26 July 1812
This morning I got mine orders from Second Army Headquarters. They read as follows:
"March on the Village of Rudnja. Destroy the bridge there. Bring the garrison stationed there with you back to the main army and destroy everything on your way back. Leave nothing to the enemy! Spare nothing! No cattle, no wells, no lodging. Not a single leaf on the trees. Reunite with the Second Army. Delay any enemies you encounter while preserving your forces"
I will dutifully carry out my orders. My plan is straightforward. I take the 3rd batallion and march to the village of Rudnja, destroy the bridge there, ravage the countryside (only the wretched russian peasants will suffer anyway, a small contribution from them to the cause of liberation from anti-christ!) on my way back and reunite the regiment as the 1st battalion marches up as reinforcement. Of course I would like to have the whole regiment in hand, but now I don´t so I will use the forces at my disposal. One good thing about the fact that Visitski got his will through so that we combined the Carabinieri platoons of the 1st and 3rd batallion to a full Carabinieri-company is that we got all these good soldiers with us from the outset. With the brave but stupid russian Visitski at their head they will make a good strike force or last reserve.
Now it´s nightfall and I got a dispatch from Sabinov, the hussar officer who has joined me with two squadrons and a bunch of cossacks, (I can´t wrap my head on how many cossacks there is - they seem to be everywhere). The message reads
"Surprisingly good lodgings in Tschudowka. Much vegetables and butter. Very friendly peasants. Stable bridge. No sight of the french. I will continue down the Tschudowka-Rudnja road before dawn tomorrow. Send any horse artillery you can possibly muster. Also send me my brothers squadron, and I will not let the fatherland down - Sabinov"
As I have any horse artillery and as I would send it to this reckless man if I had? And send of all my line cavalry on this mission? Clearly this russian has very high thought of himself. Wonder if he is in conspiracy with Visitski? Probably not, as he looks absolutely as stupid as an hussar officer should be.
This is the blog-post dealing with the campaign game. Se the entry in the "Umpires blog" for the campaign-rules for this Dawn & Departures campaign. Here I will update my decisions as they are made, and probably some attempts to justify them as well. As I started to write this post after the battle of Aleshki I don´t remember all the details from the first turns.
I felt that I had three viable campaign strategies.
The first was to march straight to the french and beat him in battle, and not try to gain any victory in some other way. I did not spend to much time deliberating at this one of two reasons: Firstly, the french are stronger than me, so in an attack/pitched battle I would be at the disadvantage. To win this campaign I needed to pick battles with better odds than that. Secondly, Jonas (the french player) have beaten me almost in every game so far, so even even odds is not even! I need to play the campaign part smart and choose battles that I can possibly win.
iThe russian force is a combined force of infantry (mainly the 5th Jäger regiment), artillery from the 26th position battery (of Borodino fame, but thats for later - we may just conclude that if they survive this campaign, they will not survive their position at Borodino) and cavalry (Aktyrkha hussars and cossacks). There are also sappers from the Second Army.
The force commander is Lieutenant Colonel Steingell II, a (former) wealthy Saxon who has emigrated to russia to fight Napoleon. His second in command is Major Dombrowski who is not to much of a military man, but anyhow ended up as an officer (as you often do in the Russian imperial army if you are from the aristocracy). The two men get along reasonably well as they honor the commitment to the sacred war. Dombrowski has also the insight that he would not be able to hold the force together as Steingell does.
Other prominent officers of the force is Sabinov, Captain of hussars and commander of the vanguard. An independent-minded officer well suited for the light cavalry. There are also Captain Visitski, who has been given command of the strike force at hand, the 5th Jägers combined carabinieri company. Visitski hates Steingell who, according to Visitski is a treacherous german who has no right to his command in the russian army, he also despise Dombrowski because of what he consider is that mans incompetence (apart from being brave, Visitski has no more military skills than Dombrowski).
The force is divided into three parts. "The Vanguard" led by Sabinov, the "Main force", commanded by Steingall and "The Bridge detachment", which starts the campaign in area 8 and reinforce the garrison there.
The vanguard consists of the 4th Squadron, Akthyrka Hussars, 1st platoon of 2nd Jäger company (3rd batallion), Kommissarov XIIs cossacks, Feodosiiski Tartars. Here follows a more detailed list of the officers and troops of the vanguard.
