Wednesday, October 12, 2016

1805 Battle of the LANNES Campaign: Lavergne and Shurleigh Fields

On the first Sunday of October, Barry and I fought out the second (1805) battle in our LANNES campaign, Listen and you shall hear the tale of how Francois Faucon,  Boris Badenov, and their men met on the Fields of Lavergne and Shurleigh...

Here's the field after the initial set up process, Barry's Russians to the left, my French to the right. The pre-battle process allowed the French to deploy forward in one additional zone (known to Barry in advance, but not WHICH zone). I chose my left flank zone, so in that 1/4 of the 6 foot by 6 foot field. I could deploy up to 36" onto the field. And so I did, with my last 2 command groups placed - my largest and best Infantry command, and a supporting cavalry command. I have 2 units of Light infantry ready to contest the woods in Skirmish order. On my far right is an inferior infantry command with a supporting battery and cavalry brigade. One of Barry's commands was delayed as part of the pre game process as well - it turned out to be his cavalry command, and it would not be able to enter until his 5th MOVE card was turned. Thus I didn't have to worry about being vulnerable to cavalry charges until late in the game, while Barry did. 

Close up of the Russian deployment. 2 units of Jagers prepare to contest the central woods, with a large command each in his Left Flank and Left central zones (all up to 18" onto the field), each composed of 4 Line infantry and a supporting battery.

Close up view of the French advanced left flank commands. 

The French Right Flank commands - their role was more to tie up Russians than attempt decisive action, unless favorable opportunities presented themselves.

The "One Hundred Foot Tall General" view of the field. 

Close up view of the Russian masses set up on their left flank.

After trading of useless cards on a 1 impetus run, the next run was a whopping 9 impetus. Barry, having won the Leadership Die roll off, opted to go first. The first card turned was a MOVE card. Jagers into the woods on a Double Magic Move!

Using the "magic" to change facing with one Jager battalion, and formation with the other. 

View of the woods from the French perspective. 

Trembalotsky, the famously epileptic commander of 1st brigade, dashes forward on a Triple Magic Move!

General M. Smartov uses a Double Magic Move to advance, and also re-direct part of his brigade to 
guard against the anticipated French flanking attempt. 

The Russians turn a SECOND Move card, and their Jagers waste no time in advancing further into Sureloch Forrest. the column takes it on the chin from fire by the lead French Legere, losing 2 UI, but "holding firm", doubtless inspired by the business dealings of Mr Trump. . Its sister Jager unit fires on the offending Frenchmen, but fail to inflict meaningful damage. 

Situation overview after the Jagers' move and fire combats. 

Shaking with anticipation, Trembalotsky's Brigade pushes forward again!

Their supporting battery finds the range and blasts a French Line battalion, routing them with heavy losses. Damned CD12 6 lber Battery!

French MOVE ONE COMMAND GROUP card - the large French infantry command is selected. First the two Legere units exchange places, allowing the "loaded" 2nd unit to blast the second Jager unit, which is forced back with losses. Yay, Team France!

The rest of the command moves forward as well, but sluggishly, having rolled a single move with no "fancy business".

Fine French LEADERSHIP allows the routed right flank infantry to rally, although few of the fleeing men return to the colors. 

Yep, another Russian Move Card - M. Smartov's Brigade divides itself, 2 battalions and the battery anchoring the Russian right flank, and the other 2 battalions advancing along side Sureloch Forrest to support the battered Jagers, one of which has rallied and joins their advance. The Russians have now played all three of their MOVE cards, to none for the French. 

Overview of the battle. The lack of French MOVE cards and the use of their sole Move One Command card have left an ugly gap in the French lines. The French artillery battery by the walled field has unlimbered so as to threaten overly adventurous Russians with potential enfilade fire. My other (lousy CD 8) battery hasn't even had a chance to unlimber yet!

