Sunday, April 13, 2014

Scenario for Montmirail, February 11, 1814

Troop Scale: 1 Infantry Unit = 600 men, 1 cavalry unit = 400 men, 1 Artillery unit = 8 - 12 guns.

Table Size:  6 x 12 feet

Background:  The Battle of Montmirail resulted from Napoleon's attempt to defeat the somewhat dispersed component's of Blucher's Army of Silesia in detail following his victory at the Battle of Champaubert the preceding day. There is a good overview of the local situation here, as well as in some of the references below, so I won't waste words relating what others have already done better! Napoleon's objective is to destroy Sacken's isolated Russian Corps. Sacken's objective (before he realizes what he is up against, namely the entire Old and Middle Guard) is to open the road to Vauchamps. The Prussians are to assist Sacken, but also  not allow the French to seize the key road to Vilfort.

Map:  The Petit Marin river is unfordable, the stream is Class II.  Both hills and the woods are all Class II terrain as well.  The villages are Class III terrain.

Scenario Rules: The ground was noted to be extremely muddy; therefore all Artillery move at HALF their usual rate. If the Russians lose the villages of Marchais or Les Genereux, they must surrender 4 Morale Points each to the French.  Similarly, if the French lose Les Tremblay or the hill nearby to it, they must surrender 4 Morale Points each to the Allies. Finally, if the Prussians lose the road exit to Vilfort, the Allies must surrender 6 Morale points to the French. In all cases, the lost Morale Points can be regained if they retake the lost objective(s).

Deployment: The French (blue), Russians (green) and Prussians (red) deploy as shown on the above map.

French Reinforcements: Michel's Middle Guard Infsantyry Division arrives, deployed, on the first French MOVE card. DeFrance's Gardes d' Honneur Division arrives, deployed, on the second French MOVE card.
Prussian Reinforcements: Jurgas' Prussian Cavalry Division arrives, in column of March alomng the road, on the First Allied MOVE card.
Russian Reinforcements:  None

Victory Conditions: Play continues until one side concedes or fails Army Morale. The margin of Victory will be determined by the number of Morale Points by which the winning side exceeds the losing side: less than 5 = Marginal, 5 – 14 = Major, 15+ = Decisive (only counts if the other side also failed Army Morale, otherwise only Major).

FRENCH, Emperor Napoleon 1:  Exceptional  LD
38 Units

Guard Infantry, Marshal Mortier: Skilled  LD

1st (Old Guard) Division, GD Friant  Exceptional  LD
6 Old Guard Infantry, DD10, CD 12+1

2nd (Middle Guard) Division, GD Michel  Average  LD
6 Middle Guard Infantry  DD10, CD 12

Guard Artillery, GD Druot  Skilled  LD
2 Guard Horse Artillery   DD10, CD 12+2
2 Guard 12 # Foot Arty  DD10, CD 12+2

Guard Cavalry, GD Nansouty  Skilled  LD

1st (Old Guard) Division, GD Colbert  Skilled  LD
2 Guard Lancers (Red and Polish))  DD10, CD 12+1

2nd (Young Guard) Division, GD Laferrière-Lévesque  Average  LD  
5 Young Guard Cavalry (Dragoons, Grenadiers, Chasseurs) DD8, CD12

2nd Old Guard Cavalry Division, GD Guyot  Average  LD
2 Guard Grenadiers a Cheval (includes Gendarmes d' Elite)  DD10, CD 12+1
2 Chasseurs a Cheval (includes Mameklukes)  DD10, CD 12+1
1 Empress Dragoons  DD10, CD 12+1

VI Corps, Bertrand  Average  LD 

Division, GD Ricard  Average  LD
4 Ligne   DD 4 CD10
1 Legere  DD 6, CD10
1 6# Foot Battery  DD 6. CD 12

Cavalry Division GD DeFrance  Skilled  LD
4 Gardes d'Honneur/Hussars  DD8, CD 10

ALLIES (Sacken is overall Commander)

RUSSIANS: Sacken  Poor  LD 
52 Units

VI Infantry Corps – Lt. Gen. Prince Stcherbatov  Poor  LD

7th Infantry Division – Maj. Gen. Talyzin  Poor  LD
2 Russian Jagers
4 Russian Line

18th Infantry Division – Maj. Gen. Bernadesov  Poor  LD  
2 Russian Jagers  DD8, CD10
4 Russian Line DD8, CD8

