Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A Russian Perspective 1812??

I have got in not one but two games of Napoleonic's recently, first with my Prussians getting a good trouncing at the hands of Matt but I was so absorbed I failed to take any photo's but lets just say when I started to loose my right flank my attack on the left that could have changed the tide was lost when Matt came out punching and charged off his hill and routed the first line and it was enough to first stall my attack and then drive back my army. Well played Matt, victory will be mine..... one day.

The second game was playing with Loki's Russians against Kev's French. Whilst I did get some photo's of the game they were rather self central so do not give the best view of the whole battle but I will try and give a fuller account.

My task was to hold the left flank against an expected attack and thus control the bridge over the river and with my central force hold the hill allowing the French to come to me. For the two tasks I had two Divisions of infantry each supported by guns and two regiments of Cuirassiers to help out the centre.

My opposite number for the evening Glen indeed sent a Division to try and force our left. Glen's Division was a third larger than mine but had the same number of guns. In my favour was a constricted frontage not allowing Glen to use all his numbers in one go but the ability to grind me down. The other advantage was to prove key to my defence and that was the village on the tables edge as pictured above. Unable to ignore it Glen threw in two battalions against the defending one but under Black Powder it's a tough nut and whilst taking fairly heavy casualties I was able to repulse the first attack.

Supporting the village I had two more battalions in line one behind the other and a battery of guns. The battle started well as both the guns and infantry were able to inflict the first casualties and more importantly disorder the French stopping them closing quickly. Not that I did not suffer as well but for me not being able to move my units was far less a problem than it was for the attacking French.

On the hill I again was forcing French infantry to stall through the rolling of sixes at will. Unfortunately not only did Kev have yet more troops to step into the gaps but he was saving on almost all of his casualties and worse still a failure of two units to pass command rolls made it look like my flank would be crushed. 

Several turns later saw the village suffering it's third attack and by this point it needed help and after surviving the initial combat I threw in a supporting battalion into the flank of one of the columns leaving my own unit open to a flank attack of it's own.

Close up of the two flank attacks. Glen had horrid dice all evening but this combat was to go my way with two of the four battalions he had engaged routing from the table, another retiring badly beaten with only the fourth in reasonable condition. I in turn had one very shaky battalion but due to the French being unable to advance for a full turn I was able to bring in a fresh battalion into the village and rally back some of the lost troops, especially the gun battery that had come very close to being removed.
Meanwhile Kev's attack on my flank was causing a lot of trouble but was filing to break my line. Eventually my units would be forced to retreat back from the top of the hill but by then I had other troops in place to force Kev back.

Glen's Division was broken by my going onto the offensive and picking on a battalion that was already mauled and he was not helped at all failing a command roll to try and rally back their casualties not once but twice. Other failed command rolls and disorders meant that Glen was never able to use his numbers in attack nor regain units that had taken a beating.

My heavy cavalry about to launch into Kev's troops, I was to beat these then follow them up only to be beaten by them. Not so bad that they were out of the game far from it but it was a surprise to see such good troops could be beaten by troops that were very combat worn.

Elsewhere in the battle Loki blundered and moved his best infantry to a position where Kev's Dragoons could charge into the flank though it took a whole turn of inactivity on both sides before Kev had the ability to get the charge to go in. The Grenadiers survived the first round (but mauled to hell) and then won one melee and drew the second, again infantry doing the unexpected. My horse took casualties whilst standing doing nothing and came close to being lost as I seemed to be under disorder forever whilst Kev brought up more of his Dragoons but I managed to move back and Loki saved my blushes but in the process got his cavalry beaten up but did the same to Kev's forcing a stalemate that could only benefit us.

Less action was had by the rest of the infantry but we did enough to make the second French infantry Brigade to be unable to fight on though we had been beaten silly as well. The battle ended with us in control of the field but not in good enough order to follow up on our success.

So that was the end of my first Black Powder game and it was a blast, though having such a successful game through hot V cold dice did help. Really looking forward to playing these rules again. I have a few concerns with the cavalry but I suspect more play and some tinkering will solve any issues. Whilst they can be used with large numbers of units I don't see it working with my 6mm as we are based in either line or column and can't represent the column and line the way you can with the multi based units. 


  1. Great report Ian, sounds like a cracking game and plenty to keep you coming back for more.

  2. Too true on all points, got to love regular gaming