Overview from the Russian perspective. Good thing I have the cavalry and Barry doesn't, or I'd be in really deep trouble now!

Well, a French MOVE card had to come up eventually, right?  General de Brigade Fabien Le Ferme unlimbers his guns at last, and dispatches his Light battalion to support the fighting near Sureloch Forrest. Renard's cavalry brigade takes shelter behind the remaining full strength French battalion. Those damned fences pretty much make any surprise charge upon the Russians both impossible and suicidal. (The fence lines count as Class II terrain for movement and melee cover, no effect for fire combat).  I think this battle used just about every fence and stone wall I own!

General de Brigade Henri Hibou, a new addition to the forces of Francois Faucon, leads his large infantry command forward. Unfortunately, the chance to flank the Russians has been all but lost by the sluggish French advance, and the uncharacteristic alacrity of the Russian maneuvers. Evidently the coq au vin was longer cooking this morning than expected, and could not be left behind!

Wary of the fully loaded Russian battery, Simeon Souris and his cavalry Brigade swing wide, protected by the French infantry.

French Right flank does the "Shuffle off to Le Chateau" to close the gap between them and the rest of the army. 

Uh-oh!  In the midst of a long French Impetus run where I know there are no Russian MOVE cards left, comes a  French LULL card. Barry wins, and turns... the damned remaining MOVE ONE COMMAND card. Merde! A Russian battalion storms out of the woods at the flank of one of Hibou's Line Battalions. Fortunately, they don't win a MAGIC move, so no immediate melee is possible. The Legere unit is STILL waiting for a FIREPOWER card ever since it fired at the start of the game, and therefore can do little to intervene. Fortunately, La Fortuna is a fickle mistress, and the Russians flank fire fails to have any discernible effect on the vulnerable battalion. 

The rest of Smartov's brigade push forwards into the woods, shooting at my similarly still "unloaded" second Light battalion, and threatening to take my painstakingly re-positioning battery in the flank after that. Sacre Bleu!  Once again ,Russian dice colder than January in Siberia are my salvation... along with a French D8 Defense Die!  Was it not Suvorov himself who said "The bullet is a mad thing; only the bayonet knows what it is about?"

Russian cannon fire routs a French Light battalion, but a timely French MANEUVER card allows the outflanked French battalion to turn to face their tormentors, and the rest of the laggard French flank attack to threaten to charge the now "unloaded" Russian battery anchoring the flank. 

Souris' Cavalry don't have enough movement to do more than threaten the Russian infantry and Artillery anchoring their right, but with the right cards the threat could become reality. 

The re-directed French column shoots at the exposed Russians, causing losses and forcing the Ivans back. 

The exposed Russian battalion having been forced back, the Russian guns pound a French battalion as it reaches the Fence line (upper left). However, the now unmolested French battalion (the Frimaire Line)  takes advantage of a DOUBLE MAGIC MOVE to charge the flank of an already battered Jager Battalion in Sureloch Forrest, destroying it in the process. 

Situation after the charge of the Frimaire Line. What I wouldn't give for a MELEE Card right now!!!

Instead the Russians turn a timely ARTILLERY FIREPOWER card, and the accurate fire of their battery routs the Bourdeaux Chasseurs. Such fine vintage figures, wasted! 

Revriement is fair play, no?  The newly re-positioned French Battery, "Genie", routs a Russian Musketeer battalion by the Forrest on a French ARTILLERY FIREPOWER card. 

Not content with that, the French battery shoots again, forcing back the other Musketeer unit alongside the woods. 

More Russian Artillery FIREPOWER, throws back the last of Souris' infantry flanking attempt, whilst Renard's remaining Chasseur regiment tries to work around the flank (and get out of that damn artillery unit's filed of fire!)

The One Hundred Foot Tall General surveys the battlefield at the end of Turn 1.

French LEADERSHIP rallies some of their battered forces. 