6th Corps Artillery
2 12# Batteries  DD6, CD 12+1
1 6# Horse battery  DD 6, CD 12
1 6# Foot battery  DD 6,  CD12

XI Infantry Corps – Maj. Gen. von Lieven III  Average  LD

10th Infantry Division – Maj. Gen. Sass  Poor  LD
2 Russian Jagers  DD8, Cd10
4 Russian Line  DD8, CD 8

27th Infantry Division – Maj Gen Stavitzki  Poor LD
2 Russian Jagers  DD 8, CD 10
4 Russian Line  DD8, CD 8

11th Corps Artillery
2 12# Batteries  DD6, CD 12+1
1 6# Horse battery  DD6, CD 12
1 6# Foot battery  DD 6. CD 12

Cavalry Corps – Lt Gen Vasiltchikov  Poor  LD

2nd Hussar Division -- Maj. Gen. Lanskoï  Poor  LD
4 Russian Hussars  DD8, CD 10

3rd Dragoon Division – Maj. Gen. Pantchouliechev II  Poor  LD
4 Russian Dragoons  DD6, CD12
6# Horse Battery    DD 6,  CD 12

II Armee Korps: General of Infantry Yorck  Average  LD

1st Infantry Brigade: Maj. Gen. von Pirch II  Skilled  LD
3 Prussian Grenadiers  DD8, CD12
3 Silesian Landwehr  DD4. CD 10
6# Foot Battery   DD6, CD 12

Cavalry Reserve: Maj. Gen. von Jurgass  Average  LD
1 Prussian Hussar  DD8, CD 10
2 Prussian Landwehr cavalry  DD4, CD 8
6# Horse Battery  DD6, CD 12

Note: I have made some very minor changes to the historical OOB to reflect my own preferencess (such as grouping the 2 Guard  Lancer regiments together, and standardizing the composition of the Russian infantry Corps/Divisions) I posted a Battle Report of the playtest of this scenario earlier this month, which lead to minor modifications which are reflected in the final scenario above. Vive L'Empereur!

On-Line References and Resources:

Louis Bélanger's geat site on the 6 Day's Campaign of 1814 (in French)

Project Montmirail  - includes OOB's and thoughts on wargaming the battle.

Overview of the Battle of Montmirail

Nafziger OOB:

Montmirail Scenario for Napoleon's Battles

Montmirail Scenario from Fields of Glory

One account of a recent wargame based upon Montmirail


  1. Looks great and interesting, with famous French units!

  2. Yep, if your Imperial Guard figures have been itching to get off the shelf, out of Reserve, and into the thick of combat, this is the battle for them!

  3. Perfect scenario to get the Guard onto the table. That doesn't happen often. Terrific scenario material that I may put to use in giving this a try.

    Thank you!

    1. Exactly, Jon. Even the Guard needs to stretch its legs once in a while!

  4. You can enjoy the report of "our" Montmirail on my blog...

    1. Auguste: Thanks, and... I did. I was a little surprised that the report cited the lack of Russian Artillery; IIRC Sacken had 90 guns under his command. Did you reduce the artillery to allow for the effects of the mud delaying their arrival?

    2. Yes. From different sources it seems that Russian artillery that was effectively deployed was very scarce, just for the mud and for the fact that they were very hurry in occupy Marchais. However, I have added a secon Prussian Brigade that, in reality, joined late the fighting.

    3. I did decrease the Russians considerably from the full complement of guns avaialable theoretically, although they still do field a lot of them in my version. I had a second Prussian Brigade in the first version of my scenario, but wehn we tested it it became clear that they were redundant, and as you say, really only enagged in the very endgame of the battle historically.

    4. And, anyway, both of our scenarios ended with the same result... and they had a very similar progress...

    5. Exactly, and as usual, both setting up and playing out the scenario gives you much better insight into the historical battle as well!

  5. Gonsalvo,

    I just decided to go to Historicon yesterday. I'll be running a Leipzig game on Saturday with my 28mm figures and my adaptation of Command & Colors rules. I'll be walking the show on Friday. If you're around we should grab a drink.

    1. Absolutely, Glenn. I'd like to see that!

      Have you decided what time slot to run it?


  6. Forgot I was on my wife's computer while mine gets serviced.
    - Glenn Drover (Glenn's Tropical Games)