The Companion is a bit light on what both sides were actually trying to do at Saalfeld, so I re-read the relevant section in Petre's Napoleon's Conquest of Prussia . Basically, Prince Louis (the Prussian C-in-C) was trying to maintain his position on the left bank of the Saale rather than just hold the right flank, to allow his superiors freedom to manoeuvre on both sides of the river, in accordance with alternative plans presented in the previous days. Marshal Lannes, the French Corps Commander, disobeyed Napoleon's orders and attacked with support - but success forgave all!
A Division of 20 battalions of infantry and two artillery batteries, plus a brigade of three light cavalry regiments.
'Spanish' (Prussian) Forces:
A brigade of six infantry battalions with a battery of artillery (in Polemos terms, 1xSK2, 3xSK1, 2xSK0; these being the skirmish ratings assigned to Prussian Jaeger, Fusiliers and Line Infantry respectively for the 1806 Prussian army; I used Spanish Light Infantry in place of the Jaegers, with more or less efficient Spanish line infantry replacing the others.)
A brigade of six line infantry battalions (all SK0)
Two light cavalry brigades each of two-three Hussar bases with a horse artillery battery attached.
All units on both sides were classified as 'Trained'. The French C-in-C and Gen Suchet (the French Divisional commander) were both rated as 'Decisive' (the best), Prince Luis, the 'Spanish' commander was rated as 'Competent'.
|Looking at Saalfeld from the West|
|The French troops advancing from the West (bottom); opposed by two brigades of infantry and two of cavalry|
The Spanish Cavalry Charge!
|Who says that Spanish Cavalry is rubbish?! These Dragoons have just routed four battalions of French infantry! Mind you, the other Spanish Dragoon regiment was routed in short order, but history will gloss over that...|
The Spanish Assault:
|...which is delivered with boldness! Can the French infantry hold?|
At one point I nearly threw in the towel as the French player, but I'm glad it did not, as the war game see-sawed and was genuinely tense until the end. The game took 15 moves, and lasted just over 90 minutes. It is possibly the bloodiest game of Polemos I have ever fought. Often the morale rules work so that armies retreat after relatively few casualties, but here everyone stuck it out. I think this was partly because the French had two brigades of nine battalions, which are quite hard to break; while the Spanish were organized in brigades only (no Divisions) and that seems to increase robustness at the expense of command efficiency.