209 Friedland (14 June 1807)
Friedland - 14 June 1807
When Napoleon arrived at Friedland, Bennigsen’s Russian army was holding a four-mile line in what Napoleon determined was a very poor defensive position, with its back to the river Alle. In addition, the Mill stream bisected the Russian line which also gave Napoleon reason to attack at once. Around 5:00 PM Ney’s divisions advanced. Opening a battle so late in the day surprised Bennigsen, forcing him to rescind his order to with draw back across the Alle during the night. The Russians would have to offer battle where they stood. The Russian left became the scene of advances, counter attacks and swirling cavalry actions. Both sides committed reserves to these combats, but the Russians weakened their center to do so. Seeing the weakness, the French horse artillery commander forwarded his guns to within 60 paces of the Russian infantry, and at that range the Russians took huge casualties – Eylau was avenged. Bennigsen launched an attack on his right in an attempt to take pressure off his left and center, but the French flank held. One final attack by the Russian Imperial Guard against Ney did not succeed in stopping the French and only served to buy time for the Russian army to retreat. But for the inaction of Grouchy and his French cavalry, the Russian army would have been largely destroyed. As it was, Russian casualties were catastrophic. The outcome of the Battle of Friedland spelled the end of the Fourth Coalition.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?
• Commander: Bennigsen
• 5 Command Cards
• 4 Tactician Cards
• Commander: Napoleon
• 6 Command Cards
• 6 Tactician Cards
• Move First
• The River Alle is impassable.
• The Mill Stream is fordable. The shallow fords do not stop movement.
• Pre-Battle Mother Russia Roll rule is in effect.
Tags: Expansion 2, Banners: 8, Army: French, Army: Russian, Special Rule: Mother Russia
The Russian Heavy Cavalry in particular seemed invincible, eliminating two French artillery units and one cavalry unit. Russians had great cards when they needed them and fantastic die rolls. French had poor cards and the dice hated them. Thinking this was a fluke, I played again. It was a much closer battle, but the Russians squeezed out another victory, with the most valuable unit award going again to the Russian Heavy Cavalry, who ran wild and unstoppable again! Great map.