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.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Action on the River Vissen 1813 - Part 3

We left the game after last week with the French in command of the northern bank of the River Vissen and the Allies withdrawing south to consolidate and await reinforcements.

To enable this next phase of the battle we cleared away the toys and "scrolled" the scenery so the River Vissen was just shy of the northern table edge thus allowing the southern end to be revealed. We kept the same forces and carried over casualties from the previous days fighting. Some units had been dispersed so were left out, in addition the Russian Grenadier Division was written down to "line" reflecting their poor performance so far. The Allied C-in-C had been swept along with them in their flight, he was a "poor" general in General de Brigade terms anyway so was replaced by his Prussian counterpart who had arrived ahead of more Prussian troops overnight. This chap, Yorck, was "excellent", and set about forming a defensive line to hold the French while more troops were brought up. He also ordered the Prussian rearguard to construct a redoubt. Could they hold and what would their reinforcements look like?

We have a game for day two - lets get on with it;-

Looking north east, the River Vissen crosses the table at the far end so much of the foreground is new. The redoubt is just left of the town occupied by the Prussian Guard Brigade. Vasilchikov's weakened formation is in the woods to the right with a Prussian howitzer battery in support. The diminished Prussian cavalry hold the left.
Russian supports under Von Phalen arrive in the deep south, more infantry with cossacks and a half battery.
They have a long march ahead.

Prussian horse battery and Brandenburg Uhlans cover the western approach road. 

Prussian battery between the town and the redoubt. Caisson in support with extra ammo, take note off this... 

Prussian Guard elements hold the redoubt with the battery and another Guards battalion and dragoons in support.

Vasilchikov's Russians deployed the amongst woods with the Prussian howitzers and caissons supporting, note this...

Prussian Guards occupy the redoubt, an excellent creation from my workshops, see separate tutorial post. 

Good shot of the Allied central positions. West Prussian Dragoons support the Guards around the redoubt & village.
Bavarians line out to attack them.
"They shall not pass!" 

Brandenburg Uhlans support the horse battery straddling the western road; French light cavalry precede heavies.
This looks precarious to say the very least... Jurgass observes proceedings.

Allied troops hold the woods to the east of the village against mounting odds. Prussian batteries on either side of the walled village open a long range bombardment on the Bavarians. The Bavarian battery counter fired to no effect. 

The same position. There is some strength in depth here but on a narrow frontage.
Help is miles to the rear.

High quality French brigade crosses the eastern bridge with cavalry support, these fellows helped see off the hopeless Russian Grenadiers yesterday.

More French concentrate to cross the central bridge and the pontoon which was thrown across the river overnight.
Barvarians defend the bridge head and prepare to move over to the assault.  

Good panoramic shot from the north looking south, Bavarians massing to attack whilst covering the crossings.
Von Phalen's Russians march to the sound of the guns in the far distance. 

The French right, basically a massive "right hook" with 5 cavalry regiments and two horse batteries, ballsy but there's very little to stop them simply walking around the redoubt and cutting off the town from help, except of course Juragss' diminished Prussian cavalry brigade. Gulp.   

The new Prussian C-in-C turns out to be Yorck. Here he instructs Von Phalen who Tony tells me was also German so the language barrier should no issue. Not sure if Von Phalen is actually listening though.  

French light cavalry brigade with horse battery prepare to attack the blocking Prussian cavalry and simultaneously cover the crossing of the Saxon heavies.

Tharreau's Bavarians deploy in line before the Prussian guns to minimize casualties; the two battalion columes are far enough back to prevent any "bounce"  of shot causing injuries through the preceding line.  

It seems that this battalion isn't Bavarian at all - these are Wurtemburgers with lovely flags.
The models are by Falcon UK, now owned by someone in the USA I think, although the politics seem complex.
These are painted by Barry Hill, former Falcon proprietor with GMB flags, based by me & residing in my collection.     

French deploy from the pontoon and bridge, they form attack columes and prepare to move against the Russians in the woods who are already under pressure from French troops arriving from the left - eastern table.
Bavarian gunfire prepares the path. Von Phalen approaches in the distance, finally.
Von Pahlen's boys hasten to the front with cossacks leading the way.
Prussian General Yorck keeps them on course. 

This is turn four which heralded the late arrival of Chris's overnight marchers - 13 more battalions in two formations.
He now has everything on the table from the previous days fighting. That's me unloading French battalions.
Good shot of the front lines squaring up to each other.   

A privileged glimpse inside one of my twelve red tool boxes.  

Two Bavarian battalions in line, the foremost has lost a flag and requires repair and some dry brushing on the bases.
Both are Foundry painted by Tony Laughton, GMB flags, based by moi pour moi.

Chris is lining up an attack using a line supported at each end by columes, pretty classic stuff.
This game saw several actions which bridged the gaps between the tables and often obliquely.
This proved difficult at first but soon fell into place.     

The charges go in, Tony prepares to fire in defence.

The lines close and there's me still unloading more French battalions to add to our discomfort.
BIG tape measure!

Russian staff looking a bit pissy about being replaced by Prussians overnight.
These are by Tony, seen here in front of a very pretty townscape which i built.
I think these are Foundry and Perry.   

