Last sunday I was invited by the club "Le Aquile" from Gaeta to a DSLB Big Battle in Cisterna di Latina, in Luigi's game room. Stefano from "Le Aquile" organized a French vs. Russians battle, one Division per side. The location and hospitality was fantastic, and we all had a great gaming day. I was given command of a French Cavalry brigade on our right flank, with orders to hold my position and protect the right flank of of our center brigade, commanded by Federico. Diego, with his left flank veteran brigade was to attack the enemy immediately, in order to break the enemy right. On the Russian side, Stefano was the CinC, Renzo commanded their right flank brigade, Luigi held the center and Fausto the left flank.
After secret deployment we lifted the screen and started the battle.
The stuation after the first turn. At the bottom f the pic my cavalry brigade (left) and - behind the wood - Fausto's cavalry brigade, bigger than mine but with 2 Cossack pulks.
Another view, from behind the Russian cavalry brigade.
After a couple of turns, Diego attack on our left is starting to ay some dividends, while Federico and I just held our ground using the artillery as best as we can.
The battle unfolds. The Russians: from left to right Renzo (blue cap) Luigi (standing) and Stefano (sitting). On the right of the pic Diego rolling his attack dice.
Action in the centre: a Russian Cuirassier unit (the only Russian heavy cavalry present) aggressively moves towards our lines (top right). This was probably the turning point: the Cuirassiers charged our centre, breaking an infantry battalion. At that point they should have been recalled, but Stefano decided to breakthrough, charging another infantry battalion straight ahead. This unit was also broken, but the Cuirassiers were at this point blown (DIS3) and in our following turn a Dragoon regiment broken them.
Almost nothing happened on my flank, with Fausto's Cossacks hidden in the woods and the Lancers circling around it. The real fight was in the center, where Luigi (above center) pressed on Federico's shaken brigade, and on the left, where Diego's veterans were gaining ground and inflicting heavy casualties on Renzo's brigade. The latter was soon shaken, also losing a battery.
The final stages of the battle: we had two shaken brigades, but no artillery or cavalry losses. The Russians had also 2 shaken brigades, but they lost 2 batteries and the Cuirassiers. Furthermore, Diego penetrated into the Russian right flank with infantry and cavalry in command, so we got the final points needed to win the game. In all, we played about 3 hours with one player (Luigi) not knowing the rules at all.
The tradition of these big battles at Luigi's is that Mrs. Rita prepares a fantastic meal that we really enjoyed (left to right Luigi, Stefano, me, Fausto, Diego, Renzo and Federico).
After lunch, we went back to the gaming room (actually a dependance in the garden) and played a couple of turns more, "just to see what happens". I must say we confirmed the result achieved in the *real* game by inflicting even more losses to the Russians. Before going home, a last picture with the whole bunch...
"Le Aquile" club should - after 15 years playing only Shako - decide in the next week or so to change to Drums & Shakos Large Battle. And I would be honoured if they will.