Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Battle for the Shevardino Redoubt

This is a game I ran with the Hartford Area Historical Gaming Society (HAHGS) way back in February 2009. I was considering taking the troops (15mm) and terrain along on the trip to Historicon this year to run a a potential pick up game. However, given the latest development around Historicon 2011 it sounds as if space for pick up games will be significantly reduced this year.

The below game had originally intended to be run using Piquet’s Field of Battle rules, but at the time SHAKO II was the rage of the group so the game was run using Shako II rules. The figures were 15mm with all of the Russian’s being from my collection and French being provided by Greg H and Peter C as well as my myself. The game was ‘average’ sized with about 1,400 figures on a 6’x12’ table.

This was the first game I had organized in about 23 years and I confess to being disappointed in how it went. The game was set up to accommodate 8 players, we ended up getting 5 plus myself. Another 2 players would have really helped the flow of the game once the French Reserves came on the table.

Attendance aside, the game played out about the way I expected. Compan’s Division stormed the hill, the Russian defenders were tenacious.

The Cossacks and Poles skirmished as the Duchy of Warsaw forces steadily advanced toward the redoubt. In hind site I started the Poles too far away from the action using a fixed movement rule system. In any event by the end of the game the Poles had flanked the redoubt and were applying heavy pressure.

The Russian Cuirassier’s made a historically accurate grand charge into the French line (unfortunately they did it during the hours of daylight instead of in pitch dark like the historical charge) and were summarily shot to pieces.

Sievers Cavalry Corp did a magnificent job of delaying both Morand’s Division, and then engaging the follow on French Reserve Cavalry.

In the end, the result was inevitable although the French failed to take the Redoubt by the time we had to call the game. French casualties were considerably higher than the actual battle but Russian’s (historically) refused to abandon the untenable “pimple of a hill” as Digby Smith describes the action in his book Borodino.

All in all it was a fun game and one I’d really like to try again using Field of Battle.
Below are some photos of the action.

Initial Russian Deployment 

 Compan's Division moves out

Poniatowski's Duchy of Warsaw Cavalry and the Cossacks mix it up

 French advance on the Russian left

Russian Cuirassiers charge the French Infantry

 French close on the Redoubt

French continue to press while the Russians hold 
Note the white glue holding the two hill levels together.  I'd just finished the terrain the night before, and at some point on the drive to Hartford they separted - so I had to do emergency repairs before the battle began and apparently over did the glue

1 comment:

  1. I think I missed this one. While not my favorite set, Shako 2 is certainly quite playable, and I'd play it again in a club setting!