1812 in Russia
Our favorite game is Et sans résultat! but one size doesn't fit all, and your club might already have a favorite Napoleonic ruleset.
Chances are, Master of the World works with your favorite too.
Offering scaled maps, unit level orders of battle, and we offer a simple conversion page for translating recommended unit Combat Ratings to other popular Napoleonic games.
Don't see your favorite game on the conversion page? Write us and maybe we can help with that.
From minor actions to one of the largest battles of the Napoleonic Wars.
Refight the nine battles of Napoleon’s main army during his most miscalculated campaign.
Scenarios for a wide range of experience levels and number of players:
Some battles will matter more to you than your opponent.
A simple framework ties scenarios together, allowing players to refight Napoleon’s historical campaign. Players can earn points towards a campaign victory by winning battles.
With variable outcomes, each army has chances to gamble and win the campaign early.
Every scenario is divided into three sections. The game host's briefing shows and tells everything. The briefings for the opposing armies outline the battle from their perspective.
Each scenario briefing includes a map for the respective army.
Players have the option of developing their game plans and issuing their initial orders without perfect knowledge of the battlefield, based only on the… variable quality of their pre-game intelligence.
One book with a canned history of the campaign, another for scenarios, you reference four or six more for uniforms — That's what's typical, right?
We've got whole shelves dedicated to uniform plates, you might too, but there's a more convenient way, a better way.
If you're just getting into Napoleonics, or if you just don't want to page through a half-dozen references in order to paint up the 30th Ligne, here's your solution.
Over 800 uniform images, detailing every regiment featured in the scenarios. All in one place, for easy reference.
Master of the World is but the first in a series of Campaign Guides to be published by The Wargaming Company for the Napoleonic Wars. Our second, Roll up that Map, 1805 in Germany is about to be released. And there will be more. Future titles will follow the same format:
To about these and other exciting announcements, join our Announcements Mailing List.
|Mir||Two||Beginner||2.5 by 2.5 scale miles||5pm to 9pm||Jérôme's Advanced Guard skirmishes with Platov's Cossacks||Polish uhlans are boxed in by Russian cossacks attempting to probe the French positions.|
|Saltanovka||Two to Four||Intermediate or Advanced||2.5 by 3.5 scale miles||7am to 11am||Davout's I Corps d'armée
vs Bagration's 2nd Western Army
|Bagration strikes north before Davout can strike south.|
|Ostrovno||Two||Beginner||3 by 5 scale miles||4pm to 9pm||Tolstoy's Rear Guard
vs Murat's Advanced Guard
|The Russians attempt to hold back Murat's pursuit.|
|Vitebsk||Four to Five||Intermediate||3 by 4 scale miles||10am to 2pm||Murat's Advanced Guard
vs Tuchkov's Rear Guard
|Murat continues to press the Russians as Tuchkov takes over rear guard.|
|1st Krasne||Two||Intermediate||6 by 3 scale miles||3:30pm to 7pm||Murat's Cavalry Reserve
vs Neverovski's 27th Division
|French cavalry attempt to break the Russian flank guard retreating upon Smolensk.|
|Smolensk||Seven to Ten||Advanced||3 by 6 scale miles||2pm to 9pm||Barclay's 1st Western Army
vs Napoleon's Grande Armée
|Napoleon hopes to bring on a major battle, while Barclay hopes to save the Russian army.|
|Loubino||Five to Eleven||Advanced||3 by 4 scale miles||8:30am to 12pm||Ney's III Corps
vs Barclay's 1st Western Army
|The French attempt to interrupt the Russian retreat from Smolensk.|
|Schwardino||Five to Nine||Advanced||3 by 6 scale miles||2pm to 10pm||Napoleon's Grande Armée
vs Bagrations 2nd Western Army
|The Russians defend a salient while attempting to deny the French a deployment area.|
|Borodino||Fifteen or More||Expert||3 by 7 scale miles||5am to 7pm||Napoleon's Grande Armée
vs Kutusov's Army
|The largest and most terrible of Napoleon's battles to-date.|
Jérôme Bonaparte was ordered to advance with Poniatowski’s Polish V Corps, his own Westphanian VIII Corps, and Latour-Maubourg’s IV Reserve Cavalry Corps against Pyotr Bagration’s 2nd Western Army. This movement took the advanced elements through the town of Mir and southward. The advance guard of Jérôme’s wing was a Polish cavalry division, which would contact Bagration’s rear guard, under the command of Platov, some distance south of Mir on 9 July.
