surprise at kosen (october 21, 1813)
The French Army has been routed at Leipzig and is retiring westwards. In an effort
to cover the French withdrawal, Napoleon has sent General Bertrand with a strong
force, to attack and destroy the bridge over the Elster River at Kosen.
Lieutenant Michel has been sent, with a pair of sappers and a small detachment of the 2/8e Léger, to destroy a small secondary wooded bridge located in the outskirts of Kosen, over a small channel. However, a Grenzer squad from the Waradisner Kreutz Grenzer No. 5 Regiment, has already occupied and garrisoned the area.
This Scenario is a companion of the (non-designed) Lasalle Scenario for Kosen.
George Nafziger, Napoleon at Leipzig. The Battle of Nations 1813, Emperor’s Press, Chicago, 1996. p. 82-83
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(Waradisner Kreutz Grenzer #5) 1 Officer, 1 NCO, 1 Marksman, 1 Big Man and 8 Grenzer. 12 men. 512 pts
(2/8e Léger Regiment) 1 Officer, 1 NCO, 1 Marksman, 2 Sappers and 7 Voltigeurs. 12 men. 552 points
On sentry duty (see map) 1D6 Grenzer (2 in the actual game)
Inside the cabin/ houses: Officer, NCO and the rest of the squad.
Deployed within 1M of the table edge or inside 1M of a wooded edge.
SCENARIO SPECIAL RULES
• The scenario takes place at dawn so the line of sight is reduced to 2L.
• Determine who goes first as per standard rules.
• The attacker activates and moves normally.
• The Grenzer on sentry duty have fixed (1M) automatic movement (do not roll for activation) in their respective influence zone.
• The Grenzer can move only models on sentry duty (see above) until the end of an opponent’s turn in which one of the following occurs:
- A shot is fired
- A model on sentry is attacked in hand-to-hand combat
• The Grenzer that fail a Morale test always flee towards the village, not towards the nearest table edge.
• The stream is fordable in 1S from the bridge.
• Any model recoiling into the stream must make a Quality roll or drowns. In any case, the water will spoil his shot and powder. The model cannot fire anymore until he picks up musket and ammo from a wounded model.
• After ambush is revealed, defender’s models behave normally (i.e. roll for activation and act) but no Leader (or NCO) bonus can be used by models on sentry, as long as the Officer and/or the NCO are inside the cabin/houses.
• Models inside a cabin/house or behind a wall benefit of hard cover.
• Models in the same cabin/house than the Grenzer officer benefit from the Leader activation bonus. As soon as the Grenzer Leader is out of the house, his activation bonus applies to all models within 1L as normal.
• The cabin/house doors are closed. It takes an action to open or close them.
• Models can enter the cabin/house only through the door (possibly by bashing it).
• Models cannot pass through friends (tight quarters) when inside buildings and on the bridge. Up to 2 models can be placed side by side on the bridge.
• Line of Sight and Arc of fire through windows. Models can fire through windows, but only with an arc of fire of 45°. Anything out of this arc and near to the wall cannot be seen.
Destroying bridges special rule
• At the cost of 1 action, a model armed with axe may try to destroy the wooden bridge. Treat this as a hand-to-hand “combat” between the model and the bridge. All possible modifiers (strong, better weapon, engineer, multiple combatants) apply, with the bridge having a C3 Combat value. The opponent rolls dice for the bridge and combat is resolved normally.
• Only sappers can use the +1 Combat modifier, which is only applicable to this “combat”.
• If the model loses the “combat” or the model wins without doubling the bridge’s score, nothing happens. The bridge is only slightly damaged.
• If the model wins doubling the bridge’s score, the bridge has been damaged. Decrease its Combat value by 1.
• In both these cases the model can try to attack the bridge again if it has actions remaining. If the feature was damaged, the lowered Combat score is used.
• The bridge is destroyed when its Combat value reaches zero.
The French goal is to break the bridge whereas the Grenzers must to avoid it.
• Normal rules and morale tests apply to attackers (i.e. they lose if their Squad breaks). The French mission is to destroy the bridge, so if it occurs the game automatically ends with a French victory.
• Grenzer test normally (3 dice) but single models surrender with only 2 failures (instead of 3). The following Morale rules apply to defenders:
- For 50% losses: Morale failure movements must be done toward the village. When inside the village models stop fleeing
- For Leader loss: test the NCO (if present) first. On 2 or 3 failures the entire squad surrenders. On 1 or no failures, go on testing all other models. If the NCO is killed during a subsequent turn, the defending squad surrenders
The combat at Kosen was an Austrian victory: Bertrand was defeated and the strategic Kosen bridge was not demolished. However, this small wooden bridge does not appear in the historical accounts, so the French have still a chance to win this encounter.
THE BATTLE IN PICTURES