Friday, 22 July 2011

The Battle of the river Spree, Day One.

We're all back safe and sound from our weekend at the WHC where we had an excellent time playing Marengo.  Sadly I don't have access to the photos which Neil took of the game at the moment so I can't do a proper blog update on it until I have them.  However when one door closes another opens and so I'm now able to report on our campaign game taking place to the South of Berlin on the river Spree.

Probably the most difficult of all of the crossing points were the ones entrusted to Eric.  Covered by infantry and artillery they have so far proven impassable.

The battle kicked off with the Prussians probing forward over four of the five crossing points in order to find a weak spot.  This met with little success and their initial forays were easily dealt with.  However it was just a matter of time before the Prussian artillery was able to get into position to cover the crossing points and make life difficult for the French.

Prussian heavies make an attempt to find space on the far bank but are stopped by volley fire from French troops occupying the village.

It became clear relatively quickly that an all out assault across all of the bridges wasn't going to work and so the Prussian Artillery was called into position.  Two twelve pounder batteries began to take a heavy toll of the defenders on the French left forcing them away from the western bridge.  This allowed Dom to push some infantry over the river but once again they took heavy casualties and were forced to retreat.

The first Russians arrive and with them yet another twelve pounder battery to torment the French left.

 The Allies had apparently decided to throw everything into breaking the French left flank in order to gain a bridgehead and consequently another twelve pounder battery was unlimbered, this time a six gun Russian foot battery which immediately started to pound away at the hapless French infantry which was forced to find cover wherever it could.  Eventually the pressure began to tell and the Allied infantry was able to gain a toehold on the Southern bank, led by a lone Prussian battalion the Russians began to pour over the bridge.

Another courageous but ultimately unsuccesful attack by the Prussians in the early stages, led by light cavalry a couple of battalions sprint across the bridge to be met by a hail of fire.

However the French were now covered from some of the Allied guns by the advancing Russian troops and took the opportunity to push forward against the attackers who responded by charging at them.  The resulting melee was fought out for three rounds and though the Russians lost all of them they held their nerve and though they were forced back they were undefeated.  However almost as a sideshow this allowed a single French veteran battalion to charge into the flank of another Russian battalion which had earlier been pinned by a retreating unit which promptly turned and ran.  Undaunted the veterans charged on into the flank of the rallying combatants and this was to prove too much for them.  Having fought one tough melee they were in no mood for another and they in turn retreated from the attack.

The French counter-attack forcing back the Russian infantry and gaining some breathing space.

The whole Allied bridgehead was now in danger but instead of attacking the lone Prussian battalion which was the only formed unit on the French bank of the river the French believing their job done withdrew behind the cover of the hill.  This allowed the Russians to recover and the minor crisis for the Allies was past.  As it stands now on turn twenty with only four turns to go until nightfall the allies maintain a small but established hold on the Southern bank of the river and are poised to push more troops across in the last few turns.  Nightfall will probably bring a redressing of the lines and if the Allies will be able to move more troops over during the night.  Of course they will have to bear in mind that the arrival of the rest of the French army in their rear is imminent and will need to consider how many troops they can afford to push over the Spree without leaving the remainder of the army hopelessly outnumbered.

Calpe Prussian Landwehr painted and based by Julian Waites.

Finally here is the latest arrival at the garage, a battalion of Calpe Landwehr which was painted by Julian Waites.  Julians' output isn't great in terms of volume as he doesn't get much time to paint but the quality is outstanding and the figures are always worth the wait.


Rodger said...

Nice report and wonderful photos. Beautiful painting in the last photo. Good work.

JFaria said...

Lovely figures and games set!

Justin Penwith said...

Great report!

Rafael Pardo said...

River crossings are a very difficult afaire both in the real world and the game table! Astounding views as always
Best regards

BigRedBat said...

That's one lovely looking game!


warpaintjj said...

hi there, great site - a real inspiration to me. Who is the bridge made by? I have one but want another.
keep it up, cheers, warpaintjj

murat said...

Hi Steve, I have had the same problem as you regarding comments , hopefully it has now been resolved. Can't wait for next year , to see what you have in store. Hope you look me up , merry xmas to you and the team. Billy.