Mir was a meeting engagement between a French cavalry division and a Russian rear guard that lasted between four and six hours, eventually resulting in a Russian victory. A division of the French IV Reserve Cavalry Corps encountered Russian cossacks south of Mir. The Polish uhlans of the 4th Light Cavalry Division advanced and were attacked by the cossacks in a series of ambushes. The cossacks were the lead element of the Russian rear guard. At high cost the Poles slowly gained ground on the Russians over the course of several hours. A brigade of Russian hussars and dragoons arrived and began a new offensive. The Poles were driven north, back towards Mir, where their retreat was covered by additional light cavalry brought up in support. Despite the near arrival of a Russian infantry division, the Russian rear guard withdrew.
The consequence of the skirmish at Mir, and the French defeat, was that Jérôme became yet more hesitant to press the Russian rear guard. Jérôme’s headquarters remained at Mir until he abandoned his command and left the army some weeks later.
Saltanovka was a minor pitched battle that resulted when Raevsky’s Russian VII Infantry Corps attacked Davout’s French I Corps. It prevented the merger of the two Russian armies prior to Smolensk. Bagration sought to consolidate his 2nd Western Army with Barclay de Tolly’s 1st Western Army. This required moving through Mogilev. Having successfully brushed back Jérôme’s tepid advance two weeks before at Mir, Bagration now turned his attention toward Davout’s I Corps located around Mogilev. Bagration’s intentions remain largely uncertain. One possibility is that Bargration sought to attack toward Mogilev pushing the French aside and uniting with Barclay de Tolly at Vitebsk. In this case it is strange that Bargration reportedly left the area, placing the conduct of the battle completely into the hands of Raevsky, and not supporting him with any elements of the 2nd Western Army. Alternatively it is possible Bagration chose to order Raevsky’s VII Infantry Corps against the French as a spoiling attack to preempt Davout’s presumed movement south.
Davout was ordered to move against Bagration and prevent the union of the two Russian armies, Davout had originally intended to move south, however, after the 3rd Chasseurs à Cheval were badly mauled by a large cossack element, he prepared to be attacked. The consequences of the action at Saltanovka impacted both armies. Davout’s movement against Bagration was indeed blunted and the marshal chose to move towards Smolensk instead of continuing to chase Bagration. For the Russians the new target would also be Smolensk as it provided the next best opportunity to unite the 1st and 2nd Western Armies.
The French Grande Armée was attempting to trap Barclay de Tolly’s 1st Western Army before it reached Vitebsk. Barclay de Tolly was still moving east under Kutusov’s direction to join up with Bagration’s 2nd Western Army. While Bagration sparred with Davout in in the vicinity of Mogilev, Prince Murat and Viceroy Eugene pursued Barclay de Tolly.
Barclay de Tolly detached Osterman-Tolstoy’s IV Infantry Corps to perform rear guard duty near Ostrovno and allow the bulk of the 1st Western Army to move east to Vitebsk. Osterman-Tolstoy took up a defensively position on the edge of a large wood. Murat’s lead element was Nansouty’s I Reserve Cavalry Corps. Nansouty threw back a salient deployed ahead of Osterman-Tolstoy’s line, capturing part of a Russian battery. About that time Murat arrived with the lead most unit of Dezlons’s 13th Division of Eugene’s IV Corps d’armée: the 8th Légère Regiment. Murat could only see approximately eight Russian infantry battalions from his position and concluded it was the bulk of the Russian Force present, so he attacked repeatedly, and was rebuffed.
