Here are some views of the initial set-up.
At the other end of the table we see the town of La Giberie, defended by Porliers' division of Victor's II Corps, with Stockmayer's division of Eugène of Württemberg's IV Corps moving to the attack.
Stockmayer's division moves to attack Porliers' weak defence around La Giberie.
Panchulitzev I's dragoons, closest to camera, and Lanskoi's hussars moving in support of Stockmayer's and Bernadosov's divisions.
First combat: Piquet's 10e hussars charged the lead unit of Talysin's division. The latter formed square, so the hussars 'bounced' with modest losses.
Meanwhile, to the left (east of this action), Bernadosov's 28th and 32nd Jäger moved to attack Duhesme's division (Victor's II Corps) in and around La Rothière.
View of part of the table from the French side. Napoleon (near bottom-centre of the photo) has sent new orders to Milhaud's cavalry, which is stationed between Petit Mesnil and Chaumesnil (roughly top-centre of photo).
Porliers opted for a defensive retirement in the face of the onslaught.
Here come the Austrians! Gyulai's III Corps begins its flanking attack towards Dienville.
The 1e gardes d'honneur (heavily disguised) keep Talysin's lead units in square while, to their left, the first assault goes in against La Rothière.
with the support of Lanskoi's hussars to threaten the left flank of Duhesme's division.
Nansouty to the rescue? He sent forward Guyot's guard heavy cavalry; old guard grenadiers à cheval on the right and young guard on the left (those cuirassier figures are a figment of your imagination... i.e. used to make two units from one).
Briche's 2e and 6e dragoon's ganged up on Panchulitzev I's Kurland dragoons (played here by none less than the "mighty" Moscow).
Gyulai's Austrians look impressive, but, with the impassable Aube on their right flank, will they be able to force the bridge at Dienville?
A good turn for the Allies i) La Rothière taken on the first attempt.
A good turn for the Allies ii) La Giberie in the hands of Eugène (of Württemberg)'s national troops.
(Above and below) a good turn for the Allies; ruined! Lanskoi's and Panchulitzev I's cavalry came off the worst against Guyot's guard cavalry and Briche's dragoons respectively. Beaten back, but not broken.
In the foreground, Gérard's troops have advanced beyond Dienville to support Duhesme (1st Division of Victor's II Corps) who are holding against the strong attack from Talyzin's 7th Infantry Division (Sacken's VI Russian Corps).
Gyulai's Austrians are moving steadily through the snow.
Down and in close we see plenty of green coats against Duhesme's thin blue lines around La Rothière.
Stockmayer's and Von Koch's Württembergers of Eugène's IV Corps of the Army of Bohemia are making good progress against Porliers' division of II Corps...
as von Wrede's lead Austro-Bavarian divisions begin to pressure Marmont's position on the French left flank.
Back with the action, Bernadosov's second concerted attack broke through the first line of Duhesme's defenders.
Guyot's Empress dragoons and Marmelukes move to support Duhesme's right but, off to the left...
the Young Guard grenadiers à cheval were caught blown and stationary by Lanskoi's Alexandria hussars and easily broken.
West of La Rothière, Gérard has moved his troops further forwards in support of Duhesme's right flank.
At the eastern end of the battlefield we see the concave mass of von Wrede's corps as it moves inexorably towards the French left defended by Marmont's weak 'corps' (comprising only Lagrange's division).
Yet, the centre is all French at this stage. L'Heritier's dragoons have joined Briche's and have nearly driven off Panchulitzev I's Russian horsemen. However, a crucial bit of luck to match Duhesme's sees both they and Lanskoi's cavalry rallying on-board and pass their crucial divisional morale tests.
I'm relieved and pleased that the scenario appears to be working out well, since I took huge liberties with the scales. I calculated the units at 1:33 (down from the usual 1:50–1:60) and scaled up the terrain to 1:2 (mm:m) from the usual 1:1 (mm:m). Not one for the purists, but it seems to have worked—at our scale of approximation, at least!
It was a pleasure to have two of our honorary members of the ANF, Mark (aka Marc for this game since he is leading the French left flank) and Stephan (aka Stefan since he is playing as von Wrede, the Bavarian traitor, for this game—writing with my Franco lens fully on!!) join us for this opening gambit. We intend to complete the game this coming weekend (8th March) and, all going well, they will be joining us again.