Friday, 16 April 2010

Smolensk Day Two

After giving each side the opportunity to reposition their forces we continued with day two of our Smolensk game.  The French were allowed to shift the Westphalians onto the North bank of the Dneiper via a ford further upstream and were also able to throw a division of Young guard over the river on the other side of Smolensk.

The Russian right flank, facing off the Poles but aware of the imminent arrival of reinforcements.

The initial position on the Russian right flank looked relatively secure.  Russian infantry still held the tactically vital village covering the ford and the presence of a 12lb'er battery supported by a strong infantry corps made any attempt at an assault in that area a daunting prospect.  However due to large detachments of infantry having to be made to secure Smolensk and provide support for the left flank, the area to the north was covered by only five battalions.  Consequently most of the Russian cavalry was placed in this area to counter the expected arrival of more Fench.

Young Guard attempt to break out from their bridgehead supported by cuirassier.

The Russian left also looked secure despite having to surrender ground to the advancing French.  They formed a line roughly parrallel with the right flank and awaited the arrival of the Russian guard infantry and cavalry.

The arrival of the Russian guard came as a nasty surprise to the French.

The stage was set for some epic cavalry clashes and with numbers and quality on the side of the Russians things were beginning to look a little bleak for the French.

French cuirassier in the process of riding roughshod over the pride of the the Russian cavalry arm.

If you've ever played using "In The Grand Manner" rules then you'll be aware that cavalry combats are anything other than predictable and wednesday night was to be no exception.  In short the Russians received a severe drubbing in every single combat which took place.  Regardless of class and numbers they were cut down with alarming regularity. 

Russian heavy cavalry unable to fight their way out of a wet paper bag.

The trend continued on the right wing where a regiment of elite Russian dragoons fled from the first casualties they received and managed to inflict only one casualty on their attackers.  These troops were being relied upon to hold the line against the newly arrived Westphalians.

French lancers and the offending dice that capped a grim night for the Russian cavalry.

Whilst the battle isn't over yet it's fair to say that the Russians had a pretty disastrous night, losing a large portion of their cavalry and inflicting little damage on the French.  This should give the French the abilty to manouvre more easily and will almost certainly ensure that more troops will be able to cross behind the Young Guard.

1 comment:

Rafael Pardo said...

Bad luck for the Russians!