Monday, 30 April 2012

Friedland 1807 In 15mm - The Day Out

 Half the Russian commanders arrived late so, the other half engaged the French and the shooting match began. The French were well organised, motivated and confident of the easy victory. The Russian were, however, lined up (as per the day) against the river and arrayed like the wrong half of a firing squad. 'Oh, but who will save the day' I hear you cry (yes, I should lend my ears out to GCHQ) The noble (see also ignorant) new batch of Russian commanders arrive just in time to ignore history and go over to the offensive...and very offensive they were too.

Dave and Paul, the main supports to the totally impartial umpire (who stood at the head of the table shouting 'Vive l'Emeror!' swigging Napoleon brandy and playing French marching songs) played a blindingly good game with calm replies to stupid questions and gently, but firmly, refuted impossible moves and claims.

'read my badge then do as you're told'
 The main strength of the French Army was supposed to be in the southern end of the pitch but there had been some transfers to the centre...

 From the Russian perspective the massed columns looked quite intimidating...
 After a shaky start the Russian cavalry put on a magnificent show to the Northern end..
 ..racing over the hill to strike at the enemy who were pressuring the infantry...
 The town was well defended and had good communications to the rear.
 Over the bridges and on to the approach road...
 The town itself heaved with men...
 Meanwhile, Lannes Grenadiers tried to force the centre left flank away from the rivers edge...

 They were repulsed but the cavalry reserve had them covered.
 They not only looked good...but performed well. It was amongst the most numerous 15mm armies I've ever seen.
 Infantry casualties among the Russians were, as you would expect, high...but as one General, ever mindful of his men's welfare commented..."Well...plenty more where they came from".
 An effective way of communicating orders as this General is just about to punch an officer in the back of the head, south paw, I believe.
 Casualties marked by rings; one ring for one casualty, two for the Mrs, three for an irate postman, four usually destroys the unit and five for the Olympics.


 Town..busy...
 Southern flank Russian cavalry chomp at the bit waiting for a gap big enough to allow them to cross...
 Yet more French...
 The collections of Ferdy and Paul, French and Russian respectively, were on display and very effective they looked as you can see from these shots...
 In the North the Russians gained ground...
 ...and exploited well...
 The town was constantly under pressure...
...and probably would have eventually fallen..
...but it would have taken a lot of time and would soak up a lot of infantry.
The abandoned site of the Russians previous positions.
The view from the rear edge of town facing North.

...and this one because I like it.

The French agreed on a French victory. The Russians agreed on a Russian victory. So, we all agreed on a draw...just a slight change to history.

This, as usual, is no scientific analysis of Friedland but it shows that with an approximation of what was there Russian middle management might have achieved more. Napoleon had the generals on the day. The Russians may well have been tempted to say 'You just can't get the staff nowadays'.

My thanks, as ever, to all the wargamers taking part. We added a few Englishmen to the Brotherhood of the Sand from Leeds and Derby. The locals were out in force...and we were fed royally too.



4 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting these, Simon, that was quick! A shame I had to leave just as the Russians started to strike back, at least on their right.

    Paul

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  2. Great battle report, Crackign looking layout and figures.
    Cheers
    paul

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  3. A great day was had by all.Nice to see you all.Fortune favours the brave.Alans Russians charging down the hill.2 French division lost in one turn..
    cheers
    Bill-R.........

    ReplyDelete