The residents knew the jig was up, and their isolation from the Napoleonic storm at an end when a brigade of French soldiers under General de Brigade Charlet stormed their homes and the village Church and did their utmost to prepare its defense. Brugeldamdorfberg was, in reality, at just the outer edge of a much greater storm some miles away but for the residents and it seemed they were at the very heart of the impending tempest. The time was approximately nine o'clock in the morning.
|The Field of Battle, with the forces at 9:15 a.m. This is the first debut for Von Rubinsky's terrain mat. Rubinsky is normally a partisan of the Emperor, but has been granted a proper title for his latest contributions to the general cause!|
Comte D'Erlon was pushing his men relentlessly. Feldmarshal Blucher and the Prussian general staff had "humbugged" Marshal Ney and Von Pirch's corps was threatening to complete a successful flank march and turn the flank of the entire French forces in the region.
Charlet's Brigade had managed to occupy Brugeldamdorfberg, but the rest of Quinot du Passage's Division was still coming up and further to the east Donzelot's Division and Jacquinot's light cavalry Division deployed along a line of hills.
Pirch deployed is cavalry in the open plain to the east opposite Jacquinot. The French horse artillery would quickly find its target amongst densely formed Prussian cavalry with the round shot impacting multiple formations with each discharge.
|Undulations (hard to see) located in front of the Silesian Jagers (Center) and near the easternmost |
landwehr battalion (far right).
Tippleskirch's Brigade takes advantage of slight undulations in the ground to mitigate some of the fire from the French artillery on the ridge. But not all are protected and the French guns rout a landwehr battalion after 15 minutes of bombardment.
|Donzelot's Divisional 6-lber and corps 12-lbers on the the hill.|
Generalmajor Kraft's brigade deploying to assault Charlet's brigade in Brugeldamdorfberg.
Kraft presses his Silesian Jager detachment into the orchards on the edge of the hamlet, while continuing the grand theme of Prussian flank march at the tactical level. The 9th Kolberg Infantry Regiment marches with the brigade artillery and cavalry support to flank the extreme right of the French army.
|Von Rubinsky decides its time to kick the learning game into high gear.|
General de Division Passage: "Are we here to destroy the Prussians or plant flowers? Ignore those pansys in the cavalry that refuse to engage the enemy! En Avant! Vive Le Emperor!" Passage dispatches a request for reinforcements to D'Erlon and then resolutely places himself at the head of his leading columns.
Passage's 1st Division advances... into the teeth of the hastily deploying guns of Kraft's Brigade. The officers on both sides of the contest show exceptional bravery and determination. Generalmajor Kraft is everywhere inspiring his troops onward against the French flank. General de Brigade Charlet, loses his horse to a musket ball while leading the II/55th line, but jumps clear to lead the battalion on foot-inspiring his men with his determination.
The Jagers in the orchard are engaging two french battalions that appear content to continue the firefight
The fusiliers of the 25th Line charge in support of the corps 12lbers, allowing the guns to focus on the threat from the other battalion. The I/105th takes withering loses of over 120 casualties and the assault staggers. the II/105th fairs better, free from the attention of the Prussian gunners, and repulses the III/25th with light casualties to combatants.
The Jager detachments in the orchard (background) and center (far right) keep up a spirited skirmish fire. Approximately 30 minutes have passed since the French opened the combat with their bombardment in the center. D'Erlon is aware of that his right flank is badly stretched and dispatches orders to Jacquinot and Donzelot to detach forces to shore up the right.
The field at approximately 9:30
The Queens Dragoons and Silesian Uhlans charge against the 3rd and 4th Lanciers, the former is personally lead by Gen. de Div. Jacquinot.
After a light engagement the French lanciers are both victorious against their opponents. General Jacquinot's expert handling of the 3rd Lanciers in fact managed to shock the color guard of the Queen's Dragoons and the Prussian standard is captured. Von Pirch, seeing the reverse, dispatches his chief of staff, and between Generals von Wahlen-Jurgass, von Thumen, and von Aster, the two units are returned to an acceptable state of morale. But General Jacquinot at the head of his victorious 3rd Lanciers, is very difficult to find. The dispatch rider for the reinforcements to Passage's 1st Division are further delayed....
