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Saturday, August 3, 2013

4th March 1814 - Battle of St Jean

St Jean Campaign Area

7th French corps have orders to hold St Jean
1st British corps have orders to attack St Jean

French                                     British
16000 infantry                         16000 infantry                       
1000 cavalry                           1000 cavalry              
30 guns                                   30 guns

Table at start of wargame

Top centre - 7th French corps at St Jean
Bottom centre – 1st British corps

Move 1 – 0800 to 0900
Both corps have similar numbers, but the French guns have longer range
So a frontal attack is out of the question
The British advance their right to occupy the farm
British artillery also unlimber near the farm to prevent the French advancing

Move 2 – 0900 to 1000
The French have not reacted
British send all four brigades towards the farm
Cavalry remain to protect the gunners

Move 3 – 1000 to 1100
British hussars move to join the main advance
French infantry redeploy to face the farm
Artillery limber and move to their left

Move 4 – 1100 to 1200
French cavalry also move to their right
British cavalry halt and face towards St Jean
Portuguese infantry advance towards centre
Two British brigades now in farm
French infantry in centre suffer first artillery casualties

Move 5 – 1200 to 1300
French continue to deploy to their left
Infantry in the centre retreat into St Jean
British use farm as cover to move infantry to the centre

Move 6 – 1300 to 1400
British gunners rout French infantry into St Jean
French cavalry redeploy to their right to counter British hussars
British garrison farm and continue to deploy in the centre

Move 8 – 1500 to 1600
1st British brigade advance from farm to threaten French gunners
25th French brigade fail to rally and rout from the table
British corps advance

Move 9 – 1600 to 1700
1st brigade receive 10% casualties but continue to advance towards French gunners
2nd brigade form square to protect infantry advance
French move infantry to their left flank to protect gunners

Move 10 – 1700 to 1800
1st brigade receive more artillery casualties and rout
British infantry approach town, but it is now garrisoned
British hussars advance behind infantry square

Move 11 – 1800 to 1900
General Stewart orders his corps to attack
Highlanders and Portuguese storm St Jean and rout defenders
British hussars charge and rout French dragoons

Move 12 – 1900 to 2000
General Daricau orders the remainder of his corps to retreat

Game Casualties
French suffer 2000 infantry and 200 cavalry casualties
They also have one cavalry and two infantry brigades in rout
British suffer 1200 casualties and have one brigade in rout

Game Summary
The battle started with a strong advantage to the French.
They had better cavalry and artillery, and a strong defensive position

The British forced them to redeploy by using the farm to outflank them
They then switched back to the centre and stormed the town.
1st brigade attacked the French guns, and were routed with heavy casualties
But this diversion allowed the remainder of the corps to storm the town

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