Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Saxon Advanced Guard Division - Jena 1806

Corps of the Day

Today we will put together all of the Saxon units in the Advanced Guard Division at Jena, and see how they operate on the battlefield.

An overview of the Division, fitting within the command radius of the Divisional Officer. 

A high proportion of light troops scouting to the front, a strong presence of light cavalry (Hussars) on the left, and a good sized contingent of disciplined line infantry on the right. 

In addition, this Division also packs good hitting power with 2 stands of artillery (approx 24 guns of 6/8lb calibre). This Division represents a classic combined arms Division for the Prussian / Saxon army.

The view from the extreme right wing, this Division covers a frontage of just uder 2km (or 1 mile), whilst maintaining a small mobile reserve of Hussars to bridge any holes in the line.

A view from the commander's saddle, looking out to the front and the left flank. Scouting forces and light troops extend the reach of the Division out to approx 800m to the front. 

The Hussars are already at the extreme end of the command radius here, so can only be used as a covering force for the flank. They are only 1 move (40 minutes) away from the right flank should the need arrise.
Another view from the center.
"Kontact Links !" - French Voltigeurs are spotted patrolling up the road towards our left flank. This leaves the Saxon commander with a bit of an issue to deal with here. 

Both the Hussars and the Light Brigade could be ordered to attack and pursue the French ... however, doing so would place them out of the rather short command range. 

To execute an attack of this nature would require the HQ to move up towards the contact, which in turn would require that the line infantry brigade to the right be moved across towards the cannon to stay in contact as well. 

Otherwise leave the line brigade in position with orders to hold. Decisions Decisions ... and all because of poor communication at the top level.
As it turns out, the French skirmishers are merely the vanguard of a larger force advancing up the road. French Flags flutter in the distance. 

The best option here is for the Saxon commander to order a general wheel to the left, anchoring the right wing against the river. With luck (and good dice rolls), they may be able to execute this complicated move in short time, and take the opportunity to roll up the French flank with artillery support. 

In reality though, the French Corps d'Armee system, and the French formation change system are so much more effective that such a gamble would prove highly unlikely. 

The French commander should be able to escape such a trap, and possibly catch the Saxons out whilst they executed their complex facing change. Force on Force, the Saxon troops are more than a match for the French. 

Stepping back to play the battle at Corps / Army level, it soon becomes evident how historically the French were able to skillfully outwit their early opponents, and wreak battlefield havoc and humiliating defeats.
The Saxon Divisional General, along with his trusty bugler, points out that the top button on the artilleryman's  tunic appears to be tarnished with unsightly grime.  

To his right is a wonderfully modelled supply wagon - horse and rider from the AB limber set, and the wagon + baggage from Musuem Miniatures.
Another shot of the wagon :)
All packed away in a box of their own.

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