The 4th Swiss take a pasting from the Russian guns and are forced to retreat.
The first shot on the guard and Cambronne is down - merde!
Hey, come on now Roy this really isn't cricket is it?
In the centre the 105th and 45th regiments now began their advance on the redoubt. Braving shot and shell the 105th paused at the base of the hill to loose off a volley at the defenders while the 45th inclined to the left to extend the French line. Inside the redoubt casualties were steadily mounting amongst the Russian defenders and Kutusov took the precaution of ordering his guard regiment forward in support.
A baptism of fire for the 105th ligne as they lead the 45th forward.
The Great Redoubt errupts in flame and smoke as the Russian defenders open fire. The Nassau grenadiers are now down to nine figures and will have to quit the field.
The view from behind the Russian right flank as the guard move up in support.
Here they come - in the nick of time!
The French line foot artillery spent most of the battle firing on the redoubt. The battery nearest the camera is the most recent addition to my forces and was completed just in time to take part in the game.
On both flanks the cavalry were now in action with the French winning the first round of light cavalry melee and the Russians the heavy cavalry one. Murat eventually managed to see off Roy’s lancers but we were both surprised to see my heavy cavalry recover and go on to win a second round and rout his heavies. We were both pleased to see that such a change of fortunes was possible under the rules, although Roy was possibly less pleased than I was.
My light cavalry take on the Russian lancers and send them packing.
Somehow the French heavy cavalry manage to bounce back from a lost round of melee and rout their Russian counterparts.
With the Russians pressed hard on both flanks it just remained for the French to storm the Great Redoubt and secure a stunning victory for the emperor. The 105th now charged forwards but at the same moment that cunning fox Kutusov ordered a ‘passage of lines’ to put his untouched guard infantry into the front line of the redoubt. The 105th were repulsed, the Great Redoubt remained firmly in Russian hands!
The 105th ligne make a spirited attack on the redoubt but are repulsed by the Russian guard.
The combined grenadier battalion come under canister fire from the Russian guns - ouch!
And with that we ran out of playing time agreeing that the battle had ended in an honourable draw, although Roy conceded that given the situation with his flanks he would probably have been forced into a strategic withdrawal. So a victory of sorts for the French but one with serious losses compared to those of the Russians who live to fight another day.
The Russian militia were untouched - these are not Hinton Hunt but are lovely figures all the same.
The Pavlov's also escaped without a single casualty.
The position of the forces at the end of the battle (click on the map to zoom in).
My thanks to Roy for another splendid day of playing soldiers (although I did feel it was jolly bad form of him to fire upon the guard) and to Dave for the maps and photo special effects. I was also happy that the rules seem to be working well as for the first time we didn’t feel the need to tweak them. The two armies now return to their quarters to refit and recuperate – perhaps another unit or two of imperial guard would do the trick…