Dated: May 3, 2008.
On April 27th , we played a Napoleonic game with 1/72 figures, using the Grand Manner wargame rules.
It was a fictive battle. As we were 4, each player would receive a division supported by cavalry. The dices were used to appoint who was on which side and with which division. One side would be an Austrian (Geert) and a Russian (Ronny) division opposed to a French (me) and an Allied French (Adrien) division (Würtenberger, Saxon and Bavarian) . Adrien and I are the more experienced players.
The Russians were facing the French units. The Russian side was dominated by a large plateau with steep slopes, centrally situated. The strongest position on the field. Ronny used it to position his battery, supported by a regiment of grenadiers and line infantry. Early in the battle, as on many occasions, most of the cavalry collided. As I wanted to keep most of my cavalry in reserve until some troops would start the be exhausted, I committed only one unit of cuirassiers, who were, due to some unlucky dicing, routed by hussars, but were rallied later on.
On the other hand the Russian dragoons were annihilated by fire in a killing ground I created with artillery and infantry in line. On the other side of the field, the complete Austrian horse was routed, and didn't rally afterwards, quitting the field. The French allied horse had to return behind their own line, as did the Russian hussars.
Ronny, normally an aggressive player, had a bad experience in a previous game by to much dispersing his troops, clung on to strong position on the hill and remaining immobile, except for his cuirassiers, that charged two French infantry columns in the center. Already weekend by skirmish fire in previous turns, the cuirassiers were routed by musketry. On the other side of the table , both sides harassed each other with artillery and musket fire.
While the Russian cuirassiers started their charge, I brought my lancers from their hidden position, the next turn charging the routing Russians in the rear, completely destroying them, rallying on the spot and charging the next turn an Austrian infantry regiment in the flank and sweeping it from the field. The weakend Austrian grenadier unit sharing the same fate in the following turn. In the meanwhile I brought up the infantry columns in the center, and 2 regiments on my right flank, supported by long range artillery fire, against 3 Russian regiments (1 jäger, one line, one grenadiers). My 2 regiments closely followed by my uncommitted carabineers, and weakened cuirassiers. The carabineers collided with weakened Russians hussars, destroying them and rallying on the spot an charging the Russian grenadiers and jägers in the flank (the Russian line regiment was already routed due fire losses. Al that remained were 2 Austrian regiments on the extreme right, and the 2 uncommitted Russians regiments and battery on their plateau. Notwithstanding repeated pleas of Geert for assistance, Ronny had kept these troops on the hill, ignoring the chain of events on both flanks of the plateau. With the French Allied cavalry coming up again the Austrian Russian force was doomed, surrender being the only option.
I was for once happy after a game with the Grand Manner, the battle more or less finished. Taking into account the game lasted for 6 hours, with luckily, apart from the hills, no terrain features (in previous games it felt more as a fight with terrain features instead of with the enemy) , the distance covered by the troops is not much. Troops in line only advancing 4 inches, the numerous consulting of tables, making it a slow game, losing the dynamism of a battle. Adding to this the 16 inch firing range of muskets, infantry attacks are not often seen. In my opinion also, the rule, claiming to be realistic focuses to much on details, unimportant in the overall picture of a battle. But that, as mentioned, is my personal opinion and a matter of taste, and after al the game was fun.
I would like to thank Adrien for his hospitality and Geert for the figures. Also thanks to Ronny for being a fine opponent.
Many thanks to Mr. Donvil
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