Monday, July 9, 2012

NAP Battle of Perekrjostok October 1812

This weeks big game was held on Saturday.  It was a 28mm game of a fictional action, the Battle of Perekrjostok,  on the Northern wing of the 1812 Russian campaign played using Black Powder Rules.   It was actually a hidden scenario based on a real action - more to follow on that.

2nd attack on the convent
Organising the game
The game was fought at Hugh Wilson’s house on a 14ft by 5ft table.  I provided the scenario and the figures.   Their were 6 players and I umpired. Donald Adamson, Jimmy Conquer and Mark Taylor were the Russian players. Colin Jack, Dave Paterson and Hugh Wilson were the French players.  After Jimmy Conquer departed before lunch I took over his Russian command.

I have added a Perekrjostok 1812 page which gives more complete information on the game set-up, terrain map, rules used, the player briefings and order of battle.

Link to Flickr photoset of the game with further descriptions

I based the OB on the troops I had available taking into account to the proportions at the actual battle with the French having 1 more brigade in total but the Russians having more cavalry.
The French army whose objective was to hold the road junction deployed with a Bavarian infantry brigade on table and a cavalry brigade in reserve of table.  They had a further 6 brigades marching to the action.  The Bavarian infantry were split holding the 2 strong points of Kaminski and the Convent of Piredovichii and gambling on their immediate reserves, the light cavalry, holding the centre, until the main body arrived. 
The attacking Russians deployed with an infantry brigade on table and another infantry brigade and a cavalry brigade available to be ordered on in the first turn.  They had a further 2 infantry brigades and 2 cavalry brigades marching to the action.  The initial infantry brigade and the following brigade of jaegers was to move up the St Petersburg Highway to pass the Convent of Piredovichii.  Their first cavalry brigade was intended to come on in the centre and strike across the stream towards the road junction.

Russian infantry cross bridge on way to Piredovichii
How the game played
The battle turned into 3 distinct actions - for Piredovichii Convent, for Geminskii and in the centre.

Piredovichii Convent
It took time for the column of Russians to cross the bridge over the stream and for the first brigade to deploy into attack columns.  Two of the battalions attacked the Bavarian light infantry holding the convent whilst the other 2 battalions attacked the supporting Bavarian battalion covering the flank.  The attack on the convent was beaten back.  Whilst the other 2 Russian battalions did eventually force the covering Bavarian battalion to retire.

Third attack on the convent and the Opolcheniye go in....
By the time the Russians had reorganised and threw their line infantry into a further attack on the convent supported by the Jaeger brigade who had now crossed the bridge the French foreign brigade had arrived on table and moved up to support the convent.  The leading Irish battalion held of the flanking Russians who were then driven back by the other battalions.  The second mass attack on the convent saw both the Russian line battalions break.  A final third mass attack by 2 battalions of Jaegers was thrown in and also failed against the stout Bavarian defenders.

Final situation at Piredovichii
Whilst this was going o the Russian CinC threw his final brigade - the Opolcheniye militia - against the foreign units on the road to the convent.  The brave volunteers went on in massed columns and drove back 2 of the French units but hit by fire from the convent and by a fresh French brigade arriving their courage failed them and they wilted away.  At the end of the game there were only 4 Russian battalions left of the original 12.

The Russian commanders threw an infantry brigade and their Cossack brigade against Geminskii and French right flank.  They were held by the Bavarians holding the village and by the French second cavalry Brigade of Hussars and Lancers.  They held up the Russian advance by forcing some infantry into square and broke one of the Cossack units.  The Russians eventually massed 4 guns against the village and this and the fire of the Russian infantry broke the defending battalion but the gun in the village was still holding on at the end of the game by which time a fresh French infantry brigade was moving to support the village.