The disgraced Russian grenadiers return minus the two battalions lost on day 1. As discussed above these were written down to "Line" quality to reflect their poor performance at the hands of the French just 24 hours before.

Here they come -  more French. Seven battalions of them march onto the centre table from the northern edge. 

And more arrive on the eastern table, six more battalions of the buggers. 

The view across the battlefield from the perspective of the Russian Grenadiers.
This looks pretty awesome to me.   

Cavalry action on the western front.
Both the Brandenburg Uhlans and West Prussian Dragoons were in action against the French light cavalry.
The Prussian horse battery fired a few rounds and then limbered up to withdraw.
The Uhlans saw off the 9th Hussars and the West Prussian Dragoons saw off the Lancers. Both were minor wins, for now the the French were thrown back with casualties. However the Saxon heavies were sorting themselves out to attack.      

French and Saxon cavalry deploying.   

Prussian Guards move to cover the redoubt from the west where French cavalry seem to have overwhelming odds. 

Von Phalen's Russian supports approach Vasilchikov's  front line. Russian Grenadiers close in top right.
Help is at hand, finally. 

Tharreau's Bavarians approach the redoubt and gunline.
"Gunners; load canister, Guards aim low, all - FIRE!"  

The Neuchatel battalion crosses the pontoon, more cross in the background and line-up to be next over.
More bases for me to dry brush! Jeez.

Lots of French battalions emerge from the fields to sort out an attack formation. 

Russian lights cover the eastern flank.
The lance armed front rank leads this hussar half regiment.

Cossacks with "go faster red lances".
Front Rank models from Tony's collection. 

Russian reinforcements approach the front line.

Looking west from behind the Russian front lines.
The Prussian howitzer battery quickly went "low on ammo", however Tony reminded me that these were Corps reserve guns and their army card included two caissons with the two batteries so extra ammo was on hand!
An uncharacteristically  lucky moment for the allies!

French attacks go in and whilst some are stopped by defensive fire enough Russians are forced back or faltered  to make the position very difficult especially as lots more Frenchmen are heading for the same position.

The French second line covered by skirmishers heads south to support this sustained attack.
More supports cross the Vissen over pontoons and bridges behind.   
At this point we drew to a close for the evening.

I sorted through the remaining army reinforcement cards and created two small decks to draw from.
We then rolled to see where and when they would arrive. The Allies drew three cards, the French drew two. The scene was now set for a major encounter for next week.

I predict a very seriously bloody battle between two large armies over the next week and if we're lucky the following week too. Whatever happens I'll be there with my camera to shoot some snaps for you and write some sarcastic commentary.

That's it! We are pretty pumped up about this next phase of the game. Rich is back this week too so we can all enjoy a rumble of epic proportions;- there will be no more reinforcements, no more random arrivers - the die is cast, the scene is set. Hope you can pop back to see how this piece of theater pans out.

Please feel free to comment and leave feedback, it is the lifeblood of this blog.

Very best wishes, Jeremy      


  1. Absolutely fantastic! What a beautiful and mighty game. Exciting too and a very good write up. Can't wait for the next days battle. Keep it up!

    1. We play the next part tomorrow, I just packed up 12 Prussian battalions, two batteries and two half cavalry regiments, Tony is packing the last of the Russian reserves, we need them...

  2. Wonderful looking game and great photos and figures! Thanks!

    1. Thanks for commenting Chasseur, please call back.

  3. Very nice work JJ. love the Russian Command stands and the array of figures in yours and your mates collection is very impressive!

    1. Kind words Carlo, many thanks. It really is about total commitment to one period over years and throwing both time and £$ at it without distraction - I love it!

  4. Thats the way to do it - in the Grand Manner!

  5. Good to see how this game is evolving over the weeks. Last week was all about building and it shall grow. Shame about my Light Cavalry being useless but they only got pushed back which was lucky see ya Tuesday for more basing fun

    1. Yeah it's all working out for a change. Possibly a bit harsh on myself there but this seems to be ticking all the boxes and giving us all a warm gooey smug feeling inside! Nice.

  6. Excellent batrep, these pictures are stunning...love the Cossacks especially...

    1. Yep those cossacks are very pretty! Very hard to use but soooo Russian they are essential, even with the "orcy good faster red lances". I have 25-30 more away with Blue Turkey being painted now, tough to use but I'm sure we'll learn.

  7. Looksa great; I remember being able to spend days gaming out big battles like this way back in High School, but alas that was manyu years ago. Perhaps in retirement? :-)

    1. Retirement seems sooo very far away, like an impossible dream sometimes, however I fully intend to spend it gaming with as many toys as possible.

  8. You tease!!!!?!!!? Lol nicely set up for a big finale! I'm looking forward to see how those massed french battalions get on :) great stuff as usual this is my favourite blog so keep up the good work I need my regular dose of inspiration! :)

    1. Hi Robert, we play again tomorrow, the last of the allied reserves arrive and wit luck a fifth week will be in order, great to have you on board and gagging for it! Enjoy! JJ

  9. This second day of the battle is proving even more engrossing than the first one, which is saying something. Your photos seem to be getting more marvellous too. The parallel crossing of the pontoon and bridge is quite atmospheric! Thanks for such enjoyable and visually appealing posts.