A view of the set up; the leading French division, (at the bottom of the picture), is just across the river ready to occupy Maloyaroslavets. At the top of the photo are the Russians, ready to advance and eliminate the French bridgehead. All French reinforcements arrive along the road leading to the bridge, the Russians either along the roads entering along the top of the board, or, from the right.
|The French light cavalry charge home|
|The cavalry are hit in the flank by the cossacks|
|The Russian light cavalry attack|
By the time Broussier's infantry managed to cross the river they found their right threatened by Russian infantry. Only the fire from the French artillery stalled the Russian advance. On the French left two Russian brigades bore down on the single French brigade covering the area. A third moved further to the left and captured the church before Broussier's infantry could get there. The French infantry did their best, but outnumbered they eventually had to give ground and were chases back across the river where it took some time for them to rally.
|The infantry struggle on the French left|
From now on the French made successive attempts to attack across the bridge and try and recapture the village. Although they had some successes, each attack was eventually pushed back, even the Italian Guard.
It was clear that the Russians had prevailed and Steve and I shook hands and discussed the battle over coffee. A couple of things were clear, the move distances from Shako were too great for the table we had. The initial set up had 6 Russian brigades, with two batteries against 2 French brigades with one battery. Even though French reinforcements arrived fairly quickly, they couldn't support the outnumbered French before the Russians arrived. We felt that a crucial factor was that the move distances in Shako are guaranteed, whereas in Age of Eagles they depend on a die roll. In addition, Shako has no separate musketry segment; the only way to 'stagger' a brigade or inflict casualties on it outside melee is with artillery. The cossacks were particularly effective, moving fast and able to pass through woods they were a potent threat. Plenty to ponder before the next trial I think.