The Battle of Octpingrad
Our LARGE battle for Autumn 2009

On October 17th the Jackson gamers played a "Large" Napoleonic battle using Larry Brom's Bring up the Guns rules. The "True 25mm" forces were parts of the Napoleonic armies of Jay Stribling, Robert Whitfield and Jim Pitts.

Each of our infantry and cavalry regiments are composed of siz 4-man stands, so 24 men per regiment. Our French and Russian foot artillery batteries each have four stands, with a gun and two gunners on each stand. The horse batteries have three stands each.

Photo by Jay Stribling

The French commanders. Minions of the Corsican upstart! Left to right, John Stangle, Ed Sansing, Phil Young,Bill Hamilton.

Photo by Jay Stribling

Three of the French discuss how they want thier snails cooked for lunch, while Phil Young begins to deploy his troops.

Photo by Jay Stribling

Russian commanders deploying their forces. Nearest to camera is Sean Pitts, then Jim Pitts, lastly Clay James. Not shown, Larry Reeves.

Photo by Jay Stribling

Two regiments of Russian Dragoons, deployed almost at the Russian extreme left flank.

Photo by Jay Stribling

The French are shown here in furious motion during their deployment. There were just a lot of troops to get onto the table. And it was a big table - Sixteen feet long by six feet wide.

The French objectives

The frosts have not yet come and fortune favors the French. A lucky intelligence find has revealed a portion of the Russian army deployed with its back to the swollen Topomak river (off the battlefield to the Russians' rear).

You will attack and press the Russians back, destroying them against this river. You have 46 infantry regiments, 12 cavalry regiments and 9 artillery batteries. They are at bay and we French have a decided superiority in numbers. There will be 9 hours (turns) till darkness.

The positions that must be taken are the three roads that lead into the Russian rear areas, and the town of Octpingrad. If you can seize two of these, the game is a draw. If you can seize three, the game is a French Victory.

Vive l' Emperor!

Photo by Jay Stribling

Another view of Phil Young arranging his infantry units, while John Stangel (in red) places mounted units onto the extreme French left.

Photo by Jay Stribling

A Russian Infantry brigade crammed into a small woods as a "Forlorn hope" guarding the left of the Russian center under Jim Pitts.

Photo by Jay Stribling

Clay James is moving infantry to occupy a stone wall. He has occupied a church yard with a horse battery. Later in the game a French Dragoon regiment, against the odds, will take these guns.

Photo by Jay Stribling

The hill at the center of the Russian defenses. A redoubt and LOTS of infantry and guns hold this, under the command of Jim Pitts.

Photo by Jay Stribling

Three regiments of French infantry, heavily reinforced with four batteries of artillery are moving against the Russian center-left.

The Russian objectives

The frosts have not yet come and the French are mounting a fresh attack. Our army is pinned against the Topomak river (off table to your rear). You must hold the French until our wounded and supply trains can be evacuated. One corps of troops is on the other side of the river, marching to your aid. There are three roads by which it can enter. By the grace of God, it should enter on turn 4 of the battle.

You have 34 regiments of infantry and twelve regiments of cavalry. You have 10 batteries of artillery, Eight of these are "Position" batteries, and two are Horse Batteries.

The French must not be allowed to exit the rear of our lines. If they do this they will be among our hospitals and supply trains. Who knows what mischief those dogs will do to our brave wounded ones.

The positions that must be guarded are the three roads that lead to your rear areas, and the town of Octpingrad . If you hold two of these, the game is a draw. If you can hold three, the game is a Russian Victory.

There will be 9 hours (turns) till darkness. Remember, you must defend those four areas!

God save mother Russia! Long live the Czar!

Photo by Jay Stribling

Two regiments of lancers, the Tatar Uhlans and the Litovsky Uhlans enter as reinforcements for the Russians.

Photo by Jay Stribling

A regiment of Dragoons and the 6th Light-Horse lancers come onto the game table as French reinforcements, countering the Russians above.

Photo by Jim Pitts

Jim's 1st Russian Infantry Division takes it's positions in and around the Great Redoubt, which eventually contained two 12-lbr position batteries.