Osterman-Tolstoy’s divisions now attacked forward out of the woods against both of the French flanks. A series of charges by Polish uhlans and French lancers, supported by the 8th Légère, rejected the Russian advances. The rest of Dezlons’s 13th Division then arrived and eventually outflanking Osterman-Tolstoy’s position in the woods, compelling their withdrawal.
On the following day the IV Infantry Corps was reinforced by the 3rd Division, under command of General Peter Konovnitsyn, and the bulk of Pahlen’s III Cavalry Corps. Ostermann-Tolstoy drew up a defensive line about 4½ miles from Ostrovno near the village of Kakuvyachino and the fight continued.
The Battle of Vitebsk commonly refers to the series of actions starting with Ostrovno and ending around Kakuvyachino. Joined by Konovnitsyn’s 3rd Infantry Division and Pahlen’s III Cavalry Corps, Ostermann-Tolstoy halted somewhere about 5 miles east of Ostrovno near the village of Kakuvyachino. Hoping that Barclay de Tolly and Bagration would still be able to unite the two Russian Armies near Vitebsk, Ostermann-Tolstoy was charged with protecting the retreat. The new defensive line anchored its right on the River Daugava and its left in woods south of the village.
Murat pursued from Ostrovno east after the Russians, now supported by a large portion of Eugene’s IV Corps d’armée, which he’d finally allowed to catch up. Murat threw forward elements of Nansouty’s I Reserve Cavalry Corps as some back-and-forth occurred between Eugene’s corps and the Russian infantry, but the Russians were able to deflect most of the French attacks. Pahlen in particular was able to bait and reject the French cavalry efforts. The Russian leadership featured two strong rear guard Commanders: Konovnitsyn and Pahlen, who together coordinated well enough to avoid committing the majority of the Russian Formations by forcing the French to bottleneck against small portions of their total command.
Napoleon observed the action and determined that he did not have enough of the Army present to press the Russians hard enough to break them. Murat was ordered to hold back while additional elements were brought up. For some strange reason Napoleon remained convinced the Russians would commit to a major action. Wrong again, Barclay de Tolly was convinced by his advisors to continue the retreat and delay uniting with Bagration until Smolensk. At nightfall Pahlen executed the last covering action as Ostermann-Tolstoy withdrew east and broke contact with the French.
After reaching Smolensk and uniting the 1st & 2nd Western Armies, Barclay de Tolly finally succumbed to the political pressure against his strategy of retreat, and turned west on an offensive towards Napoleon’s main Army. Napoleon, however, swung immediately right to steal a flank march on the Russian advance, sweeping southeast into Smolensk. If successful this flanking maneuver would place the French main army between the united Russians and Moscow, likely allowing Napoleon to fall upon each of the Russian armies in turn, destroying them each in detail.
Barclay de Tolly left a weak rear guard detachment in the form of Neverovski's 27th Infantry Division supported by some cavalry, to operate southwest of Smolensk. Murat reached Krasne on 14 August around 2:30 PM. Neverovski left a small force in the town of Krasne itself to act as a speed bump, and retired towards Smolensk. Murat’s cavalry was able to flush this detachment from Krasne with the use of Ledru’s 10th Division of Ney’s III Corps d’armée somewhere, around 3:00 PM.
At this point Murat’s cavalry flowed forward to strike the bulk of Neverovski's 27th Infantry Division, but the attacks were haphazard, and the cavalry’s deployment blocked off the advance of Ney’s infantry. Neverovski was able to continue a slow withdrawal eastward toward Smolensk and prevented Napoleon’s flanking maneuver from coming to pass.
For nearly two months Napoleon had chased the armies of the Russian Tsar further into the country’s vast interior in the hope of causing a major engagement that would decide the conflict. In parallel, Barclay de Tolly and Bagration had spent the four weeks of July attempting to unite their armies. Now, opportunities for both sides came to pass at Smolensk.
Prince Murat and Marshal Ney were the first French Commanders to arrive at Smolensk on the 16th. Ney drove the Russians off the plain ahead of the city and back into the suburbs. Napoleon arrived with Davout’s I Corps d’armée about mid-morning. The Emperor did not attack, waiting for the Army to concentrate. By the 17th, the bulk of both armies were present and deployed. The French assembled against the southern facing of Smolensk. Word was received by Napoleon at noon that Bargration’s forces were marching east on the northern bank of the Dnieper River bound for Moscow. His enemy was retreating again.
