27th August 1813
This was a very unusual encounter during the Autumn campaign of 1813. The scenario comes from the 'A La Baionette' scenario book for 'Le
Feu Sacre III' both available from the excellent Too Fat Lardies.
The attraction of this scenario for me was a that it was of small size, featured my favourites the Prussians, and even had Cossacks too, which I
also like to use. Uniquely, the Prussian force consisted almost wholly of Landwehr and Reservist infantry. Both Max and I are big fans of
Landwehr, though we are seldom successful.
We fought it on a 6' x 4' table, although the recommended size is 6' x 6'. I cut back the depth of the woods, showing only their edges to make it fit
better. The table set up is below.
This is an extremely challenging scenario for both sides, not least because both C-in-C's are actually Divisional commanders with sizeable
numbers of men to directly command plus issue orders and co-ordinate the detached brigades too. The task of the French is doubly
challenging when you realise that Girard is actually rated a 'Poor' commander!
That said, the victory conditions are very difficult for the Prussians to win.
The Prussians win a minor victory if they take Hagelburg and the high ground behind it and inflict twice as many casualties on their enemy than
they suffer. This becomes a major victory if the French suffer three times the Prussian losses.
The French win a major victory if they hold Hagelburg and inflict twice as many casualties as they suffer. They win a minor
victory if they simply hold Hagelburg.
Clive took command of the French (...the mad, impetuous fool) with Max as Prussian C-in-C (von Schortarsen), not so ably assisted by Paul B,
Nige and myself.
Clive deployed his main force of a dozen Battalions and two batteries in and around Hagelberg, deploying in depth on the road to Klien Glien.
His left consisted of a dummy blind and a brigade of French cavalry, covering the open ground.
Initially our blinds were off table but the Prussians were allowed to enter via the Thiergarten, or on either the Belzig road or road to Lubnitz.
Max's main force of fifteen battalions entered the table in the Thiergarten opposite Windmill Hill. Paul B with a detached brigade of Landwehr
cavalry also entered in the Thiergarten but adjacent to the road to Schmerwitz. A dummy blind was also to march into the woods mid way
between Max and Paul. Nige had a detached brigade of three battalions enter on the Lubnitz road with my force of two units of Cossacks and a
ten gun battery of medium guns entered on the Belzig road.
Clive was essentially to be attacked from three directions.
Max's main infantry force is spotted marching onto the table via the Thiergarten woods.
Max deployed in depth two 'Brigades' up and two in support.
My cossacks, and Nigel's detached infantry brigade's, blinds make an appearance.
Clive has deployed one blind in Hagelburg, another on his left which turned out to be a dummy,
with the cavalry blind in support.
As his blind is spotted his force begins to deploy in detail.
Hagelburg is occupied by a battalion with a column in support on the left, flanked by artillery and a square.
The small wood, of which a tree is visible bottom left was occupied by another battalion.
The remaining battery and two battalions were deployed on the other side of the town.
In support , just north of Klien Glien were the remaining six battalions in columns of waiting.
Max's infantry begin to advance upon Hagelburg....
...whilst I target the square adjacent to Hagelburg with Russian artillery and skirt round
the small wood with Cossacks.
Paul's detached Landwehr cavalry brigade are spotted exiting the Thiergarten woods.
Clive's detached cavalry brigade is spotted on the French left.
My cossacks manage to take the unoccupied Peterbserg threatening the flank of Clive's rear supports
Max begins to flank Hagelburg after an initial assault on the town is repelled and attacks the French battalion in column.
The leading Landwehr unit is routed and sweeps away its support in rout too.
Nearby shaken units also rout. Back to the drawing board?
The cossacks pounce on a square shaken by artillery fire routing it.
Nigel's detached brigade of three battalions takes up the slack by flanking Hagelburg...
...with cossacks threateningly menacing the rear.
Clive defends the approach with a battalion in line but is shaken by artillery and is taking heavy casualties.
Nige breaks the enemy and assaults Hagelburg from the right flank.
Hagelburg falls and Prussians pour through taking a battery in the flank....
....and a column fails to turn to face.
The Prussians begin to roll up the right flank of the remaining French...
...and the French infantry are encircled!
The game was declared to be over and we gave the victory to the Prussians who had taken both the high ground and Hagelburg. However,
casualties were about equal on both sides. Almost every round of decisive combat had resulted in firefights bleeding both sides heavily. The
French artillery had caused many casualties on Max's infantry but the Russian artillery had been key to weakening the French right allowing
Nige's force to deliver the coup de grace.
On the French left, Paul's cavalry had made repeated charges against their French counterparts with the French responding in kind, but each
time the attackers bounced back with very little loss.
Clive actually fought a blinder considering the quality of the troops and particularly the C-in-C being 'Poor'. At one stage four turns in a row his
command was affected by the Poor/Cautious chip and unable to respond. The cossacks took advantage to skirt the entire French right and take
the high ground sitting atop the Petersberg and daring any French infantry to move or change formation which would trigger opportunity
I actually changed my own orders to attack using the optional rule 25.9 to pounce on the French rear but even then I actually bounced at one
The French put up one hell of a fight and we all accepted that had they had even just a 'solid' commander things would have been very different.
Clive even managed to advance upon Windmill Hill at one stage but the cautious/poor chip stopped his preparations for the assault and by the
time he was able to sort out his command he had been hit in the flank.
We forgot a few rules, namely that detached commands cannot make brigade moves, which actually allowed Nige to break the French right and
into Hagelsburg but it is to be expected when we haven't played the rules in a while.
It is an extremely challenging scenario but really good fun and I urge you to dust off those Prussians and French and give it a go.
Prussian Infantry - Essex, Battle Honours and Old Glory owned and painted by Max Maxwell. Prussian Landwehr, cossacks
and Landwehr cavalry - Essex Miniatures by yours truly, who also took the photos.
French - Minifigs owned and painted by Clive.
Buildings - JR Miniatures available from Magister Militum.
Road to Belzig
Road to Schmerwitz
Road to Lubnitz