Wednesday, April 1, 2015


I was away at the weekend at Lundin Links in Fife for a 28mm Napoleonic event.  It was a large game based on Borodino.  Over the 2 days 10 gamers attended from the AB1 group.  We used Black Powder with my house rules.  The table was 24ft long with wider sections at each end giving it a sort of S shape

Russian forces deployed to meet the French around Utitsa

I made the Russian infantry Stoic and Poor shots.   Stoic means they can reroll their first break test while Poor shots is a -1 to their shooting dice.  Given the scale of the game to speed up play we did not use any skirmishers or mixed formations.
The forces
French: Infantry  99 battalions, Cavalry 35 regiments and 46 guns
Russian: Infantry 73 battalions, Cavalry 31 regiments and 57 guns
That’s a grand total of over 5,900 figures from the collections of Ken Pearce, Jack Glanville, Angus Konstam, Chris Henry and myself.

The Great Redoubt - held by my heavy guns and Pavlov Grenadiers

Ian Carter played the roll of Kutuzov and Campbell Hardie played the part of Napoleon.  Ian went for a fairly conventional deployment with troops spread along the line and a fairly substantial off-table reserve.  Campbell committed the bulk of the French strength to the flanks - a massive sweep around the north of Borodino and a reinforced attack by the Poles along the old Smolensk highway.  He set up a grand battery in the centre facing the Bagration fleches and the area south of the Great Redoubt.  However he had few reserves to commit in the area of the battery other than 5 cavalry brigades and the Old Guard.

Russians massed north of the fleches
I commanded the Russians immediately to the south of and behind the Great Redoubt.  The French did not attack the grand redoubt directly but attacked around it’s flanks – I held the French and Swiss attack south of the redoubt while Ian held the Neapolitan attack north of the redoubt.   The mass French attack north of Borodino commanded by Chris Stone was held up for at least 12 turns by the heroes of the  jaeger brigade holding Borodino and a gallant delaying action by Cossacks and Hussars.

French and allies close up on Borodino -- held by the gallant but eventually doomed Jaegers
The other mass French attack from the fleches southwards thru the wood to Utitsa was held by the forces of KenPearce and John Glass.  A last attempt to break thru near the fleches by the Old Guard was bravely defeated by Russian Grenadiers.

Fighting around the southern Fleche and the edge of the Utitsa Woods
A massive and very enjoyable game.   Officially it was declared a draw.  Thanks to Jack Glanville who organised the OBs and the scenario.

The great French sweep north of Borodino meets the Russian Hussars
All my photos with descriptions on Flickr
Jack Glanville has reported on the game at
Bart Zynda has also reported on the game at


  1. Looks huge, massive and beautiful!

  2. A great spectacle, (number of soldiers) spectacular battle framework

  3. Glorious!! Just the sort of excellent gaming we like to see! :)

  4. Now that is an impressive battle!

  5. Bill great table and armies . Big kudos to all involved. Can I ask you what OOBs were and terrain ratings etc please
    Thanks. Peter

  6. Bill that's a great table /terrain and armies can I ask you what the OOBs were and any terrain ratings etc please
    Thanks. Peter

    1. Peter
      I don't have the overall OB basically we deployed all the troops we could field in our collections. Infantry were in brigades of 4 battalions with a field gun, cavalry in brigades of 2 regiments with a horse gun. Any extra French guns were massed in the grand battery and the Russians had heavy guns deployed in the redoubt and fleches. The woods around Utitsa were open and formed infantry and cavalry could move at half speed thru them. The river north of Borodino was impassible except at the Borodino bridge and a single ford. The Russians had 3 veteran infantry brigades - the guard and 2 grenadier brigades. The French had one Elite Old Guard brigade.