Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Black Powder Battle of Liebertwolkwitz

Yesterday at Maelstrom we re-fought a part of the Battle of Leipzig, namely the Battle of Liebertwolkwitz. Quinton had arranged the game and six of us played out the scenario on the day.

On the French side, Pete A took the part of Murat, James the part of Lauriston, Pete H the part of Drouot & Kellerman. I  played Victor on the right flank.

Quinton took on the Austrians and Al took the Russians. We were short on Prussians so their numbers were made up with more Austrians, it is a good job that Quinton has so many. Adie was also going to play on that side but had to drop out at the last moment.

Setting up the troops

The French order of battle was something like:

Victor: 3 brigades each of 2 Line and 1 Leger, 2 batteries of artillery
Lauriston: 3 brigades each of 2 Line and 1 Leger, 2 batteries of artillery
Murat: 1 brigade of 3 Dragoons, 1 brigade of 1 Lancers and 2 Hussars
Kellerman: 1 brigade of 1 Cuirassier and 1 Carabinbier, 1 brigade of 2 Cuirassier
Drouot : 1 brigade of 2 Young Guard

Our commanders were all CV7 and our infantry all had a paltry moral save of 5+. We would be up against it.


I am not sure of the Austrian / Russian order of battle, but they had lots as can be seen from the images below.


All deployed and ready to make a start

Victors division, my own troops from my collection, I will try to hold the village of  Wachau

Russian deployment, Austrians to the rear

Quinton and Al prepare to have a go 'cos they think they are hard enough

Lauristons troops from the collection of James hold Liebertwolkwitz 

Adies Russians

The village of Liebertwolkwitz 
There were several pre-programmed events through the game and several random events that could affect the outcome. For the first three turns the French were unable to issue orders advance past their starting positions.

I'll start a battle report now, but as is usual with large games it will mainly be focused on my sector of the battle where Victors troops took on the Russians.

For the initial three turns we were not allowed to issue our troops into battle, so I had to make small adjustments to my deployment. However, I was very fortunate, because the Russians opposite me were very poor at giving orders, so bad in fact that one brigade did not make a move until the fifth turn. One Russian brigade did advance though and I was able to maul it quite badly.

Another view of my troops defending Wachau
On the other flank the Austrians were much more dynamic - well that is a turn up for the books - and were soon engaged with Lauristons division and pushing hard.

Austrian Jaegers supported by German infantry attack towards Lauristons division
 On my flank, not much was happening. Although at the start of turn three we had to roll a dice. A six, "is that good" We were given the news that Napoleon had arrived and our spirits were bolstered, our commanders were all raised to CV8 and our troops got a proper Moral save of 4+. In more good news we could now advance on the enemy!.


"Prepare to march" Victors Division readies to take the fight to the enemy.

Isolated Russian Brigade with lackadaisical support
Victor was soon issuing orders and one battalion was rushed into the farm on the left flank of the isolated Russian brigade. The rest of the brigade were soon engaging the brigade from the front.

Things were not going so well for Lauriston on our left flank and the Austrian attacks were soon starting to tell.
Austrians advance on Liebertwolkwitz 


Lauriston goes to to to with the Austrians

Hard pressed French

More hard pressed French on our left hand side.
More good news on turn 5,  Drouot organises a Grand Battery on Gallows Hill and the cavalry reserve is committed. One brigade of Carabiniers and Cuirassiers is sent to the left flank to shore up Lauristons weakened Division and the remainder prepares in the center.


One of Kellermans brigades heads to the left flank

Guard Cossacks in the center

Disaster on our left flank, the Austrians take the town of Liebertwolkwitz and Lauristons Division is broken. The light cavalry Division is committed in an attempt to break up the Austrian attacks. The Young Guard is ordered to retake Liebertwolkwitz

The Grand Battery starts pounding the Russians and Austrians in the center.

In my sector things are going much better, the previously static Russian infantry start to make a move, but are unable to clear my battalion from the pig farm in front of their lines in a timely manner. Although my battalion is eventually broken, by this time the Russians are at a severe disadvantage in numbers. The isolated Russian brigade is broken and must start retreating.

On turn seven another random event is rolled, this time by the Russians, and their is much glumness on their side - apparently on a good roll the French would have noticed the Russian Guards massing off table and we would have called off our advance.

Austrians eventually take Liebertwolkwitz

Grand Battery on Gallows Hill

Austrian Advance Guard advance - well it should be expected

On turn nine the Austrians and Russians get another envelope of orders, they must break off their attacks and return to their start lines. Although along the majority of the line the French are unable to capitalise on this as apart from Victors troops there are a lot of broken brigades. However, Victor presses on and the Russians are soon pegged back on the hill line where they started the game.

On turn 12 it is all declared over and pretty much a draw. The French objective of breaking the Austrians and Russians is not me and the Austrians no longer hold Liebertwolkwitz and the Russians got nowhere near Wachau.

Here are loads more images from the game.


Victors troops advance
Russian infantry brigade
About the half-way mark


French Lancers and Hussars engage the Austrians in an attempt to break up the attack.

Austrians before Liebertwolkwitz

More Austrians, Quinton reckons I never get enough pictures of these

About half way through the game
French advance


The French left collapses

French cavalry mass in the center


Russian view of the center


Now that is a cavalry charge

Long view