203 Pultusk (26 December 1806)

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 4.00 (6 Votes)
 63 %
Record a victory for BOTTOM ARMY  38 %
Total plays 64 - Last reported by Pevans on 2022-10-27 23:48:21

Pultusk - 26 December 1806

Historical Background
Marshal Bennigsen disobeyed his orders and halted his retreat to give battle. He drew his divisions up in three lines between Pultusk and the Mostachin Woods. Lannes and his V Corps had orders from Napoleon to pursue and engage the Russians who were believed to be retreating. Unaware he was facing a much stronger Russian force, Lannes sent Claparede’s division forward against Pultusk, while Suchet moved against the Mostachin woods. Gazan drove the Russian cavalry force from Mosin Heights and good progress was being made on both flanks despite the weather and mud. A French foothold in Pultusk was short lived, as the Russian artillery superiority, soon forced the French back all along the line. The battle had turned against the French until the mid-afternoon arrival of a III Corps division. General d’Aultanne, on his own initiative, had marched to the sound of the guns and arrived on the endangered French left. The renewed French attack against the woods forced Barclay de Tolly to retire under pressure and Bennigsen ordered the Russian cavalry forward to stem the French advance. Dusk was falling and the battle died out. Both sides had suffered heavy losses. Lannes expected to renew the fighting the next day, but Bennigsen withdrew during the night.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?

 

Set-Up Order

Forest 6
Hill 14
River 2
RiverBridge 1
Town 4

 

Battle Notes

Russian Army
• Commander: Bennigsen
• 5 Command Cards
• Optional 4 Tactician Cards

Line Infantry Light Infantry Grenadier Infantry Light Cavalry Heavy Cavalry Guard Light Cavalry Militia Cossack Cavalry Foot Artillery Horse Artillery Leader
8 4 2 2 1 1 3 4 1 4

French Army
• Commander: Lannes
• 5 Command Cards
• Optional 5 Tactician Cards
• Move First

Line Infantry Light Infantry Light Cavalry Heavy Cavalry Foot Artillery Horse Artillery Leader
9 4 2 1 2 1 5

 

Victory
10 Banners

Special Rules
• The four Mostachin Woods hexes form a Temporary Majority Group Victory Banner Objective worth one banner to the side that occupies an absolute majority at the start of its turn (Temporary Majority Victory Banner Turn Start)

• The French player gains one Temporary Victory Banner for each hill hex occupied on the ridge behind Mosin Heights at the start of the turn (Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)

• The French player gains one Temporary Victory Banner for each town hex occupied at the start of the turn (Temporary Victory Banner Turn Start)

• The Bridge hex is a Permanent Victory Banner Objective worth one banner for the French player when occupied at the start of the turn (Permanent Victory Banner Turn Start)

• The Narew River is impassable.

• Pre-Battle Mother Russia Roll rule is in effect.

Tags: Expansion 2, Banners: 10, Army: French, Army: Russian, Special Rule: Mother Russia, Special Rule: Temporary VB, Special Rule: Permanent VB, Special Rule: Temporary Majority VB

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Pevans's Avatar
Pevans replied the topic: #7977 1 month 19 hours ago
The return match at Pultusk meant Evert got to start us off with a Mother Russia roll. This rewarded him with three full-strength Line infantry (two in the centre and one in Pultusk town), a Cossack (centre left) and a fieldworks (for the artillery in front of Pultusk). Is that better than (what I got) two Cossacks and three fieldworks? Debate, using only one side of the paper.

Some ineffective cannon fire from the French was followed by the elimination of a Cossack unit by fire from French Line. More Cossacks and Light cavalry promptly charged the offending infantry. They took out another Cossack unit, then formed square in the face of the Lights, but still suffered casualties. {Oh, the score is 0:1 as the Russians have the banner for Mostachin Woods} Other French infantry opened fire on the Light cavalry and eliminated them. {1:1}

General Sacken led Russian infantry and artillery towards Mosin Heights, but stayed on the reverse slope, while more Cossacks tried to distract the French. Brushing aside the Cossacks, the French infantry advanced en masse in the centre with Gen Reille on the left and Vedal on the right. They occupied the right-hand end of the Heights, eliminating the Russian Light infantry they found on the other side. At the same time, musketry from the centre left damaged the Russian Lights holding Mostachin Woods, one unit retreating. {2:1}

