Friday, September 1, 2017

Somewhere in Russia - A Blucher Scenario

Last night I got to play a 200 point Blucher game with my French against my friend Chris' Russians. We set up a board based on a map from a scenario book he had and did battle.

Both sides fielded 2 Infantry Corps and a Cavalry Corps with an army morale value of 5. Russian infantry included 3 elite infantry brigades supported by 2 artillery brigades of 12# guns and a horse artillery brigade. 1 Cuirassier brigade and 3 Line Cavalry brigades rounded out Chris' army.

My French consisted of standard infantry supported by 2 brigades of Horse Artillery and 4 batteries of 8# guns doled out to the infantry. The French fielded superior cavalry with 2 Cuirassier brigades and 2 Dragoon brigades all with the Shock trait.

The Russians hold a very strong position on the heights

Victory conditions were simple enough - control the village or break the enemy. Achieving that victory was another thing. Russians in defense are Steady which gives them ann additional combat die in melee. Attacking uphill means the French would lose a combat die in melee. A frontal assault would be suicide so the plan was to pin the Russians in front with III Corps while elements of II Corps used Strategic movement to attack the flank of the hill. The French cavalry on the right had to pin the Russian cavalry and prevent their galloping over to the threatened flank. I saw no other way to dislodge the Russians. I had to make them spend Momentum dice to move around and rearrange their positions hoping to defeat them in detail.

So, on Turn 1 my cavalry advanced pinning the majority of the Russian cavalry. That used 4 MO . What I didn't need was Chris' roll - 4 - under the cup meaning I just ran out of momentum. So, I showed him my intent without actually conducting my strategic flank march and the pinning force sat idle as well. 

French cavalry pin the Russians. They did their job...for now.

End of French Turn 2 sees the flanking brigades of II Corps finally get into position while the remaining 2 brigades start to advance.

Again, insufficient M.O. left III Corps standing and watching. Early bombardments from the Russian 12# guns doled out heavy casualties. This would continue throughout the day's fighting. The lack of orders also left the superior French cavalry receiving Russian charges rendering their Shock trait useless. This also would continue during the battle.

 French Dragoons in retreat. The same fate awaits the Cuirassier.

With Russian guns continuing to pound the French columns while the Russian cavalry maintained the jump on the French, the French morale quickly was in danger of breaking. The Russians managed to shore up their defense of the heights facing the French flank attack. Even faced by combined arms, Chris refused to form square and take bonus hits from my horse artillery. So, invited in, the French Chasseurs charged the lines only to be repulsed by vulnerable Russian Grenadiers and Line brigades. Nothing was going right for the French!

The height of the battle. French III Corps hasn't advanced and has already lost a brigade to enemy bombardment. II Corps has taken heavy casualties as well and has failed to dislodge the Russian flank. 

The battle steadily went downhill for the French. I guess they were uninspired as the Russians beat them at every turn outfighting the French in close combat; outskirmishing the superior French infantry who have the skirmish trait; and death dealing with bombardments from their heavy guns. Above is the last picture I took as I was too busy marking casualties and retreating brigades. My French suffered their worst defeat ever. Never did I feel they had a chance after about turn 5 or so. The early lack of M.O. dice, which continued throughout the fight, and losing almost every close combat between the cavalry forces, spelled early failure for the French attack.

Congratulations to Chris and his stout defense! Even in ignominious defeat, Blucher is a fantastic, fun game.  I look forward to our next encounter.

Until then...

...happy gaming!



  1. Had a blast rolling out my ___.

  2. All part of the game, Chris. Win or lose, Blucher is a great game. Winning is just the cherry on top!

  3. Great looking game using my favourite big game Napoleonic rules.
    Like your set up...the Russian can be formidable when defending!
    So did you both have 200pt armies tall order for the attacker if that was the case!

    1. 200 points each. Yes. Formidable? Gosh yes! Fun game though as always.