Battle of Craonne - 2mm

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During the last couple of months I've been fortunate (?) enough to refight the Battle of Craonne (7 Mar 14) three times: solo in 2mm as planning for the Liphook battle, as Napoleon in a 25mm mega-battle (3 tables, c.7 players a side) at Liphook, and solo again in 6mm to fix the things in the plan that went wrong in the other two!

This is a summary of the 2mm battle. The 25mm version is already on the Liphook web site (but I'll also post here for completeness). Once I've got the 6mm version posted I'll try and draw it all together.

The 2mm (and 6mm) games were played using the Div/Bde Level version of my own Steady Lads Steady rules, vaguely Shako'esque, which work on a 40mm hex grid (so as to avoid any distance arguments!). Each base is a Brigade and only grand batteries have their guns explicitly represented. Activation was card driven. 1 turn = 30 min.

The Russians are formed up in about three defensive lines, at the head of the neck, by La Bovelle, and at the pinch to the rear of La Bovelle. The French have a Cavalry and Young Guard force under Nansouty on the L flank, Young Guard under Rebeval and Charpentier moving across the neck, and Ney with just infantry on the R flank. The French plan to hold back in the centre until the two flanks can bring pressure to bear on the Russian flanks.

View of the battlefield. Arrows point down slope. 1 hex = 200m. Hurtebise Farm on bottom edge of table, La Bovelle farm in middle, Cerny village in far distance. Just page through the other images, the red dice at bottom show the turn number (in base 6 - sort of!)

The descriptions are typically given Left, Centre, Right from the French point of view.

1 (1100) French advance except across neck. Nansouty's cavalry pulls up on to the plateau.

2 French advance except across neck

3 (1200) L: Cossacks charge unformed Nansouty Gd Cav but recoil. C: Russian guns take 1 CEF off of Fr on neck

4 L: 2nd Cossack charge against Nansouty results in a bounce. CR: Rabeval pushes Ru back at the head of the neck, but 2nd Bde at -3 CEF. R: Ney inf take -2 CEF from Cossacks on slope as they try to force their way up the slope onto the plateau.

5 (1300) L: Ru charge Nansouty's Gd Cav, Melee goes to 2nd round but looking bad for Dragoons. R: Ney pushed back off ridge. C: Guard arty opens fire on Ru inf and forces a retreat. Victor moving onto flank. Charpentier moves up into gap on neck.

6 L: Grenadiers a Cheval rout Russian Dragoons, take damaged infantry by La Bovelle. CL: Rabeval finally beats back Russians, but Division spent. C: Gd Arty continues to maul Ru inf in front of La Bovelle.

7 (1400) L: Cossacks charge Chasseurs a Cheval, but bounce back. C: Russians pull back to La Bovelle. 3x attacks La Bovelle and Russians suffer badly.

The French are now clear of the neck. Nansouty now joined up with the main French force.

8 C: Russian 1 Bde destroyed, causing some consternation in units to rear. Russians pull back to a new defensive line c.1km W (rear) of La Bovelle. French 2nd wave troops brought forward. R: Ney pulls up to the ridge as the Russians pull back.

9 (1500) C: Fr 3x and 7x go in against Russians. Successful but have to reform. R: Ney goes in against N of new Russian line, winning but bloody. Cossacks pushed back in melee onto infantry line.

Ney now joined up with the main French force.

10 Cossacks charge reforming 3x and 7x and rout them, buying time for infantry to form a third and final defensive line about another 1km back. Cossacks flee when counter charged by Fr Gd Cav.

11 (1600) Ney's Young Guard charge Russian line, but pushed back by cannon fire. Lancers fail to charge home vs Russian cavalry. Grenadiers a Cheval do go in and rout Russians, and maintain order and reform. Russians now at break point.

12 (1630) French 4x Dragoons chase 1 Cossack Regt off table, and eliminate a 2nd whilst reforming. Russians forced back to Cerny. Lead French units 1.5 km W of La Bovelle, 1 km fm Cerny and the table edge.

1700 - Planned end of game

There is a full image set on Flickr.

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This page contains a single entry by David published on August 6, 2014 1:23 PM.

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