Sunday, 2 March 2014

Napoleon versus Graf Von Grommitt?

It is not unusual for ancient wargames to feature armies which could not have met in historical fact; Ancient Egyptians against Celts, Macedonians against Mameluks etc.  This weekend my grandson visited and asked if his soldiers could fight mine.  His soldiers are 25mm Napoleonics, chronologically, the nearest 25mm figures I have are Grand Alliance, so casting reality aside two small forces were arrayed on the table. 
The Napoleonic French were defending an enclosure with a wooded hill to their right and open terrain on their left, this is where my grandson deployed his cavalry.  He placed his voltigeurs were in the woods and 5 battalions held the central enclosure, supported by a field gun.

I deployed my cavalry on my right, with 3 battalions and a field gun in the centre.  My main attack, of 3 battalions, would try and move round the French right and then attack the enclosure from the flank.

The French centre
 My troops began their advance and with artillery support made good progress.   As the battalions in the centre reached musketry range my grandson, eschewing the 'whites of the eyes' option began blazing away.  Soon the ranks of my infantry battalions began to thin, whilst their French opponents seemed to have charmed lives.  However, my flank attack was making progress, pushing back the voltigeurs by sheer weight of numbers.
The Voltigeurs skirmishing in the woods

 By mutual consent the two cavalry forces charged into melee.  On my far right the Erbach regiment took on the French lancers.  In a short conflict the French lancers shattered their opponents and pursued the remnants towards my baseline.   The other cavalry melees were undecided and continued over the next two moves

The French cavalry advance
One of my infantry battalions in the centre, Erbprinz, had the misfortune to advance into short range artillery fire and was soon forced to retire with over 50% casualties.  As they approached the enclosure my infantry tried to charge home, but failed the morale test (due to casualties received).

It was at this point that disaster befell my forces.  The French lancers, having driven Erbach from the field, succeeded in rallying from pursuit, reforming and were then in an ideal position to charge my remaining cavalry as it fell back from melee.  (After three rounds of melee if there is no result, both sides fall back to reform) .  Caught at a disadvantage my cavalry were destroyed and this left the infantry with their flank in the air.  The reformed French cavalry now charged again and my centre disintegrated

Happy days for the French cavalry
The day belonged to the French. 


  1. Congratulations to the French... and to you David for "influencing" your grandson into wanting a Napoleonics army!

  2. Hello Phil, I can't take any credit for Joshua's chocie; the figures came from Alasdair, who very generously gave them to Joshua when he was rationalising his collection. The figures don't come out too often, but when they do the cavalry like to 'get stuck in'