213 Borodino - Raevski Redoubt (5 September 1812)

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11 months 3 weeks ago #8795 by Pevans
Yes, Evert and I have reached this scenario. Looking at the set-up, my conclusion was that this is the heart of the battle, with the previous scenarios being skirmishing on the flanks. I play the Russians first and was encouraged by having those fieldworks to counter the massed French army. However, my first job is the Mother Russia roll. This let me add an extra block to the Light infantry in and beside Semenovka and the one on the left edge of the board.
The action started when Evert played a "Grande Manoeuvre" card to give the French a position in the centre. (For the third game in a row!) However, my "Force March" drove the French back, taking out a Line infantry unit. First blood to me and the score is 2:0 (the Russians hold Semenovka).
The action then shifted to the right where the French pushed forward, eliminating a Russian Line and an artillery to empty two of the fieldworks (thanks to some luck with the dice). Re-occupying one with Russian Grenadiers just led to their loss as well - though they did take down a French Line unit. A second French Line fell to the Russian Light cavalry before that unit was blown away by French fire. Phew! This takes the score to 4:6 in favour of the French.
By now Evert had his artillery massed in the centre - as happened historically - while I hadn't got much use from my guns - also historical. The artillery finished off a Russian Light infantry on the right, taking the score to 4:7 and leaving me with just the Guard Heavy cavalry on the right. With 10 banners needed for the win, things were looking bad.
Then there was some action on the left as the Russian guns finally fired, killing a French Line infantry. This was followed by a "Cavalry Charge". The Russian Cuirassiers hurtled into the river to destroy the French Light infantry in the woods on the extreme left (my turn for some luck with the dice) while the Guard Heavies hit the French on the right and removed the Heavy cavalry there. That's 7:7 and all to play for.
A second "Cavalry Charge" saw the Russian Cuirassiers and Light cavalry eliminate a French Line on the left while the Guard Heavies continued to lay into the French cavalry on the right, killing Marshal Murat. (Yes, I got lucky with a leader check, while Evert's luck had deserted him and his battle backs were not damaging my horsemen as much as they should - it's 9:7.)
The coup de grâce was my third (!) "Cavalry Charge" that saw the battered Guard Heavies finish off the French Light cavalry previously commanded by Murat.
From 4:7 to 10:7 is quite a comeback. I'd been wanting to get the Guard Heavy cavalry into action from the start and having three "Cavalry Charge" cards allowed me to let rip with them (and the Cuirassiers). Evert's massed artillery in the centre was quite effective initially (he had a "Bombard"), but then fell silent as he ran out of centre cards. And he was disappointed not to have got the French Cuirassiers - his favourite - into the action. It was a slightly longer game than most of ours, running to 30 turns (15 each), though 2.5 hours is not unusual.

Pevans

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11 months 3 days ago #9082 by Pevans
The start of June was my return match with Evert at this scenario as we working our way through the Russian expansion. It was my turn to play the French and all those fieldworks were discouraging - though only having to get the Russians out might be an advantage. As the Russian player, Evert's first job was the Mother Russia roll. In this case he added an extra block to the forward Line infantry on the right and the three Line behind and beside Semenovka in the centre. (I'm using left and right as in the set-up picture, rather than according to each army's viewpoint.)

Initial skirmishing was followed by a French attack on the left (a "Force March" card), crossing the river to attack the Russians on the hills. This didn't work out well: I lost a Light infantry and a Line infantry while the almost-dead Russian Light cavalry retreated out of harm's way. That means the score is 0:3 as Evert has a banner for the town.

However, I got lucky with my next card, an "Elan". On the right side of the battlefield French artillery eliminated a Russian artillery unit, leaving a fieldworks empty. (Evert was not happy that three dice all came up on the 'artillery' side - a 1/216 chance!) This makes the score 1:3 and 2:3 when Evert chose not to re-occupy the fieldworks.

I continued to push forward on the left, throwing the Cuirassiers into the fray and taking out a Light infantry and another artillery. That's another fieldworks vacant - though Evert filled this one - and takes the score to 4:3.

My next move was a "Bombard" card to bring three French artillery units together centre-right. The fourth one opened up on Semenovka, driving out the Russian Light infantry. However, the Russian artillery was more effective, eliminating a French Light infantry centre-left while muskets took out another on the right edge. And that's 4:4 as Evert's no longer holding the town.

With the focus in the centre, a French Line infantry had been working its way along the left edge of the battlefield and now finished off the battered Light cavalry hiding there: 6:4 as there is a second empty fieldworks. Evert promptly sent his Cuirassiers to force the infantry into square (cunningly depriving me of my other left section card).

Time for some action on the right with the fieldworks on the right edge changing hands a couple of times: the French lost a Light infantry, the Russians a Line - 7:5.

A rash attack by the Russian cavalry was beaten off and I responded with a "Cavalry Charge", taking out Russian Light cavalry on the right and a Line infantry from the fieldworks on the left: 9:5

In a final flurry, Evert came back with a "Counter-attack", re-taking Semenovka and one of the fieldworks and eliminating the Old Guard, but losing a Line infantry in exchange: 9:7. I pushed the Russians back out of the town and a fieldworks. Evert couldn't re-take either fieldworks, so another banner came my way at the start of the next French turn: 10:7 and a win by the same score I achieved as the Russians.

Pevans

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