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Thursday, March 13, 2014

20th March 1814 - Battle of Oberstein

Oberstein Campaign Area

French             32,000 infantry           2,000 cavalry              90 guns
Russian           56,000 infantry           4,000 cavalry              90 guns

French HQ       move to Oberstein                
2 French          hold B06                                
8 French          hold B04                                
26 French        hold B05

Russian HQ     Move to Bad Kreuznach       
1 Russian        move to C05 and attack       
2 Russian        move to C04 and attack       
3 Russian        move to C06 and attack       
4 Russian        move to D04 and attack       
5 Russian        move to Bad Kreuznach       

Table at start of wargame

French Brigades          8 infantry        2 cavalry         3 artillery
Russian Brigades        14 infantry      4 cavalry         3 artillery

Russian HQ     enter D06 move 5
1 Russian        enter D05 move 1
2 Russian        enter D04 move 1
3 Russian        enter D06 move 1
4 Russian        enter D04 move 5

French HQ       enter B05 move 1
2 French          start in B06
8 French          start in B04
26 French        start in B05

Move 1 – 0800 to 0900
Russians enter table on the right
French send their cavalry forward to slow the Russian advance
French artillery and infantry move onto hills.
Move 2 – 0900 to 1000
French occupy town as garrison
French artillery, supported by infantry, unlimber on hills
Russian cavalry advance to pin French
Move 3 – 1000 to 1100
Russians continue to advance
French cavalry withdraw
Move 4 – 1100 to 1200
Russians change to attack formation
French wait to see what Russians will do

Move 5 – 1200 to 1300
Russian artillery unlimber in valley
Russian cavalry advance on to hills
4th Russian corps arrives bottom right
French artillery withdraw from hills covered by infantry squares

Move 6 – 1300 to 1400
French cavalry move on to hills to counter Russian cavalry
Russian longer range artillery open fire 
Move 7 – 1400 to 1500
Russian infantry advance on to hills to support cavalry
Russian and French gunners exchange fire
Russian gunners man handle their guns forward

Move 8 – 1500 to 1600
Russian artillery fire on French infantry, no casualties
Russian cavalry and infantry advance on hills

Move 9 – 1600 to 17000
Russians continue to advance on hills
Russian artillery continue to fire on French infantry, light casualties only
French artillery continue to fire on Russian gunners, no casualties

Move 10 – 1700 to 1800
Russian CinC is concerned that his artillery have been so ineffective
Movement on the hills has slowed down his advance
He is aware that there is not much daylight left to attack
He orders his corps to Engage

Move 11 – 1800 to 1900
French cavalry prevent Russian infantry advancing beyond hills
Russian cavalry charge them, but are driven back in disorder
Russian artillery continue to fire on French infantry, but only minor casualties
As night falls Russian CinC halts the advance to avoid heavy casualties.

Game Casualties
French lose 800 infantry
Russians lose 400 infantry and 100 cavalry

Game Summary
The Russians should have won this wargame due to their superiority in numbers
The terrain allowed the weaker French to dominate the two valleys with artillery
The Russians had to advance along the hills, which slowed their advance
They deployed their longer range artillery in the valley, but failed to cause enough casualties
They fired 15 times and only achieved hits twice.
The French did little better, but could only fire on gunners, who are harder to hit
The Russian artillery had failed to weaken the French
The Russian cavalry now tried to remove the French cavalry
The Cossacks charged the guard cavalry, failed and were routed
The cuirassiers charge the French heavy cavalry, also failed and were shaken
By 1900 the Russian commander was faced with steady French infantry and artillery
He was also aware that he had just run out of time
He ordered his army to abandon the attack

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