Russians close up on Geminskii
The French light cavalry - 2 regiments of Chasseurs - came onto the table quickly deployed along the stream.  The opposing Russian Hussar brigade took 4 turns to get onto the table!  Their advance continued to be slow and eventually the Russian Brigadier and the CinC both did a Follow Me and brought the regiments into action with the counter charging French brigade.  In the first round of the melee it went well for the Russians as one of the Chasseur regiments broke.  However next turn one of the Hussar regiments was broken by horse artillery fire and the other broke in hand to hand combat.  Eventually the Russian Cuirassier brigade arrived and charged the surviving Chasseur regiment.  They broke and fled thru the newly arrived 1/2 Chasseurs a Pied of the Guard.  The Cuirassiers did a sweeping advance into the Guard who could not react and broke them at once.  Another Brigade of French line infantry had arrived and facing this mass the Cuirassiers then rallied back and moved to support the attack on Geminskii.

Long delayed light cavalry melee in the centre - both Russian units broke

It was agreed at the end of the game that it was a major victory for the French.  Russian losses were double those of the French.  The Russians had become bogged down in the attacks on the strongpoints and had made no progress towards the road junction which was the objective.  They had also simply run out of units in their centre and right flank.
Cuirassiers about to beat chasseurs and then ride down the Old Guard
Heroes of the day where:
a) the Bavarian Light Btn who held onto the Convent vs 2 Russian Brigades
b) the other Bavarian battalion and gun holding Geminskii where the gun was still holding the village at the end of the day.
c) the Opolcheniye who acting like they were the old guard charged into and pushed back a Swiss battalion.
Award for poorest performance of the day must go to the
1/2 Chasseurs a Pied of the Imperial Guard (in their first outing) who were ridden down in line by the sweeping advance of the Russian cuirassiers and broke even with a reroll!
"Colin you have lost the guard."
They were even a large 9 stand unit with 8 hand to hand dice
"Colin you have lost the guard"

We agreed that the Stoic rule for the Russians worked better than making them Steady and the alternate approach to Broken Brigades certainly made brigades which had lost units more fragile.

Hidden Scenario
This is actually a hidden scenario.  Perekrjostok is Russian for crossroads and a common name for crossroads in Belgium and France is Quatre Bras.  So it is actually the Battle of Quatre Bras 1815 - with the French playing the Anglo-Allied role and the Russians the French. The Bavarians are the Dutch Belgians and the French Guard are the British Foot Guards.


  1. Great looking table and as usual a wonderful AAR!


  2. Oh those poor French / British Guards that one one break should have caused massive morale checks for the French/British all over the place.

    Hmmmmmmm what did Colin roll snake eyes each time?

  3. In all fairness, Colin's tactical appreciation was better than mine. I allowed my flanking attacks to get bogged down in attacking the strong points, which might have been by-passed and screened at the start. On reflection a mass infantry attack up the centre of the board, heading for the cross-roads might have paid dividends? Anyway great fun!

  4. Dave

    Colin rolled 3 or 4 each time.... Luckily everyone else testing stood. The next battalion of Old Guard were in march column so could not support anyway.

  5. Bill great game/report and your slight tweaking seemed to work out.
    What size brigades of infantry do you favour 4/5/6's? .i also add in small/tiny units say prussian jaegers etc to a brigade-- i ignore them if they break but unsure whether to add them to brigade break total?

  6. Peter
    Normally for my Napoleonic games the infantry brigades are 4 units plus artillery. I might ignore a small unit of Jaegers/rifles attached to such a brigade. For some of my AWI games were some brigades are entirely or mainly small skirmishing units I might count them. depends on the specific game.
    This was the first game we had used this -1 to command and break tests for each lost unit.

  7. Bill how did you find it worked out over the game? also i noticed some nice markers you used with crack on it it-i'd like to get some of these additional type markers eg;stolid/untested/first fire etc as in heat of battle these things get forgotten. Peter

    1. The -1 worked okay but this was our first try of the concept so we will have to try again. The counters are bespoke ones which I ordered from Litko. They cover First Fire, Crack, Steady etc. These are the special rules/abilities that can be used and lost so I decided it was easier to keep track with removable counters on the units. WARBASES in the UK will probably produce custom wooden counters.