The French may have looked like they were goofing off during our first 1813 matchup at Fall-In 2019, but from Sacken’s perspective they definitely were not…
Sacken’s Russian dragoons acted as his advanced guard and moved in parallel with Yorck’s Prussian light cavalry brigade operating about three miles to the south. Word was sent back to both commanders that the French were approaching from due east in two parallel columns.
Vandamme advanced on the French right along a single, narrow road that turned due north towards Marmont’s advancing corps. Their intent was to connect at the same crossroads that Sacken had aimed at. Regardless, it wasn’t Sacken but Yorck who got in the way of Vandamme’s advance, forcing the French to send their cavalry brigade against a Prussian brigade that would otherwise cut the rear of their march, while being halted to the front by Prussian hussars supported by landwehr cavalry.
Meanwhile… Marmont and Sacken entered into a staring contest. Marmont continued to draw more of his troops forward and deploy them directly from his center to both wings, arraying a mighty host of threat across the front of Sacken’s single infantry division. Deploying his dragoons and uhlans to cover the French cuirassiers forming against his right, Sacken hoped to hold long enough for his second infantry division to come online.
But then events accelerated.
Yorck’s second brigade was not able to come up fast enough to back his light cavalry and the determined French, at first halted by the Prussian hussars, demonstrated clearly that cavalry aren’t meant to hold ground. While Yorck was threatening Vandamme’s rear, the impetuous French commander indicated clearly that his only direction of concern was forward.
Struck from the front by Marmont’s infantry and with Vandamme bearing down on his open left flank, Sacken turned to his second division to become a rearguard as the cuirassiers swept through the cavalry forming his right. It was a painful victory for the French, Vandamme was well beaten up for his drive northward, but those losses secured the French victory.
The game played out in just over three hours time, using ESR Napoleonics Second Edition, miniatures from our ESR Box Sets, and terrain available from The Wargaming Company, including the Killing Fields Terrain Grassland Game Mat and NOCH trees.