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:
Battle of Möckern
Republic to Empire rules
[EDIT: Please note there is a typo in the name of Maréchal Marmont]
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)
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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! 😉