The battle is being fought over several weeks (with the table being left set in place). There is a simple board game (called Leipzig 20, I think) driving the arrival of forces to the tactical table top. Interestingly this could mean simultaneous battles taking place, a bit of a strain on poor old Boney as to were he commits his reserves. As a nominal player on the Allied side I can say "serves you right"! Anyway the first 'six turns of tabletop' are one map turn. Both armies are posturing for position, which makes a pleasant change from just a plain old headlong charge with everything you have got. A fair bit of thought has gone into this so I an interested to see how it pans out. The active Allied player being inferior in numbers (for the time being) opted to site himself in the villages giving him protective cover (see below, the central town):
The most significant (strategic) feature on the table is the left most town/village (as the Allies see it) guarding a vital river crossing point, with known "French" forces on the other side (but off-table). The town is duly heavily garrisoned (see below):
In addition between these two villages, but adjacent to the more important bride town, the Russian Artillery reserve is placed atop a low hill, and it even eventually "managed to deploy" before the French came near. One of the frustrating (but probably historically accurate) features of the rules is the tendency of formations to go "inactive" if outside of tactical (18 inches) of the enemy. Thus the mounting frustration of the Russian commander and his eventual relief when the artillery pieces were set (see below, the vast array of Russian heavy/medium [50:50 mix] artillery):
The deployment show how thin the Allies are on the RHS of the picture. There is an awkward void between the two villages where a mixed formation of Austrian Jaeger and Cavalry are hastily (or not so hastily because of reserve formation movement as defined by distance from the enemy activation) heading to fill. Off in the far distance is a rag-tag formation of Prussian Landwehr and Cossacks literally bumbling about (see below):
The French commander (Murat) decided to concentrate his forces towards the more vital village and river sector, cunningly knowing there is a vast swath of good French cavalry about to appear and spoil the Cossacks day. Thus after the end of turn six a sole unit of French rearguard cavalry, with a ubiquitous annoying horse gun to hand is holding up the Allied "C Team" of Cossack and Landwehr. The game of manoeuvre seems to have 60:40 gone to the French, with Napoleon about to wake up and make his presence felt with his Command and Control factors (see below):
Interestingly it is now off to a simultaneous, but smaller Cavalry engagement, then to the map before we play the next six turns here.
To be continued ...