The cascade of Russian routers floods backwards causing havoc for their supporting cavalry and forcing the Guard to form square to avoid being pinned.
At the commencement of the evenings play things were looking quite rosy for the Allies. With a third crossing point under their control and the phased withdrawal of the covering force on the northern bank under way their plan to capture and hold the line of the Spree seemed to be working. However despite their numerical advantage on the southern bank they took the opportunity to feed yet more troops across into the area between the opposing frontlines. Steve the French commander, having had the opportunity to redress his lines and push his last remaining fresh troops to the fore responded by attacking them whilst they were at their most vulnerable and before they had arrived in large enough numbers to become unstoppable.
The view from the French side, a mix of Prussian and Russian troops attempt to cross by the bridge whilst in the background the remainder of the rearguard attempt to hold off the advancing French reinforcements.
The result was a minor disaster for the Allies. Troops routing from the melee caused morale checks on the units in their vicinity, some of which had already taken casualties and panic ensued in the Russian ranks. If you've ever used ITGM rules you'll be aware of just how easily a couple of routs in the wrong place can spread like a disease amongst the surrounding units with even fresh units sometimes breaking. This was precisely what happened and the whole Allied attack on the south bank ground to a halt.
Steve's last bastion against the Russian hordes which turned the tide of the game even if only for the time being.
Of course it's hardly all over for the Allies, they still have plenty of fresh units to throw into the attack once the routers have cleared and they should still have the upper hand. What Steve's attack has achieved however is that it has bought precious time for the remainder of the French army to close with the allied covering force by clogging up one of the main crossing points. In addition the Prussians which make up the right wing of the covering force should by now have been close to being able to cross the river at the final bridge which the Russian attack was designed to capture. As it is they are in great danger of being caught between the advancing French and the river.
The position on the north bank, having come under heavy pressure routing and retreating Russian troops attempt to find a crossing point to safety.
We have now reached turn sixteen with the game still balanced in favour of the Allies. With eight turns left they still have enough time to reorganise and once again assault the weakening French line. This time the job will be given to the Russian Guard infantry who will be much more difficult to repulse. On the plus side for the French they have the opportunity to destroy the remaining troops of the covering force before they can seek the comparitive safety of the south bank.
A panoramic shot of the battle from the Northern bank of the Spree, more and more French reinforcements push on to the table in an attempt to catch the defenders.
As usual we meet again on thursday, possibly to conclude the battle though it's even possible that this could become a three day fight with the final day seeing the Allies having reversed the original positions and defending the southern bank of the Spree against the French on the northern bank. Stay tuned for the next report.
And finally.... some Prussian Uhlans, just because they look nice.