Quatre villes 1813

This battle is yet another encounter battle full of surprises, some pleasant, others less so. There is no one township that can lay claim to dominate the battlefield instead there are four small villages doted almost like the four corners of a boxing ring on the main clear area of the map. Viewed from the south (French approach) there was a large tongue like wood thrusting northwards over half of the battle field and there were scattered woods on the right flank too, covering the southeast corner and to the east of the eastern top village. Roads crisscrossed the battlefield but mainly running north to south and across linking the four villages.

The allies had more cavalry, largely hordes of Cossacks and therefore had the Frogs out scouted. It transpired that the Prussians were approaching the wooded tongue side of the battlefield (Heideblick) from the north and the Russians had the other village (Riedebeck) with the scattered forests. I knew the allies had already taken a mauling at the hands of the French so was somewhat surprised to see the tabletop battlefield swarming again with endless squadrons of enemy cavalry.

It is true there had been some time since the last engagement and that the campaign rules have built in recovery for wounded, but as they were largely left behind as the allies scurried away from each battle I could not help feeling somewhat aggrieved that the wounded I thought were largely killed off or taken prisoner after they fled had become a born again menace. I should have to smash the cavalry to bits all over again. No easy task given that once again I would be outnumbered at least 2:1 although my troops were fresh to the fray.

I decided to try and occupy both the southern villages, though really doubted they would be of any real significance in the battle, but might serve as anchor points for the French line. I had already decided after a few skirmishes with Cossacks that I was wasting my cavalry on rubbish and so I pulled most of them out of the way but not before some sneaky Russians had caught my light cavalry in the rear as they rode back to their own lines. Lucky for me they only fight one round before having to retire.

An interesting point here was another new discovery of the quirks of the rules that makes Cossacks all the more useful to the Russians. They are the only cavalry that are allowed to operate in closed woods and suffer no movement penalty either. This means now that the French can no longer look on a wooded area as a secure flank but more of a hidden highway of menace for the Cossack hordes.

Having deployed Napoleons babies (12 pounder field guns) I proceeded to blast away at Andrew's cavalry in the centre with some limited success. It was however enough to give him the message I was not going to get tied up in cavalry charges until all my cavalry were dead and it did force him to move the cavalry out of the centre line. The Russian guns deployed to the left of the village but, were outside of my batteries range and had to be content at shooting up some cavalry that strayed to far forward shooing Cossacks away.

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