Saturday, May 27, 2017

Clashes in the Snows: The Battle of Fitchwoods, 1807

It is hard to believe that it has been 6 months since the last battle of our LANNES campaign, but Barry and I finally got the next battle on the table this past weekend.

The scenario set up for this battle resulted in one of Barry's Commands being late to the battle, and when he rolled for which one it was, it was his largest and best Brigade. In partial compensation, one of his commands could deploy an extra 18" onto the table - note the Russians occupying the central forrest,  known as Fitchwoods, from the nearby Fitchekowski farmstead. 


In addition, Fabian Faucon rolled high for starting Morale points, whilst Boris Badenov rolled... poorly. I had to deploy one of my command groups first, and opted for a fairly balanced deployment, planning to take advantage of my superiority in Cavalry and numbers. The Russian Artillery was know to be superior to mine, although my gunners were slowly starting to improve over the course of the campaign. 


Starting setup, as seen from the French side. The unit in square on my right flank is the Wurzburg Regiment of the Confederation of the Rhine, representing one of my new recruits - a Militia grade DD4/CD8 unit. Best to keep such riff-raff out of the fighting and hope they roll up at the end of the battle. I brigaded it with my 2 Guard status infantry units (both of which had excellent DD10 defense dice and crap Combat dice, and thus were resilient, but impotent!) and a decent foot battery,


Early on, Barry rolled up a "Triple Magic Move" with his right flank Dragoon brigade. Recall that Barry's Dragoons are by now world famous for their, uh, less than stellar performance characteristics. They charged my artillery battery in waves. The first unit was forced back with losses (" a rock and a chicken"!), but it took the fire of both batteries to do so. Uh-oh!


Sabers versus ramrods... not a favorable match up!


Yep, scratch one French Artillery battery. On the other hands, the position of the Dragoons is now quite isolated. 


Indeed, at the next opportunity, my supporting infantry fire into the victorious Dragoons at close range "Putin THAT in your samovar and drink it, Vladimir!" The aftermath is seen here, with the Dragoons, feeling much more comfortable in their traditional deployment.


On the opposite flank, my brigade of elite Hussars trots forward, Their supporting horse battery is lagging behind.


Th recipient of their own Magic Move, the Hussars then charge forward into the lead Russian cavalry unit. 


Ah, Russian Dragoons - the Breakfast of Champions!


Yet another charge by the Hussars shows that the Russian Uhlans are made of sterner stuff, routing one Hussar and throwing the other one back. However, the the charge allowed my supporting Horse battery to establish itself in a good position. 


Black Powder is touched off all across the Russian lines!


Both French Legere units suffer heavy casualties in the process!  "Run Away!"


My left flank Chasseurs and Dragoons finally get their act together, running down the Routed Russians.


Overview of the action, as the central woods is being contested.


Finding the Russian batteries "unloaded", two French battalions beat the pas de charge!


The batteries are overrun, and my initial advance in to the woods is successful.


Boris Badenov swears under his breath, and then shouts to his aids "Where are those good-for-nothing Grenadiers?"


Meanwhile the French Horse Battery finds the range on the Uhlans, and its accurate fire sends them looking for the next coach to Siberia!


The French press their advantage hard... perhaps too hard?


Both armies catch their breath, frosty as it is in the frigid January air, and consolidate their positions. 


Fifes and drums playing  a martial air, the Grenadiers at last make their appearance on the Russian Right.


Bayonets are crossed in the Woods. 


Grenadiers and Jagers at the upper left.


A plucky French Bayonet charge over runs the Russian 12 lber battery on the far Russian right, but the rest of the  Russian Reserves move up smartly and smash 2 French Battalions.


However, French Artillery fire routs 2 Russian battalions in return. The Russians are at zero Morale points and are handing chips to the French.


Passing not one but two Army Morale checks, the Russians decide that discretion is the better part of valor, and begin to withdraw. The French with much of their infantry severely mauled, do not contest the withdrawal seriously, Their exhausted men commence seeking what shelter they can find from the long cold night of Polish winter; the footsore Russians are less fortunate.

22 comments:

  1. Nice write up. Very entertaining!

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    1. Thanks; I am so glad that you enjoyed it!

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  2. Atmospheric and splendid report, great looking game...with courageous Russians!

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    1. Thanks,Phil. The atmospheric conditions were blustery!

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  3. Fantastic stuff, what legends are made of! I am registering for Historicon today...of course your FoB game gets top billing.

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    1. Happy you like t, Tim, and I am glad I'll be seeing you in Fredericksburg soon!

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  4. Looks great, love the winter table idea!

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    1. Winter games are fun for a change of pace; I had originally expected to play this game in January or February, but it didn't work out that way!

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    1. Thanks Garry, I tried to make it entertaining!

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  6. Always enjoy your reports, Peter. And that is very atmospheric winter layout!

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    1. Great to have you drop by, Robert!

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  7. Boy! Many a battery was lost this day. I like the winter setting and your retelling of the battle.

    Good stuff, Peter!

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    1. Artillery are powerful in FoB2, but vulnerable when "unloaded", limbered, or to wave attacks. My battery near;l won the melee (Presumably with point blank fire) at outset of the game, but was run over in the final round (of 3) in the melee.

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  8. A splendid game in the snow! It looks great.

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    1. Thanks, Oli! Winter time battles are a fun change of pace!

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  9. Lovely looking winter game and very atmospheric aar!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thank you Iain; I had expected to play this game way back in January or February, but it never worked out that way!

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  10. The snow has melted in MA Peter? Great scenario and your commentary adds to the chill in the air...except for the warmth of artillery blasts. But a draw in the winter snow? Time to have the player contestants arm wrestle for the final win determination and prize. Winner gets trip to sunny Florida (self driven of course). Losing team gets army miniature pick up and KP duties till next scenario.

    M :-)

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  11. The snow is long gone from Connecticut, just cool, cloudy, and rainy the past month. I didn't feel like pressing my advantage, as that can easily blow up in your face with FoB2, and beating up on an opponent isn't the best thing for long term friendship, either! :-)

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  12. A great-looking table and game Peter. It is a cold winter's morning here (well, as cold as it gets in Brisbane) and looking at that made me feel even colder.

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    1. Imagine what it was like for them, many without shoes or proper overcoats... horrible to contemplate! I used as many of my infantry and Generals in Greatcoats as possible this time!

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