Stephen, Mark B and David joined us for the game.
The trick then was to design a scenario that would give the Russians a chance to do better than history while preventing them from bringing all of their strength to bear on Lannes' force before French reinforcements arrived.
The next five photos show the table-top at the commencement of the game.
Above looking from the north-west, with Grouchy's cavalry in the foreground, Russians at the left side of the table.
Now four pictures, travelling along the western (French) side of the table, to show the masses of the Russian army.
Not wishing to be hemmed in against the table edge, Lannes ordered his troops forward.
Oudinot's 'grenadiers' up to the minor stream running from the Millstream to the Sortlack wood, to face Osterman's 2nd Division. This stream is for aesthetics only and has no impact on movement nor combat.
In the centre, Polenz's Saxons advanced so as to place the Millpond on their right flank, while Grouchy's, Carriere's and Nansouty's cavalry advanced in the north of the battlefield.
View from the south-east corner of the battlefield. Kologribov's cavalry in the foreground.
Looking at the Russian centre. The Alle snaking its way around Friedland. The latter is represented by the marvellous buildings that Julian is scratch-building for our Leipzig game. Superb aren't they? Definitely make Friedland the “market town of pretty houses, pointed rooves and neat gardens” described by Summerville in 'Napoleon's Polish Gamble'.
The Grodno hussars (here represented by the Pavlograd) charged the 5th grenadier battalion, who duly formed square and sent the Russian horsemen back to their own lines.
As Petre reported, apart from the Dombrau wood, the northern part of the battlefield was ideal for cavalry.
Our eye in the sky looks over the battlefield, from north to south.
Meanwhile, the cavalry combat continues, Russian uhlans and cuirassiers and Nansouty's carabiniers and cuirassiers come to grips.
Zooming back in at this point, the cavalry action continues, the French horsemen once again getting the better of the encounters.
The lead regiments of dragoons and cuirassiers are now isolated and blown, which could get nasty for them!
In the south, Oudinot continues to use the policy of attack being the best defence...
That was the end of the 10:00 turn. The French advance guard have been doing well against limited Russian attacks, but there are still plenty of Russians on the other side of the field, whose attacks are beginning to co-ordinate. Where is the Emperor with the rest of the Grande Armée?!
This brings us to the end of part one in which we played five turns. The stage is set for a most engrossing second part. With the scenario able to run until the end of the 22:00 turn (up to 29 thirty-minute turns) this one will likely go for at least three of our 'sessions'.
- Chandler, D (1966) Part Nine Winter War, 53. The Battle of Friedland. In, The Campaigns of Napoleon. Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London. 1993 paperback edition. pp. 572–585.
- Esposito, VJ and Elting, JR (1999) Military History and Atlas of the Napoleonic Wars. Greenhill Books, London. 2nd Edition edition. Maps 78–82.
- Hourtoulle, F-G and Jouineau, A (2007) From Eylau to Friedland: 1807, The Polish Campaign. Translated by A McKay. Histoire & Collections, Paris, France. pp. 80–90.
- Kiley, KF (2007) Let Not One Escape. In. Once There Were Titans: Napoleon's Generals and Their Battles, 1800-1815. Greenhill Books London. pp. 145–155.
- Mikaberidze, A (2015) Russian Eyewitness Accounts of the Campaign of 1807. Frontline Books (an imprint of Pen & Sword Books Ltd), Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK. pp. 254–274.
- Petre, FL (2001) Napoleon's Campaign in Poland 1806-1807. First Published 1907. Wren's Park Publishing, Barton-under-Needwood. 2001 edition. pp. 311–337.
- Summerville, C (2005) Napoleon's Polish Gamble: Eylau & Friedland 1807. Campaign Chronicles (Ed. C Summerville). Pen & Sword Books Limited, Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England. pp. 124–141.