Sunday, 22 November 2020

Erfurt Campaign – Day 5


18 March 1813 - Central Europe - Day 5

Both armies prepare for the anticipated decisive battles.

 

In the north the French move their depot to Wiessensee and prepare to attack Sommerda.

 

In the centre the Russians concentrate at Weimar

The French establish a depot at Erfurt and prepare to attack Weimar

 

In the south 14th Westphalian corps attack Saalfeld to prevent 4th Russian corps joining the main army at Weimar

Battle of Saalfeld move 10

The battle opens with a cavalry melee, resulting in both brigades routing

 

The Russian artillery concentrate on one enemy brigade, causing 30% casualties.   But the infantry continue to pass their morale test and hold until the end

 

The Russian infantry then attack, but the leading brigade is routed

This causes the supporting brigade to rout and leaves the gunners shaken

As the Westphalian infantry advance the Russian corps breaks and retreats

 

Comment

Both corps started the battle with casualties

But the Russians had more than the Westphalians.

This would play a critical role in the defeat of the Russians

 

The Westphalian lancers charged and routed the Russian cuirassiers

The lancers then charged the nearby gunners, but were routed in turn

 

The Russian gunners concentrated on the left hand Westphalian brigade

The infantry received 30% casualties over three moves

But managed to pass their morale test each time

 

The Russians now had the advantage, and should have remained on the defensive

But their infantry charged the right hand infantry brigade

They won the first round of melee, but lost the second and routed

This caused the supporting brigade (who started with 20% casualties) to rout

And left the nearby gunners shaken

 

Without Russian artillery, the Westphalian infantry now advanced

They broke the Russian centre and sent one half left, the other half right

 

The Russians lost 3900 casualties, the Westphalians 2300

But more important 3 Russians brigades were routed, only 1 Westphalian

This game could have gone either way, particularly as both sides has weak morale due to earlier battle casualties.

 

The Russian heavy cavalry should have beaten the lighter lancer brigade, but didn’t

 

The Westphalian infantry should have broken after 30% artillery casualties (3 hits).

But each time they rolled high, and each time passed their morale

Despite this they were a liability, and a rout could easily have spread

 

Finally the Russian infantry should have just held their ground

The Russian gunners had already dominated the battle

The Westphalian infantry would not advance into short range of them

 

But the Russian infantry attacked, lost the melee then broke and ran

And the panic spread amongst the rest of the Russian corps

 

Interesting game, and very enjoyable to play

2 comments:

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

Thistlebarrow,

A rather interesting battle, and I must admit, that reading it from the start I would have predicted a draw rather than a decisive defeat for the Russians. Mind you, the Westphalians are in need of some t8me to recover from some fairly serious casualties, and I wouldn’t expect them to take much more than a passive/defensive role in the campaign from now on.

All the best,

Bob

thistlebarrow said...

Hi Bob

Thanks for your comment

Both armies are running out of steam. All eight corps now have casualties, and this makes them very brittle and unpredictable. Corps can break and run with just one brigade taking casualties, losing their morale and routing. All brigades within 4" then have to test their morale, and if they have casualties from an earlier battle they can easily lose and join the rout.

The campaign phases are not designed to allow armies to take long breaks to receive replacements. They do receive some replacements, but only at the rate of 400 infantry or 100 cavalry or gunners (one wargame casualty) per campaign day. And then only if they do not move or fight.

This has the advantage that earlier casualties, though not sufficient to cripple a corps, do build up over a period of five or six days. It thus leads to a decisive result, based on cumulative casualties. The final battle may be decided by a good or bad dice throw. But every casualty throughout the campaign is taken into account.

regards

Paul