Tuesday 27 August 2019

Custom board for The Battle of Vyazma 1812 - First Game

So the board is ready... The troops are complete (almost). Time to try it out...

This afternoon me and my son, Brendan, got to play the scenario I've been working hard on for the last month or so. I'd just finished putting together the last few troops needed.

Brendan decided he'd like to play the Russians. Something about the artillery being good... I'd beaten him up a lot with it in an earlier game.

So anyway, that left me with the French. After a bit of thought he decided to go for the historical Russian tactic and cut off Davout's route to safety. I pulled Eugene's Corps up to help and Poniatowski's to assist. This left the Russian cavalry standing off against Davout's infantry squares trying to screen movement out of the way.

The bulk of Davout's Corps just managed to move out of the way as Platov's Cossacks arrived on the table as Eugene's troops hit the Russian cavalry in the rear. In the nick of time the main Russian force arrived as well!

Davout began a scrabble to avoid taking too much damage from the Cossacks as he retreated, part of Eugene's force pulled back so as to stop another Russian corps cutting them off from the route home a second time.

What resulted was a relatively orderly retreat by the French with few stragglers being left at the mercy of the Cossacks and other Russian troops. A final stand near Vyazma began as the remnants fled.

On the last turn Brendan needed to rout just one more French unit to win, but it wasn't to be.

A close and hard fought game. Certainly a scenario with a lot going on!

I'm going to make a few adjustments: a few more Cossack units and additional Cuirassiers turning up late in the game as Kutusov did send some to assist but they turned up late.

As for the terrain, it looked great, but the static grass shed quite a bit. I'm going to have to seal it a lot more with watered-down PVA...

Eugene's IV Corps marching to Vyazma.

Davout's I Corps arrives near Foederovskoe to find his path
blocked by the Russian Cavalry and supporting troops.

Eugene marches back towards Foederovskoe to assist Davout

Poniatowski's V Corps arrives to help

Davout screens his troops and attempts to escape the trap.
Eugene is marching into the rear of the Russians, a counter-trap!

Cossacks arrive behind Davout. Mayhem!

Davout tries to keep order as his troops run to safety.

The main part of the Russian IV Corps arrives on the scene.

As Davout runs the Russians are held up by a few doughty
Italians from Eugene's IV Corps.

Davout's troops take the long route around the back of the wood.
As they rejoin the main road near Vyazma the Russian IV Corps closes in.

The Russian IV Corps sees it's quarry.

In the last few turns a single Cossack unit attempts to sweep into the rear of the French.
Davout finds a fresh unit of Légère and blocks it.

The last troops to be painted for the battle were the Kalmuks
 in the front two ranks of the Cossack detachment.

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