Saturday, 31 July 2021

Battle of Vauchamps redux

The Prussians, confident the French army was but a fly to be swatted away on the march to Paris, sends Ziethen as the lead element of Kleist’s Corps with Hacke’s Cuirassiers and Kapzevich’s Russians in support chasing Marmont’s weak corps.  But just west of the village of Vauchamps, Marmont suddenly turns and moves against his pursuers.  The Prussians are puzzled by this until they see the French Imperial Guard horse and behind them the bearskin headdress of the Old Guard.  Oh dear, Napoleon must be here.

The house represents the town of Fromentiers and the Russian field hospital represents the Allies' LOC line of retreat  - an aim point for players to move their retreating elements
Kapzevich's Russians( at left) are moving to support the Prussians.

Now looking opposite from the west, showing Ziethen's command near the town of Vauchamps (lower right) and the bulk of Kliest's near the village of Janvilliers(upper left) with Hacke's Cuirassiers to his right .

Marmont's command turns to face the advancing Allies supported by Lefebvre's Guard Horse.  The French Imperial Guard infantry are still 'off-table'.  

Not only are they unwilling to face the renewed French force, they are soon attacked in the flank by Grouchy’s (Grew-she) large contingent of cuirassiers and French horse which cause panic throughout the Allies formations.  They are thrown back with large numbers in casualties and captured.

Sounds like fun to see if we can create this scenario.

The Old Guard and Napoleon arrive on table 

Grouchy's (pronounced: 'grew-she') cavalry about to fall on the Allies flank

The key is to have Grouchy’s flank attack remain unknown to the Allies. While some precautions for this will be necessary if in group play, as it was a solo game, I simply would forget to remember this as the Prussian player!

Kleist, the Prussian commander (at right) seems to contemplate on how he might get out of this situation with his troops pinned in squares (shown by the cubes) and his Corps Morale about to collapse.

The photos show some of the action of the game, but the outcome was very much like the real event with the Allies commands crumpling; although it must be said that Ziethen showed fine form in resisting the French much longer than anticipated by some adroit tactics minimizing the Guard Horse to a large degree.  However, the Old Guard momentum and the mass of French horse let loose to roam on the right flank of the Prussian column - for Kleist was unable to get much going (a combination of lack of command initiative and congestion) meant disaster for the Allies. Their collapse of Corps Morale led to the conclusion of the affair.

the busy Napoleonic battlefield



  1. Surprise prussians! It's the guard. POW!
    Nice looking game, as usual, Doug.

    1. Indeed the key for the scenario is to keep the surprise from the Prussians. Without that, the small French army might have a tough time against the Allies.
      take care

  2. Replies
    1. The trick is to keep the forces as close as possible on the tabletop. Density is your friend.
      Thanks for the kind comment

  3. A lovely looking game with great terrain and beautifully painted figures!