A fantasy campaign in 1811, the Russians attack into German while the Emperor is away dealing with the Spanish mess.
The Russian Defense

After winning the Third game game in this series of four linked battles, the French are moving forward, when they come across the entrenched Russians, waiting for them. A fortified village surrounded by artillery is the center of the Russian Position. Will the French just go right at the Russian Center?

Yes - and they have now persuaded the Prussians to come in on their side.

This battle report was composed by Jay Stribling who was the game-master for the game. We used To the Sound of the Guns rules, which were developed from Larry Brom's older "Standard Rules" set. The troops are older "true 25mm" soldiers and they belong to Jim Pitts, Jay Stribling, and Robert Whitfield.

Rules changes for this game
  1. All fire directed at Cavalry will be at half effect, except fire from units being charged by said cavalry.
  2. Cavalry may make an additional move after all normal movement has ceased. Roll high die to see which side’s cavalry moves first. Normal Command response applies.
  3. Infantry units charged by cavalry and not in square may test morale and form square if pass morale test. This applies even if infantry has already moved.

The field of battle as seen from the French side of the table. No troops have yet sullied the fair landscape. Travis Melton, on extreme left gazes wonderingly at large bellies and rears of some of the other players. (ED. Note - Travis is yet a young man, and does not realize that to really get into the spirit of playing the Russian's, one must be built like Kutusov!)

The confident (over-confident?) French commanders and their Prussian allies. From Left, Sarah Hesselberg, John Murdaugh (in Fore-n-Aft hat), Ed Sansing, and the two Prussians on the right of the photo, Jim Pitts and Sean Pitts (with beard).

The crafty Russian commanders. From left (in Bicorne hat) Robert Whitfield, the Russian Commander-in-Chief. Next to him is John Hesselberg and to the right, Travis Melton.

The initial French setup. A French infantry division (3 brigades, each of 3 regiments (24 men per regiment) backed up by the Cavalry division. In the distance can be seen the other French division (2 brigades) and the Prussians (2 brigades).

We frequently deploy with a screen between the armies, allowing for some startled gasps when the enemy deployments are revealed!

From General Murdaugh - Eastern Prussian Command

To Napoleon's HQ

My Emperor,

I must inform you of the batle between our forces and the Russians on the 27th of last month. Our allies the Prussians showed up and joined in the fight. I must confess that although they occupied the Russian left for the entire battle, they did not exert their fullest possible effort. I fear that their hearts are not on our side in this titanic struggle.

The 26th (French) Division had command control problems and had two of it's brigades move at a snail's pace. The 3rd brigade of that division moved with conviction and engaged the Russians in the woods on our right wing. I must commend that brigade and their commander for their steadfast bravery.

With the Prussians keeping the Russian left engaged, I oversaw the 25th Division's first and second brigades' assault on the Russian-held town and its fortified artillery. Our Legere infantry stormed the town and the garrison of Russian Grenadiers was forcibly evicted.

I replaced the assaulting battalion with a fresh battalion, to better withstand the expected counter-attacks. Repeated assaults on the enemy artillery entrenchments were unsuccesful. Then, more Russian Grenadiers drove us out ofthe town and our repeated assaults were unable to retake it.

Our cavalry division repeatedly engaged the Russian cavalry on our left but terrain constraints gave the advantage to the Russians. The cavalry rallied and charged the Russians, but to no avail. Our cavalry advantage was totaly nullified by the terrain and the Russian horsemen's unexpected tenacity.

After a short and fierce combat the 25th Division had its third brigade still in reserve, but it's first and second brigades were shattered. The corps artillery gave a sterling performance but at the end they were the only organized force in our center. With no prospect of retaking the town, our cavalry advantage nullified,the 26th Division virtualy immoble, and the Prussians not interested in an all-out attack I ordered the corps to withdraw.

I take full responsibility for the failure of the troops. I shall reorganize our forces and await your orders.

Marshall J A Murdaugh

East Prussian Defense Corps

The Russian defensive line, anchored by the town and breastworks in the center. The attacking French columns are on the left. This is very much a larger set-up shot, after the screen between the two sides has come down but before any troops have been moved. Note the Russian Dragoons in the rear, in front of John (dark red shirt). These later moved to the east (towards the top of the photo) and kept the Prussian cavalry out of the Russian's rear areas.


