We played the latest battle in our 1813 Campaign this last weekend, this time between the Army of the North (Russians) and Le Grande Armee (nord). The strategic situation has changed considerably since the beginning of the campaign (as is expected, of course). The French have made considerable gains in the south, taking the Base of Operations of the Army of Bohemia at Prague in Turn 9. In the north, the Army of the North under Bennigsen has been slowly but steadily pushing back the French northern wing, commanded by Marechal Ney, centered on Erfurt. Looking on the map below, you can see the original starting positions of the armies on the bright green lines and the current positions along the yellow lines (note: these are generalized positions).
Farthest north, a Russian force under General-Leutnant Osten-Sacken has been pushing against an isolated French force under General de Division Sebastiani, commander of 2e Corps d'Armee. Osten-Sacken was finally able to bring Sebastiani to battle at Braunschweig. First up, the order of battle:
Army of the North
CinC: General-Leutnant Osten-Sacken
- 15th Divsion (infantry)
- 9th Division (infantry)
- 10th Division
- 16th Division
I Cavalry Corps
- 1st Division (dragoons)
- 2nd Division (hussars)
Le Grande Armee (nord)
CinC: General de Division Sebastiani
2e Corps d'Armee
- 10e Division (infantry)
- cavalerie (light cavalry)
Division Lefol (infantry/cavalry: division de marche)
Battle of Braunschweig: First Phase
The French commander elected to try and hold the high ground in the center of the field with the garrison troops while threatening the Russian right flank from the village on the opposite bank of the river. While the French command was superior in quality to the Russians, the troops were another matter. Sebastiani's divisions had been beaten before and, to make matters worse, were out of supply. The previous defeats and the supply situation produced a number of "down" modifiers when calculating the unit characteristics. Conversely, the Russians had received a number of "up" modifiers. The Russian plan was fairly simple: pinning the French light cavalry while assaulting the high-ground position in the center. The Russian attack developed quickly and the French annoyance on the opposite river bank proved nothing more than a mere itch that needed a quick scratch.
The French cavalry was quickly routed from the field and the garrison troops in the center overwhelmed by numbers and combined arms. The French division on the opposite bank quickly turned and moved back out of harm's way when it saw the tide of battle fast approaching.
In this Decisive Victory, the French lose 35 National Will Points and the Russians gain 3 NWPs. The French divisions will receive a"downgrade 2 units" modifier and another "downgrade 2 units" modifier for the pursuit (the available Russian cavalry outnumbered the French cavalry by more than 2:1). All the Russian divisions receive an "upgrade 2 units" modifier. The French must retreat to either Hanover or Gottingen.