Last weekend saw the start of the Russia 1812 Napoleonic campaign at my club. We started of with the Battle of Klyastitzy, which saw Marshal Oudinot's II Corps being attacked by General Wittgenstein's I Corps. Historically Oudinot was not prepared for a sudden Russian attack as Wittgenstein had offered little resistance previously. Legrand's Division was pushed away from the Yakobovo heights towards river Nitschtscha. The French were forced to retreat over the bridge when their flanks were threatened by cavalry. As the French tried to burn the bridge the Pavlov grenadiers stormed it driving the French back. At this point Oudinot retreated and would not seriously threaten St. Petersburg again.
More pictures at the blog of one of my club mates: Napoleon Complex Gaming
Our scenario saw Legrand's 6th Division deployed for defence on the Yakobovo heights and Verdier's 8th Division being situated close to the River Nitschtscha waiting to react to Russian manouvers. On the Russian side Koulnieff's Advance division of Jägers and light cavalry moved in from the French left flank to tie down the defenders.
The beginning of the game saw Berg's and Kakhoffski's divisions move onto the table to start an attack on the French middle and right flanks. Meanwhile Legrand was feeling confident and moved forward with one brigade to engage the French light horse artillery of the advance guard. This left the brigade separated from the rest of the Division and under heavy fire from both the artillery and the Jäger's on it's flank.
The first Russian brigade makes contact with the French defenders and under orders from General Berg charges in with bayonets. General Kakhoffski's Grenadier division suffers from misunderstandings (Blunder rolls in Blackpowder) and is delayed when coming to support.
The brave attacking French brigade is charged by cavalry after being pounded for a few turns by artillery. One battalion fails to form a square while another is charged in the flank. Against all odds both battalions beat back the attacking cavalry.
On the leftmost flank the Russian Jägers have managed to pin down one brigade with their fire. At the same time on the French right the Russian attack is finally going in at full strength and pushing back the French.
As the situation starts to look dire, Oudinot gives the order for Verdier to move his Division onto the heights to relieve Legrand's battered Division. Artillery is pushed into canister range of the first Russian battalions and one brigade utterly shattered by the fire from French guns.
With the Russians driven back from Yakobovo both sides take a while to consolidate their positions with the French forming a defensive line and the Russians getting ready for another attack.
The remnants of Legrand's division fight a desperate rearguard action giving their comrades time to solidify defenses. A few left over battalions manage to keep the left flank for a few turns against relentless infantry and cavalry attacks.
With the remnants of Legrand's division finally destroyed a new Russian attacks starts to move in towards Yakobovo. Seeing the Jäger's out of position and exhausted after fighting for the better part of the day the French light cavalry move in to remove the threat to their flank. However the Jäger's are able to hold of the attack.
At this point I had to leave, but the game was still continued for a few turns. After a few attacks and counter-attacks Yakobovo still remained in French hands and both sides had suffered heavy losses. With the French holding their positions and Russians having suffered slightly larger losses the game was declared a minor French victory.