Friday, 28 March 2014

Fere Champenoise

France 1814.

Napoleon is not feeling so clever now, as enemy troops march all over his country. But there are still battles to be had. And there's still Black Powder to fight them with.

Last night's game involved an outnumbered French column trying to get its heavy artillery along a road to the safety of a village, pressed on two sides by hordes of Russian cavalry and infantry

Here's the village, with the French in front of it - cavalry close to, and some untested infantry escorting the guns. That's Russian cavalry (commanded by me, naturally) on the baseline.

A column of massed Russian infantry comes from the other direction, with only a thin blue line to stop them.

The thin blue line.

The French form square ...

.. as the Russian cavalry advances.

The Russians thunder across the table into the French cavalry. Elite French cavalry. Elite French heavy cavalry.

The Russian cavalry thunders back the other way.

Meanwhile the Russian infantry commander ponders his situation.

He has infantry ...

... but his only cavalry are some very dodgy looking Cossacks.

The Russian cavalry put on a fine display of formation retreating. So fine that they convince their own heavy cavalry, over on the road, to retreat in sympathy. The Russian heavies (unpictured and now erased from history) did nothing but advance slowly along the road, before turning and fleeing back to their baseline and then refusing to move.

The Russian horse-artillery pounds some French infantry who, disordered, becomes cut off from the rest of its force.

The artillery can't quite finish them off, though.

The other flank is now a big mess as, emboldened by their success against the Russian cavalry, the French organise an attack.

No more pictures.

The French slowly dragged their guns towards the village, hampered by mud and broken axles, but unhindered by anything that looked like enemy troops. When they got there they discovered that (i) the village was full of Russians and (ii) Napoleon had abdicated. So they dumped the guns in a swamp, and the game was over.

This was not a good night to be the Russian cavalry commander.

Update: Ralph's report is stronger on historical context and detail.


  1. cae5ar@y7mail.com28 March 2014 at 12:10

    An engrossing "save the guns" scenario, expertly umpired by Ralph with his usual jaw-droppingly beautiful plethora of miniatures, and a lot of fun. None of us players knew the historical outcome, which made for a tense and exciting game, with the brave French last stand being a fitting curtain call for the Empire. My condolences to the Russians for their atrocious command rolls (ha ha!).

  2. Looks like a great game full of character!

  3. great scenario!

    "The Russian cavalry thunders back the other way" LOL


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