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DCRBrown

General de Division

Posts: 1,971

Lead

Oct 25 11 1:10 PM

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On Friday October 21st fourteen players descend upon the Wargames Holiday Centre, now relocated to sunny Basingstoke, for a Russian vs. French Battle of Borodino rematch using General de Brigade rules. Both sides deployed in a comparatively historical manner, except that the Russian Guard Jagers defending Borodino village were hastily withdrawn as dawn cast its light upon the battlefield!

On Day 1 the game commenced with the expected artillery duels, French Guard foot artillery and the massed batteries of Davouts corps engaging with Russian guns defending the Grand Redoubt and fleches.
Unfortunately for the Russians, the Grand Redoubt 12pdrs went low on ammo within a few moves. This lessening of fire saw the serried ranks of Davouts monster corps quicken their advance, the left flank aiming at the grand redoubt, supported by Eugenes Italians moving on Borodino village and his centre at Semenovskaya village. Neys corps took on the forward two fleches, while Poniatowski's Poles began their slow grind towards village of Utitsa, with each step contested literally tooth and nail by defending Russian infantry and guns.

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The game followed its historical counter-part with entire battalions engulfed in the artillery storm, never to be seen again, nonetheless the French, especially Davout kept grinding forward. As the French made progress Napoleon brought up the reserve heavy cavalry and Jerome s Westphalian corps ready to exploit any success.

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The game rules did permit the release of the French Imperial Guard, but to do so would immediately reduce or further reduce the outcome of the battle for the French, i.e. a draw would be reduced to a defeat if the Guard had been committed. Thus the Immortals stayed in reserve, however the Russians had their own issues with their Reserves. The Russian Guard and two artillery reserves could only be released each with a roll of ten on a 2D6 roll once per turn, (although if the French Imperial Guard was committed this would lead to the immediate release of the Russian Guard). As fate decided the Russian Guard were available for release pretty quickly, but the Russian commander struggled to bring his artillery reserves on, neither being available on Day 1 at all.

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The most significant gains on Day 1 were the storming of the Grand Redoubt by Davout, though the feature remained bitterly contested.

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Day 2 saw the grinding match continue. The Russians soon committed their Grenadier reserves to fill in gaps as battalions and batteries were ravaged alike. The front lines of both Ney and Davout were equally spent prompting the release of the French heavy cavalry and Jeromes Westphalian corps aiming towards the two front fleches. The French carabiniers and cuirassiers rode straight at the fleches, the carabiniers ridding in and over the defending Russian horse guns, while the cuirassiers smashed the Russian Guard cuirassiers (an infamous double 1 did not help their combat chances!).

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There now developed a massive see-saw cavalry action between French heavies and Russian guard cavalry and cuirassier reserves, eventually the French gained the upper hand as charges from the Saxon Garde du Corps and Zastrow cuirassiers saw off the final Russian reserves.

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Mid way through Day 2 saw a turning point, the Grand redoubt was still in French hands, Eugenes Italians were moving across the Kolocha River to pressure the Russian right and the Poles had finally taken Utitsa and continued to gain ground as their Russian opponents fell back.

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The final act on Day 2 was Jeromes Westphalians passing over the central fleche to strike the Russian Foot Guards. Galled by mere Westphalians being used to effect the final French breakthrough Kutuzov immediately counter-attacked with the Russian Foot Guards. Despite some telling volleys the Russian Guard counterattack literally swept away the lead Westphalian formations, however they could not impact further, being halted by Davouts lead formations and the second echelon of Westphalians, before eventually being driven back.

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With the failure of the Russian Guard attack the Russian commander had nothing left to commit to battle, and almost as if on cue the Russian left facing the Poles finally disintegrated, permitting Poniatowski to swing across towards the Russian rear and centre. Faced with no other option the Russians ceded the field and withdrew.

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All in all a great couple of days gaming with the battle following its historical counter-part almost blow for blow! Many thanks to Mark Freeth of the Wargames Holiday Centre for running the first General de Brigade game, a great success all round!

DB
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DCRBrown

General de Division

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#1 [url]

Oct 26 11 6:36 PM

Further to this Mark has uploaded the battle onto YouTube - Five Parts in all!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQY4htc4AmU&feature=related

DB

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#2 [url]

Oct 26 11 9:09 PM

A few minor additions showing the degree of spectacle!
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Polish Lancers nearing Utitsa

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Initial deployment at the Grand Redoubt

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Happy (but intense!) Gaming

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Davout prepares to deliver a Fleche wound

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En Avant!

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Poniatowski streams towards Utitsa

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Eugene takes (is given) Borodino

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#7 [url]

Nov 2 11 1:44 PM

So sorry I missed it, it looks the dogs parts & a cracking write up too.

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#8 [url]

Nov 3 11 11:28 AM

Additional photos

Hi Guys,
I have been adding more of the photos taken daily and will be looking to add more next week.

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The V Corps advance into the wood at Utitsa.

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The majority of the protagonists!

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Russian Cuirassier from the Russian V Corps advance into the battle line.


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A Russian 12pdr Battery about to deliver it's message to the French.

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#9 [url]

Mar 24 12 1:11 AM

Those figures are painted beautifully. Would that I could do that well.
Question .. Why are the French attack columns 6 figures, company, wide while the Russian attack columns are 4 figures, 1/2 company, wide?

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DCRBrown

General de Division

Posts: 1,971

#13 [url]

Jul 22 15 9:09 AM


Question .. Why are the French attack columns 6 figures, company, wide while the Russian attack columns are 4 figures, 1/2 company, wide?

The French are in Column of Divisions - a two company frontage (each company is a six figure base: 3 x 3 figures).

The Russians are in Column of Companies  - a one eight figure company frontage (each company being a 4 x 4 figure base) - as this was the preferred Russian formation.

In future any there will be no difference between these two formations as far as firing, etc., is concerned.

DB


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Rudorff

Brigadier

Posts: 1,141

#14 [url]

Jul 22 15 3:51 PM

DCRBrown wrote:


Question .. Why are the French attack columns 6 figures, company, wide while the Russian attack columns are 4 figures, 1/2 company, wide?

The French are in Column of Divisions - a two company frontage (each company is a six figure base: 3 x 3 figures).

The Russians are in Column of Companies  - a one eight figure company frontage (each company being a 4 x 4 figure base) - as this was the preferred Russian formation.

In future any there will be no difference between these two formations as far as firing, etc., is concerned.

DB



Oh Dear, I can hear a gnashing of French player's teeth from here smiley: laughsmiley: laughsmiley: laugh

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