Unknown to Napoleon there had been great argument among the Russian high command as Barclay de Tolly declared the army would abandon the Holy City of Smolensk continuing its retreat to Moscow. The remainder of the senior officers became outright insubordinate under the cover of Tsar Alexander’s brother Grand Duke Constantine, who called Barclay de Tolly a traitor to Russia, but the generals stopped short of mutiny and the retreat order was observed.
At 2:00 PM on the 17th the French attacks finally came forward. After three hours, the Russians were swept clear of the suburbs and took shelter behind the walls of Smolensk. The French probed the walls for weaknesses but made little progress. Between 150-200 canon bombarded the city setting most of it on fire. On the 18th Ney’s III Corps d’armèe crossed to the northern bank and attacked the Russian rear guard defending the northern suburbs, finally taking the city.
The abortive Battle of Smolensk left both armies dissatisfied. Barclay de Tolly had accomplished his goal of keeping the Russian Army intact but, driven by his disdain for the abandoning of Smolensk without a major battle, Bagration largely ignored the threat of a French attack as the two Russian Armies marched east towards Moscow.
Napoleon, frustrated that he was unable to draw out the Russian Army, immediately sent a pursuit east hoping to interrupt their march. The first point at which the two Russian Armies could be divided on the march was in the vicinity of Valoutina-Gora, just over the north bank of the Dnieper River. This wing of La Grande Armée had opportunity to capitalize on Bagration’s irresponsible lack of support for Barclay de Tolly’s retreat. Bagration abandoned the area around Valoutina-Gora early, before Barclay de Tolly’s lead elements were able to concentrate there. This resulted in the 1st Western Army being isolated as the pursuit wing, led by Murat, confronted it between Valoutino-Gora and Loubino.
Loubino was a small town just east of the narrow Erevnya River. There were a series of holding actions from Valoutino-Gora to just west of Loubino, the distance between the two towns being approximately six miles.
For nearly two months, Napoleon had chased the Armies of Russia further into the country’s vast interior, in the hope of forcing a major engagement that would decide the conflict. For that entire time, Barclay de Tolly had withdrawn steadily away ahead of the French advance, until Smolensk where for a brief moment it appeared Barclay de Tolly might push back with a counter offensive, but after that short three day course change, the Russian retreat continued until it halted here, a couple miles southwest of Borodino.
The Russian rear guard was operating in two parts: 3rd Infantry Division detached from Tuchkov I’s III Infantry Corps and positioned just west of Borodino, and Gorchakov’s rear guard manning the redoubt and surrounding area. The Russians were under the command of Bagration, who continued to feed reinforcements into the fight, treating the Schewardino redoubt as a pitched battle when it had already achieved its purpose of determining the direction of the French advance and forcing their early deployment.
Napoleon arrived on the scene about 2 PM, to personally inspect the field. Eugene’s troops had pushed the Russians back upon Borodino, and the Emperor called them off, declaring the primary target to be the Russian gun position at Schewardino. To that end he launched Compans’s Division of Davout’s Corps forward as the Poles struck from the south. Murat’s Cavalry Reserve, in the form of Nansouty’s I Reserve Cavalry Corps, would support the assaults. Additional divisions were fed into the fight as they arrived, to offset those sent by Bagration, and the fight lasted until nearly 11 PM, when the Russians drew off.
Since crossing over from Poland into Russia, Napoleon had chased the Russians, first Barclay de Tolly and Bagration, then Kutusov, farther and farther into the barren plain. At each turn, the Emperor sought opportunity for battle. A major engagement that would end the campaign. On 7 September, Napoleon received his wish… “Of all my 50 battles, the most terrible was the one I fought at Moscow.”
The French Army is represented by over 500 images, depicting the wide variation of the more than 150 units, of at least ten nation states.
The Tsar's Imperial Army of 1812, made up of over 120 units, is depicted in over 200 images.