Sunday, 15 June 2014

Brienne 1814

We've just finished the battle of Brienne, the first of the series of battles that were fought in France during the 1814 campaign. I was field Marshal Blucher leading the Russian forces and my son was Napoleon leading the French forces. We used the simplest of the available rules which was Grande Armee, I had come close to choosing between Snappy Nappy and DBN but as we've already used GA before we went with the safest option. The rules will need modifying as the higher rated units tend to steamroller everything around them; it was impossible for the French to evict my men from Brienne and infantry able to attack cavalry just doesn't seem right. Otherwise we had a really fun time of it.

The French could win by severing the line of communications (represented by the long convoy of vehicles.) and shooting the hell out of my units . They achieved both these objects but failed to take Brienne - it's entirely possible that I misread the rules but the saving roll with 4 added to it for hard cover seemed excessive. It is my understanding that villages changed sides frequently in these conflicts. 

Here are some pictures, the game took 2.5 hours to complete and Blucher sort of lost, I think.

The rules...

The Russian right flank.

The Russian left flank and rear ....just the loooong supply column that must escape!

The Russian center - Brienne garrison by an infantry brigade and the chateau on the hill.

Everything was going ok until this guy appeared.

French right, their dragoons menace Brienne

French left - Marshal Victor deploys his brigades (sorry for fuzzy pictures)

Count Pahlens cavalry make heroic charges and take out two batteries.

The dragoons sweep the brigade away - I should really have had the men inside the chateau! :(

Close up of the dragoons....

Close up of French infantry..never ending hordes...

Nobody can take Brienne...French infantry take hits.

Routed units - nearly all Bluchers Russians.

End of turn three and Ney with the four Young Guard brigades arrive. Guard cavalry as well...end in sight for Blucher.

Russian reinforcements also arrive on turn three - Sherbaotovs corps, four brigades of infantry and two batteries.But the convoy is still not safe. I remove one wagon every turn

Mihaud the commander of the cavalry corps is killed and so napoleon takes over the Dragoons. The ride down the infantry and start to move towards the convoy.

Guard cavalry steam roller whats left of Bluchers right wing. Sherbatov is too late.

Close up of Ney and the Young Guard

Blucher throws in the towel....most of the wagons escaped bar three that were captured by the emperor and the dragoons.

Instead of languishing in the study these take pride of place in the lounge...well the bit where we now wargame.


  1. Great to see you getting a game in after the hard work of building these armies! Everything looks great. Dave

    1. Thanks Dave! We really enjoyed playing the scenario and will rethink certain things. The rules dont really make cavalry any different to infantry other than a bit more on the movement. I didnt like how the units ended up covered with hit markers but I dont like rosters either - so need to think on that one. Attacking villages needs more thought with maybe additions for setting things on fire. Also, incorporating effects of fighting after dark - GA does not account for this, Brienne in reality ended at about midnight after six hours of fighting in the dark.

  2. Great looking game Ken. Brienne is not often seen on the tabletop, is it? One of the many bonuses of these bicentennial year is to get the impetus to do games that have been on the wish-list for many years, and more besides.