Very late posting but it can’t be helped. Last Saturday I hosted another game here at the Burrow, aided by Richard and Conrad who risked their safety, liberty and bank balances had the COVID police been aware of the ‘gathering’. That said I had the garden doors and skylight windows open and a medical grade plasma wave air purifier thingy was running, so reasonable precautions were in place. Paul, Neil and Shaun joined via Skype and watched the game as it was love streamed by each of my three cameras. The figures are all mine from a variety of manufacturers, but mainly Eureka, Elite and Trent. The mountain guns are Cran Tara. Rules used were Black Powder II with my usual house rules, mainly swapping the turn sequence around so shooting comes before commanded moves.
So, another game from Suvorov’s campaign in Switzerland in 1799 was set up. In reality this battle took place a few days after the engagement at Altdorf, the game played two weeks ago. (Click Here to read post). Suvorov now knows for certain that Zurich has fallen to the French under Andre Massesna, and the Russian army of Rimski-Korsakov he’d been en route to join has been crushed. Suvorov's only escape route for his army was now to climb through the high snow covered mountain passes, and it was vital that the army was able to secure the Linth valley in order for them escape the closing net as French troops strove to encircle and annihilate his army. Gripping stuff indeed!
The battle, like all of them during this little alpine episode, is quite small. Both sides were pretty evenly balanced in infantry (around dozen each), with the Russians having one or two more battalions than the French, but the French had a regiment of Chasseurs a Cheval to counter the Russian Cossacks and a battery each four and eight pounders opposed to the dozen or so pretty useless one-pounder mountain guns of the Russians. Over half of the Russian army were grenadiers or Jager, while the French were all veteran formations. Both sides had troops on the table at the start, with the bulk of their forces hopefully joining over several turns. For the Russians there was also a chance that all or part of their reinforcements would arrive at the optional entry point. Richard and Shaun were the French while Conrad, Neil and Paul were Russians, so without further ado, here is what happened. (Did I say there was a ten turn limit before it got too dark to fight? We forgot anyway).
From “Suvorov in the Alps”, by Tom Garnett. Superb book if you can get it. Six scenarios plus lots of background.
|The French left. Open and vulnerable should the Russians come that way.
|Turn 1 and the Moscow Grenadier Regiment advances towards the stream while in the distance Paul’s brigade of four grenadier battalions and a couple of ex-Piedmontese 2pdr mountain guns make an entrance opposite the French left.
|Two Russian jäger battalions advancing on the Russian left.
|Paul’s grenadiers marched quickly towards the settlement and the wooden bridge beyond it. Staying in march column was a risk but one battalion has formed into line to face the French flank guard.
|A battalion of French facing the Russians across the
|At the ford the Russian mountain gun moves forward to support the attack.
|By turn 3 Conrad and Neil had quite a force ready to assault Nefels. They would have been ready sooner but the reinforcements were delayed by a move due to an untimely blunder.
|The French are driven from the north bank of the stream as Conrad’s brigade of Russian infantry
|The Russian charge is halted and the French can withdraw into Nefels.
|Richard posted his horse battery on the western end of the bridge.
|The lone French battalion on their extreme right held off the attention of two battalions of Russian jäger for the entire game.
|French reinforcements arrived late but still were able to help bolster up the wilting first line holding the Russian frontal assault.
|Russian mountain guns about to deploy and engage in an unequal duel with the French horse artillery. Richard was unable to bring his Chasseurs a cheval into play. Maybe they should have had a go at the main Russian force attacking Nefels frontally?
|It’s that darned curious cat again.
|The Russian mountain guns are very fragile and have come off badly against the French horse artillery . Paul’s grenadiers have reformed and are ready to try and storm across the bridge. Doomed to failure perhaps, but we will never know.
|This French battalion held on for several turns by throwing a run of very high break test results so it took a rear attack to see them off.
|The Cossacks hit the disordered French line but are quickly driven off.
The game was great fun and I survived it thanks to the presence of Richard and Conrad who moved the troops, leaving me free to manage the game and the kettle. It worked well (the game that is, although the kettle worked too).