Tuesday 19 April 2016

Brienne 1814 - A (P)Russian Defeat!

Recently I played another game of Volley and Bayonet, in which I used my Prussians to represent Russian troops. The scenario was one of the ones that can be found here at Keith McNelly's rather excellent site.

The view from behind Prussian line of the initial set up.
We had elected to play the Brienne Scenario (found here), using the shorter table options. It was at this point I made two decisions that would have a dramatic impact on the game; The first being not to worry about having the required skirmisher stands, while the second was to not worry about having the required number of model villages, and to use paper templates instead. This in in a game that required me to hold a village temple (which can only be done with skirmish stands), and a supply line that passed through a village two templates big.

Supply line represented by quickly made wagons, limbers, and other sundry items on 3" long stands.
Rather than making the skirmish stands, or the villages, I concentrated on bodging the wagon train together - which from memory was some 10-12 stands worth - thinking I could make some skirmish stands later, after all they wouldn't be that important?

Note the undefended red roofed BUA at bottom? Holding that was one of my victory conditions....
My real undoing was my poor initial deployment, in which I contrived to leave a battalion of heavy guns on an exposed flank. Why? Because I'm an idiot?.....

Stout Prussian defenders of Brienne le Chateau, force a French brigade back.

But more are coming like an endless blue tide....
 Still despite my mistakes, the Prussians were able to hold on to the town , and give a good account of themselves.
Starting to feel a little outnumbered...
 By eventually the French pushed out the Prussians and seized the town. Any dreams of a counter attack at this stage had been replaced by a desperate need to fall back and hold the supply line.

Finally the French occupy the town....
The French started to push their troops through the light woods, hoping to break my line of communications, and seize victory by looting my baggage train.

A French division on woods edge.

The French advance.
 At this stage I still felt that I could prevent this. I had burnt through my cavalry on my right flank, and had hurt the French cavalry in the process. I still had two un-exhausted infantry divisions, and I was hurting the French. I might just manage to prevent defeat and get a draw.

And meet solid resistance from good Prussian steel!
And for a while, that was possible.....until the mounting casualties resulted in first one, then both divisions becoming exhausted - which meant a clear French victory!

We kept track of casualties. It was a close run thing....
Overall it was a very fun game, which we played over a couple of days at a very relaxed pace. The French fought well, and I think the result would of still been a French victory even if I had the skirmishers holding the villages. It certainly ranks up there as being one of the more fun games I've played.

But a well earned victory for the French!

As a result of seeing some of the notations in the scenario, I decided on getting the second edition of Volley and Bayonet, and the 100 Days expansion "Napoleon Returns". They both arrived last week, and I am starting to gear up all three armies required to play - although based on the games I have been playing lately perhaps painting some 1814 Russians might be in order first?

Still, it is an achievable goal, and working towards it will mean that I will at least finally make some villages!


  1. Glad to see beautiful figures...and a French victory!

    1. Thanks Phil! The figures have been painted by many other people - all I've done is give them some TLC, a wash, and based them up!

  2. I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed the scenario and found my V&B website useful.

  3. Hi TWR!
    Your website is a fantastic resource for V&B! Thanks for making all those scenarios available - I hope to play a few more by the end of the year!