|Layout at the start - from behind French left|
The French-Italian forces consisted of two brigades of Infantry, the French with one Battalion of Grenadiers and two of line, the Italian brigade with three Battalions of line and one of Grenadiers (Irish Legion serving as "Italians") and a brigade of Cavalry with two Hussar Squadrons and one of Dragoons.
The Russian attackers had two brigades of infantry, each with three battalions of line (one each of Jagers with detached skirmish formations - the French having no Voltigeurs at all) a brigade of Dragoons with two squadrons and full artillery battery and a brigade of Cossacks.
|Deployment as seen from behind the French left|
The Russians deployed in one long line, with orders for the right wing brigade to take the large hill, the left brigade to advance to artillery range and hold and the Dragoons to press in immediately. The Cossacks were held back for exploitation or flank action. The effect was to keep the French guessing about the possibility of the Cossacks appearing on the flank.
The first turn was movement to range with artillery exchanges, not much to write about.
Turn two saw the Russian Dragoons race into the center of the field, an odd decision for sure as none of the French or Italian forces were yet disordered, the French Dragoons responded and sent the Russians reeling back.
|First cavalry engagement|
|Russian Dragoons counter-attack|
The end of the turn also saw a brigade fail its moral check as Russian artillery was starting to take effect, one Battalion of line was routed (having suffered 4 casualties) and the brigade rolled a morale check die getting a "1"!
|French brigade morale fails and they flee to the edge of the board...|
Meanwhile on the Russian left the Cossacks had arrived, they were following the battle plan to drive up the line behind the Dragoons and smash into the French center. Certainly the inexperience of this Russian player was telling in his choice of action for the lightly armed Cossacks!
|Cossacks arrive in the Russian left wing|
|all alone in the center, Eugene holds on until French brigade can recover|
|Russian Dragoons facing Italian horse guns|
The Cossacks advanced behind a screen of Russian infantry, the battalion of Jagers suffered in turn 7 from massed French and Italian artillery fire. The French brigade that had fallen back in turn 2 was now recovered and back into position. Just in time to blast the remnants of the Jagers from the field. Then the Cossacks charged, into steady French Grenadiers. It was not even a close match ... the Cossacks were blasted to bits. Then came a "1" brigade morale roll for the Cossacks, who fled to the edge of the field.
In turn 8 the Cossacks recovered and still the artillery was dealing out death blows, this time another Russian Battalion fled the field (with 4 casualties), while the jubilant French Grenadiers were wounded and disordered by concentrated Russian artillery.
|Start of turn 8 from Russian left|
|Brigade command choosing to drive forward to victory|
|the paths of glory lead but to the grave|
The weakest French unit were the Chasseurs a Cheval, though they were posted to a reserve role.
|Chasseur a Cheval in reserve, though wounded still a capable unit|
|French and Italian line, though bloodied was now back into position|
The French fired on the advancing Battalions, taking out another one and certainly causing a morale check on the central Russian brigade, though this would come at the end of the turn, they were in no condition to continue fighting, and the French guns were certain to score more hits that could not be sustained (the remaining Battalion had 3 hits already).
|Russian right formed defensive squares|
|Russian right wing brigade had taken the hill|
|Fateful moment, Russian command must get one more casualty to win|
|measurement being made to send in the Cossacks|
Now a desperate fight would result, with the Cossacks having bonus and dice roll total score of 8 and the wounded Grenadiers coming up with NO bonus (having failed to form square and casualties and no support they were at a "0"). As the Grenadiers already had two hits they could only sustain two more, three hits and they would flee the field, causing the brigade to have more than 1/2 casualties and likely having to flee totally - giving the Russians the clear victory, so they would have to roll a "6" in order to even stay on the field and give the rest of the French a fighting chance.
The Grenadiers rolled a "6"!
They fell back with casualties, yet the brigade would remain.
The Cossacks charged ahead and totally destroyed the French foot battery that had dealt out great volumes of death all day.
The problem was that the Russians had lost another Battalion in the turn, the French had reached their victory total. Final score French: 6 :: Russian: 4.
Clearly the field was not going to stay in French hands long, though the battle was a French 'victory' it was a Pyrrhic one for the Russians were certain to recover faster than the French ... the greater part of the army would march away and the French retreat would continue ...
Many thanks to MIKE for playing as the Russian in this contest at Dak-Kon 17 in Courtenay.