After Oudinot’s failure at Grossbeeren, Napoleon ordered Marshal Ney to take command of the Army of Berlin at Wittenberg and move rapidly against the Prussian capital to knock Prussia out of the war. The Allied troops start out of position and it is a race to reach the key junctions of Dennewitz and Juterbog and defend the approaches to Berlin. The French have guaranteed entry behind the Prussians or can gamble on variable entry points further east to cut them off. The variable nature of reinforcements adds tension to the game for both sides.
As in all Napoleonic 20 games, army morale plays a critical role. Players need to decide when to expend morale to gain certain benefits while making sure that enough is available to absorb losses and adverse events. The event cards can change the dynamics of the game at any moment.
Can the French intercept the Allies, deal them a blow and capture Berlin? Or, will the Allies stop the Army of Berlin one more time to save the capital? Two armies march to destiny at Dennewitz.
Turn 01: Mid-Day Sep 4th (Morale: French 6, Allies 6)
Oudinot’s XII Corps enters the map and utilizing road movement marches beyond Seyda. Meanwhile the 2 Prussian Corps move along their respective roads towards Dennewitz.
Turn 02: Afternoon Sep 4th (Morale: French 6, Allies 6)
The French XII Corps marches North and gains the main road to Dennewitz near Seehausen. This blocks the direct path of the Prussian IV Corps. The IIIc Cavalry enters the map and advances to the outskirts of Naundorf. Bertrand’s IV Corps takes the most easterly route and reaches the edge of the woods near Oehna.
The Allies reinforcements have still not entered the map. However, the two main Prussian Corps continue pushing forward to try and interpose themselves between the French and Berlin. Bulow’s III Corps reaches the outskirts of Eckmansdorf.
Meanwhile, the IVth Prussian Corps under Tauentzien runs into Oudinot’s XII Corps outside of Seehausen.
Both units are surprised by the encounter but Tauentzien pushes forward aggressively. Unprepared for an attack at this juncture the XII Corps routs through the woods to the South and then towards Seyda. Seeing the covering support of the IIIc Cavalry they pull up from their retreat. The IV Corps continues to advance along the road.
Turn 03: Evening Sep 4th (Morale: French 7, Allies 6)
After the setback with the XII Corps, Ney orders the rest of the army to force march. The IIIc Cavalry moves around the south of the woods to control the bend in the road near Gohlsdorf. VII Corps enters the area and advances up the road to just east of Naundorf. The IV Corps occupies Rohrbeck. Meanwhile, XII Corps recovers from rout.
For the Allies, the Russian cavalry final enters the map as well as the Swedish Corps. They both advance along the northern road to Dennewitz behind the III Corps. Bernadotte is perplexed about the whereabouts of his Prussian H Corps. Meanwhile, Bulow stopped the III Corps. He was worried about the lack of supporting troops to his rear. He also heard gunfire to the south and thought he might need to shift direction to support Tauentzien. However, not being able to see the battle he frittered away the evening hours fixed in place just shy of Eckmansdorf.
To the South, Tauentzien and the IV Corps continued their advance in the gathering darkness where they were successfully screened by the French cavalry which had swept around the woods to the South. This slowed the advance of the Prussian Southern wing.
Turn 04: Night Sep 4th (Morale: French 6, Allies 6)
Ney, sensing a chance to trap the Prussian IV Corps continues to force march his army. The IIIc cavalry blocks the Prussians path at Gohlsdorf. Reynier’s VII Corps swings left to avoid accidental collisions at night and gains the road to the Prussians rear near Seehausen. The XII Corps marches around to the East of the Woods at 0813. The morning plan is for all these forces to converge on the isolated IV Corps and destroy it!
Leaving the execution of the trap to his subordinates, Ney continued with Bertrand’s IV Corps to seize the key junction at Juterborg. This had an impact on the Prussian morale as the road to Berlin was now blocked. In the morning, Ney and Bertrand would head West in search of the enemy.
Tauentzien was becoming very concerned. Cavalry had screened him from the front. Pickets to his rear captured a few soldiers of the VII Corps, a unit he had not encountered before. The XII Corps must be lurking somewhere off to the South. He decided that the most prudent course of action was to leave the road and move North towards Bulow’s III Corps. The going was slow in the night darkness and the IV Corps was only able to make it to just east of Seehausen.
The rest of the Allied army made a slow advance spread out along the Northern road. Bernadotte was fuming over the lost H Corps and his old caution was starting to get the better of him. The morning would bring a critical day!