Tuesday 30 January 2024

Battle of Lutzen 1813 - Fighting to the Last Prussian and A Grand Day Out!

Last Saturday I was at the Durham Wargames Group for a refight of the battle of Lutzen, organised with meticulous precision by Mr John H.  Paul, Dom, Mike and I were the Allies. Shaun, John the Red and Nick were the French.   An account of the real battle can be found Here.  We were using John's extensive and rather beautiful 15mm collection with his own rules.

This was going to be a pretty enormous game with perhaps ('cos I can't remember) over a dozen corps from both sides involved. We were able to get started just after 10:00. Reinforcements for both sides would be arriving at various (often inconvenient) points throughout the game. I won't attempt to give a blow by blow account of the game as I was too engrossed to take many photographs; hopefully they will give an idea as to how things went.

Me, Nick (a Frenchman), Dom and Paul study the table.

Marshal Marmont (Shaun) pinned in the corner of the table by loads of Russian cavalry.

The Allies preparing to attack.

The Imperial Guard arrives (theirs, not ours)

One of the Allied cores.

A major Allied assault is developing.

Dom's Prussians were tasked with assaulting the villages while also covering our flank in case any French were to arrive. The Prussians assaulted the villages several times but were unable to take them. They did force one garrison to depart when the houses caught fire but in the process the Prussian Guard were lost.

French Imperial Guard getting closer!

My Russians on the hill about to advance.

The Russian grenadier corps about to assault the French.

A massive column of Russian grenadiers about to get stuck in......we hoped.

Our right flank under pressure from French reinforcements.

The Russian centre.

Paul launched his grenadiers at the enemy but they were knocked back at first. They did make a big hole in the enemy line but were forced into square due to the presence of the French Guard cavalry.

The French on our left were unable to advance as we had them pinned by massed artillery and cavalry.

Russian cuirassiers managed to defeat the enemy cavalry facing them but were unable to make any further headway.

Prussian cavalry vs the Chasseurs a Cheval of the Guard.

The Prussians were victorious and the Chasseurs fled!

Essentially, the Allied plan was to send a covering force off to our right, use the Prussians to assault the villages in the enemy centre, reinforced by the main Russian body and lots of artillery. We would use Mike's Russian cavalry to cover our left and prevent Marmont from joining the battle.

Suffice to say, we fought to the last Prussian (including Blucher who fell in the last turn leading an heroic charge), and failed to achieve any significant successes anywhere. Our left was solid and immovable. Our centre was edging forward after an earlier retreat. Our 'big push' in the centre came to nothing apart from destroying a few French divisions, and a significant number of our own, and the Prussians took a hammering after three failed assaults on the villages. Finally, our right was beginning to crumble due to the arrival of more French directly to their front.

This was a clear French victory, but I reckon we did better as the Allies than they did in the real battle. The game was an excellent and spectacular event, and was hugely enjoyable. We played until past 4:00pm so it was also quite a gruelling day but well worth it. Thanks must go to John for organising it all and to the French for not gloating too much in their moment of victory. 


  1. Great looking game colin. It's amazing how much more room for manuever there is with 15mm. Must say I have rethought Lutzen at least half a dozen times and the allies have never come near to reversing history. Must be doing something right with the rules.. all the best bob c

  2. A fine looking game. I liked the 'fighting to the last Prussian' turn of phrase!

  3. The size of the battle is so impressive. Congratulations for bringing so many friends/players together for a game. It's almost always a challenge for me to find the players because a game with 4+ players is so much more enjoyable. Cheers!

  4. What a great game- very impressive. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Nice looking game, I do love the 15mm armies more than 28s