Once again, Sam Fuson hosted a day of gaming at his place on the East Cavalry Battlefield at Gettysburg. As a play test for the upcoming gaming convention, Cold Wars, Dave and I ran the full battle of La Rothiere.
La Rothiere, which took place in February 1814 as the Allies were advancing toward Paris to depose Napoleon, is an early battle of the campaign. As the forces became more and more depleted throughout the campaign, I think this is the largest battle. In the upcoming Last Days of the First Empire scenario book, this battle is broken into three scenarios: the main battle (French center), the French left flank, and the whole battle. Saturday we ran the whole battle.
The scenario involves Russian, Austrian, Bavarian, and Wurttemberg forces attacking the French, who were greatly outnumbered. Marshall Ney had been sent away by Napoleon, but when the Allies attacked, he was recalled. His arrival, as well as that of the main Austrian force, is governed by random die rolls.
The battle occurred in February amidst intermittent blizzards, so each turn there is a die roll to determine the weather. In this game, all but the first turn were blizzard, which worked to the French favor as it delayed the Allied attacks. The objective is to seize six towns.
Other than the blizzard conditions, the battle was a tightly run thing. The Wurttembergers captured one of the six towns. Decisive victory could only be accomplished by the side that held all six towns, so the Wurttembergers stole a decisive victory from the French.
Then the Austrians entered the table on the extreme French right and would almost certainly have captured one or more towns. Eventually, when we had to stop the game to set up the next one, the Allies had inflicted more losses on the French than the French inflicted on them, so the game was a marginal victory for the allies. The French were poised to get the marginal victory, but a group of light cavalry that had been on a flank attack was forced to retreat. Being cut off by the newly arrived Austrians, an entire cavalry brigade surrendered!
Dave and I were happy with the way the scenario ran and are ready for Cold Wars