Battle of Möckern AAR

23 Jan

The other week we finally got to give the Battle of Möckern another try. Before I start with the AAR I shall show you the force compositions, so know which forces faced one another:

French OOB Battle of Möckern Republic to Empire rules

French OOB
Battle of Möckern
Republic to Empire rules
[EDIT: Please note there is a typo in the name of Maréchal Marmont]

Prussian OOB Battle of Möckern Republic to Empire rules

Prussian OOB
Battle of Möckern
Republic to Empire rules

Deployment was quiet straight forward. The French Troops under Lagrange were deployed inside the village of Möckern, with the Légère being deployed behind it as reserves. They could only be released after the first Prussian assault on the village itself. The troops under Buquet were deployed on the fields east of the village. The French artillery was positioned in between these two formations.

The Prussians under Klüx were deployed opposite the village, with the Leibgrenadierbattalion being kept back as reserves. They could only be released after the first unsuccessful assault on Möckern. The Second Detachment was deployed on the fields east of Möckern opposite the French lines. The Prussian 6pdr. batteries were deployed between the two formations with the cavalry behind them. Th horsemen would stay in reserve until von Yorck saw the moment fit to unleash them. At the earliest this could happen on the fourth round (they would be released on a roll of 6+ on a D10 with each previous attempt giving them a +1). The 12pdrs. were not deployed on table but off table and would start firing on the fourth round.

Möckern (French side)

Möckern (French side)

The Prussians won the first initiative (they would actually did so each round) and began a general advance. On their right the Gardejäger had deployed the whole unit as skirmishers and it was behind them that the Landwehr advanced, with the Ostpreußisches Infanterieregiment to their left, both in line. On the fields Two regular and the reserve battalions were at the front deployed in Collums of Attack with the Landwehr battalions advanced behind them in line. The artillery opened up on the closest French infantry on the fields, without doing much damage.

Prussian Skirmishers advancing on Möckern

Prussian Skirmishers advancing on Möckern

Initiative passed over to the French. While the troops inside Möckern naturally stayed put and those in the fields advanced slowly in line. The two French batteries split their fire between the Westpreußisches Grenadierbattalion on the fields and the Ostpreußen near Möckern. They too only inflicted moderate damage.

French Artillery firing at the Prussian lines

French Artillery firing at the Prussian lines

Now it was the Prussians turn once more. The troops opposite Möckern continued their advance with the Gardejäger opening fire at the defenders doing the first damage. On the fields there was a further advance with the 12te Reserveinfanterie preparing to charge. But before they could do so it was the artilleries turn. The left battery had to shift its fire to the French artillery on account that part of the Prussian lines now obscured the French and managed to put the crew for two of the French guns out of action, while their companions still created more damage for the infantry. Now the reservists charged the French to their front. The French fired a defensive volley at point blank range, but still they went on. Both sides already inflicted heavy casualties on the other, but not enough to send one running. But after continued heavy hand to hand combat the French broke and ran, never to return. But at a heavy price with the reservists having lost more than half their number. But still they stood fast.

First contact

First contact

On their next turn the French in Möckern still just held their ground. The troops on the fields contented with just firing at the Prussians to their front without doing much damage or with sending some infantry to re-crew the French guns. Only the French battalions from the second line (now front) opposite the 12th Reserveinfanterie charged them. The Prussians were still disordered from their own attack and while they managed to get some defensive fire off they were unable to break the French impetus and after short combat broke themselves. They would still be retiring at the end of the game. Again the French artillery fired at both the Grenadierbattalion on the fields and the Ostpreußen near Möckern inflicting more damage, having found their range.

Battle on the Fields near Möckern

Battle on the Fields near Möckern

Back to the Prussians the action went. Near Möckern they advanced further, but the Ostpreußen now decided to deploy as skirmishers to lessen the effects of the incoming artillery, which would work out, but at the same time meant they would be less effective assaulting the village.