Captain G. Sabinov (lvl 3), Illegitimate offspring of nobility, cad, avarage stamp, Handsome devil, charming, likely reputation
Lieutenant V. Lanskoi Hussar (lvl 2), Nobility with wealth and influence, cad, diminutive but good looking chap, vile individual
2 groups of hussars, musician
Captain Lieutenant N. Sorokin (lvl 2), Poverty stricken military family, honorable, sporting life, diminutive chap, handsome devil, dullard
2 groups of Jäger conscripts
Esaul E. Kommissarov XII (lvl 2), Cossack family with influence but no money, bounder, average stamp, fair of face, dullard
Sotnik P. Morkov (lvl 2), Cossack family with wealth and influence, bounder, strapping fellow, thoroughly dislikeable
2 groups of cossacks
Paul N. Feodosiiski II (lvl 1), from cossack family with influence but the families black sheep. Strapping fellow living a sporting life, handsome devil with an absolutely rotten personality.
2 groups of cossacks
Priknazi I. Sazonov (lvl 2), Poverty stricken cossack family, rotter, strapping fellow, thorougly dislikable
3 groups of dismounted cossacks
Pidpomichnyky Vlastov (Scout), Poor, bounder, View Hallo, sickly cove, no looker, charming
The Main Force
The main forces consists of the Combined Carabinieri Company (Carabinieris of the 1st and 3rd batallion), 1st Jäger company (3rd batallion), Strelski group (1st batallion), 2 12 pdr Guns (26th position battery), 3rd Squadron, Akthyrka Hussars, Kakhovski XXIIs cossacks and a sapper platoon.
Lieutenant Colonel A. Steingell II (lvl 3), Saxon, military family with welth and influence, Honourable, strapping fellow, plain, thorougly dislikable
Major K. Dombrowski (lvl 2), Poverty stricken military family, honorable, sickly cove, fair of face, thorougly dislikable
Captain H. Essen IV (lvl 2), Prussian, military family with wealth an influence, cad, average stamp, face like a pigs arse, affable
4 groups of Jägers, musician
Captain V. Vistitski III (lvl 2), honourable, nobility with wealth and money, fair of face, average stamp, charming
Captain Lieutenant M. Bulatov (lvl 2), poverty stricken military family, cad, average stamp, pleasant manner, fair of face
4 groups of Carabinieris, musician
Lieutenant S. Sabinov Hussar (lvl 2), illegitimate offspring of nobility, cad, giant of a man, good looking chap, pleasant, gambling devil.
Cornet V. Afanasyev (lvl 2), risen from the ranks, affable rotter.
2 groups of hussars
Podesaul U. Kakhovski XXII (lvl 2), military family with wealth and influence, a diminutive but good looking dullard rotter. Loves plunder, if the target is french or russian makes no difference.
2 groups of cossacks
Lieutenant F. Lanskoi (lvl 2), volunteer from a extremely wealthy family, a honorable strapping fellow, charming, with red cheeks and a fair face.
1 group of Strelski skirmishers
Lieutenant J. Ditterix (lvl 2), risen from the ranks, sporting life, a good-looking and honorable individual who lives a sporting life.
2 groups of sappers, 2 engineer wagons
Prikazni E. Zotov (lvl 1), military family, strapping pleasant bounder.
1 group of cossack skirmishers
Captain Lieutenant A. Panchulidzev (lvl 3), a charming cad from a noble family with influence but little money.
Fireworker W. Ilitch (lvl 2), risen from the ranks, honorable giant of a man, affable no looker but with a thunderous voice.
2 12pdr-guns, cassion
Father Cherbatov (Priest), a giant of a man, an vile individual and bounder.
Captain W. Lüders (Physic), a charming handsome devil, personally impoverished but from a family with money.
Adjutant L. Ilvaiski (Exploring officer), illegitimate offspring of nobility, a affable good looking young man.
The Bridge Detachement
The force detached to help defend the vital bridge at Rudnja consists of the 3rd Jäger company (3rd batallion), half the Strelski platoon (3rd batallion) and dismounted cossacks from the Kommissarov XII cossack regiment.
Lieutenant O. Zotov (lvl 2), Rake, poverty stricken military family, average stamp, plain and unremakable, vile individual.
4 groups of Jäger conscripts
Zerhant B. Ivanov (lvl 1)
Unnamed and forgotten cossack leader (lvl 1)
Dismounted cossack group
Shirty is a wargamer currently very into Napoleonics! His further plans in that era is Ottomans, Spanish, Persians, French, Saxons, Swedes and probably some Confederation of the Rhine troops. He also likes left wing politics, the sun and friends. Shirty dislikes right wing politics, dichotomies (some may sense a sort of self-critisim here!) and superhero movies.