Thursday, 22 May 2014

The Great Redoubt (part 1)

It’s 1812 and the emperor has ordered the Grand Armee east into the heart of Russia to teach the Czar once and for all who is top dog in Europe. The Russian army under Kutuzov have retreated to within a few miles of Moscow where they have built a ‘great redoubt’ to block any further advance by the French. The French must take the redoubt and open the road to the city, the Russians must prevent them!

 Massed French columns deploying under the watchful eye of the emperor.

One of the things I hoped to achieve in this game was to give the infantry melee rules a good test as we never managed this in our last game The Russians are Coming! With this in mind I allowed Roy to deploy his forces up to halfway across the table whilst my French troops were restricted to a line two foot forward from the table edge. I was also keen to try the full spread of troop types so the Russians had one ‘A’ and one ‘C’ grade battalion with the rest ‘B’, while my French army had two ‘A’ and one ‘A+’ (the Guard) with the remainder ‘B’. I also had one more battalion than Roy because I was the attacker.

 Another splendid map by Dave showing the initial dispositions of the two armies (click on the image to zoom in).

With the figures laid out on the table it was fairly easy to see the intentions of both commanders. I had massed half of my infantry including the Guard on my right flank with the idea of out-flanking the redoubt on the Russian left. In the centre I deployed the 105th and 45th ligne directly in front of the redoubt in line formation as I had been expecting them to come under fire from Russian artillery within. On my extreme left flank were a further two infantry battalions and my light cavalry. The heavy cavalry supported by the Guard horse artillery were placed on my right flank to protect the advancing infantry.

The 45th ligne (in the foreground) were deployed safely behind the new boys of the 105th ligne.

 As it was 1812 the Nassau grenadiers are allowed to bat for the French in this game along side the combined grenadier battalion.

 The 105th ligne prepare to advance behind a screen of voltigeurs.

Roy had split his defending infantry evenly on both flanks but showed that he had been reading the rules because he filled the redoubt with infantry rather than his guns, which he split between his two flanks. He kept his cavalry in reserve in the centre in a position where they could be sent quickly to either flank as circumstances demanded. His single ‘A’ rated guard unit was placed in reserve directly behind the redoubt.

The Great Redoubt - bristling with bayonets!

 The Pavlov's are deployed behind Roy's left flank battery - nice hats chaps!

The view along the Russian line (from right to left) - the guards are centre rear.

 Kutusov with an aide in the Great Reboubt.

With the deployments completed both commanders now took stock of the situation and prepared to issue their first orders.


Conrad Kinch said...

That looks really wonderful. What a magnificent display. I like the backdrops too. Well done.

'Lee. said...

Fantastic photos! So good to see all of those figures together on the table. Look forward to the action.

Stryker said...

Konrad - thanks for that, it did look good.

Lee - you will be pleased to hear that the 105th ligne gave a good account of themselves on the day!

lewisgunner said...

Memo to self, must get the edges of those skirmisher bases painted.

Ian's army looked magnificent, particularly the red plumes and distinctions on Nassau, the combined grenadiers and the guard.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful display, look forward to seeing more. Thank you.


James Fisher, FINS said...

Looking most impressive Ian.
Putting infantry in the Grand Redoubt, that's just not cricket, or history! It will be interesting to see if you can make in-roads against it. Or perhaps it makes it easier to simply avoid, since it cannot shoot at any great range?

Stryker said...

James - yes, certainly not cricket but those Ruskies just don't play by the rules!

Xaltotun of Python said...

Have to admit my first thought was 'if it is to the advantage of the layers to put infantry in the redoubt instead of artillery, the rules aren't doing their job properly'.

Stryker said...

Yes there is a bit of a glitch here. The rules allow for guns to be automatically eliminated if successfully charged. They need to be changed so that supported guns can melee. However I don't really think this was the reason Roy chose not to put guns in the redoubt!

lewisgunner said...

the difficulty with putting the guns into the redoubt was that all the French have to do is deploy a couple of line units opposite the redoubt and it is neutralised.
The French can then concentrate on the flanks , or rather one flank and sweep round. , taking the redoubt from the rear. Actually that is a rather better plan than sending columns of infantry at the redoubt, but then no one told Napoleon that.
Remember that we don't have the rest of the two armies in lines to right and left .