The Battle of Leipzig, fought in 1813, is one of the largest conflicts ever and involved many countries / kingdoms fighting against each other. This included a coalition of Russia, Prussia and Austria committed to defeat France and its allies, forging a domination of Europe that would lead to the Nationalism of Germany. While historians have drawn a myriad of contrary opinions about who were the good guys and bad guys, the battle encircles the city of Leipzig with 500,000 man armies facing each other.
The sheer size of this conflict can truly test a designer’s skill when representing it at a battalion level. However, Leipzig is actually a series of smaller battles fought west, east, south and north of Leipzig as the Coalition armies concentrically move toward the City. La Bataille de Möckern 1813 is the battle north of Leipzig.
Möckern focuses on the raging struggle for this northern town which guards the passable roads to Leipzig moving south. As such, Napoleon entrusted the defense to Marshal Marmont and his VI Corps. In addition to veteran troops, Marmont has conscripts and sailors recently removed from the ports. Supporting Marmont is the III Cavalry Corps of de Casanova.
Coming down on this position is the Coalition’s Army of Silesia commanded by Marshal von Blücher. This army has a Prussian Corps, a Russian Corps and a Russian Cavalry Corps. The Prussians are fresh from several victories including holding Berlin. The Russians are somewhat smaller units given their casualties in 1812. However the Russians have a strong contingent of Cossacks and line cavalry.
The player will note immediately the differences in the Coalition formations and how each must be managed to achieve success. The French, Prussians and Russians Corps all operate a little differently injecting some real historical significance to the simulation and advancing the player’s skills as Corps Commanders.
Marmont held and lost the town of Möckern several times in this battle while the cavalry of Casanova held back the Russians. The fighting was intense, and continued into the dusk and evening hours.
Each 20 minute turn starts with a Command Phase for both sides followed by the French Player sequence and then by the Prussian Player sequence. The sequence includes movement, cavalry charges, fire and melee. During each, morale plays a decisive role. This is a great one player on one player game but will also accommodate two players on a side also.
The original rules have been updated but not expanded to any extent. The original designers of the La Bataille Series believe the Premier Rules facilitate / expedite the most accurate and competitive play. The new Premier Rules are an update of the original rules but make it easier to find specific topics and includes some user requested rules such as command control.
New rules for the players to consider are the effects of Elite Units, Landwehr skirmishing, Russian Dragoon’s abilities, improved towns, dusk combat, the loyalties of certain units, command structures and plundering. Besides the historical battle, four scenarios are included. These provide for a cavalry on cavalry only battle, inspired attacks by von Bluecher and the ability to jump into combat for the struggle of Moeckern itself. This scenario will end whenever a player reaches a threshold casualties and disintegration of order.