Monday, 23 January 2012

Bridgehead Secured

Thursday night was not an easy time to be playing on the Russian side in our continuing river crossing scenario.  The French attackers have been able to cross at all but one of the four crossing points and establish viable bridgeheads.  In addition the threatened flank attack appeared at a particularly bad time for Mark commanding the Russian left wing.  A heavy cavalry division consisting of two regiments of cuirassier and two of dragoons supported by a battery of horse artillery entered the table on his left just as three of the battalions which had been defending the leftmost bridge broke.  They were summarily ridden down by the gleeful cuirassier.

Westphalian Grenadier-Garde supported by Hesse-Darmstadt fusiliers make their crossing on the Russian centre left.

All is not yet lost for the Russians as they are in the process of receiving large numbers of reserves including a division of heavy cavalry and a division of Guard infantry.  The latter being supported by an impressive six gun battery of twelve pounders.  However as the Russians are pushed further and further back their room for deployment decreases and they are being forced into a right angled position. 

Swiss and Poles commanded by "Nick the dice witch" cross to the right of the Westphalians.

In addition to the Heavy cavalry the French also brought on a division of Italian infantry and a division of young guard making the flank attack force the strongest French presence on the Russian side of the river.  This has given the Russian commander a decision to make, does he continue to push forward fresh troops and contest the crossings which will leave his flanks vulnerable?  Or does he attempt to delay until nightfall which is still six turns away and use the darkness to reorganise and establish a new defensive line?

The same scene from the rear of the Polish and Swiss position.  Infantry and artillery await their turn to cross.

The decision for the Russians has been made a little simpler by the fact that the only crossing point that they still hold which is the one covered by the redoubt, is now also in danger of falling.  The battery covering it was eventually destroyed by the radical but effective expedient of wheeling up a twelve pounder battery to cannister range and blasting them out.  Already French troops are beginning to cross.

Confusion reigns on the Russian side with routing and retreating troops interpenetating their supports and making deployment difficult for the reserves.

So at the moment the French certainly have the upper hand and with nightfall still some way off they should be looking to secure as much ground as possible in order to have the best possible start point for the resumption of hostilities.  The Russians on the other hand will need to decide on their best course of action and look for a likely defensive position where they can attempt to fend off the inevitable french onslaught.

This new battalion of Corsicans is currently making its debut in the battle.  It was painted by the ever more prolific Dom, figures by Front Rank.

Following the last post there were a couple of questions regarding photography which I must admit is a bit of a closed book to me.  The problem with the garage is that there is only one window to provide natural lighting and the rest is provided by four fluorescent ceiling lights.  This tends to produce a startling variety of lighting conditions with the result being that a number of photos taken at the same time from slightly different positions results in huge differences in the way they come out.  I'm loathe to use a flash as it tends to just light up the front of the figures and terrain leaving shadows in the background.  We did have the benefit of Neil using his mini-Hubble for a while which has a back lighting capability but he hasn't brought it along for some time.  So unless I invest in a new all singing all dancing camera (highly unlikely) I'll just have to make sure I pick the best daylight conditions when I take the blog shots.

A final shot, this time from the rear of the French left,  after a spirited defence by hosts of Russian light cavalry the French are at last, making ground .

One final thing, Eric has provided me a couple of links to his photobucket page which have shots of the Lubben and Spree games which we played last year.  Apparently they're in reverse order but I can't see that making a difference.


Rodger said...

Fantastic looking game Noel. The photos look really good to me. I try to avoid using the flash too.

BigRedBat said...

Great looking game; you have more than a few minis, there!

Cheers, Simon

Cory said...

Great looking figs and game!

Doc Smith said...

Great photos Noel - love the great mix of French allied troops too. I particularly like Dom's battalion of Napoleon's 'cousins' - I think the original battalion of Corsican tirailleurs was virtually wiped out in the 1809 campaign. I agree about use of flash - it washes out the colours and over exposes the shot. Natural daylight is best but you can help it out with daylight balanced lighting (flouro tubes or globes). Bit more expensive but you get a great result with indoor photography.