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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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The Battle of Tschasniki 1812

The Napoleonic War, Shadow of the Eagles, 28mm

With just Sean 1 and I available for a game this week, and as he wanted to play a Napoleonic game, we scaled things back. This clash involved a small mixed division per side of six infantry battalions, in two small brigades. They were supported by a gun battery, and a two regiment light cavalry brigade. Backing up the Russian cavalry was a sotnia of Cossacks. To keep things fun, Sean suggested we rolled for troop quality when the units first went into action. So, that’s what we did – with some pretty impressive results! The game was set on the southern flank of the Grand Army, with German troops of Victor’s IX Corps clashing with Russians from Wittgenstein’s I Corps Army south of Polotsk that October. We used a 6×4 foot table. The game began with both sides deployed a foot onto the table. This pretty much put us toe to toe. I advanced my Russian infantry columns through a little hamlet, while Sean deployed his waiting Hessian and Baden infantry in line. So far so good. Although the Baden gun battery never really got into action, my own supporting 6-pounder battery unlimbered beside the hamlet.After a decent interval I advanced my cavalry brigade towards the enemy, while my guns shot at the Franco-German cavalry. Sean is usually quite a defensive player, so I felt I had to make the first move. Instead, it was Sean who kicked off, with a charge by the Hessian chevaulegeres against one of my infantry column. I failed my emergency roll, and didn’t make it into square. As a result my infantry were ridden down. First blood to the Germans! My only satisfaction was to charge and break the French chasseurs a cheval using my own hussars. The Irkutsk hussars were badly battered though, and pulled back to regroup.  In fact all my cavalry pulled back slightly, as they were starting to get shot at by the German infantry. Over on the right, my columns stolidly approached the waiting Germans. At that point I rashly decided to charge home, and launched my Russians forward. Frankly it didn’t go well! Part of the problem was that notion of deciding troop quality when the units first went into action. That, it turned out, was a real game-changer! First of all, my Jaegers were shot up as they came in by a unit of Baden infantry, who then repulsed the attackers in the melee phase. The jaegers were routed – that’s them above, fleeing the field! On the right I had another two battalions, which launched their own charge. Surely two agaisnt one would work, right? Er .. no, it didn’t. I rolled badly, Sean rolled well, and my “inferior” infantry were worn down by enemy fire as they approached. So, the attack was repulsed, and the Russians retired to lick their wounds. One last battalion in the assault had a similar time of it. It was shot by the other Hessian Leibgarde battalion, which was also rated “superior”. So, my infantry assault had failed miserably. Heck, I couldn’t even retire from the field, as there was still a regiment of Hessian light cavalry loose in my rear. they actually rode through the hamlet, reformed on the other side, and charged my gun battery in the flank. My gunners fled into a nearby wood, but effectively the guns were now out of action. So, I charged the pesky Hessian chevaulegeres with my Marioupol hussars. That’re a lucky, pet unit of mine.Inevitably though, their luck wasn’t in this evening. In the clash that followed they even took the Hessians before they had a chance to countercharge. All the odds were in my favour – but not the dice gods. Sean won the tussle by one hit, and my hussars were forced to retire. Battered but unbowed, the Hessian chevauleger regiment, led by General de Brigade Delatre,  were victorious. So, there was nothing left to do but to concede the game. it was a glorious victory for the German allies, and a very sweet win for Sean! The unit of the game, of course, were those dashing Hessian chevaulegeres, pictured below!


2 Responses “The Battle of Tschasniki 1812”

  1. 1st April 2023 at 4:29 pm

    Hmm…not sure whether having unit quality as a surprise, especially for the owner, is such a good idea! But then, on some days, the dice just aren’t with you. You certainly seem to have an ‘interesting’ game!

    • 1st April 2023 at 4:43 pm

      Well Keith, it was certainly a nasty surprise! Besides, Sean 1 always plays a defensive game, is rubbish at rolling dice, and never charges! This though, gave him a rare but thoroughly comprehensive win! Of course, attacking in column was a gamble, but after all I was Russian, so sticking them with the bayonet seemed like a good idea…

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