Victory Results:
 21 %
Record a victory for BOTTOM ARMY  79 %
Total plays 39 - Last reported by Jamon79 on 2024-03-07 15:38:37

Craonne - 7 March 1814

Historical Background
Napoleon had hoped to defeat Blucher’s army piecemeal since it was strung out in retreat after the series of Allied set-backs, but Blucher’s force recovered more quickly than expected. Napoleon pushed forward and on March 7th caught up to what he believed was the Russian rear guard near Craonne. Blucher, however, had concentrated his forces and was eager to give battle. While his main force attacked up the valley, Napoleon sent Ney with the young guard and Victor’s cavalry to outflank the Russian left and Nansouty’s force to outflank the right. The coordination of the three forces, however, was poor. Ney’s force attacked before Napoleon’s artillery was up in the center and all attacks suffered heavy casualties which included cavalry commander Nansouty. A Russian counter attack was roughly handled and neither commander choose to continue the attack.
The stage is set. The battle lines are drawn and you are in command. Can you change history?


Set-Up Order

Forest 7
Hill 8
Town 3


Battle Notes

Russian Army
• Commander: Voronzov
• 5 Command Cards
• 3 Tactician Cards

Line Infantry Light Infantry Grenadier Infantry Light Cavalry Foot Artillery Horse Artillery General
6 4 3 3 3 1 4

French Army
• Commander: Napoleon
• 6 Command Cards
• 6 Tactician Cards
• Move First

Line Infantry Light Infantry Young Guard Old Guard Infantry Light Cavalry Cuirassier Cavalry Heavy Cavalry Foot Artillery Horse Artillery Guard Foot Artillery General
2 2 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 4


10 Banners

Special Rules
• French line infantry are conscripts and do not receive one additional die in melee when attacking an enemy infantry unit.

• Pre-Battle Mother Russia Roll rule is in effect. Saber and cavalry rolls have no effect.

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Pevans replied the topic:
8 months 1 day ago
And this is the final return match between Evert and me in the Russian scenarios. Evert's turn for the Russians, which means he gets the Mother Russia roll. Evert gained extra blocks for two Line and one Light infantry, boosting the two Line in centre and the Light holding the town of Ailles on the right, and one artillery, which went to the Foot artillery just right of the boosted Line infantry in the centre.

As in our previous game, fighting started on the right where the troops were already in contact. I played a "Fire and Hold" card and the Young Guard forced what was left of the Russian Light infantry holding Ailles out of the town. In response, the Russian Light cavalry promptly put one unit of the Guard into square.

Evert's card was a "Flank Attack", so he'd also advanced on the left. I used "Counterattack" to respond and the French cavalry eliminated the Russian Light cavalry on the left to open the scoring 1:0.

Evert threw more Russian Light cavalry, led by General O'Rourke, at the French horsemen on the left, but the General fell to the Heavy cavalry's sabres. A bit of luck and it's 2:0.

Meanwhile the fighting on the right had seen Russian Light infantry infiltrate the woods in front of Ailles while the cavalry had retired into the town. The French Cuirassiers trotted up to the woods, the Russians formed square and the combined musketry of two Young Guard units (no longer in square) and a Light infantry destroyed them: 3:0.

While the French Heavy cavalry put a Russian Light infantry into square centre left, Light cavalry did the same to General Vuitsch's damaged unit centre-left and the Cuirassiers forced the Russian Light cavalry out of Ailles. (I'm not sure what the cavalry was doing attacking into woods and towns, but it seems to be working.)

Russian Grenadiers pushed the Cuirassiers back out of the town while infantry moved up to bolster Vuitsch's men. A French assault in the centre had little effect, apart from finishing off the Russian Light cavalry in the woods left of centre: 4:0.

Evert finally got onto the scoreboard when Russian muskets eliminated a French Light infantry in the woods on the right - 4:1.

Time for a "Force March" that let me push the French Guards forward in the centre. They did for Vuitsch's square, though the General made good his escape (5:1). And the Russian artillery opened up (a "Bombard" from Evert) to remove the lead Young Guard unit in the centre (5:2).

I continued to attack, finishing off the Russian infantry in square centre-left and the men under Vuitsch (7:2). The General made another tactical withdrawal, joining some battered Light infantry skulking in La Bovelle Farm.

The Russians responded on the right, the Grenadiers in Ailles completing the destruction of a Young Guard that had no retreat: 7:3.

Old Guard continued to advance in the centre and finished off the Russian artillery in front of the farm (8:3). They were unsupported, however, and had to retire as they took casualties from Russian muskets, one unit falling (8:4).

The remnant of the Old Guard, supported by the Cuirassiers then eradicated the Russian Grenadiers holding Ailles (9:4) only for a Russian "Bayonet Charge" to take out them, a Line infantry centre right and a Light infantry centre left: 9:7.

