Welcome to Marauder Moments - a chronicle of the Mortimer Street Marauders; the games we play, the rules we use, the figures we play with and the scenery they fight over. Hope you enjoy these pages and maybe call back to catch up with our escapades.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Epic 15mm bash - Lutzen 1813 - Part 1.

This week saw us playing a big 15mm game inspired by the Battle of Lutzen 1813. I say inspired because we're not sticking slavishly to the events and orbats of the day - the rough layout and scenario are similar enough though. This game is a pleasant filler over four weeks in July whilst we arrange the big 28mm General de Brigade game at the end of the month.

The eagle eyed will notice that all four Marauders are involved here - a rarity for a big Napoleonic game. Eagle eyes will also note that we have repainted the "man cave" - the previous multi-coloured walls and cave  paintings of sheep(?) & horses(?) got too much on the eye. We came in on a non game night cleaned up, wash down walls etc and got rolling and brushing, Chris then went back a few times in the week to redo a few bits - bless him. Tony picked up some extra lighting and the whole place is like a hospital surgery - only cleaner. We only repainted the main gaming room not the scenery store room or kitchen and other parts. We also left the light blue wall and some others which were too crumbly to take paint! We're really pleased and rather smug! If Mrs Marauders had any inkling we'd be bollocked and painting our own homes - not our murky bunker!        

This looks like turn two or three. French light cavalry screening the advance and forcing Russians into square to protect the guns. Russian infantry take Eisdorf and head for the bridge to prevent a French link up with the main body. Austrian light cavalry brigade in support. 
Lutzen is a classic escalation game with troops arriving from all over the place at later stages. It also features both the Old Guard and Allied Life Guards in a heavy weight show down.

Basically Marshall Ney's large formation is camped in a rough square between four villages, Gross Gorschen & Klein Gorschen in front, Rahna & Kaja behind. This area is broken up by woods and ditches. However Ney neglected to post pickets, so when Blucher appeared on the high ground looking down on this scene he went straight over to the attack calling his outlying formations to concentrate. Such a prize was irresistible to the old warhorse, BUT with further French forces nearby he must be quick. So initially the French are disadvantaged and out numbered. As Ney scrambles to occupy the villages and form up he sends an urgent call to his master to come to his aid. Napoleon hastens to the scene with  the Guard and summons two other nearby French Corps to march to the sound of the guns.             

The other end of the table. French troops from Marmont's Corps marching to relieve Ney in the centre. Russian Guard cavalry screen the advance of the Russian Guard Corp under Grand Duke Constantine. This looks massive.    

So that's provided us with a situation to resolve. Both sides have objectives and some urgency in getting things going swiftly - that injects tension into the game. Both sides have substantial reserves to deploy in various places at variable and random times which injects chaos and confusion.

Everyone is excited and slightly nervous - just what I hoped for - that's wargaming!

"La Guard arrivee!"
Turn five - Napoleon arrives with the an Old Guard infantry Division and two Old Guard cavalry Divisions, (one light one heavy) plus Old Guard foot and horse artillery. Marmont is centre right with Bertrand's Corps arriving top right. In the centre the Russian Guard cavalry screen the advance of Russian foot Guards on the village centre left. These are in turn supported by another pile of Russian infantry and Dragoons deploying from reserve. Up on the high ground a Russian 12lb battery bombards Ney's defenders and a Corps of Cuirassiers deploys, 3x32 heavies - just enough to knock a hole in Ney and wreck his day...    
The pictures and captions should outline who is who and where and some of the action too.

The Allied plan was as follows;

We would descend the ridge and catch Ney in disarray with the Russian Foot Guards and a second Russian Corp both with large batteries attached, the only cavalry assigned to this attack was a Prussian brigade under Jurgass, 3 x 24 (1 hussar, 1 uhlan, 1 dragoon). The Allied left was exposed to attack by Marmont marching in from Starsiedel so was screened by the Russian Guard cavalry and artillery. This central push would receive the majority of our reserves as they arrived; two more infantry corps, one of Cuirassiers, one of Dragoons and a horde of cossacks.

The Allied right was my small corner of Germany to contest. Here both sides had troops on the far side of the river who could intercede if they could just capture the bridge and get over it. In reality this part of the battle around Eisdorf didn't occur but it seemed like a good mini scenario within the bigger picture. I gave both sides substantial infantry and a light cavalry brigade too. The allies had a big foot battery, the French a mobile horse battery. Just over the bridge I also has a Russian infantry Corps whose task was to take Klein Gorschen, the village in front of me held by Ney's men who were rushing to support it from the rear most positions on the French line. The aforementioned Jurgass was to sweep away supports from this village to give me a clear run at it - combined arms at work.
The same scene - different angle.

The French plan was to get Ney into good positions and hold the four villages until help arrived. Marmont started on the table at Starsiedel, some way off, other French forces would appear in time... 

The arrival of Bertand. This is a powerful formation; 8 x 36 infantry battalions, 2 foot batteries and a brigade of 3 x 24 light cavalry. However they are some way from the action but will doubtless make their presence felt as the allies attempt to win before French numbers eclipse their own.   

The French - Rich and Tony seem very pleased that both Napoleon and Bertrand have arrived. My theater of operations is at the far end of table - things are going well and I have nearly achieved my objectives and am awaiting a counter attack, Chris will no doubt give me fresh orders to press my attacks beyond these objectives causing me great anxiety!    

Week one ended around turn five or six. We had a great time. Chris took Gross Gorschen with the Russian Guard, I took Klein Gorschen and Eisdorf, the village commanding the bridge from over the river. Turn five saw lots of fresh troops arrive and the game really building. The arrival of Napoleon gives the French 2 C-in-C's, a big advantage in General de Brigade terms. We allowed four weeks to play this, possibly 20 odd turns. This allows plenty of time to mount counter attacks and for fresh to march into contact from afar.

Next time I'll bang up more pictures and some notes on the 15mm models and how we organised them; the "eagle eyed" will have noted that they are non traditional in basing and number, more of that later.

Hope you stay with us through this game. it already has an epic feel to it.

Be good



  1. JJ, battle looking great. I'll be on the lookout for part 2. I am eagerly anticipating our own 1813 scenarios next year. We already have plans to empty out ANF HQ to do Leipzig in its entirety on the floor!

    BTW, Iain Dickie has some suggestions about keeping domestic talents related to wargaming a secret in his beaut 'Wargaming on a Budget' book!

  2. Epic indeed. I'll be watching with interest.

  3. I still have high hopes for tomorrow evening. Just need those pesky Cossacks to turn up. I still can't believe you don't know the plan. As to "pushing them to far".... Great game

  4. the next few days will see an update on this game - stay tuned1

  5. Looking like a very nice game!