On the fields the 14te Schlesische Landwehr got into position to charge the French who had just broken the reservists, but faild to get their morale up for the charge. Unfortunately the same happened to the Brandenburgisches Infanterieregiment. The Grenadierbattalion decided to fire at the regiment to their front, since the second artillery battery could now longer fire at the french infantry either. And their fire proved effective enough. With the second Prussin artillery battery now shifting its fire to the French artillery as well, they caused impressive damage, killing all the infantry replacements for the crew plus the crews for another 4 guns!

Landwehr vs. French Infantry

Landwehr vs. French Infantry

Now the French defender inside Möckern remembered that they could fire back, which they did causing minimal damage ion the Gardejäger.

On the fields most of the French proved happy firing at the Prussians with moderate effect and sending yet more infantry to help redrew the French guns. The French who had previously dispatched the reservists now decided to charge the Landwehr in position to charge them. Their superior numbers and quality proved decisive and after heavy losses of both sides the Landwehr pulled back.. The French artillery virtually did nothing this turn. One battery was in no state to cause much damage and the other failed to make an impression on the dispersed skirmishers of the Ostpreußen.

Advance on Möckern

Advance on Möckern

On their next turn the Prussians did extremely well. Both the line Regiments on the fields charged their French opposites causing both to break and run. Together with the previous losses and those troops send to help the artillery this only left a nucleus of French on the fields. While the Gardejäger caused some further damage on the French defenders of Möckern the real star was the artillery. One of the Prussian batteries shifted their fire to the next French battery taking out the crew for one gun. But the other one annihilated the mauled French battery taking out the remaining crew and damaging the guns before the French infantry even got a chance to redrew them. To make matters worse for the French the next round would also see the Prussian cavalry released. At this point the French player decided to call it a day.

Opposing lines crash

Opposing lines crash

All in all one very entreating game and we more than happy to pal it out this time without too much discussing of rules. Having read them again before the game really helped there! 😉



22 responses to “Battle of Möckern AAR

  1. Dean

    January 23, 2014 at 16:13

    Fantastic looking game, Burkhard. Great to play a game without much rules referrals. Lovely table layout and figures. I have to say the grass tufts look so much more realistic than static grass.

    • Burkhard

      January 23, 2014 at 20:54

      Thanks Dean!

      I really enjoyed that this one ran virtually without any rules discussion.

      Regarding the tuffs. I like them a lot, too. Although I think the trick lies in mixing at least two shades of tuffs and regular static grass. I have decided to use it that way for every new period I start. I am not going to use tuffs for those skirmish forces already based (WWII or modern) or any minis added to an existing nationality, simply because I do not want to go through the hassle of doing a couple hundred minis (already hated repainting the edges of the bases green from the previous black).

      • Dean

        January 25, 2014 at 20:18

        Thanks to your inspiring work, I did indeed just pick up two shades of Army Painter grass tufts. Very pleased with the result. Another reason I’d refrain from using them on skirmish single-based figures is that the tufts would like get squashed down (or worse) from frequent handling. Best, Dean

        • Burkhard

          January 26, 2014 at 14:25

          Of you get a chance see if you can get the tuffs by Mininatur. They are the same (Armypainter just repacks them), but only cost a fraction, especially if you buy the big boxes by Mininatur.

  2. Dalauppror

    January 23, 2014 at 17:45

    Stunning looking game and a very nice AAR!!!

  3. Peter O'Brien

    January 23, 2014 at 22:26

    hi Burkhard, really great battlefield figures and report well done.I game using blackpowder and not RtE but i am wondering where you get the drilled, recruit etc ratings please as this can help me with organising my OOB’s.Also where did you get the teddy bar fur as its soooo cool on-table thanks Peter

    • Burkhard

      January 24, 2014 at 09:09

      Hi Peter and thanks a lot.

      The unit qualities are my estimates. They come from various sources actually. One was the after action reports which gave a good idea of the performance that day and therefore the quality of the units. Other factors were their battle histories or in other words which battles did they take part in and what was their performance there (if enough men remained after that previous battle to have an influence on the unit here). And last for those units which had not seen battle before, how were they trained, how long did they exist what sources were they recruited from. Last but not least I made some adjustments to make sure there were no über-formations. I felt this was necessary since most of the Prussian units had by the time of Leipzig seen a number of battles and also did well in this actual battle, while most of the French units were untested.

