Sergio's blog: hints, ideas, pictures and news about SDS (and more) from the author

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

DS LB Battle report

As I promised in my post celebrating the 100.000 page views of this blog, here is an AAR of my last solo DSLB battle.
After a looong time without playing Drums & Shakos Large Battle I decided to set up a battle using the rules for pick up games and the Army lists included in the rulebook. No research this time, just open the boxes of my 15mm Naps and.... play!
 I went for French vs. Russian in 1814: two brigades for the French and 3 smaller Brigades for the Russians plus a Reserve for both.
TURN 1 Above, the Russkie entering the table: a Cavalry brigade (Uhlans and Cossacks, with a Horse battery) and two Infantry Brigades in the foreground. One Brigade passing by a farm, with the Grenadier Brigade following on the bridge. A Reserve Brigade (Cavalry and a Heavy Artillery Battery) is near the CinC on the other (right) side of the river.
 The French entering on the opposite side of the table: 2 Infantry Brigades (1 Elite and 1 Conscripts, in pure "1814 style") and a Reserve made of Cavalry and Artillery. The Conscripts Brigade is in road column, the Elite Brigade is ready to deploy in the middle of the table.
 Another view of the Russian Division, with a close up on the small Grenadier Bde (centre) and the Reserve Brigade with the CinC (left).
 Some play aids: Disorder markers (green, yellow and red cubes) Reaction markers (brown cubes) Proximity rule violation markers (red arrows) measurement sticks, French (blue) and Russian (green) dice and two average dice for the Conscript units Quality rolls.
 TURN 2 The Russians taking position: Infantry wheels right along the road  and Cavalry opens to take possession of the hill.
The French Brigade quickly advancing to deploy (thanks to a couple of Group Orders and 3 actions gained). The Conscript Brigade deploys one Battalion in Attack column (top right).
 TURN 3 Ooops this is really blurred, sorry.... The Russkie cavalry is now on the hill (moving quite slowly as you can tell) and also the Infantry Brigade seems to be sleeping, while the French (below)...
 ...have both Brigades almost fully deployed. The Conscripts mostly in line and the Elite in Attack column. A unit from the French Reserve (Dragoons) is sent by the CinC to help the Elite Brigade, facing an entire enemy Cavalry Brigade on the hill in front.
 TURN 4 After a lot of struggling the Russian Cavalry Commader succeeds in deploying his brigade on the hill with the Horse Arty just between two Uhlan Regiments. Cossacks screen the flanks. The Infantry Brigade deploys in the centre, but its right flank is dangerously "in the air", as the rightmost battalion fails its activation...
On the French side the entire line is now formed, and the CinC sent in another Dragoon regiment from the reserve, to deal with the Uhlans on the hill. An exchange of artillery fire causes the Russian Horse battery a DIS (green cube).
TURN 5  A clash of sabres and lances on the Russian left wing: the French Dragoons charge the Uhlans and destroy them, opening a hole that the Cossacks would be called to close. At the same time the Horse battery manages not to be destroyed by the frontal charge of the other French Dragoon regiment. All along the line the Eagles march forward. The Russian Infantry commander manages to deploy a battalion on the far right but it is already at DIS 3 (red cube) and therefore about to rout.
 TURN 6 French Dragoons charge again the Horse Battery, this time destroying it. They are both quite spent now (DIS 2, yellow cube) while the remaining Uhlans and the  regiments of Cossacks are still unscathed. In the Centre, the Elite French brigade moves forward pushed by its Elan and sends a Russian line battalion back with losses. In the very centre, a terrible exchange of artillery fire sees the Russian battery taking damage, while on the far right of the Russian line the crumbling battalion of the prevoious turn is routed. The Russian CinC commits the whole Reserve and prepares the Grenadier brigade to enter the fray.
 TURN 7 Disorder and casualties mount as you can see from the yellow cubes on the table. The French push forward, breaking the Russian first line in dfferent points, but the Russian General manages to build a very strong second line, forming a Grand Battery just outside the Farm wall. The Russian Cavalry brigade reforms downhill, while the Grenadier brigade opens up to cover as much ground as possible, and the Russian Cuirassier Regiment, sent from the Reserve breaks a French Elite battalion in the centre.
TURN 8 French Dragoons are exhausted (DIS 3) and have to withdraw, leaving the wise Russian cavalry Leader in command of the hill. The Grand Battery fires routing another French Elite battalion in the centre. Both sides reach their breakpoint, but the French Division has gained more ground, being in Russian zone 2 with two units in command and with less than 3 DIS. Therefore the game ends with a French marginal victory, but it was very close....


  1. Very nice pictures, a wonderful battlefield, I really like the hills!

  2. It looks impressive!
    Thanks for sharing