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Wednesday 21 October 2020

Old School Wargame - Battle of Leibnitz

 Another wet few days, so I thought it would be fun to have a quick wargame. I decided to base the action upon Neil Thomas's example battle of the same name in his book 'Napoleonic Wargaming'.  This game has eight units per side.

 I used my Warrior troops for this action, which include some very senior figures.  Two of the cavalry units were previously owned by the late Stuart Asquith and can be seen in action in December 2016 on Keith's Wargames Blog under the command of Stuart himself!

 The Russians have three cavalry, one artillery and four infantry  units,  The French have two cavalry, one artillery and five infantry units.  The battlefield looked like this:

The French are at the bottom of the picture.  The town of Leibnitz is on the left, occupied by Russian Jaegers. In the centre right is the Schiller Forest and below that is Mount Hegal, around which is positioned the French army.

The Russian plan was to pin the French between Leibnitz and the Forest and bring their cavalry and heavy infantry around the opposite flank.  The French meanwhile decided to bypass Leibnitz town and batter their way through the gap between the forest and the town.

The battle kicked off with the French adavancing on the left and pulling back on the right.

A French Battalion watching Leibnitz, defended by Russian Jaegers:

The French advance commences:

However, the Russian Cossacks charge and force the French Guard Battalion into a square:

The French guard are then hit by artillery fire and finally destroyed by assaulting Russian infantry - not a good start for the French.

On the opposite flank the Russians begin their move, with two infantry battalions (one Guard) and two cavalry regiments, one heavy.

Back on the other flank things begin to hot up. The French send in their dragoons to chase off the Cossacks and a line grenadier battalion charges the the Russian line battalion that was already damaged during the fight with the guard. The Russian infantry is destroyed:

Having defeated the Russian line infantry the French storm into the Russian gunners nearby and wipe them out too:

The French are much happier now, having seen off the Cossacks and destroyed  an infantry battalion and a gun.

On the other flank, things are also developing.  The French Chasseurs a Cheval attempt to fight off the Russian Cuirassiers, fail and then rout from the field leaving the French flank horribly exposed.  However, not waiting for support, the Russian guards storm into the French voltigeur battalion, causing some casualties and forcing them back.  This leaves the guards flank exposed and next turn they suffer heavy casualties from flank and frontal fire and rout off the field:

The French success is quickly forgotten as the two isolated units are threatened by cavalry and forced into square, whereupon they begin to take casualties from the Russian grenadier battalion that has moved into range:

The French dragoons now hurtle across to the threatened flank and begin a lengthy melee with the Russian Hussars, with neither side making much headway.  

Having seen the French dragoons depart the Russian Cossacks come into play once more and charge the now exposed French Grenadiers, who fail to form square and are destroyed:


During the same turn the Russian Jaegers emerge from Leibnitz to threaten the French left, supported by the Cossacks:

 Back on the right flank, one of the French squares collapses and routs from the field. This leaves the French gun exposed to attack by the Russian Cuirassiers, and despite heavy casualties the guns are swept aside. This final blow sealed the fate of the French, giving a 5-4 victory to the Russians. 


What a great game.  Sometimes it is the simple games that offer the most enjoyment.



  1. Great stuff Bob, you are right about simple games giving the most enjoyment.

    1. Talking of simple games, I bought a copy of Seven Days to the River Rhine, which I am working through. Currently I am making activation markers!

    2. That is nice to hear Bob, I don't know if you are aware of the clarifications and errata which are here...
      There are quite a few mistakes in the army lists in the book, but it only takes ten minutes to put them right with the errata.

  2. Wow! That was a real pell mell sort of a game for sure with plenty going on. I really like those Warrior figures - a lovely looking game old chap!

    All the best,


    1. I think that the French dragoons deserve a medal, especilly in dealing with those pesky Cossacks. Having so few units means that action swaps from one flank to the other quite quickly.

  3. "Sometimes it is the simple games that offer the most enjoyment"

    Amen! Looks good, was fun, figures with history, what more could one ask?

    1. in the past my preference has been the larger actions, where I cram as much as possible on to the table. I think after this experience I may opt for smaller affairs, which also have the adavntage of being played in a relatively short time.

  4. Splendid stuff Bob...
    I have a set of Neil Thomas’s Napoleonic rules but I have yet to try them...
    They look ideal for when I can get my own shiny toys on the table .

    All the best. Aly

    1. Hi Aly, as with all my games, I tend to adjust the rules to suit my own needs. In this case I have simply used the scenario, converted it the a hex based map and used my sort of Command and Colors rules.

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks Mike, the simple games are often the most enjoyable.