Friday, 24 January 2014

Champaubert - 10th February 1814

We played another game of 'Black Powder' last night, using Ralph and Bryan's lovely 28mm figures. The game was a scaled-down version of the action at Champaubert in 1814, where Napoleon did something clever, outflanked a Russian corp and captured the lot of them. In our game the French had to give the outnumbered Russians a jolly good hiding, whilst the Russians hand to fend them off and retire from the table. The French had four brigades, plus cavalry, to the Russian's two.

Here's a long view of the table, with the one of the French columns to the left and some Russians between the table-edge and the village.

Here are the Russians. They had three units defending the village as well.

The French cavalry looked impressive, but, unknown to the Russian player, they were actually a bit rubbish. Their aim was to force the Russians into square without themselves getting destroyed. This was a job for a careful, cautious cavalry commander. So Ralph fooled the Russian commander, Bryan, and put me in charge of them.

Another French column advancing on the village from the east.

I decided that cavalry with both French columns was a good bet, so swung half of my force round to the other side of the battlefield. What a majestic sight.

The Russian formed square from the off, so Caesar rapidly advanced his infantry to exploit this. The Russian guns resisted them. The cavalry hung back.

Ralph's French columns chased after the withdrawing Russians.

Russian squares.

And French columns.

Caesar formed a grand-battery to pound the village defenders.

The defenders of the village were beginning to look a little isolated, as the rest of the Russian army withdrew from around them.

The French cavalry continued to watch the battle from the rear.

Better late than never - the cavalry detachment dispatched at the beginning of the game to the other flank finally arrived, after much dithering.

They arrived just in time to see the bulk of the Russian force withdraw off the table.

One chance for glory - against orders they charged an isolated Russian battery. The closing fire caused them to rout.

With most of the Russians gone, the French turned on the village. The two surviving defending units surrendered.

Most of the Russian infantry escaped, but they left behind the village defenders and a lot of their artillery (which was used to cover the withdrawal). A couple of turns of ropey orders had meant that the French assault wasn't as aggressive as it could have been, whilst desperation seemed to give the Russians wings on their feet as they ran for the table-edge. On the whole the scenario worked; we felt that we could have doe with a little bit more table-space for the Russians to traverse in order to give the French some chance of catching them. And, of course, I could have always used more room for sweeping cavalry gestures. You can never have too much room for sweeping cavalry gestures.


  1. Quite magnificent! It's great to see nicely painted units of Napoleonics on the field.

  2. Thanks for another great Batrep Alan. I particularly like the photo of the French gunners training their 12 pounders on the town. What a shame your final cavalry charge didn't go well - if it had you'd have been made a Baron of the Empire. As it is you have been sentenced to 10 years hard labour mucking out the stables of the 114th Mess Tin repair battalion....

  3. Holly Molly you guys have some great collections of figures..excellent stuff


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...