They are color codes. If found on the flag or officer, they show the morale rating of that unit.

  • RED = Morale of 1 point (the worst!)
  • White (or Green) = Morale of 2 points (Better)
  • Blue = Morale of 3 points (Much better)
  • Gold = Morale of 4 points (The BEST)

If found on or at the feet of a figure they show casualties
  • Black = casualty (if on the figure) or Half-Casualty (if at the feet of a figure - usually an artillerist which takes two "kills" to "ring" the figure.
  • White = casualty (same as black). If white are being used as casualty rings, then Green replaces white in the color-code above used for morale. White was the "original" casualty ring color, but black is much less visible in the photos used for battle reports on this web site.

The Russian line as seen over the head of the French columns.Unfortunately due to poor command response dice and poor movement dice rolls, many of the French infantry units didn't get much closer. The French attacks were disjointed and frequently failed "to close" morale tests.

John Murdaugh's Legere regiments assault and take the town. This was a triumph of arms, on turn one! However, he could not hold it. Robert Whitfield had another Russian Grenadier unit right behind the town, and on the next turn, they threw the Frenchmen out at bayonet point. John could never take the village again. His assaulting columns were cut to pieces by the Russian guns.

The French Victory Conditions
  1. Seize the village - worth 5xD6 of Victory Points
  2. The two road exits off the Russian rear of the field - worth 4xD6 EACH of Victory Points.
  3. Each Russian unit destroyed, dirven off the field, or reduced to less than 50% strength - worth 1xD6 of victory points.
  4. Each Russian officer killed or captured - worth 1xD6 of victory points.

The French cav runs around the Russian flank. From Ed Sansing comes this tale of woe: "Our Cavalry ran into the Russian cav. It loses, badly, in every close combat. There are no pictures of these defeats. The French cameraman's hands shook so much all we have are fuzzy images of hooves, fetlocks and lance points."

Need it be said that Ed was on the French side?

The French were able to push the Russians back by musket fire. Even though the Russians lost some ground here they were never in danger of losing their terrain objectives. It's a long way back to Siberia and these canny Russians had no intention of ever going there.

Jim and Sean Pitts' Prussian troops kept the flank secure. They continually threatened to get into the Russian rear areas, and came quite close with their cavalry, but were twarted by John Hesselberg's Russan dragoons.

The French Victory Conditions
  1. Seize the village - worth 5xD6 of Victory Points
  2. The two road exits off the Russian rear of the field - worth 4xD6 EACH of Victory Points.
  3. Each Russian unit destroyed, dirven off the field, or reduced to less than 50% strength - worth 1xD6 of victory points.
  4. Each Russian officer killed or captured - worth 1xD6 of victory points.

John Murdaugh's Frenchmen were pushed out of the town after only one turn. He gathers what's left of his troops for another attempt. It failed.

The Prussian Victory Conditions
  1. The two road exits off the field in the Russian - worth 6xD6 EACH of Victory Points.
  2. Each Russian unit destroyed, dirven off the field, or reduced to less than 50% strength - worth 1xD6 of victory points.
  3. Each Russian officer killed or captured - worth 1xD6 of victory points.
  4. Each Prussian unit reduced to less than 50% strength, YOU LOSE three victory points.
  5. If you have lost no units at the battle's end - 5xD6 of victory points
  6. If you have lost some units, but no more than two, at the battle's end - 3xD6 of victory points

A final look at the lines from the French right. Several French regiments, still in parade ground order, never made it into the fight. The game only lasted 5 turns, but they were bloody turns.

There should be other images taken by John Murdaugh. If they show up, you will see them here!

SO - Who won the battle?
  • The French had 14 victory points, due to killing several Russian units.
  • The Prussians had 27 victory points, mainly for losing only two units, but several points for destroying Russian units.
  • The Russians had 67 victory points for keeping their communications intact, having the village in their posession at the end of the game, (they lost it and took it back) and for killing French and (a few) Prussian units.

THE RUSSIANS WON THE GAME! The campaign was thusly tied, with the Russians winning games 1 and 4 and losing games 2 and (Just barely) 3. We will have a tie-breaker sometime in the future.

Go to the FIRST game in our campaign

Go to the SECOND game in our campaign

Go to the THIRD game in our campaign

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