Sunday, March 22, 2015

Engagement at Kalisz AAR

A few weeks ago we played a Napoleonic game, using Lasalle. It had been quite a while since we played the period, and I was keen on trying my Duchy of Warsaw troops. As such the game was not very historical, as we used it to put on the table my newly painted Poles as well as other recently painted stuff. We also used this situation as an excuse to use the rarely seen Brunswickers from John.

The game was a very close affair, but in the end the Franco-Polish forces emerged victorious.

The protagonists 

French Empire, under the leadership of Rusti
Duchy of Warsaw, yours truly. For lack of painted artillery, we had to use Bavarian artillery...
Austrian Empire, controlled by Nicolas
The forces of the Duke of Brunswick, under John

The initial set-up
The Hungarian grenadier garison
The fight starts on the East flank
The Black Brunswickers begin crossing the bridge
The French, as per their DNA, move aggressively towards the Austrians
The Austrians adopt a defensive position
The Poles advance in order to protect the West flank from the incoming Black troops
The Austrians and French trade fire as the French keep moving forward
The Brunswick cavalry (top) go around the forest to threat the Poles flanks
2nd battalion of the 8th regiment is sent to answer the cavalry threat
2nd battalion of the 8th regiment in position
The Polish artillery deploy and unleash murderous fire into the advancing Brunswickers
The elite Hungarian Grenadiers, courageous to a fault, leave the city of Kalisz to charge the french
Both French and Polish artillery keep pounding at the enemy
The Hungarian Grenadiers charge but suffer casualties from a very well placed volley from the defending French battalion
The Brunswickers approach the defending Polish forces
The Grenadiers are pushed back, and can feel the Warsaw forces approaching on their flanks
The Brunswick deploy their battalions
Gen von Geck, the Austrian commander, sees his line pushed back by the relentless French assaults
The Landwher bravely faces the veteran legions of the French
The Austrian battery hammers round after round the French linesto little success
The 1st Battalion of the 8th regiment of the Duchy of Warsaw stands its ground in front of Brunswick's fire
The Hungarian Grenadiers, who just moved backwards, faced with mounting casualties, are charged by fresh Polish forces
The Hungarian grenadiers break from the Polish charge, and the remnants of the battalion hides in the city
The French battalions charge the Landwher
The Upper Austrian Landwher, after valiantly taking a french battalion in hell with them, breaks, leaving the unreliable Salzburg Landwher all alone
On the other flank the Brunswickers and Poles exchange fire, to little results
The Brunswick cavalry manages to go behind the Polish lines, who move to face the menace. Alas it comes too late for the allies.
Carnage on the Austrian line; the Salzburg Landwher are destroyed, the Austrian eastern flank collapses!


The destruction of the Landwher, combined with the quasi-destruction of the elite Grenadiers were a huge blow for the Austrians. On the other flank, while taking little damage the Brunswickers were simply incapable of breaking the steadfast Poles. Left with little chances of victory, the allies  leave the battlefield as night sets in. The French, exhausted, choose not to follow. Marginal victory for the Franco-Polish force.

Post mortem
  • It was a fun and beautiful game which felt like a real Napoleonic battle.We all loved seeing the lines of battle move like a real battle would.
  • Rusty and his French were the hero of the day, relentlessly attacking the poor Austrians, who's defensive lines simply could not hold up.
  • The plan of the Franco-Polish force worked well; the Poles were to hold the western flank while the French were to aggressively go after the Austrians, and then move to the Brunswick's back (it didn't get to this for lack of time).
  • The lack of space on the western flank really hampered the movement of my Duchy of Warsaw forces. While I successfully fended off John's attacks, my initial deployment was too crowded. In hindsight I should've put a battalion or two West of the forest. I was afraid they would get shredded by the Brunswick artillery from the other side of the river. That almost cost us as the Brunswick cavalry managed, but too late, to go behind our lines. 
  • Lasalle is a good game, but we are now ready to apply some house rules. In particular, the artillery is way underpowered. All 4 batteries on the table had many clear view and opportunities to do damages, but the rules simply did not allow us to take advantage of this.
  • The game was a close affair, and might've been very different with better marksmanship from the Brunswickers. As it was, the Poles holding their line and taking little damage allowed the French to all-out attack and concentrate all but one battalion against the Austrians.
  • Props to Nicolas, who sacrificed the Landwher but managed to keep almost all of his regulars intact (well apart from the Grenadiers). That will make the Austrian high command happy! 
  • It was the first time Rusti and I got to play as ally, and I think we were a good pair and complement each other well. Next Napoleonic game, it might be time to pair John and I together, which I believe never happened.
  • It takes forever to write an AAR! I wanted to write this one earlier but all my free time was spent painting for the Analogue painting challenge.


  1. Great looking troops and a great looking game!

  2. What a fantastic looking game. It is too bad we ran out of time because your Poles were about to be caught in pincer!

    Look forward to our next game.


    1. Your puny cavalry would've been dealt with ;-)

      Me too!

  3. Great looking battle and a nice AAR, too. I find the sooner I write them after the fact, the easier they are to do.

    Love the green coated, yellow faced Salzburgers - my own version of those Landwehr has performed surprisingly well in the past.

    Maestro... eine kleine nactmusik, bitte!

    1. lol they are indeed great looking, but were treated as unreliable in the game. It showed ;-)

  4. My last AAR took months for me to write, so I know what you mean!

    A great report, very inspiring, so well worth the effort.

    I feel that our own games will not be truly Napoleonic until someone paints up some Kaiserliks.

  5. Lovely looking game Iannick, well worth the wait to see this post!