The Emperor receives word that the Russians are coming!
The battlefield - click on the image to expand it.
The Emperor remained calm and hurriedly assembled a Grand Armee to repel the invader. Drawn from the forces available the army comprised French, Poles, Austrians, Prussians, Nassauers and renegade British. Sadly the force did not include the Imperial Guard who were still awaiting a refit on my painting desk.
The initial dispositions of the "French" forces - Stapleton Cotton is leading the Austrian Hussars in the foreground.
The French deployed and awaited the arrival of the Russians who were slightly delayed due to a fuel spill that had caused gridlock in the centre of Bath. Roy eventually arrived and without even waiting to take a sip from his mug of coffee or a single bite from a chocolate-chip hobnob, set about deploying his troops.
The initial Russian deployment - Roy has massed cavalry and infantry on his left flank.
Russian Jagers deploy in the West Woods.
It became apparent to the Emperor that the Russians were massing cavalry and infantry behind the West Woods with the obvious intention of turning the French right flank. The Russian right flank was however refused and Napoleon saw an opportunity to advance and attack the enemy at this weak point and duly ordered his columns of infantry forward covered by clouds of skirmishers.
The French left advances towards the Russian line.
At the start of turn two we were both allowed to bring a further two units of infantry and one of cavalry on to the table. I decided to commit all these reserves on my left but that sly old fox Roy chose to keep his reserves off table – for now!
A general view of the table at the end of turn one.
The French reinforcements arrive at the start of turn two.
My infantry continued to advance on the left and soon the 4th Swiss Regiment were in the Churchyard securing our first victory point. Elsewhere the action was confined to a long range artillery bombardment which started in a fairly desultory way but eventually gained in effectiveness on both sides.
The 4th Swiss infantry occupy the Churchyard supported by the 8th Polish regiment.
The Russian guns open fire (Roy completed those limbers the night before the game!).
To be continued…