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011. The Battle of La Rothière - JTS Campaign 1814

011. The Battle of La Rothière Image
Black Powder Ladder

011. The Battle of La Rothière

By Bill Peters
French (Nap) 1 - 2 - 1 Allies (Nap)
Rating: 4.1 (3)
Games Played: 4
SM: 4
Turns: 42
Type: Custom
First Side: French (Nap)
Second Side: Allies (Nap)
1 February 1814 - Historical - Intended for Head to Head play - With the defeat of Blücher at the Battle of Brienne on 29 January, the Allies fell back to the south near Trannes. Napoleon was waiting to see what the main Allied army would do and thus spent two days at Brienne in relative inactivity. Activity to the southwest indicated that the Allies were also relatively quiet. Finally, on 1 February, Blücher along with portions of the Hauptarmee launched an attack on La Rothière. Schwarzenberg and the Austrians purposely held back their forces as much as possible in order to not destroy Napoleon as they distrusted the Prussians and Russians who they felt would carve up Europe for their own benefit. Despite this policy, Wrede of Bavaria promoted the idea of a flank march on Napoleon's long left flank with his V Corps. With Gyulai's III Corps and two Russians corps under Blücher attacking directly on Napoleon's forces at La Rothière, Wrede and Prince Eugen of Wurttemberg attacked against the French left. The early attacks at around 2-3 PM on the main French position by Blücher (Austrian III Corps - Gyulai, Russian Corps Olsufiev and Sacken) met with stiff resistance and failed to crack the shell of the French defenses. Blücher asked for more forces from Barclay and a division from the Russian 3rd Grenadier Corps marched out to aid the failing Allied attack. Meanwhile, the flank march by Wrede and Prince Wurttemberg finally materialized around 4 PM and despite some early confusion the French were being hustled out of Morvilliers. Several attempts to retake the village by Marmont and the Young Guard failed. The main front around La Rothiere was still on fire as Napoleon finally realized that the more numerous Allies were going to take and hold the small village. He decided on a retreat to the north and setup a grand battery to cover his movements. The Russian attacks succeeded in capturing many cannon in the battle but with the falling darkness and the exhausted condition of their formations the French were able to fall back towards the north despite Wrede's attempt to bag the army. This was Napoleon's first loss due to the fact that he was outnumbered and his conscripts had not handled themselves well. The French army's morale plummeted but the Master of the battlefield would have something up his sleeve in the coming days to restore their faith in his ability.
Player Voting Stats
Member Balance Enjoyment
Vincent's ProfileVincent Well Balanced 7
Saddlesore's ProfileSaddlesore Totally Pro French (Nap) 2
agmoss99's Profileagmoss99 Totally Pro French (Nap) 2
Gaming Records
1st Side Player 2nd Side Player Result Score
French (Nap) Saddlesore's Profile Saddlesore vs. agmoss99 agmoss99's Profile Allies (Nap) French (Nap) Major Win 56 8
Allies (Nap) Belisarius's Profile Belisarius vs. Colleoni Colleoni's Profile French (Nap) Allies (Nap) Major Win 56 8
Allies (Nap) Vincent's Profile Vincent vs. yvan0123 yvan0123's Profile French (Nap) Draw 32 32
Allies (Nap) agmoss99's Profile agmoss99 vs. Hector42 Hector42's Profile French (Nap) Draw 32 32
Saddlesore
Private 1st Class
Saddlesore Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:55 am
This battle is very lopsided in favor of the French. First it starts with a major French Victory and second mathematically the Allied player has no chance to win. The French player can completely avoid battle if they like and come out with a major victory because starting with a major victory they have no skin in the game on holding objectives. The French have large numbers of elite cavalry and the mud movement favors the defender. One way to make this fair is start it at a draw or a French Minor Defeat. I claim no skill in this victory, the deck was incredibly stacked against my opponent.
agmoss99
Lieutenant General
agmoss99 Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:08 am
Historically the French attacked the allies. This scenario reverses that with the allies starting on a major defeat. Given the weather and terrain, advance is slow and units rapidly disorder and rout. Lots of fields mean allied artillery is almost useless. The French just have to sit back or fall back. The Russian Guard is fixed until too late and many reinforcements never see action. There are hordes of elite French cavalry. The main objectives are impossible to reach.
Starting the game as a French minor defeat may result in a more historical simulation.