Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ligny Conclusion

After two more turns it is clear that the French are not up to the task of taking Ligny.  While they have ample infantry for another strong attack, their cavalry has been crippled in trying to hold the flank, suffering over 50% casualties and the Prussians have an unblooded brigade moving up to deliver a death blow.  This, in turn, would leave the French infantry columns extremely vulnerable to a flank attack.  Meanwhile, several attacks in the center have either been stopped cold or routed.   The only real success has been on the Prussian left.  But even there, the terrain and arriving reinforcements will enable a second solid defensive line to be established.

The French cavalry have been thrashed by the more numerous Prussian horsemen.

Fresh squadrons are in position to deliver a death blow and turn the French left flank.

Attacks on the Prussian center have failed.  The French unit in the foreground has just been routed.

These two battalions have been stopped cold by combined musketry and cannon fire.

Light infantry on the Prussian left has been successful, but a newly organized line awaits their depleted ranks.

The Prussians have just been too tough to dislodge.

On the Prussian right, several battalions have yet to fire a shot.
As the dust is settling, the French artillery was a huge disappointment while their Prussian counterparts were quite up to the challenge.  Additionally, the French infantry were continually unable to overcome the enemy's fire in trying to close.  In the rare times that they did, poor dice rolls seemed to always go against them.  The French cavalry fought valiantly, but could not overcome the numerical advantage of the Prussians.  The sniping of Prussian jagers proved to make a huge difference as even just one casualty was enough to lose several bonuses and allow the inferior Prussian horsemen to gain the upper hand.  In hindsight, the French needed to use their batteries to beat down the Prussian guns so that their infantry could get to grips with the poorer quality Prussian infantry.

It was a fun game.  I hope you have enjoyed the pictures and running account of the battle.  Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Ligny Part 3

I got in another turn yesterday.  On the French right there were some important successes.  The farm anchoring the Prussian left was taken and the light infantry holding the outskirts of Ligny were driven back.  However, the Prussians were able to change orders for a reserve regiment and it is on its way to bolster the sagging defenses on the left.

The farm is taken, but the artillery is proving to be a tough nut to crack.

French legions push back the Prussian light infantry.

Despite fierce resistance, the French are making headway.

A reserve regiment makes its way to reinforce the left.
The cavalry battle, however, was another story all together.  The Prussians aggressively attacked the French light cavalry and won every encounter, including a landwehr regiment counter-charging a unit of chasseurs a cheval.  The next turn will be critical, for if the French cannot regain control of this sector, their infantry will be hit in the flank and the battle mostly likely will be lost.

Prussian dragoons defeating a second unit of French lancers.

Prussian landwehr cavalry ready to attack the flank of the French light cavalry division

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Ligny Continued

The first three turns have seen the French send in their initial attacks without much success.  The Prussian cannon are holding back the Emperor's columns while the French guns have been very ineffective in making a dent on Ligny's defenders.
Prussian guns holding back the French assaults.

The elite 4th Leger is unable to close with this battery.  Casualties are mounting.

The defenders on the outskirts of Ligny have been particularly stubborn.
The cavalry battle has been pretty much a stand-off, but this is definitely in the Prussian's favor.  Prussian jagers have been able to empty some French saddles as they have approached the growing conflict.  The Prussian cannons have also done some damage.

The dead horses mark where entire stands of cavalry have been eliminated from the contest.

The Prussian horse is gaining the advantage, and the second brigade is preparing to enter the fray in the background.
The next turn saw a lull in the fighting between the cavalry.  Two French units were able to rally while others moved up to prepare to attack.

Rallied lancers move up.  The next turn should see things heat up considerably.

Prussian reserves move into position.
Around Ligny, the French were able to gain a foothold in the outskirts, but at a very high price.  A second attempt to take the guns on the extreme Prussian left was again unsuccessful.  The -3 for casualties from a blast of canister was just enough to stall the charge of the 1/4th Leger.  An assault on the farm also failed.  All in all, the Prussian commander is feeling pretty good about things at this stage.

Finally, a small success for the French.

The view from behind Ligny.  The town is still quite secure.

A second attempt to take the guns falls short despite the heroic leadership of the brigade commander.

The Prussian conscripts are holding firm on the left.

Fight for Ligny

Taking advantage of my Christmas break by getting back to Napoleonics.  I have a small corp of Prussians, made up of two infantry "brigades" and a division of cavalry.  They are taking on three French infantry divisions along with a light cavalry division.  The Old Guard is in support and will be used only if necessary.  Here are some pictures of the set-up and opening moves.
One Prussian infantry brigade is holding Ligny

The Prussian cavalry is posted on the right where the ground is more open.

The rest of the Prussian cavalry.

The second Prussian infantry brigade is posted to the right of Ligny and in reserve behind the town.

The Prussian left, anchored in some woods and a farm.
The French plan was to attack vigorously on the flanks in the hope of drawing off the Prussian reserves.  As the flank attacks went in, the French would pound Ligny's defenses with three batteries of artillery and harass it with skirmishers before sending in an assault on the town itself. 

The French light cavalry move out to attack their Prussian counterparts who are advancing to meet them.

A French brigade attacks the extreme left flank of the Prussians, hoping to turn it and force the commitment of Prussian reserves.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

   It has been a wonderful Christmas Eve spent with friends and family.  Beneath it all has been the essence of it what makes this time so special.  I thank God for His indescribable gift, His son Jesus Christ.  We love because He first loved us.  As imperfect as I am, His grace has meant all the difference. 
   Thanks to all who have visited my blog over the years.  I appreciate your interest in my pursuit of our great hobby.  May the New Year bring many blessings your way.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

SYW Campaign Continues

Now that football season is over I was able to start up our military history club at school.  The kids surprised me by wanting to continue the campaign we started last year.  So after school yesterday we took up where we left off last spring.

This battle saw the Prussians desperately trying to cut off a bold Russian advance on their capital.  The Czar's soldiers had established themselves in a town atop a vital crossroads.  Three Prussian brigades blocked the advance and were awaiting reinforcements.  The Russians were more numerous initially, but were spread across the table and would need to consolidate.

The Prussian general was intent on driving the Russians out of the town and ordered his men forward.  They suffered from the fire of a Russian heavy battery, but two straight rolls of double six by a unit of jagers silenced the guns and gave the Prussians the momentum.

The Russians were hampered by the high die roll it took to change orders.  For most of the game they were stuck on "engage" orders and couldn't react to rapidly changing situations.  It wasn't until the last turn of our game that a brigade of light Russian cavalry finally was able to switch to an "assault" order.  This spelled the doom of a Prussian infantry brigade that was caught squarely in the flank.

As the crash of musketry and cannon began to diminish the game was declared a "draw".  The Russians, despite sustaining significant casualties, still held the town.  The reinforcing Prussian brigades were not able to break through the Russian line and force a retreat.

On the Russian left, cossacks hold back Prussian reinforcements.

On the Russian right, grenadiers try to stand up against cuirassiers.  They didn't.

At the end of the game, the Russians assured a draw by finally getting a brigade of cavalry to assault a Prussian brigade in the flank.

Prussian attacks go in against the town.  The game ended before they could achieve a victory.