This was a final test of the variant rules which brought the two commands of French (Jan) against like number of Russians (Me). On our list of test items included Generals, squares and assault columns.
The French in the foreground split their command into two wings, the right held 10 elements of infantry and the left comprised of the remaining infantry, all the cavalry and artillery. The Russians opposite fielded a main battle line of infantry and skirmishers, supported by a second command of artillery, grenadiers and all the cavalry.
The French, as the attacker, lead with their right. This was a massive punch that would make Massena proud; four assault columns moving as a group with skirmishers on the flank to deal with their opposites in the woods.
Russian Jaegers (4 elements) would try to clear the wood of the French and begin their real work on the massive columns. By turn three, French skirmishers were having a difficult time that their General threw a column of infantry to do the job.
At the other end of the battlefield, the French were content to bombard the slowly approaching Russian infantry. This had an effect on the French cavalry as they began stalking the leading regiment as prey.
By turn five, Russian Jaegers demonstrated exceptional skill in beating the French with no loss to them. 3-0 and a French demoralized command. By now the French would shift their effort to the left flank and moved on the most forward Russian regiment with four elements of infantry and cavalry in line.
The Russians gambled and formed one square while the battalion moved back to support as seen in the photo.
This was the moment I was dreading. Against the volley fire by the Swiss, the square held and to add weight to the effort, the Chasseurs charged the supporting Russian infantry. If the photo seems shaken, this was taken after the Cavalry recoiled. I survived the bound.
Outside the village, Russian cavalry were assembling and this was enough to engage the attention of the French Horse Artillery. Their ineffectual cannonade only irritated the Soumski Hussars. Wait for next turn they thought.
By turn eight, the fight between the Russians and Swiss had stabilized with the loss of a Chasseur unit. This shift brought the Russians out of their defensive posture to that of attacker. With an assault column moving on the right of the square, both square and support moved forward to deal with the Swiss.
The Soumski Hussars., covering the general advance exceeded their orders and charged the Horse Artillery. These they destroyed bring the total French loss for the second command to four, just one element shy of demoralization.
In the background you can see the reserve Cavalry moving forward accompanying a regiment of infantry.
Hard as they tried, the Russians could make no impression on the Swiss brick wall, the final moment of the battle fell to an obscure fight between a lone French Skirmisher unit and a single unit of Cossacks. This lasted a full two bounds with both sides rolling sixes. On the next bound, the Soumski Hussars finally added their sabers to the effort, finishing the skirmishers and ending the game.
Only one square was formed during the game and I do admit I had some apprehension about surviving this. I thought I would lose both units if the Swiss infantry first demolished the square then moved in conjunction with a cavalry attack on the remaining unit. As it turned out, the sequence was just the opposite, ending with the loss of one cavalry and the second falling back.
In the action following, the Russian General joined the advancing line and helped in the attack. The French General did likewise with the unit opposite. As the battle progressed, both generals were forced back thereby breaking their influence on the fight.
The assault columns, if they struck would have caused greater problem for the Russians. Assault columns pursue recoiling opponents.
I was very pleased how the game developed, moving from one area to another for the full nine turns. No artillery counter battery fire, The Russian batteries were able to ply their trade unbroken for the full game. Even a demoralized command can still shot and I lost one unit of Skirmishers for that folly.