Friedland AAR from Tom Bierschenk

The game was played on 15 July 2016, at the Historicon Miniature Gaming Convention in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The game lasted from 1:00 in the afternoon until midnight, and we completed 26 turns of a 30 turn scenario.

At that point, we called the game, judging that it would likely be a slight Russian victory. Most of the Victory Points in the scenario are in the village of Friedland and the two bridges at Friedland in the Russian rear, and the French were very close, but could probably not take the village before the end of the game.

The French commander (Francis Palomo) comments on the situation from the French point of view:

"The initial objective was simply to survive. On the right Lannes had a single division, albeit a crack one. On the left Grouchy had 2 cavalry divisions, but no infantry. Hence, the prime objective was to slow down the expected Russian assault long enough for the French reinforcements to arrive and turn the tide. With that in mind, for us the key crisis point was when Dennis' Cossacks pinned 2 brigades which Mike then routed. To our surprise, rather than pressing your advantage you settled for building a defensive bastion opposite our right. When shortly afterward the reinforcements began to trickle in, we first focused on establishing a solid defense and squashing Dennis' Cossacks. It was only when Napoleon arrived, with his expanded command radius, that we began to think about where/how we would launch our counter-attack. One look at the Russian grand battery guarding your left made it obvious that our main assault had to be aimed at the Russian right flank, with only a diversionary/pinning attack directed against the Russian left. Moreover, knowing that Bennigsen's command radius could not span the entire front, attacking the extreme right forced the Russians into a Hobson's choice."

Commentary from Tom Bierschenk, the overall Russian commander:

"Our plan was to push forward to the second stream crossing the battlefield, but not attempt to go too far to destroy Lannes' Reserve Corps. After pushing to the second stream, we intended to sit tight and build a defensive line. We took a bit of a risk by sending the Cossack Division through the front lines, but we wanted to use the Cossacks as a raiding force in the French rear, to delay the arriving French reinforcements."

The battle in pictures