Supported by their artillery, the Russian infantry advanced onto the Heights, eliminating a French Line and mauling a Light infantry. {2:2}

The damaged Lights retired, Gen Vedal moving up to thump a Russian Line, only to have his troops slaughtered by Russian Grenadiers. {Lucky dice for Evert to make the score 2:3} Vedal survived, but Mosin Heights was now solely in Russian hands. This didn't last long as the Grenadiers tried to stand when attacked by Light cavalry and also fell to a man. (More lucky dice, on my side this time and it's 3:3}

The Heights now became the site of a cavalry battle as Russian Lights (and Cossacks) took on their French counterparts. The Cossacks didn't last long, but the Lights traded blows for a while. Eventually, fire from French Light infantry and artillery finished off the Russian Light cavalry. {4:3} On the left, advancing French infantry blew away the one Russian Light infantry in Mostachin Woods. {5:2 as the Russians lose the banner for the Woods}

The Russians were quick to re-occupy the woods, while the French attacked the hills on the right. Light infantry shot up the Russian artillery while Light cavalry hit the Russian Light infantry, eliminating them, but allowing Gen Baggowut to escape. {More good luck for me 6:3}

Baggowut came back with Line infantry to push the French cavalry off the hills while the artillery retired under heavy fire from the French Light infantry and artillery.

Switching attention to the left of the battlefield, the Guards Light cavalry hurtled into the French infantry. The only effect was to put one Line infantry into square. The French Heavy cavalry counter-attacked and battered the Russian horsemen. They retired again even as the Russian artillery moved back out of Pultusk into their fieldworks on the hills. Fine shooting by the Russian artillery and the Line infantry removed a full-strength French Light infantry on the right {Another lucky die-roll to go to 6:4}

Then the French cavalry charged. On the left, the Heavies finished off the Russian Guard Light cavalry. {7:4} In the centre, the battered Lights mounted the ridge to finish off the infantry with Sacken. They went a step too far by taking on the unit Sacken retreated to and fell themselves. {8:5} The Lights on the right took on the Russian Light infantry with Baggowut on the hill, causing casualties, but were then blown away by the Russian guns. {8:6 after my "Cavalry Charge"}

French infantry under Reille attacked on the left, getting in to Mostachin Woods after eliminating the Russian Line there - General de Tolly escaped. {9:5 after depriving the Russians of their majority in the woods}

Russian volleys pushed the French attack back, the infantry advanced again against the damaged Russians centre left and finished off another unit. {10:5 and the win}

And that's two French victories from two, despite the stats showing this as a 65% Russian win. This game was more decisive (the aggregate score was 19:15 in my favour), though it took exactly as many turns as the first one. Again, the geographical objectives played no part and both sides still had substantial forces on the field at the end.
Pevans's Avatar
Pevans replied the topic: #7976 1 month 1 day ago
After a gap for holidays, Evert and I resumed our progress through the Russian scenarios. As is traditional, Evert took the French first, so I got to make the Mother Russia roll. This gave me two extra Cossacks, which I added to the front line, and fieldworks for three of my Foot artillery units (centre and right - that's right as the French see it and as everybody does on Vassal).

Initial advances by French infantry saw the lead unit on the centre right, under Gen Vedal, attacked by Cossacks and Light cavalry. The infantry tried to stand their ground, but eventually formed square after taking a battering. A concerted response from the French on the right eliminated two Cossacks (but no banners for them!) and forced the Light cavalry to retire over the Mosin Heights. {No casualties, but the score is 1:0 to the Russians for holding Mostachin Woods on the left}

Musket and cannon fire on the centre left forced the other advanced French Line infantry off its hill after taking casualties.

Speedy footwork brought the French infantry and Gen Reille forward to the Heights in the centre (while what was left of Gen Vedal's troops retreated further). This allowed a French Light infantry to inflict casualties on the Russian Light cavalry that had no room to retire. {Evert used a "Force March" card.}

Then Gen Claparede flung his Light cavalry against the Cossacks on the right, only to get mauled, while the French Light infantry advanced to shoot at the Russians in front of them. Since the General was right in front of their muzzles, the Russian artillery opened up. Down went a number of horsemen, including the General. {Yep, I rolled a double six on the leader check for the first real banner and a grumpy response. The score's 2:0}

