Friday, 27 May 2016

Game 43 : Borodino, Utitsa & Borodino sections

Hi Guys,
This was the playtest for next year's game. Playtesting the Utitsa section and the Borodino village section. The picky below is of the Borodino sector, looking towards the church at Bordino from the north. The redoubt has to be imagined to be behind this and a bit to the left, facing the right hand side of the picky. The forces deployed to playtest this were fairly historical.
The French had Eugene's IV Corps, a Division from Davout (I used the smallest one Compans which is in fact ahistoric) and Grouchy's IIIC Corps.
The reason for Compans is that if you play this as a stand alone game and use the historical Davout Division, then Davout's troops would probably never recross the Kolotcha as players are very prone to keeping good troops where they can see them.

This is Borodino village from the Russian side. The redoubt would be to the left over the stream and the French lines are near the window. The Russian forces available, were
Baggovut's II Corps, Tolstoi's IV Corps, Uvarovs IC Corps and Platov's Cossacks. In addition is a brigade of Guards, the Lifeguard Jaegers.

Below is the view of Borodino from the French side. The trees in the field represent orchard type ground on the approach to Borodino.

To the rear of Borodino, but on the other side of the Kolotcha, is Gorki. If this area becomes contested, it either means that the Russians have been severely beaten in this sector or that the sector has actually become uncontested with a historic result where the French have taken Borodino and then stopped and the Russians have sent Baggovut to reinforce their left flank.

The next pic is the view of Utitsa from the French lines to the north west. If you panned left you would expect to see the Fleches. The area between the Fleches and Utitsa was heavily wooded. Whether all wood or dense scrub with some marshy areas seems to be still under debate. I chose to represent the area by woods. The woods are also quite wide across the front, so Utitsa is really a battle to itself. It is difficult to get a clear cut result so that any victor can exploit an exposed flank of the enemy on the remainder of the main line. The forces deployed in the Utitsa area were;
French : Poniatowski's Poles and Ochs Westphalian division form Junot in the woods.

Russian: Tuchkov's III Corps, Markov's Militia and Karpov's Cossacks

The pic shows one of Eugene's Line divisions advancing on the far left flank of the front. It has the probable benefit of fixing a Russian infantry Corps in position rather than redeploying elsewhere, but it has the drawback of being continuously slowed down by Cossacks and other Russian cavalry, some of it Guard! It also virtually mandates that the French cavalry must act aggressively in this area.

This is in Borodino itself. Baggovut is defending the village with a Corps, one division to the left of the village and the other you see between the village and church. Eugene is attacking with Compans, from Davout, on their right and Lecchi is advancing on Borodino through the orchard. A French grand battery has been set up opposite the church to try and dominate the open ground and a Line division of Eugene's is in reserve.

Compans main assault on Borodino. The fight would be quite bloody with neither side breaking. The consequences of this are the checking of the first French assault, but long term losses will be an issue.

The advance on Utitsa as seen from the Russian side. Westphalian Light infantry are contesting the woods to the right top of the pic with Russian Jaegers. The Polish infantry are preparing to both  assault the village itself and a Russian division from Tuchkov

The Poles are now attacking both sides of Utitsa and have secured the front of the village.

The expected clash of cavalry on the far left transpires with no surprise. The Russians hold their ground as it is easier for them to bring their artillery to bear with support fire. Also having Russian Guard cavalry in this area is no bad thing!

A stand off at Borodino between the church and the village itself. It would be dangerous to advance whilst the outcome of the cavalry combat above is unknown!!

This is the area between Borodino and the Kolotcha. Both sides are drawing breadth. Across the front of both cameo battles, the Russians had held the first assaults without too much consternation. The problem now comes, after a full day of intense fighting when one side has reserves and the other does not. Eugen would pull out Compans and feed in his reserve division. Baggovut would have to hold ground and try and tough it out. Granted, in our game, Tolstoi was moving up in support to allow Baggovut to withdraw, but timing can be everything in these games.

So, there we have it. A good battle over a weekend that would have played longer. The guys really saw how reserves were important and also that not all is lost if the first attack does not work.
The intrepid gamers. What a rogue's gallery!! Next up will be another WWII, early eastern front. My spell checker thingy won't work, so if there are any word blips, blame the blog software!!