Yesterday I went to the big wargames event in town (even the Perrys were there!) and I was in the mood for some napoleonic action, so let's begin another minicampaign of that period, this time centered in the war of the fourth coalition. The first game being Jena. In the above pic you can see that the field is dominated (as is usual in Germany) by a scattering of villages, the french deploy in the left height while the prussians around the village of Lutzeroda (red roof). Both sides will recieve reinforcements, the imperials come from their rearguard while the prussians come some from the foreground and some from the background. During the whole battle the french have both the edge in numbers and quality, so this is a hard game for the prussians, who will have to sweat it to survive.
The villages are clockwise from the top right corner: Gromstedt, Ltromstedt, Stodra, Nerkwitz, Closewitz and Kospeda, with Lutzeroda in the middle.
The prussians begin the battle by raining ball on some french infantry on the height
The imperials occupy Closewitz
The prussians form a semicircle to face the enemy
Prussian hussars charge and rout a division of dragoons
Wounding general Lannes
Ney arrives with his corps at the french rearguard
While Holzendorf debouches from Nerkwitz, far from the enemy, he deploys in march columns to get into the action all the quicker
The imperial guard charges a prussian division guarding the right flank
Routing them easily
The prussian CiC, Hohenlohe, is wounded in this action
As is napoleon himself, a bit exposed at the head of his grognards
The prussian renforts move to threaten the imperial right flank
As Ney leads his men into a turning of his own
The imperial guns are charged
But evade downhill
The rest of the prussian cavalry comes to the rescue of their beleguarded flank
French guns are sandwitched
The hussars are shot down by the garrisons of Kospeda and Closewitz
But the french guns will remain silent evermore (at least during this game!)
The imperial guard charges into the big german battery
Murat leds his cavalry reserve into the field
Alas! The garde is caught by a cavalry countercharge and cut to pieces
A prussian division advances recklessly into the Kospeda-Closewitz gap to charge some mounted guns from Murat's force
The valiant prussian hussars are finally routed for all their pains
A division of chasseurs assaults the prussian guns
The prussians in the gap are mauled by musketry and now charged, they would retreat into cover
The guns die unsurprisingly, they tired to evade, but to no avail
General Rüchel comes in and launches his men into a charge on the flank of french infantry in a bid to turn back the tide of the battle
The french rout!
Murat's riders soon fall upon these newcomers
Who cooly form into square
The cavalry bounced from the square
The garrison of Closewitz charges from the village, but is routed at bayonet's point
Murat sends his cavalry against the remnant's of the prussian center
The cuirassiers have their turn against the square
But as the sun sets down, the battle comes gradually to an end, after the dust settles the prussians are the victors 600 to 500pts! Napoleon retreats to nurse his wounds and mourn his guard...
It was a close run thing, I shouldn't have advanced that prussian division into the gap, and fired with the guns instead of trying to evade. As per my opponent I benefitted greatly from his attachment to the villages, and the slight mismanagement of reinforcements, which bogged down units in his backfield that could have tipped the result in his favour.
All in all an enjoyable game that was quite a challenge, playing the underdog is always fun if you kow the rules better than the enemy, Leipzig and Trafalgar being both examples of this in past reports. If I had been the french I would have advanced with the infantry masses by the left, while launching the cavalry through the gap and against Holtzendorf's force.