Thursday, 17 September 2009

The Battle of Lutzen


Tactical Map 28 June 1813

Lutzen is a village east of the river Saale on the Leipzig road

The village is held by 1st Russian corps

14th Westphalian corps is ordered to cross the river and take the village


Table at start of game

Having kept the Russians guessing as they crossed the bridge and deployed on the west bank, the Westphalians move two brigades into the woods and advance the rest to their left.

Behind the woods the Russians are also redeploying to meet this development.

cavalry melee and infantry skirmish in woods

The French cavalry have beaten the Cossacks who retire shaken.

Both sides skirmish in the woods, but the Russians have more infantry support available.

The melee in the woods could go either way

Westphalian cavalry opportunity charge the Shaken Cossacks and rout them. Russian gunners take cover in the nearby square.

Westphalian infantry and artillery move up on the left, but have suffered casualties from enemy artillery before they were driven into the square.

The fight for the woods continue, but the Russians are gaining the upper hand. On the right one Westphalian brigade is in rout, on the left both brigades are shaken. There is only one infantry brigade in reserve.

French cavalry pin Russian reserves

Both sides have received casualties, but more Westphalian brigades are shaken than Russian. If their infantry can hold on until the artillery (on the right) can unlimber and fire on the square they might just pull it off.

If the Russians can rout just one enemy brigade it is likely that off the shaken ones will join them, and that would be the end of the Westphalian attack.

The result is very much in the balance.

Westphalians break and rout

The Russians moved first. The right hand brigade fired on the routing brigade forcing nearby shaken brigades to test morale. They also routed and the whole thing fell apart.

The Westphalian cavalry covered the retreat over the river Saale.

The Russians had also suffered heavy casualties, but remained in possession of Lutzen.


Things are looking rather bleak for Napoleon. Every attempt to cross the river has ended in failure. He must now decide whether to settle for holding the west bank, or to risk everything on a more determined attempt to cross the river.


Game played August 2009.
Paul commanded the Westphalians.
Jan commanded the Russians.

Another very close wargame, right up to the last move either side could have won.
These smaller games seem to suit us lately. They can be fought to an end in 12 moves or less. As we usually only have a couple of moves a day, a game lasts a week.

We are both very pleased with the rules. The close fought games seem to prove that the rules are working very well.

Russian casualties – 3 infantry, 3 cavalry, 0 gunners
Westphalian casualties – 6 infantry, 1 cavalry, 0 gunners

Each casualty results in a morale test.

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