On the opposite end of the battlefield, opportunity grants her favors to Major Romberg at the head of the two squadrons of the 11th Hussars who charge the flank of I/55th Line. "GOTT MITT UNS! VORWARTS!" With General Passage, himself at their head, the battalion manages to hastily form a disordered closed column and a desultory volley drops five of the brave cavalry men, but this is not enough to stop the Hussars, 30 Frenchmen are cut down and another 15 surrender with the rest of the unit retreating in closed column.
|The results of the charge of the 11th Hussars; the cavalry men press on hard to close with the rear of the unsuspecting I/54th!|
The charge of the I/55th Line into the Prussian 6lbers faltered at 50 paces, General Charlet arrives and the as the battalion staggers into a shaken line, which is now almost surrounded and taking flank fire from the II/9th IR and canister at close range.
The time is approximately 9:45, a light rain begins.
In the east the 3rd Lanciers follow up their success and charge the 4th Hussars, while the 3rd Chasseurs are repulsed by the Prussian horse artillery. The 3rd Lanciers, their morale soaring charge home, but are repulsed by the fresh hussars.
In the center the action becomes general. The 3rd and 4th squadrons of the 11th Hussars charge the flank of the exposed French foot battery. The French hastily attempt to turn a section of the guns against the hussars, but the battery commander realizes the situation is lost. The French abandon the 3 guns and attempt to retreat, but lose a further 5 guns in the process and 160 of their number as the Hussars relentlessly ride down the Frenchmen.
The I/26th charges into the exposed flank of the devastated I/105th line from the edge of the orchard, and it is now the II/105th to enjoy the tender attentions of the Prussian 12 pounders. Both units retreat, their morale shattered. Unfortunately for the 105th regiment the 3rd and 4th Squardons of the 11th Hussars rally from their butchering of the French foot battery in the path of the retreat. The two battalions rout and disperse with many men surrendering.
Barely a thousand paces away the 1st and 2nd Squadrons of the 11th Hussars are about to match the accomplishments of their brothers in arms and overrun the remaining organized resistance around Brugeldamdorfberg....
Kaptain Michaelis commanding the Prussian 6 lbers orders his men to pour on the canister. The French charge is only staggered--it must be annihilated! Despite the light rain keeping the powder smoke at bay, the adrenaline of the enemy not 50 paces from their position obscures the field as much thickest powder smoke. Another devastating volley of close range canister threshes a swathe of death through the French line and with them a lone figure falls with his horse. Gen. de Brigade Charlet's heroic stand ends with a mortal head wound.
But fate and luck are fickle beasts, and the lead swarms of death disgorged by the Prussian guns have not yet finished their harvest. The 1st and 2nd Squadrons of the 11th Hussars lose 25 percent of their number as the canister that did not find its mark amongst the French rips into their flank. The charge of the 11th Hussars falters just short of the rear companies of the I/54th line.
For the French, however, the damage is done. Luck merely bought the French infantry time to start their retreat. Passage's 1st Division was shattered. D'Erlon ordered the rest of the corps to retire and take up a new line of defense in a position to refuse the flank of the French forces further eastward from Brugeldamdorfberg.
The Prussians quickly advanced through Brugeldamdorfberg and pressed the attack on D'Erlon's corps. The Napoleonic tempest at this tiny hamlet, really an unremarkable gale in the grand arch of the conflict, passed over Brugeldamdorfberg and forgot the battle, the village, and its location as quickly as it came.
Victory Status Summary:
The 11th Hussar for the Prussian MVP were the ones that ate the friendly fire and broke the closed column!
The 3rd Lanciers are of course the heroes on the other side of the field taking the 1st Dragoon's standard.
My personal runner-up for MVP is the Silesian Jager detachments in open order. The Jagers in the orchard (light woods) essentially went toe to toe with 3 battlions in column in a fire fight and gave as good as they got. In the center the Jagers engaged in the 13th Leger (Line/Crack) in chain skirmishing for 60 minutes, and by the end of turn 4 the Leger got a "No Advance" marker... the casualties were about 5 to 10 on each round, but given time it adds up!
This was an excellent and enjoyable game. We had a good turn out of six players, several of whom, we were happy to see again after some absence! Much teaching and chatting and catching up went on so we only got through an hour of "battle time", we probably would have played a bit more if Von R. hadn't decided it was time get the "learning" going ASAP... The new terrain mat made its debut and it was well received as an excellent improvement and good basis for our 1815 historical refights.
After our difficulties finding an acceptable Napoleonic set of rules the past few...years... I think Carnage and Glory fits the bill. We keep the chrome/detail that we are unwilling to give up, but offload most of the complication and all the computation to the computer. Players are essentially responsible for a movement system and nothing else. The only real complaint I have is that the single data entry point is probably going to be a bottleneck for big games (for pick up games of a few divisions a side I think its fine).