Things now got a bit silly as, lacking decent cards, Evert used a "La Grande Manoeuvre" to bring fresh Russian troops amongst the French cavalry on the left and I, in the same position, played one to skip away from that and get my cavalry into attacking positions.

Evert tried to stave off the inevitable, but my Heavy cavalry, now behind the Russian lines on the left, finished off a one-block Light infantry despite it forming square: 10:7.

That was one hell of a fight. I was sure I had it won only for Evert to come right back at me. His little purple patch meant the aggregate score was 16:17 and a win for him. This game was slightly shorter than the first - just under two hours and 25 turns.

As we've reached the end, I feel a bit of analysis is appropriate. So, we've played 40 games, of which I've won 24 to Evert's 16. However, the aggregate results across the 20 scenarios are 9 wins to me and 8 to Evert with 3 draws. Despite my feeling that the Russians are good opponents for the French, the men in green have only won 8/40. Mind you, some of the scenarios are horribly one-sided.
Pevans replied the topic:
8 months 1 day ago
Yes, Evert and I have reached the final Russian scenario. The Mother Russia roll gave me an extra block for Light and Line infantry, which I added to the two advanced units right of centre, and artillery, to the Foot artillery left of centre.

Evert attacked on the right, flinging Young Guard and Light infantry under Marshal Ney against the Russians in the town of Ailles. I responded with the Russian Light cavalry, putting one Young Guard unit into square, Grenadiers and Light infantry pushing the French back.

The fighting continued outside Ailles until the Russians in the town were eliminated, allowing French infantry to occupy it. And Evert opened the scoring - 0:1.

I swung the cavalry and Grenadiers around the town and took out one Young Guard and the Light infantry to take the score to 2:1. Marshal Ney retired (hurriedly) to the Cuirassiers at the back of the French right.

A "Coordinated Advance" saw Evert move several units forward and force back my Light cavalry on the right. I played "Bombard" and the Russian artillery opened fire. The guns on the right took out the Young Guard square while the central batteries eliminated the French Guard artillery (yes, I got lucky with my dice) - 4:1.

More action on the right saw the French force the Russian Grenadiers back only for the Russians to push the French infantry out of the town. But the Grenadiers were in the open and the French took 'em out: 4:2.

Now the French Light cavalry under General Victor was in the open and suffered from the muskets of General Vuitsch's Line infantry before being finished off by their Russian counterparts - 5:2 - leaving Victor stranded.

Marshal Ney manoeuvred his Cuirassiers through the woods for the French to launch a "Cavalry Charge" at the Russian centre. This destroyed a Russian artillery (Evert's turn for some luck with the dice), finished off a battered Line infantry and forced Russian Line and Grenadiers into square - 5:4.

The French Heavy cavalry centre-left, already battered in its own attack, was blown away by the Russian artillery: 6:4.

Evert used a "Force March" to bring the Guards forward in the centre where the Old Guard finished off a Russian Line infantry and the Young Guard gunned down Russian Light infantry. That's 6:6.

A Russian attack in the centre saw General Vuitsch fall to the French Cuirassiers' sabres - 6:7 and Evert is back in the lead.

The Cuirassiers then finished off Vuitsch's troops (6:8) and forced a third Russian infantry into square. And I'm down to just two cards in hand, severely limiting my options.

Another "Force March" from Evert saw the French infantry continue the attack in the centre, eliminating Gen Harpe's Grenadiers, though the General escaped. That's 6:9 and the battle's almost over.

This was followed by a "Hold and Fire" that took out another Russian square. 6:10 and a fine win for Evert given he was 5:2 down at one point.

This was a two-hour, 27-turn game and a good, hard fight. After his initial attack on the right was beaten, Evert made good use of his cavalry and was then able to exploit their success with the Guards for a well-deserved win.
LARS replied the topic:
3 years 1 month ago
The French Heavies rule the day. French win easily 10(12 actually) to 2. Mortier only moved to have a better view.
Hexagoon replied the topic:
3 years 4 months ago
Both victories to the French, 10-3 and 10-7. French weight of heavy cavalry and very tough Infantry are too much for the Russians in this scenario.
tlangston28 replied the topic:
7 years 8 months ago
French 10 banners - Russians 4 banners
Played as the French with tactician cards against TheMP. The battle started on the French right, going back and forth with the French holding a slight lead and able to get the YG into Ailles. I started with 2 Cavalry charges in hand plus 2 break the squares tactician cards so for the next several turns, I tried when I could to get the cavalry in place for a charge. When the opportunity arose, A cavalry charge combined with the 2 break square cards were able to increase the banner count for the french to a point where 1 banner was needed which was won on the next turn by forcing a FA unit to retreat into elimination.

I think I had an extraordinary hand of tact and command cards which ultimately gave me the upper hand. We will play this one again without the tact cards to see what results can occur in a "classic" battle. I think this is a tough one for the Russians but we will see.
Bayernkini replied the topic:
11 years 1 month ago
More informations here

for those, who want know more about the battle or want use the maps
to setup a "Epic" Craonne :)