Thursday, 3 March 2016

Game 38 : Eylau 1807

This game was fought in December, oops for the delay in posting. Eylau is the famous battle where snow played havoc with visibility and sense of direction and resulted in the Corps of Augerau being effectively wrecked.
This game would see similar results, but the impact was disastrous for the Russians. Eylau is a well known battle so I will leave readers to refresh themselves as to the layout of the battlefield and the opposing forces. The deployment of both sides, as it happened, largely mirrored historic deployment and so without further delay!
This is the Russian right flank. Eylau is in the upper middle right of the picture

This is a head on view of Eylau viewed from the Russian lines

The Russians started an attack from the right flank. Part of the reasoning, not unreasonably, was to get to grips with the weak French left and hopefully draw reserves I this direction. L'Estoq and Ney were being played historically, both would arrive at some point.

The French plan was similar. Drive forwards on the Russian right, engage until is was unsafe due to numbers and the retire to the original starting positions. The result of this was Soult's smallest Division attacking twice its numbers. But the tactic would pay dividends. The entire Russian wing would end up getting embroiled in this fight.

Augereau advance against the Russian left, predicting the arrival of Davout. The idea is to fix the Russians and then destroy them piece meal. However, the Russians have no intention of just sitting there. They attempt to retire to forma new line, expecting an attack on an exposed flank.

The Russians start to redeploy as Davout has started to arrive to their rear. Their timing was quite good and the chase was on to trap these Russians.

Davout's flank attack has carried the flank, but unfortunately it has attracted the attention of all the Russian reserves. Davout begins to redeploy to face this onslaught! But help  was at hand.

 More Russian reserves preparing to attack Davout.

On the Russian right, the fight for the village reaches a pivotal point. The entire French Division is committed against their larger sized counterpart. The end result would be a victory for the French and the capture of the village. It would be short lived as the Russians quickly rally and prepare to retake the village. The French would not trust their luck a second time and so retire.

The French have cleared the first village on the Russian left flank and are now moving to rescue the flank attack itself at the second village. Just behind, you can see the French Reserve cavalry being launched at the Russian left centre where a hinge is being formed as the French force back the left flank.

This shows the cavalry manoeuvre from the Russian centre.  

The French centre continues with its attack. In the bottom right of the pic, you can see Russian cavalry that initially tried to halt this attack and then found themselves out of position and not being able to use their numbers. They are trying to quickly extricate themselves and redeploy. Not too easy in snow!

The Russian cavalry, along with the Russian reserve, now add their weight against Davout. 

A French man with a smirk as Soult disengages his Division from the village fighting on the left and takes up new positions to face of L'Estoq, who is expected at anytime.

French cavalry begin to swarm through a gap at the Russian hinge. This attack would be the critical part of the battle.

Soult relaunches his attacks on the left flank with his remaining two Divisions. L'Estoq has also arrived. The Russians and Prussians also attack.

The French left repulses L'Estoq's cavalry, just!!

Soult's troops advancing with their own cavalry support from massed Light cavalry Regiments.
And a last[pic just to show the free for all that sometimes occurs. Troops everywhere going in all directions! Great!!
Well, four of us are having a good time, not sure about the guy in the front!?!?! He's lucky, just retired. Younger than me! Shouldn't be allowed!
The next game will be a short report from a "bout of madness" that has already taken part. A very large WWII game on 600 square feet of table in a hotel with 20 players. I know I am mad, but this just confirms it!!