Thursday 6 June 2024


This will be series of 5 historical scenarios to re-fight the Battle of La Rotherie. It is not a great fit for our model collections (we don't have any Russians) so we'll be using a lot of stand-ins. The Prussians are taking the Russian's place (using Russian stats though) and there will be a fair few other stands-ins, such as in the French cavalry. We simply used the closest we've got and make it work.

The game went very much as the actual battle. The initial infantry advance along the road, screened by jaegers ground to a halt in the face of French fire, and this became an extended firefight, lots of skirmish fire, cannons and the occasional volley, but the French infantry stood strong, until the big guns eventually broke one battalion, and the French guns running low on ammo didn’t help, but when the allied columns pushed up the road, they were sent back in disorder. So, the infantry fight in front of the village was a stalemate, good enough for the defender.

In the centre the battle started with the guard lancers galloping up to threaten a jaeger skirmish line, which they charged and drove off with little problems. By then the Allied hussars brigade had arrived and came up to face-off the lancers, at speed, crashing through the wooded windbreak. As the lancers fell-back, under hefty cannon fire and pressure, the hussars moved up to get three regiments into one charge. It looked bad for my cavalry. Except, in a horrid turn of luck, most of the hussars refused to charge, and 1 regiment came in and got beat... this also used up the Allies last command point re-rolls (to get more 1s and 2s). Bad enough to happen once, but when the hussar tried again, only 1 regiment pressed the charge and was again beaten in the melee. The grand counter-charge was a piecemeal mess, and the guard lancers saw them off... then fell-back again to rally and regroup.

The heroic actions of the lancers had bought time for the arrival of the other guard cavalry brigade, with the serious big boots in the Grenadiers-a-Cheval and the Empress Dragoons. They galloped on and went after the hussars, a charge saw the hussars beaten again (not their day) and turn fleeing, one unit routed, the others sped away from an uneven fight with the prime of French heavy cavalry. By now the French had the lead in VPs and seemed on top, but the Allies still had a card (pun intended) to play, their dragoon brigade arrived behind the hussars and pressed quickly to the windbreak hedgerow. The two heavy cavalry forces were lining up for what looked like the decisive fight (as it was on the day).

New cards dealt, the Allies had a serious advantage here, 8 cards to 5... eek! (Blucher had put an appearance to oversee the attack) and one of my commanders had failed his 'at risk' test and cost me a card. Big turn for the Allies then... could the French hold out? They did have another cavalry brigade yet to arrive, but it didn’t, and then repeated that trick for several turns. No help. The guard cavalry would have to do it alone.

Just as it seemed poised for the big clash, stalemate… the dragoons didn’t come through the windbreak, and the guard waited for them… and waited. So, when an ‘at the gallop’ special event came up, they moved up themselves to the trees/hedge and plunged in to it in a messy charge. The following fight was indecisive though, French winning, but not by much, and then, after a volley of infantry musket fire from the flank, the grenadiers pulled back to rally and maybe try again. Being shot at from the flank was a problem, so the guard lancers again came forwards to deal with the pesky infantry line and charged home, routing them as the lancers pursued, hoping to provoke the hussars, now loitering in the rear, to come forwards again to cover the infantry columns. Failing that, the hussars were not up for it, the lancers plunged onto in to a column and drove it away too… scoring just enough VPs to win the game. In the meantime, the Allies VPs had slowly pushed up to 27 from the 32 required, mostly from rallying. The French had won, a marginal victory in game 1. Game 2 sees the Allied left flank advance of the Austrians towards Dienville, that’s next.


French infantry block the road through the village, on their right.

The attack up the road deploys, jaegers screening and the guns are being dragged up through the mud.

Skirmishers out, and the fight begins.

French centre, guard lancers advance to counter attack.

Shot into disruption, but they saw off a skirmish line of jaegers, then withdrew and rallied. 

Trading skirmish fire, and artillery blast, as it started to snow. Balls of cotton wool to remind us of the 'obscuring smoke'.

Hussars arrive and race up from the (P)Russian left, to counter the lancers.

Coming cavalry clash, resulted in the hussars having nightmare luck, refusing to charge anything but piecemeal, and getting beat, piecemeal. The guard lancers see them off!

French guard heavy cavalry reinforcements, grenadiers, dragoons and chasseurs (the finest in Europe!), galloping at the quick from the French left. A big cavalry clash is brewing.

The hussars are in big trouble and decide to withdraw fast, not before the grenadiers-a-cheval but the big boots in... breaking one regiment.

Infantry column presses up the road, and a solid French volley turns them into a bloody mob.

More cavalry support, the dragoons arrive to try and save the hussars.

The attack on the village is stalled, but the big battery is tearing holes through the French lines...

The guard heavies go it, through the windbreak trees, win their fights... but have to pullback and rally. The big cavalry action expected turns into a so-so brief clash - the windbreak kind of got in the way.