Photo by Jim Pitts

The Great Redoubt with one brigade of Jim's 1st Division trailing off to the right and a regiment of Sean's 2nd Division between the Great Redoubt and the town, which was defended by another of Sean's regiments and a battery of artillery. Neither of these positions was seriously threatened throughout the battle.

Photo by Jim Pitts

Phil Young's French troops advancing onto the field of battle. In the background is a brigade of John Stengel's French heavy cavalry.

Photo by Jim Pitts

One of Clay James' infantry brigades, accompanied by a battery of artillery, advances into its positions. In the middle right is part of Clay's horse artillery battery in firing positions in the church yard; while in the far background is his dragoon brigade.

Photo by Jim Pitts

Bill Hamilton's French grand battery with a supporting infantry brigade advances towards its positions along the bank of the stream.

Photo by Jim Pitts

John Stengel's French carabineer brigade advances while its flank is covered by two horse batteries. In the rear is part of his cuirassier brigade. In the background Aare Larry Reeves' Cossacks err, we mean, children, (Landon and Maria) raiding Bill Hamilton's cookies.

Photo by Jim Pitts

As Clay James' Russian dragoon brigade assumes its position, his uhlan brigade advances onto the field of battle.

Who were the players in this game?

The Russian players were Jim Pitts (army commander), Clay James, Sean Pitts, and Larry Reeves (spelled by Jay Stribling).

Jim commanded an infantry division (primarily grenadiers) on the left center, defending the Great Redoubt. He also controlled the Russian reserve cavalry (3 regiments of cuirassiers and 1 of dragoons).

Clay James commanded an infantry division and a cavalry division on the army's left flank and protected a road leading into the Russian rear.

Sean Pitts commanded two infantry divisions on the right center and defended the town and the center road leading into the rear.

Larry Reeves commanded an infantry division and a cavalry division on the Russian right flank. He also protected a round leading into the Russian rear. When Larry had to leave early, Jay Stribling took over his troops.

Photo by Jim Pitts

Clay's dragoons and uhlans get into a brawl with the cream of the French cavalry, commanded by Ed Sansing - the Grenadiers a Cheval, the Empress Dragoons, the Polish "Blue" Lancers, and the Dutch "Red" Lancers of the Imperial Guard. Amazingly Clay's Russian line units put up a scrappy fight against these French elites, slowly yielding ground but never breaking.

Photo by Jim Pitts

On the other flank, Larry Reeves' Russian dragoon division tangled with the French carabiniers and cuirassiers. The Russian cavalry also out up a good fight and held their ground against the French armored horsemen.

Photo by Jim Pitts

The melee between Ed's French Guard cavalry and Clay's Russian dragoons continues. Clay's uhlan brigade is drawing closer and will soon be put to the test against the French Guard. Although they would lose their fight (as did the dragoons), they did not break. Both Russian cavalry withdrew steadily but in good order.

Photo by Jim Pitts

One of Ed Sansing's cavalry regiments, did have a bit of luck. The French Dragoons are seen here leaping the church yard walls to get in amongst Clay James' battery of Russian horse artillery. They sabered all the Russian gunners and overran the battery, although they lost a considerable number of dragoons to the Russian canister and swinging rammers and trail spikes.

So, Who won this battle?

The defenders fought bravely and violently against the French attackers. The French were unable to 'get at' the Russians with enough troops to crush them. None of the four objectives fell to the French, although on the French left they came tantalizing close to one road exit into the Russian rear. So - a Russian victory!

Several players, during and after the game, mentioned that the system of deciding which units could arrive as reinforcements or move after reaching the table was not allowing enough units to move. This was a valid point which should have been addressed by the Game-Master during the game, but was not.

We allowed the commander-in-chief of each side to sum the total of two D6 at the start of each turn. The side with the highest total could move that many brigades. Then the other side moved brigades equal to their die total. We should have added another D6 or allowed 3 brigades PLUS 2 D6 to move.

The French bore the brunt of this restriction since they had more brigades and the burden of the attack was on them.

Go to Orders of Battle and Special Rules for this game.

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