The river Spree from the Northern bank which is where the French will be defending.
We'll be starting the game on Thursday evening and I would normally then create a post at the weekend. However on Friday morning we're all off to the Wargames Holiday Centre for the weekend to refight the battle of Marengo but more of that later. The campaign game has Soults' IV corps defending the line of the river Spree in order to stop the Allies from retaking Berlin. They are opposed by two Prussian divisions under Von Arnim and I think Von Ruchel (I'm one of the French players so I'm unsure about the Allied formations). Both of these divisions took part in the battle at Leipzig and have suffered losses in numbers and morale also one of them lost an entire brigade at the crossing of the Elbe.
The Spree from the Southern bank, the Allies should have their work cut out to make a succesful crossing.
This leaves both infantry arms roughly equal with the French probably having the edge in the class of their troops. Fortunately for the Prussians however a Russian army of about twenty thousand is hot their heels and might be able to make the difference once it gets into position. We've been told that the Tsar is accompanying this force and so it's almost certain that the Russian Imperial Guard will also be in attenadance. What further complicates the scenario is that Napoleon with the rest of the French army is closing on the Allies from the South and can be expected to make an appearance before the game ends. This puts the Allies under tremendous pressure. They will need to decide whether to try to force the crossing and take the inevitably high level of casualties or to try and deny the crossing to the French and turn to face the Emperor. Either way they have a difficult task ahead of them.
Three battalions of Russian grenadiers which have recently hit the shelves at the garage. All are from Front Rank,the centre and right hand ones were painted by Neil Sheardown. the ones on the left by myself.
Finally back to the weekend away, as I stated previously we're playing Marengo which is not a game I've played before and from what little I know of the actual battle it should be an interesting challenge for the game designer. Weekends were always a bit of a headache before the centre moved to a more easily accessible location due to the amount of time spent travelling between Plymouth and Scarborough but now we can make the journey in three hours. This still means however that there'll be no blog update until we return, and that will primarily be about the weekends' game. I'll try to get lots of pictures and do a full battle report but I tend to get a bit involved in the games at the centre and forget all about it. That said there should be plenty of us taking photos and Mark Freeth who runs the Centre will as always have an after battle report on the website so if I do get carried away with the game I can always just put a link to his site on the blog.