Defense of France, Napoleonic mega battle

In the beginning of this year, the people of the Dutch Miniature Wargaming Facebookgroup decided to start a huge project named 2014 the Defense of France / 2015 Quatre Bras/Waterloo. The objectice was to collect and paint an army for both events. I decided to join the Prussians during this war and last saturday we played the first series of battle for the Defense of France.

There were four tables for the four scenario’s played, La Vilette-La Chapelle (French vs Prussians), Toulouse (French vs British/Portugese/Spanish), Romainville-Pantin (French vs Russians) and finally Vincennes-Montreuil (French vs Austrians).

Prussian battle lineI don’t know what happened at the other tables, but I can give you a quick report of the battle for La Vilette-La Chapelle. The French have a little village in their control with defensives on their left flank , cavalry holding their centre and a division of infantry holding the river on their right flank. The Prussians had an enormous army (most models than any other table) with which they had to crush the French resistance.

In the first stages of the battle the Prussians simpy had to march forward under French cannon fire, unfortunately, we had a couple of incompetent commanders and a couple of divisions simply stood there wondering what they should do…

the first charge by the FrenchAs soon as the first regiments were close enough, the French cavalry started to charge forward in an attempt the break as many of the Prussian troops they could. But the Jager (skirmishers) were tougher than they looked and fought of the cavalry with heavy losses.

After a couple more of such combats the cavalry were broken and I ordered my divisions to march forward in order to drive them further back and eventually of the table.

Charge of the PrussiansAfter a couple of failed marching orders, the Prussian left flank finally crossed the river and engaged the French with cavalry and musket fire. But the French held their ground and even managed to do some harm to the Prussians.

I don’t know exactly what happened on our right flank, since I my attention was occupied by our right flank and centre, but looking at some pictures gave me the idea that veteran French troops and defensive works are very hard to breakthrough.

Breakthrough of the PrussiansEventually I got my division so far into the village chasing the broken French cavalry I was flanking the French troops across the river at some point, so I started ordering my troops to open fire on them with musket and cannon, while my other troops continued to kill cavalrymen.

At this point I the battle was as good as over. With our left flank secured, we could simply move into the village an surround the French troops holding the barricades on the other flank.

It was a very fun game to play, especially by the sheer size of it! I’ve never played such a huge game before and it i something I can strongly recommend to players to at least try this out once. Despite the fact I really don’t enjoy painting Napoleonic troops, its so very tedious, painting the same mini over and over again. On the table at this scale is just magnificent and I can’t wait till net year for Quatre Bras and Waterloo 😀

More pictures for your viewing pleasure can be found on the Facebookpage and while you’re there, don’t forget to like 😉

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