We were using 'Quick March Attack' to re fight the battle, this has a scale of 24" to a mile and a unit represents approx 12 guns, 1500 infantry or 750 cavalry. Even at this scale the Russians had something like 140 units on table and the French almost 150! With a high proportion of artillery on both sides this was always going to be bloody!
|French Right Flank Deployment|
The table was 12 foot by 6 foot which meant that the battlefield was slightly larger than it should have been, this was more to accommodate the players around the table than anything else. Even so the troops filled their deployment zones and the French Guard had to settle for starting off table.
|Ney's Corps launches its attack on the Fleches.|
The first French assault was directed through the woods on their right while a Grand Battery was formed to bombard the Fleches. First thing in the morning the Polish and the majority of Davout's Corps started forcing their way through the woods. While the Russian resistance was sporadic the terrain meant that the French would take some time before their presence could be felt.
The French Grand Battery started to take its toll on the Russian gun line and at 10.30am Ney launched an assault with his Corps. Unfortunately the French flank attack through the woods was not yet in position to give support, there was nothing opposing the Russian guns in the centre and finally there were plenty of Russian artillery still in reserve.
Ney marched forward into almost 60 guns on his objective and had another 60 that could direct fire into his leftmost regiments. The troops pushed forward for over an hour but the unsupported attack was destined to fail almost before it was launched. As a Russian player I can say we were relived that the French artillery had been replaced by an infantry assault that we beat back almost with ease. Ney's Corps took no more part in the days battle.
|The situation at midday.|
Sunday morning and the French players must have had a half time chat as they came on with a vengeance. Davout and Poniatowski had pushed through to the edges of the woods and were in a position where they could launch an attack on the flank of the Fleches. While the Russians had deployed an artillery line to face this attack it was far from an ideal position to be in. Meanwhile Napoleon had called forward the Guards and they were to attack over the same ground that Ney had crossed earlier in the day.
This time the French assaulted all along the front in an effort to pin down the other Russian Corps and stop them sending any re-enforcements to their left. As much of the French heavy Corps artillery had been used to pound the left flank the attacks did pin the Russians but at a horrendous cost in infantry casualties.
|The Russian right flank, almost untouched.|
|Edge of your seat time.|
|Second assault on the Russian left|
|French cavalry unleashed against the centre.|