1807 battle of Bergfried Napoleonic AAR with animation

1807 Napoleonic AAR Bergfried - Black Powder

Rules Black Powder  A Clash of Eagles
Scale 15mm

This is a refight of a little-known battle early in the 1807 Campaign.
Read my notes on the battle and Army lists here

First outing for my new toys, flock still wet - in my defence I only had since 2008 to paint them.
Here is an animation of the game to help tell the story (Spoilers!)

Note on terrain - One must imagine this battle being in the midst of a very hard winter. The field was covered in deep snow, the river frozen and covered by thick snow so as it was actually hard to find. we rolled weather and it was clear. Just imagine that snow is green and you will be fine.

The Russian force was bolstered by three Prussian 12lb Batteries.

French objective was for Soult to gain a crossing of the river, crucial to the larger engagement of Ionkowo nearby.

Russians held the town with one Battalion, three in close support and six Battalions in a reserve brigade, all with plentiful artillery and a cavalry brigade on the flank.

Russian objective- prevent the french crossing the river.

 Turn 1

French foot medium battery unlimbers and commences preparatory bombardment of the town,

The first order is given to the 3rd Brigade (4bns) but the courier gets lost in a snow storm Blunder - no move.

2nd brigade (4bns) deploys Voltigeurs and advances towards the town.
 1st Brigade (2 bns) can be seen moving to flank the town.

Elite Voltigeurs disorder the Russians who begin to suffer losses.

Horse battery chips in.

Turn 2

3rd Brigade almost in postion. More skirmisher fire and bombardment of objective.

Unseen until now, Russian Jager companies in the wood begin to annoy the French Light Infantry.

Prussian guns belch forth.

Russian garrison looking in bad shape as casualties mount.

3rd Brigade finally gets its orders and stampedes forward making up for lost time with three moves though remember speed is hampered by snow.

Russian command sees the French move and sends two Battalions to counter. We used the new Black Powder Age of Eagles book. It limits how many units move at once for the Russians. Very realistic we thought.

French 12lb battery on left almost in position to enfilade the Prussian guns, as they did in the real battle.

Turn 3

Too much firepower for the first garrison as it takes to its heels!

Can I get in there before the Russian?

Turn 4

My troops successfully occupy the first building, this however opens them to fury of the Prussian artillery
 (as happened in the battle).

Time for the bayonet, two units are flung into the fight.

The Russians take the worst of it but hold morale.

The Russians send a battalion over the bridge to try to retake the building that was lost.

Bring up the guns! Yes sir.!.... Blunder. 

Paddy rolls a move forward on the blunder chart, which meant his battery trots forward onto the frozen river (remember it was covered with snow on the day and impossible to see).

...so they do an Austerlitz and sink beneath the waves after plunging through the ice.

Prussians turn to pour firepower onto the french at close range. Very effectively.

The third round of melee for these troops, Russian tanacity! they have higher stamina in the new book which is good.

I rolled good enough this time though.

The second building falls to the French and the Russian counter attack is pushed back..

Turn 5

Russian reserves begin to move forward on the right...

French here are taking heavy losses from artillery, Jagers and the previous melee.

On the left, the French spend a lot of movement crossing the river, allowing Russians to close in while they are vulnerable. 

Turn 6

I managed to move one unit into cover behind the town but the unit behind it blundered and chose to take its place in the same spot that was under Prussian 12lb enfilade fire. Idiots.

French guns move forward to support infantry.

Back in the town, I push the fresh second line of the 2nd Brigade into the town. With orders from the Marshal to gain the far bank at all costs.

A fierce melee as the French charge forward on the left. 

The French 12lb artillery had had a good half hour of target practice into the flank of these Russians but even with additional heavy melee casualties they stand!

The other unit fares worse and is disordered in the fight but continue.

The second round of melee sees them off, but not without loss. Terrible Russian dice here.

And again, the melee goes the French way...eventually. The Russian 1st Brigade is now Shaken.

On the right, the Russians plod forward.

Turn 7

French crossing on the left, russians crossing on the right and a standoff at the bridge. All to play for. Russian high command are now free to activate the reserve brigade (beside the wine glass) now that the French have crossed.

French Dragoons arrive and get ordered to observe the Russian cavalry on the right.

I form Column of companies and chaaarge over the bridge.

1st Brigade deploy to receive the Russian counter attack.

3rd brigade turn their attention onto towards the Prussian guns, having seen off their supports.

French artillery grapeshot scores two lucky hits on the irritating Jagers!

On the bridge, the French succeed in pushing back the Russians opposing the crossing.

One Prussian battery is bayoneted in flank.

Russian cavalry frustrated by their hold (failed) orders.

The Prussians extricate their battery with skill.

The Russian attack on my right is recalled as the centre is threatened.

Out of the snow storm, with three surprise moves.....

...come the Russian reserve brigade. Fuelled by a nice little Chilean bottle of Red.

Paddy has no luck today as the bayonet charge , through heavy snow, fails to reach by a few feet.

The Russian centre forms a new line.

Turn 8

On the left, the French (expertly drilled in this 1807 campaign)  deploy and utilise their firepower.

Three moves you say?

Form attack column and charge!

This unit refuses to reinforce the attack over the bridge.,,,cowards!

I'm forced to move up the troops from the town in support as I order a general advance. Its all bravado, the troops on my right and centre are in a bad way.

My brave forlorn hope battle on. Russian morale is defying the odds in the melee here. They throw 12 for morale- Brilliant!

Finally, the Russians can get the bayonet in.

Again the enemy throw 12 for morale, die damn you! 

In the centre the French are forced back!

Turn 9

Hanging onto the far bank by a fingernail as Russians try to force me back.

but the Russians finally break on the right as the epic melee concludes!

The second Russian brigade breaks which means the army is broken!!


The Russians fight like supermen in the snow...who knew?

A historical result here, the French taking the town and being unable to cross in any numbers in the centre and right. Only the left flank defeating twice its own number saved the day.

With the French able to bivouac accross the river and in the town, its a victory for Marshal Soult.


  1. Fine looking game with plenty of interesting drama. You have a knack for throwing dice in the tail of the probability distribution. So many box cars!
    I recognize a number of different manufacturers figures. Nice collection you have.

    Well done.

    1. Thanks Jonathan, we seemed to throw as many low rolls as high which made it a really exciting game. As for the figures, you are right - having recently re-based all of these its an eclectic collection spanning 25 years, AB, Battle Honours, Essex, minifigs, Falcon, Old Glory, Museum miniatures..did i miss any?

  2. Brilliant!! A wonderful report, fantastic figures, terrain and explanations...and the video is top notch!

    1. Thanks Phil, shame we couldn't visually represent the snow but we had good wine so all was not lost.

    2. Well, when you say good wine to a French guy, you're immediately forgiven!

  3. Excellent looking game, thanks!

  4. Brilliant!! Great game and great batrep/AAR 😉 Might have to refight that battle too. Liked the animation too. Did you play Napolenic martial music during the game? We do 😀


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