We are all still novices but the basic mechanics are simple and easy. For the Allies I needed to borrow soem of Steves "summer" French to make up the numbers, sorry but needs must.
So basic premise of the game, a column of four units (groups in Sharp Practice) of 8 troops each is retreating towards the shelter of a defended village, a unch of Cossacks and Jaegers are pursuing them whilts a formation of three groups of Grenadiers and a couple of guns attacks the top end of the village itself.
The Village has 2 groups of foot and gun in defence.
So French forces 6 Groups of foot in pairs each with a commander. The Poles are Veterans and the rest conscripts. Plus one light Gun.
The Russians 3 Groups of Grenadiers and two Groups of Jaegers supported by three groups of Cossacks and 2 guns.
In rough terms 9 units against 7 with the 7 defending for the most part.
For me it was a real pleasure to see them all on table for the first time, although it did again have me questioning the basing and whether it worked for me. Perhaps a debate for another post there.
Steve commanded the Allies and Mark had the majority of the Russkies whilst I took the two units of Jaegers. Steve pointed out theat three groups of Cossacks in a solid formation was likely to be entirely unstoppable and therefore would probably ride down his retreating troops in short order. Well he was both right and wrong and it gave us some ideas on better ways to use Cossacks.
I based the stats on those in the un-official Moscow 1812 there and back again supplement which is a great resource for this campaign.
However as the Grenadiers rounded the corner of the forest Steves artillery quickly gets the range and starts to make its presence felt. The Cossacks also get goign pretty quickly.
The Cossack battery feels a little too effective for such a small game so we quickly reduce this to just one gun to keep the game moving.
The Grenadiers have reached musketry range and begin to exchange volleys with the conscripts in the village, however having taken so much shock from the gun they are unable to advance any further. With three groups against two however they begin to slowly have the better of the exchange especially as they have the support of their own sled gun.
Its down to the Jaegers now and they finally get moving and get a volley into the Poles. A further draw of 4 activation cards sees a further volley into the now depleted Poles.
A few things learned;
1. The game is fun and flows quickly
2. Artillery is deadly use it wisely or dont give them a commander so it only fires on activation cards and reduces effect.
3. Blocks of three groups of Cossacks are also deadly, use wisely or give each group a seperate commander and dont allow them to form up so they are small units snapping at the heels of the French as historical.
4. I need more French!
5. I need skirmishers, especially for the French.
6. I am rubbish at reading and digesting rules.
7. I am still not happy with my basing.
So there you go, all round a very productive night and a fun game. More French on the painting table so hopefully another go with this lot in the near future.