The Muotatal River Valley is generally level ground, with several chokepoints, the first being where the steep and thickly wooded Zingelwald Heights meet the valley, and the second is where the wooded Rombach stream flows into the valley from the south. The valley floor was used for farming , orchards and grazing and was dotted with typical Swiss wood and stucco farms and walled fields.The swift-running Muotata stream was very difficult to cross and for this game can only be crossed at the bridges and ford. The lesser streams can be crossed by infantry but are too steeply banked for cavalry and artillery to get across. Fields, orchards and the lower slopes of the mountains are classed as difficult ground. The woods are thick and can only be entered in skirmish order and only by infantry.
The troops are detailed below. We used Black Powder with the amendments I mentioned in the previous post. This was a relatively small battle so I was able to use a 1:1 ratio for historical units present and those on the table. The terrain was as close as I could get it to the real valley.
Russian forces under General Prince Rosenberg(9)
Advance guard brigade Miloradovich (8): 1 btn of jager and 1 section of artillery
Main body Division Miloradovich under GM Mansurov (8): 6 btns of infantry
Division Forster (9): 6 btns of infantry, 1 of jager and 2 sections of artillery
Brigade Denisov (9)): 2 squadrons of mounted Cossacks and 1 unit of dismounted Cossacks
None of Suvorov's grenadier battalions were present at this engagement, as they were with Bagration's division and the main body breaking through the French in the army's path as it continued its advance, but as I don't quite have enough musketeer battalions I had to make do with what I had and substitute some grenadiers to make up the numbers.
French force under General Mortier (8)
Brigade Droet (8): 100th and 108th Demi-Brigades (6 btns), 1st Dragoons, 1 battery of artillery
Brigade Brunet (8): 50th and 53rd Demi Brigades (6 btns), 1 battery of artillery
I can't say I enjoyed the game 100%, as the French tactics were wrong and played to the strengths of the Russians. The French artillery ought to have been brought up earlier to blast a way through the Russian infantry in order for their own infantry and cavalry to push forward towards the village. I don't give the Russians first fire and they only shoot with 2 dice as musketry wasn't their strongest point and Suvorov was very much an advocate of the bayonet. They are very tough in melee though, so need to be softened up before trying to beat them in hand to hand combat, which feels about right.
Anyway, I made a mistake with in the game which was unfavourable to the French as I forgot that the Russians were not stubborn as they had an extra point of stamina instead. This made a big difference and would have probably tipped the big confused melee in favour of the French, but its difficult sometimes keeping your opponent 'right', not letting them make too many mistakes, and after a couple of pints of 6.8% beer. I have therefore declared the game null and void.
On Tuesday I shall be relighting Minden in 15mm as Paul is bringing his collection along for what will be a large and no doubt challenging game. Finally, Peter is coming down again next Saturday for the next battle in the Swiss campaign. I hope I will get the rules right this time!