Sunday, 26 March 2017

Eylau concluded

Brent and I have spent a second session continuing the Battle of Eylau. The battle has been very dynamic with many casualties. The French attack on the left had run out of steam with the 2 remaining cavalry brigades heading back to the French lines with Marshall Murat's incapacitated figure in tow.

French left preparing to attack and aftermath

The Russians advanced on their left in turn, but were pushed back and disorganized as twilight arrived. There are two Russian cavalry brigades cut off and waiting for night to fall so they can escape the French lines.

Russian left and French counter attack

The French have brought in as much troops as they have available except some of the Imperial Guard. The French have held Eylau since the first turn and when night falls and the armies separate to reorganize the Russians will be forced to shelter outside in the winter storm causing a significant morale loss for the coming battle tomorrow.

 The armies separate for the night and prepare for battle in the morning

Both sides have lost about 50 stands of troops with the Russians counting 6 batteries destroyed.

Day 2

The Russians were lucky and won the initiative for the next day. They continued to consolidate their position, pulling back depleted units and holding a line supported by terrain and their remaining artillery. They counter attacked the graveyard and disordered as many French units with fire as they could.

The French morale was in bad shape due to heavy casualties the previous day and calling in the guard. They needed to press the attack and rout the Russians before their own morale broke. The French pressed forward in the centre with the support of the Old Guard foot. They recaptured the graveyard and advanced their artillery. Davout's elite Corp began arriving and was used to reinforce the attack on the left. They screened their right with cavalry and forced the Russians to defend this area with their depleted units.

The battle ebbed and flowed with casualties mounting and the French advancing in the centre and on the left. The Russians were forced to hold the line with their depleted units and their losses would have swung the morale in French favour.

As the French prepared for yet another counter attack. Their morale broke and they fled the field at 12:00

Casualty piles

French Old Guard call off the attack
Overview at the end of the battle
Pressure on the Russian right
Custom built graveyard

This battle took almost two weeks to complete! Brent and I played the bulk of the first day. He gave instruction to attack aggressively in the centre with the support of the Old Guard the next day. I played a turn a night for a few nights to wrap up the game. The scenario was interesting with a clear objective. French break the Russians or lose. The snow rules did not work because we kept forgetting to use them during movement. The Russians fought a defensive battle and made every effort to preserve units that were damaged. The rules give morale loss for units wiped out or broken. The Russians were making a last stand with 5 units on the front line with only one hit left when the French morale broke, getting three 6s on 13 dice.

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