The French Light infantry pressed their attack and removed the Russian artillery, one of the units diving into the fieldworks and the heart of the Russian position on the right. {2:1}

With nothing to lose, what was left of the Russian Light cavalry in the centre trotted over the Mosin Heights and into the heart of the French positions to finish off the infantry under Gen Vedan. The General fled the battlefield. {3:1}

On the centre left, Gen Reille now led some French infantry to attack the Russian Lights in the woods. They destroyed one unit, Gen Reille taking that position with French Line. {2:2 as the Russians lose the banner for the woods}

In response the Russian infantry under Generals Osterman and Sacken came off the ridge to occupy Mosin Heights, chasing off the French infantry and eliminating one unit. {3:2 with a "Bayonet Charge"} The French response removed a Russian Line in exchange. {3:3}

Supported by musket fire from Osterman's Line, Russian Grenadiers moved left to destroy Reille's troops in the woods and re-occupy them. The General made his escape to the safety of a French Line further back. Sacken's Line, on the Heights, drove another French Line back into the woods with their fire. {4:3 with a "Force March"}

The Russians continued to attack in the centre, getting more troops onto Mosin Heights while the lucky Light cavalry retreated from its position between French infantry. {5:3 as the Russians regain the banner for Mostachin Woods} The French Light infantry attacked on the right, eliminating the Russian Lights on the hills and prompting Gen Baggowut to nip back to the safety of the town. {5:4} Russian muskets caused one French Light to retreat, relieving the pressure.

The Russian infantry on and around Mosin Heights attacked again on the centre left, destroying the damaged French Line infantry holding the hill and the Light infantry supporting them. {7:4} On the centre right, French muskets removed a Russian Line in turn. {7:5}

Russian Light cavalry and Cossacks got in amongst the French Light infantry on the right, inflicting some damage, but losing the Cossacks. French artillery moved up to menace the horsemen, while the cannon in the centre bombarded the infantry with Gen Osterman, killing the General. {Second double six of the game, evening things up and taking the score to 7:6} The guns switched to Gen Sacken's unit, finishing off the infantry while the General escaped. {7:7 and that was a "Bombard" card from Evert}

While the Russians brought up fresh troops to replace the battered units around Mosin Heights {Another "Force March"}, the French attacked on the right again. {Evert had a "Counter-attack"} This drove back the Russians, one French Light infantry occupying part of Pultusk town. Russian Light cavalry sprinted past the forward French units to finish off a Light infantry lurking behind them as the infantry's muskets pushed the occupiers back out of the town. {8:7}

Time for the French cavalry to get into the action. Gen Reille and Light cavalry attacked on the left, backed by the Heavies under Gen Aultanne. The Russian Line formed square, but still took some damage. The Russian Guard Light Cavalry attacked in turn, damaging the French Heavies while infantry muskets drove back the Lights.

Cue a general advance across the battlefield by the French. On the right, the Light infantry moved up to take on the infantry defending Pultusk. On the left, the Heavy cavalry smacked into the Russian Guard Lights, demolishing them {lucky dice from Evert, 8:8}. They then set on the infantry in square, but the muskets got Gen Aultanne. {Yes, the third double six and the score's 9:8} The French artillery finished off the square. {9:9} And then French Line under Gen Gazan hit the Russian Line under Sackem on Mosin Heights and destroyed them. {A very useful "Forward" card followed by some lucky dice - on both sides - and Evert's French win 9:10.}

That was quite a battle, nip and tuck most of the way until Evert's final surge gave him the game. The Russian defence held pretty steady, though, so the French know they've been in a fight. The geographical objectives didn't play much part. Only Pultusk town looked like becoming banners for the French.
LARS's Avatar
LARS replied the topic: #6880 1 year 11 months ago
A totally unexpected and bizarre game. French infantry assaults consistently faltered, but the Russians could not effectively counterblow. Block losses were almost even at about 20. But the French managed to take the ridge using an LGM card and the game ended French 10 Russians 1.
Major Poldark replied the topic: #5809 3 years 6 months ago
Just finished the Pultusk scenario. Outstanding gameplay! The Mosin Heights changed hands five times during the course of the battle. The French won in end, 10-8, by taking the Narew Bridge. Lots of fun.
javore replied the topic: #5264 4 years 6 months ago
In my experience a very unbalanced scenario. 10-2 for the Russians. I will have to play again. The Russians were very lucky, though.

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