      The teddy bear fur is from an online fabrics retailer here in Germany. The color is called “Anthelope Brown”. It was available from a number of retailers, I just picked the one that charged the least including s&h.

      Hope this helps! Any more questions, feel free to ask!

  4. Chasseur

    January 24, 2014 at 02:01

    Truly beautiful looking game, thanks for report!

  5. Carlo Pagano

    January 24, 2014 at 02:27

    Lovely work Burkhard-beautiful table and figures.

    • Burkhard

      January 24, 2014 at 09:12

      Thank you Carlo! Always great to see the work pay off!

  6. daggerandbrush

    January 24, 2014 at 08:42

    Beautiful table setup and a very nice battle report. Using the fur? really adds realism.

    • Burkhard

      January 24, 2014 at 09:13

      Thanks! In this case I felt it was necessary. In real live the fields around Möckern were mostly used for farming or were already harvested. So since I did not want a uniform green table I resorted to this to add some color.

  7. Traj Anic

    January 24, 2014 at 19:36

    Fantastic game and lovely figures and terrain, many thanks for sharing. One point I would have classed at least the 1st and 2nd Btns of the 37 Legere as Elite/ Veteran depending on your rules. I would have had the 4th Btn 37 Legere as trained.

    • Burkhard

      January 25, 2014 at 21:47

      Thank you, Traj.

      You are right, I could have classed them better on the grounds that they saw service at Lutzen and Bautzen. But I felt that they were raised rather ad hoc and I could not find anything in the battle reports that would justify this. All that said, the best they could have been was Drilled.
      The higher quality levels under R2E are reserved for units with distinguished service records or guard units. This is also part of the reason why I did not want to class them better. By comparison the after action reports for the Marine Artillery credit them with a good performance. At the same time, one could not justify them as being classed higher than drilled. Having the Légère classed the same would have seemed unfair to me.

      Hope this reasoning makes sense!

  8. Phil

    January 24, 2014 at 19:54

    A beautiful table, great looking pictures…

  9. vonpeterhimself

    January 26, 2014 at 01:05

    A great post Burkhard. I enjoyed the words and the pictures.

    Rating units for games is an interesting exercise. In the end we all come with our biases … apart from myself of course as I am blessed with a clear sighted view of the historical events and can therefore accurately assign ratings unit by unit!! 8O))

    Tufts are a wonderful invention. I also use the flower tufts but with these I feel that less is more. I’m modelling war scenes after all not the Chelsea Flower Show!

    von Peter himself

    • Burkhard

      January 26, 2014 at 14:28

      Thanks vP!

      I just hope that I was not too biased here. I have a certain love for the Prussians, but having painted the French they have my affection, too.

      The tuffs are indeed a fabulous incention. Hey can really took basing to a new dimension.

  10. Peter

    April 4, 2014 at 11:25

    Burkhard in the rules you use how do they deal with river/bridge crossings? i intend to attempt a part of Ligny soon and bridges/built up areas and stream crossings apply everywhere . I’m trying to avoid the cork in the bottle syndrome whereby an opponent just blocks the other side with units. Most games don’t allow enough turns to shoot them away especially if that have reserves. what formations can attackers/defenders use in/on such obstacles??? Peter

    • Burkhard

      April 4, 2014 at 12:15

      Hi Peter,

      in a way I think the Republic to Empire rules are not too different from other sets of rules there, since they do not have a special mechanism for that either. So in a way you would still have to shoot away at the defending unit(s) or charge them piecemeal.

      That being said, the R2E rules have a nice mechanism for assaulting villages. Opposed to other games where you simply see how many minis you can physically put into a place, with R2E you go and assign a size to the village and classify the protection it gives to the defenders. The former defines how many stand can defend it (regardless of what you can actually fit in) and how many units can attack it. There there is a special table that lets you calculate how the assault went. I think this could be adopted for bridges or fords as well. I guess one would have to create a new size and a lower defensive rating here, but it should work.


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: