Saturday, 11 June 2016

13:00–15:00: Russian high-tide? Battle of Friedland, 14th June 1807–part three

It's now 15:30 and the battle is teetering on a knife-edge.

Read on to see how this unfolded.

(Should you need to catch up, click here for part one and click here for part two).


The Russians' continued with an all-out attack on the French, now under the command of the Emperor and bolstered by the arrival of Ney's VI Corps.

For Bennigsen and his generals, the best chance of victory still seemed to be to defeat the partly-arrived French army so as to be in a position to beat the French reinforcements as they arrived.

Or, to put this in player parlance, to have a red hot go and make a game of it!

In the north, around the Dambrau wood, the cavalry struggle continued. 

Cossacks and jäger got the better of this one. The former crashing into the blown 2e cuirassiers sending them in retreat. The latter, in square, seeing off the 2e carabiniers; broken!

To their right, the 12e cuirassiers prevailed over the Emperor Cuirassier regiment.

Cossacks breakthrough, the cheek of it. Zut alors, they sent the 9e cuirassiers (also blown) packing too!

Alongside these cavalry combats Dombrowski's Poles were doing their bit for the Emperor, in typical fashion.

They'd have to hold firm as Nansouty's heavy cavalry were a spent force (failed divisional morale).

Meanwhile, in the southern sector...
Ney's first columns attacked the Moscow regiment and were driven back.

The guard grenadiers prepared to attack what remained of Oudinot's 'grenadiers'  (converged elites of line and light companies), holding the French centre.

Osterman-Tolstoy's grenadiers removed Colbert's horse battery, while the horsemen looked on!

In the Sortlack wood, the voltigeurs continued to hold up Baggowouth's jägers

Back to the north.
To the left of the Poles, the French-allied line was held by Dupas' division of Mortier's corps; holding strong, with a win and a loss in mêlée.

Sauve qui peut! The Little Russia cuirassiers drove off the horse battery assigned to Dombrowksi's division.
They then threatened Poniatowski, attached to the legion Polacco-Italienne chevau-légers lanciers (the future Vistula Legion Lancers). How beastly?!

Sensing an opportunity, Bennigsen crossed the Millstream. "I knew that I had those pontoons constructed for a good reason!"

The action is on back in the south.
Latour-Maubourg's 4/14e dragoons charged the Moscow musketeers (not them again!)— they formed square and saw off the French horsemen. (The dragoons failed to rally, so that was them done).

The 1/2e dragoons had better of it. Scratch one Russian foot battery.

With cries of "Wvenge, wvenge!" Colbert's 5th/10th chasseur à cheval, ably led by Ken, charged to avenge their countrymen artillerists. Sadly it became another rep. for the Russian players' biased view that French chasseurs always lose!

Time for a few photos to let you see what was happening at the end of 13:30 turn.

Looking from the south, Sortlack wood in the foreground, 'the pretty village of Friedland' at right-rear.

From the north, Dombrowksi's Polish division in centre-foreground.

Swinging around to the east to look diagonally across the table (NE-SW). Gallitzin's cavalry poised to be unleashed to join Uvarov's troopers?

Lastly, the opposite view, SW-NE, Ney's troops in the foreground.

Dupas' men continue to hold the line, despite heavy pressure from Essen III's infantry.

Bennigsen (left of photo) returns to his command post, having ordered Gallitzin to break around the French right flank.

Oudinot's 'grenadiers' in trouble as the Pavlov grenadiers and the grenadiers of the Guard throw their weight around.

To their left, Brün's 31e légère, in square, held against the Russian guard ulans.

French counter-attack. Marchand's division (Ney's VI Corps) pick on the Guard Militia (a contradiction in terms?!).

At the other end of the line, his troops were also successful against some of those previously resistant jägers.


In the northern sector,
... here comes the cavalry!

Dupas' men prevail. Essen III's division retreated when it failed divisional morale.

In the south,
 the next unit of Markov's jägers resisted Marchand's continued counter-attack.

Didn't see that coming. The Dutch 2nd hussars/14th cuirassiers presented a flank to the Courland dragoons...
n'existe plus!

Crisis in the French centre.

With Oudinot's 'grenadier's' broken, Colbert failed to control his 3e hussars who charged the St Petersburg grenadiers...
game over for them.

The Russian Guard Hussars just fall short of the grand battery.
Does this represent the Russian high-tide?

Let's take stock of the tabletop with a 'fly' around from north to south, firstly looking from the western (French) side.

Now proceeding north again running up the eastern (Russian) side, from south to north.

Finally, a view of some more of Julian's architectural brilliance.

These beauties, which are for the outlying villages around Leipzig, have all been made from scratch using left-over cardboard. Julian's material of choice? Cardboard from VB blocks. Aussie readers will get a big smile from that one!!
Note: the French reinforcements on the table behind: Victor's Corps and the Guard


  1. Go those Cossacks! What a classic shot of the Guard Hussars cresting the hill into the mouth of those guns. Leipzig looks to have expanded rapidly as well!

    1. I, of course, am hoping that the Guard Hussars will be eating cannon balls come phase one of part four!

  2. Stirring stuff, James - thanks for posting

    1. Thanks to you for dropping by and making an encouraging comment Paul!

  3. Replies
    1. Ta Rodger. This one is proving entertaining and intriguing. Plenty of laughs 'off air' too!

  4. Thanks for putting this up, James. As the Russian commander on the southern flank, I am indeed worried I have over-extended myself, even with some great luck on the die rolls over the last few turns, the only hope seems to be to try to overwhelm the main French artillery position, but that won't be easy. What an amazingly engaging battle it has been.

  5. Fabulous! Very impressive pictures and great report, love the Russian Guard Hussars's charge...

  6. Great looking game; the Russians are certainly making a contest of it!
    How long did this one take to play out?

    1. Thanks Peter.
      It makes it quite different from the history, of course, but much more has happened thanks to not having the hours of 'a bit of skirmishing and artillery fire' that occurred between 10:00 and 17:00 with the real thing. We French are hoping/expecting that the Russians have opened themselves up. What else would you do in a one-of wargame than have a bash? Certainly not just sit there and wait!
      We've not had long sessions with this one, partly due to the short winter days at present. Fifteen of a possible 29 turns completed so far, five in each session. We reckon that another five or six will see it completed.

  7. Another gripping report James, looks like you're living the wargaming dream with this one - loving every blood soaked minute right?
    Best wishes,

    1. Thanks Jeremy.
      It's more coffee-soaked in the am and then beer-soaked in the afternoon-evening. Just like the Marauders?!! :)

  8. Great looking game and wonderful to see you the other night Fish. The figures and table looks sensational.

    1. Thanks Carlo. Shame that I can't make it there for the next Games Day. 'Twould be a great way to spend the day of the election!