Monday, May 25, 2015

Battle of La Rothier February 1814

We had a great game of Black Powder last Saturday. Bill, Bob, Gary, Steve and I fought out the 1814 scenario I had created and here is the background on it:

Northern section of the battle where Grand Duke von Wrede Austro-Bavarian V Corps attacked Napoleon's flank at La Rothiere. Marmont's weak corps attempted to cover the front between Chaumesnil and Morvilliers.

The scenario was a “what if” Marmont did not fallback and held on to Chaumesnil. This set up having the Young Guard attack V corps around Beauvoir Farm instead retaking Chaumesnil.

Marmont's French Corps

Commanded by Bob
Infantry Division - GdD Lagrange [Ld7]
Brigade – GdB Joubert [Ld7]
  8x Small Infantry Bns 

Commanded By Bill
Cavalry Division - GdD Doumerc [Ld7]
  1x Hussar & 3 small Chasseurs Rgts &
  2x 6lb Batteries

Cavalry Division - GdD l'Heritier [Ld7]
Brigade - GdB Lamotte [Ld7]
  3x small Dragoon Rgts

Brigade - GdB Collaert [Ld8]
 2x Small Dragoon Rgts 

Commanded By Gary
2nd Voltigeur Division - GdD Decouz [Ld9]
  4x Young Guard Bns, 2x 6lb Batteries


Austrian-Bavarian V Corps

Commanded By Steve

Bavarian Infantry Division - GdD Rechberg [Ld8]
2x 6lb batteries

Brigade GdB Bayern [Ld7]
  3x small Chevaulegeres rgts

Brigade GdB Prinz Karl [Ld7]
  1x light, 1x infantry & 1x militia Bn

Brigade GdB Maillot [Ld7]
  1x light, 2x infantry & 2x militia Bns 

Commanded By John
Austrian Division - FL Splenyi [Ld7]
Brigade Volkmannn [Ld7]
  6x infantry Bns & 1x 6lb Battery

Brigade Minutilly [Ld8]
  1x hussar, 1x dragoon rgts & 1x 6lb battery

GdD Lagrange and GdD Doumerc troops began the battle on the table, while the rest of the units for both sides would move on to the battlefield throughout the game. See map above for various entry points for arriving troops.
The first couple of turns went as expected, four of the five allied brigades slowly moved onto the battlefield and a few rounds on long range cannon fire from the French ensued. 
Most of the Bavarian forced moved to the left, to assault the French battalions holding the hill. 
This meant that the Austrians were needed to take the farm, so the three battalions of the German regiment veered left and attacked uphill against the French holding the farm.
The three battalions of the Hungarian regiment and the cavalry brigade would hold off the massed French cavalry. The Hussars and Dragoons charge the French chasseurs, while artillery fired onto the French dragoon regiments. 
Off in the distance is Minutilly's Brigade of Austrian cavalry, the Hussars were able to chase away the French Hussars, but French artillery fire and a couple of failed charges ended the brigade’s day. While it did not break, BG Minutilly could not rally his brigade and they sat out the rest of the battle. That said, all three French cavalry brigades were kept in place as they were too fragile to risk charging. 
Bavarian light battalion off in the distance harried the Beauvoir Farm defenders.
The three German battalions of BG Volkmann’s brigade attacked the French repeatedly but could not break them. One battalion attempted to take the farm, but after a couple of rounds of combat were thrown back. BG Volkmann was soon shot dead as he tried to rally his men for a second go at the farm.

The Bavarians, who assaulted the French left, were more successful and eventually broke GdB Joubert outnumbered infantry brigade. This was punctuated by the charge of the 2nd Chevaulegeres, whose couple hundred cavalrymen were able to rout two French battalions in a matter of minutes! The day looked lost for the French, except that … 
Four battalions Young Guard of GdD Decouz 2nd Voltigeur division arrived to stem the French right and then proceeded to push the Austrians off the hill, breaking Volkmann’s brigade! 
The Bavarians hotly engaged the Young Guard to their front and succeeded in stopping the two battalions but at a high cost, GdB Prinz Karl small brigade of infantry had already broke and both of the remaining two brigades were moments from breaking ... and then both sides commanders called for a general retreat!
Overall it was an excellent game with a nice ebb flow for both sides. It was at the end of the day a minor French victory, as they did hold the farm.

The couple of objective scenario special rules I added work so, so. I have to rethink the French cavalry reserve rule as it really made no sense for the French not to immediately bring on GdD l'Heritier dragoon division. But I thought the bonus break point for holding the farm work well.

Ken will be running his Waterloo scenario again next month, with a few changes made from the first time we ran it at Drumbeat.

1 comment:

  1. Nice looking battle. I'm gonna have to get over and play with you guys some time. What software do you use to make the scenario map? Its looks very professionally done.