But then it is back to the Russian "Foot Cavalry" exhibition! Starting off with a MLOVE card, Trembalotsky's men shake out and attack the French far right, seemingly unworried about the threat posed by the cavalry, routing the French at the point of their bayonets. Suvorov was correct, it would seem!

"How did the 5th MOVE card come so soon?" The wayward Russian Cavalry appears, pretty much quashing the final chance for the French to turn the Russian' flank. 

Overview of the situation on the French right. 

Russians keep their powder dry for once; a volley routs the last of the French infantry on the right flank. This is a Bad Thing (if you're French, that is!)

Yet ANOTHER unanswered Russian MOVE card - cheeky Russian Musketeers shoot the French cavalry in the flank. Sensing their chance for La Gloire to come, the cavalry are unimpressed, however. 

"Tu dis au revoir, et je dis bonjour!" Cheeky Russians form square, The French cavalry is *really* ticked off at them now! Meanwhile, the newly arrived Russian Dragoons have charged the French Chaumont Chasseurs on the other flank, routing them. Barry;s Dragoons have actually DONE something worthy; thj next batch of Dismounted Rusian Dragoon figures are quietly removed from his painting queue! The French are now out of Morale points and are paying the Russians. 

Seeing little chance for effective action remaining, the French use 2 MOVE cards in a row (NOW I get them!) to break off before they suffer even greater losses... or turn the ARMY MORALE card! 

Until the next battle, mon cher général, proclaims Francis Faucon, with a tip of his chapeau to his victorious opponent, Boris Badenov, for a battle well fought! 


  1. A wonderful report on a beautiful terrain (love your fields!)...Amazing!

  2. Impressive visual, Peter! With 25mm troops, I figured the play area to be much larger than 6x6. Surprising revelation. Russians seemed to gain the initiative and hold onto it until the end. 1799 to 1805 to ? Where will we see you fighting next?

    1. I allowed an extra foot on either side to allow for maneuver if needed, but neither side came close to entering those areas. The forces are still relatively compact at this stage - `14 units. After each battle, a few more troops and sometimes more commanders join up, and the troops may improve (or sometimes worsen). 1806 is the next battle of the Series...

  3. Replies
    1. Indeed! The Russian Dragoons were LONG overdue for a successful outing. I just hope they revert to their usual form for the next battle! :-)

  4. Great AAR for a great set of rules.

    1. Thank you, Garry. Still my favorite (although I'll happily play LG2 one on one or two on two as well).

  5. Great AAR, lots of lovely troops and some very nice fields and fences.
    Best Iain

  6. Sounds like you two had far too much fun; plenty of wargaming 'magic'!

    1. Yes indeed, we had a lot of fun with the game!

  7. Plenty of wargame action! I couldn't believe it when I read " the end of Turn 1"

    1. Turn 1 - as long as there is no re-shuffle of the deck, a "TURN" in FoB (or Piquet) is about half a game - 3 to 4 moves by each side, firing up to 3 times, etc. Rarely does a battle last much beyond two such turns.

  8. Love the name! I wonder how many caught it? Some of my battles were named Hindzeight, Rear guard at Barf, Scheisseburg (All WWII games).
    Dick Bryant

    1. The nearest village on the Warpln 5/5 map was named Laverne, so the rest was easy. 😀
      Yes, only gamers if a certain age might make the connection. I love Barry's commander names, too. Much more creative than mine!

  9. Thanks for sharing this. I really like your game mat. Did you highlight it with spray paint?

  10. Glad you enjoyed it Jeffrey!
    Yes, it is a medium green felt, with many, many passes of spay paint in multiple colors - dull yellow, orange-brown, tan, dark brown, dark red, bright and dark green, even a bit of black! In other posts here, you can see the same kind of treatment on dark green felt, light tan heather felt, and a medium brown heather felt.

  11. Wonderful report of a great looking battle!

    1. Thanks, Ray! We had fun with it too. Now, to schedule the next game!