guard! Cuh). And so that was that.

And that’s that for this campaign too, as we’re going to have one more battle so Andy’s boys can have a bash (although it would have been quite funny to have fought a 3rd battle against Dom with Neil’s returning Prussians, not that we’re ganging up on him or anything) and then we’re going to have a period of reorganisation and reflection, with limitations placed on what people can and can’t have and also what they must have (Licornes? Schmicorns!). Doubtless I won’t listen again (all that rules talk is so dull) and will do my own thing. It all depends on how many points we’ll have to spend but the new Russian army will be a bit different from the old and might even have some skirmishers in it (although I think they should be banned completely, especially at that price). But its central ethos will remain the same; get Dom – Gom.

We wait with baited breath for Dom's response.

2 comments:

Stryker said...

On the subject of campaign rules - I once umpired a Napoleonic campaign (by post - that's how long ago!) where in addition to Victory Points for objectives I awarded discretionary VP's for players getting in charachter and writing up entertaining orders and reports. After one British victory I even received a specially painted 'captured' French Eagle in the post!

Keep up the good work chaps.

Ian

Matt said...

I am loving this blog with these battle reports!

Ditto Ian-Keep up the good work chaps!

Matt