So, when we left the battle there had been a monumental clash of cavalry on the northern plain. This had been an outright victory for the French and their allied German heavy cavalry. The Russian regiments and supporting artillery were literally driven ever further back until they broke and fled the field. Although the way was now open to encircle the Russian center this would take time. Although French casualties had been light the regiments were in some disorder with some down right "blown" - this would take time to rectify. In addition to this all the Brigades in the Division had orders only to capture the length of the road NOT to go galavanting onto thew plain no matter how tempting a prize this looked. The General de Brigade rules are quite tough on this so Chris would have to get some orders changed at Brigade level which isn't easy. The up shot was that Chris would need time to redeploy his cavalry brigades and horse batteries having changed orders - all of which he would to do under enemy fire - that'll test his skills!
While Chris had been dashing about doing his happy hussar stuff the rest of the battle had been simmering as well. The central plain was pretty much a stand off with both sides sorting out artillery deployment, screening movement with cossacks and skirmishers. In honesty I don't think either felt strong enough or trusted his troops enough to make an attack; I had an Italian Brigade, Chris had linked up with me by committing half a brigade and Tony's 10 battalions opposite us were 50% militia! Not an impressive array on either side. Further south both sides were making for Strelitz which formed the furthest objective south on the road network we were contesting. This was a vital place to hold.
|Russian jaeger probe the streets of Strelitz ahead of the main columns.|
Foundry miniatures by Tony.
|With the mean streets of Strelitz cleared the rest of the brigade makes an entry and secures its flanks.|
|Close up of Russians marching into Strelitz. I love this sequence of shots.|
|Strelitz is secure and the Brigadier can ride in to officially take possession from the regimental officer.|
Command vignette by Tony with Foundry figures.
|The Russians send troops forward past the northern outskirts of Strelitz to secure its flank and occupy more road space.|
|The same battalion with jaegers and cavalry to the left and a horse battery to the front. Tony was setting up a tough position here whilst maintaining an all arms attack; Stand back - tactical genius at work!|
The initial charges went in very well, one Russian battalion was forced back past the town allowing a frontal assault by two battalions which also did well but not enough to actually get into the town itself - aaargh!
At this point Tony unleashed the massive 32 strong elite Novgorod Cuirassiers. As the pant wetting reality began to dawn on me they came on up the hill rode through point blank range fire NOT canister as friendly troops were too close, they sat poised to charge down my battery and undo my attack and ultimately the southern flank...
Robbed of artillery support (momentarily distracted by Novgorod nasties) the Bavarians began to falter - fresh Russian troops moved in and although the Wurtemburgers evetually recaptured Strelitz it was only a fleeting visit. Russians in size 14's came stamping back and ejected them at bayonet point - ouch & yuck.
Out of the smoke came the Novgorod Cuirassiers, Duka at the front waving his sword wildly - you had to admire it. The foot battery was wiped out and dispersed on the spot, the cavalry naturally overrode them and headed for the next target which happened to be right in front of them - my Bavarian supporting battalion deployed in SQUARE - there is a God and he likes Bavarian napoleonics! The ensuing episode resulted in the Russian regiment milling about amidst enemy infantry, unable to reform let alone maneuver and taking fire all the time - what a glorious mess - I was off the hook - an ADC was sent for dry pants.
South of Centre
South of the central platuea and north of Strelitz lay another village straddling the road network - history does not record its name I'm afraid. I had moved into this early on with two battalions of Old Guard, Grenadiers and Chasseurs a pied, supporting these two giants of the age were two battalions of young guard and elite skirmishers. Frankly I didn't want them to fight in case I buggered it up and lost them both - too risky. So with all the commotion evolving north and south they didn't do much except adjust their position a bit and soak up some desultory long range artillery fire from a distant Russian battery.
|Ball crunchingly brutal charge by the Chasseurs a pied of the Old Guard into Russian line.|
The Grenadiers of the Guard nod approvingly from the village square behind.
|The offending Russian regiment is scattered causing the whole brigade the stop dead in it's tracks. The attack is over and the town safe from further molestation today. Vive!|
|Swiss Tirailleurs moving through farmland.|
|French voltigeurs sniping at a farmhouse.|
|Russian 12lb battery ranges in on French light cavalry as they redeploy to encircle the centre.|
|Very handsome hussars. Foundry Russians from Tony's stable.|
Note pelisse matching the flowers.
|Russian Militia. Note the axes slung from their belts and the blond beards - these are Rus.|
|The north end of the plateau. Russian Militia and jaeger engaging Italians and French Legere.|
|Strelitz recaptured by the Russians as the Bavarians are forced out. |
Note The Novgorod stuck in front the squares with nowhere to go.
|The centre in the final stages.|
|Looking south as Chris's cavalry columns finally begin to move up onto the high ground to completely encircle the Russian centre covered by the Saxon horse battery. Splendid stuff.|
With fighting along the whole line things were getting very tense. Suddenly two things happened in quick succession to end the battle. Firstly the Novgorod broke under the constant close range volley fire and dispersed. Secondly various units in the Russian centre broke. Both precipitated morale tests for nearby units and Brigades. As panic spread through the army the southern flank fell away and the with the last roll of the game - a double one - the centre collapsed too. It was all over. The French had prevailed.
A massively enjoyable game - a real piece of theatre. Thanks to Tony and Chris for playing and to all at Triple Helix for laying on the space for us and opening early.
|C'est la guerre.|
A few pretty piccies as out takes, enjoy;
|Command element from Chris's Cuirassiers. This 24 strong regiment was his 40th Birthday present from me Rich and Tony. Perry minis painted by Perry Pender, based by myself. Lucky man, I want friends like me.|
|Sievers - General of the Russian Cavalry at Strelitz. Foundry conversion by Tony, note the new steel sword.|
|Napoleonic regiments were often led by braying imbeciles like this one.|
|French skirmishers - Perry plastics.|
|Russian infantry by Tony - Foundry minis. They are based on kitchen work surface material, hand cut by Tony, machine sanded and then scatter attached with Aruldite epoxy - estimated half life; 10,000 years.|
|To the victor the spoils. Yummy.|
|"Get down from there before you fall and bloody hurt yourself"|