We played Blucher for the first time in ages on Thursday. Unfortunately, a storm a few days before took out out internet access, and it's taken a few days to get reconnected, so you've had to wait for this report. In fact Ralph beat me to it, with a lovely write-up for his blog HERE, which not only features better pictures of the game than I managed to achieve, but also shows you a rare glimpse of me playing (something you rarely see here for obvious reasons). I suggest you look through Ralph's report, which is mostly correct, then come back here for what is really a supplement.
Off you go!
So you understand the position now; our Russians were attacking the French, who seemed to be made up of enthusiastic, but brittle, conscripts.
Here's the Russians, ready to be deployed.
As the other report stated, we opted for a holding action, since the positioning of the objectives, and the fact that the French left one of the ones in their zone undefended allowing us to grab it with cavalry, shifted the onus of attacker from us to them. This was our position in the centre, with some reliable infantry (good in defence) backed up with a bit of artillery and cavalry.
Our cavalry holding one of the French objectives. Having taken it, we left a couple of brigades to hold it, just in case the French tried something sneaky with their cavalry, and then the rest moved to cross the stream and compromise the French rear.
Ralph pointed to some hidden units. In the foreground, both Russian and French units remained unengaged and unobserved. On the hill in the corner can be seen the objective marker the Russians were defending.
With both sides revealed in the centre the battle began in earnest. The French attacked, and had some initial success, but their infantry, whilst numerous, lacked staying power, and the Russians steadily absorbed their attacks.
The French advanced on their left, hoping to rush the Russian objective.
The Russians swung into action, and deployed to meet the threat with elite infantry.
The action in the centre was fast and furious now, and a bit of a mess, to be honest. But despite their numbers, the French were coming off worse, with casualties steadily pushing their army to breaking point.
One Russian unit discovered that the bullet was as wise as the bayonet with shooting like this. A single turn of firing devastated a fresh French brigade.
On the Russian right some of their infantry held off an attack by two French cavalry brigades. As the cavalry fell back they were subjected to musketry and artillery fire from other Russian units, and shattered.
Russian cavalry charged the French in a flank attack that proved less decisive than we'd hoped.
In the centre our one unit of militia charged the French grand battery, who were so surprised that they fired high, caused virtually no casualties at all and then bolted, abandoning their guns to the attackers.
By this stage the evening was drawing to a close, Ralph was commencing his weekly transformation into a pumpkin, and it was obvious that the day was lost for the French; a number of their units were close to breaking, and the Russians were still full of beans, borscht and blinis. Ralph and Dave conceded.
Given how rusty we were with the rules, we got through it pretty rapidly - I think we were playing 200pts a side, which gives a pretty decent-looking game, and certainly playable within a relaxed evening. As the Russians we were fairly lucky, getting some good shooting and, as far as I can recall, never having a turn where we ran out of initiative points before we'd done everything we wanted to do for the turn.
And don't those massed 15mm figures look lovely?