Sunday, June 03, 2007

Day ONE of the Friedland battle.

Though it started a bit late, due to work circumstances of one of the players, the battle progressed very, very well.

I was most pleased with the tabletop presentation of the troops and of how much faster play proceeded with the new magnetic 'tags' on the cadre troop stands.

I had finished off the flocking of the engineers and decided to toss a bit of flock on the new artillery 'supplies' markers that I also made up.

Then after rising, I made sure that the family was well fed and watered so as to not have them complaining while I was in action at the tabletop.

Jeff was the first to arrive with the second player Pete coming a bit later, we feasted (I had meats, cheezes, a variety of each, some meat pies, a selection of fruit juices and tea all lined up to feed the hordes (in case the turnout was unexpectedly large)) then advanced to the table and laid out troops and began action.

As expected it was very hot, after deployment we did a small break and got the fan operating in a better location. Also the weather broke in our favor and some clouds rolled in to shade us much better.

After deployment, I got a shot to show the view that Marshal Lannes would have had, while watching the display of Russian arms assembling before the River Alle and beyond the city of Friedland in front of him. The assembly was not unmolested, however being outnumbered at least 2:1 in all arms made the French careful in their attack postures, only one foray was permitted on the left (in pursuit of some defeated Russian cavalry) and on the French right a column of Light Infantry was rushed into place to cover the flank and managed to push away some Russian Jaegers in the process!

My new engineers also got the start to their first field works in preparing the ground for three pontoon bridges to be set over the Mulenfluss.

Later, by turn 7, the engineers were assembling the materials for putting the pontoons into the water, overseen by none other than Count Beningsen himself.

For the Russians on the left General Gallitzin was the busiest, with a few light cavalry formations being blasted by a very lively French 4 pounder that was handled with extreme urgency, taking a great risk in remaining to the very last in order to hammer one group of Russian cavalry and send it routing to the rear!

Gallitzen then calmly rode back and rallied these men, so as to make them ready to fill in later.

By turn 4 the French Cavalry Reserve had been shoved back by determined Russian action and the French artillery had taken a pounding. However the Russians could not advance very quickly due to the continued resistance of the French cavalry.

On the Russian left actions had gone more slowly, this was due mostly to the Russians needing to arrive onto the field from the cramped confines of Friedland itself.

By far the most impressive unit (strange it is also one of my favorite paint jobs, isn't it supposed to be the other way around, were the worst painted is the best performing?) in action on the Russian side was the Pavlov Grendadier Guards.

They marched rapidly out from Friedland, then hurried into a position in front of the remains to Gallitzin's cavalry. Three times they came under close (point-blank range twice!) range fire of a French 4-pounder battery and not once was the fire lively enough to even ruffle their feathers!

The commander of the left, Bagration (player:Pete) did have some ruffling when Jeff his fellow player came up with the best comment of the day:

"I have destroyed on of the enemy formations, I note that you have ~ as yet ~ destroyed none ... my prince."

The Muhlenfluss contined to be a thorn in the Russians plans as both the Right and Left wings were forced to carefully co-ordinate their movements so as to permit their arriving troops enough room to deploy. By turn 7 this was extremely difficult for both, as on the Russian Left an Infantry Division had formed squares and their commander was not responding to calls to 'make a hole' for the arriving Cossacks to pass through. While on the left cavalry casualties had created all sorts of new room to deploy, sadly it was at the expense of a full unit of light cavalry.

By turn 7 (or about halfway through the alloted game turns) neither side had used any free rolls ~ for my part it was mostly due to very good luck early in rolling many 7's, 8's, 9's and 10's! just whenever needed on the 'defence'.

The first, fast chance for the Russians was now over, the real meat-grinder remains to be played out! Next sunday, 10 June 2007.

I certainly hope for at least as good a turnout!


Grimsby Mariner said...

Good work and well done Murdock.

Always good to get a game in and to find that everything works as well if not better than planned.

But who are those rogues in the last photograph?

Bluebear Jeff said...


The stout fellow in the blue shirt and beard is me.

And the game was lots of fun (even though my die-rolling was execreble).

-- Jeff