Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Battle of Klissow 1702

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be involved in a second re-fight of the Battle of Klissow. This time We would be including the Poles. I was looking forward to this as it is one of my 'bucket list' battles. I've been collecting armies for the Great Northern war since 1990. It was also a great excuse to dig out my Saxon and Polish armies, Mick would be supplying the Swedes and the terrain.


Background to the battle. Kliszów (Klissow) (Klezow) took place on July 8 1702, in Poland-Lithuania, during the Great Northern War. The numerically superior Polish-Saxon army of August II the Strong, operating from an advantageous defensive position, was defeated by a Swedish army half its size under the command of King Charles XII. The Swedish and Saxon-Polish-Lithuanian armies encamped some 5 miles (8.0 km) apart. The camps were separated by a large wood and a swamp, with the Swedes north of the woods, the Saxon camp was naturally secured by a narrow stretch of swamp to the north and the swampy valley of the Nida river to the west. At 9:00 am, Charles XII moved his army through the woods on the morning of 19 July and at 11:00 am arrived north of the swampy stretch. The Swedish army consisted of 8,000 infantry, 4,000 cavalry and four guns — the bulk of the artillery was stuck in the forest. The Saxon army consisted of 7,500 infantry, 9,000 cavalry, 660 Polish infantry, 6,640 Polish cavalry and 46 guns.



Initial dispositions
Charles XII's strategy was to rout the Saxe-Polish forces in an 'envelope' manoeuvre and re-position his forces to strengthen his flanks. The Swedes took the initiative at two o'clock in the afternoon and launched an assault on Lubomirski's Polish flank, however, the commander of the assault, Frederick IV, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp was killed early on and the advance halted. The Polish army then launched two subsequent counter-attacks but were beaten back by the Swedish infantry, as were a Saxon assault over the marsh under Jacob Heinrich von Flemming. Lubomirski and Flemming then withdrew and thus left the Saxon middle-right flank unprotected, which was caught in a Swedish pincer and were slowly crushed. Lubomirski was pursued by Swedish cavalry all the way to the village of Kije.


During this time, Swedish right flank under Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld was attacked by Saxon general Adam Heinrich von Steinau who tried to cut-off Rehnskiöld's connections with the Swedish bulk. A fierce fighting took place between '21 Swedish squadrons of cavalry with about 2,100 men', against '34 Saxon squadrons with no less than 4,250 men'. The Swedes, in their usual manner, attacked with cold steel and managed to repel the Saxon attack. Charles XII advanced into the Saxon camp by half past four and managed to evict them into the surrounding swamps. He then took control over the Saxon artillery and used it for his own benefit.



The Outcome
The Swedes now attempted to encircle the Saxons by taking the crossing of the Nida. General Schulenburg, whose infantry in the centre had scarcely been attacked, now committed himself to a fierce defence of the crossing, allowing the majority of Saxon units to withdraw, and at five o'clock the battle was over.

So to the game. Dave took command of the Saxons, I had the Polish and Neal took on the role of the Swedes. The Saxons and Poles both set up pretty much as they were on the day. Neal who didn't know anything of the battle was allowed to set up the Swedes as he saw fit.


The Polish
The Saxons in position
The game began with the Swedish right wing horse and infantry pressing forwards towards the village of Rebow. The Swedish left wing pushed further to the left into the woods to prepare for the oncoming Polish horse. The Saxons spent the first couple of turns sitting in position awaiting the Polish horse to arrive onto the field.

Polish horse advance
Gotta love the banners
Swedish horse sweep past the village of Rebow
The Saxon left wing advanced towards the oncoming Swedish horse to contest the crossing of the stream and swamp. This was to be the scene of some brutal fighting and heavy casualties. Over on the Swedish left the horse advance to the edge of the tree line where they were eventually spotted by some Cossack horse who promptly rode off. The Swedish infantry brigade was still trying to get itself into position.

Clash of men and horse
Swedish left wing horse spotted by Cossacks 
Heavy fighting continues on the Swedish right
With the Swedish left now spotted, the Poles finally geared themselves up for the charge. I was not totally hopeful (we had downgraded them before the game to represent their historical performance). Lowering my lances my first brigade of Pancerni hit home and actually drove the Swedish horse back. Could history be about to be reversed? No. The Swedish second line galvanised themselves and routed my Pancerni brigade. There were now two large cavalry melees on each wing wing, all the time the Swedish infantry slowly tried to get themselves into position. The Saxon left wing was slowly being driven back so Dave detached part of his right wing horse to support him. At this time Polish Hussars were hurling themselves into the fray.

Polish horse prepare to charge
View across the battle lines
Polish and Swedish horse clash
Saxons re-enforcing their left wing
Not going well for the Poles
At this point the Swedish infantry were struggling across the stream and into the awaiting Saxon infantry. Their initial successes were quickly driven back. They were unable to secure a crossing which would allow them to co-ordinate their attack better. The Swedish right wing horse had managed to drive the Saxon horse back from the first stream, this allowed the Swedish infantry to secure the village of Rebow and begin to cross onto more favourable ground.

As the Saxon left wing girded themselves for a last assault to try and drive the Swedish horse back into the swamp, they promptly failed their command roll and held position. This was a pivotal moment as the Swedish horse were able to re-order themselves and prepare for the eventual Saxon assault, which when it came saw 5 of it's 6 regiments heavily beaten and driven from the field.

Saxon horse prepare to counter attack.
The Swedish infantry now began their assault. Where before their attacks were isolated, now they began to drive back the Saxon infantry. Over on our Right wing Lubomirski himself led the last of his fresh horse onto the seemingly tiring Swedish horse only to be promptly driven back. The fight had definitely gone from the Polish horse now. They slowly reformed and held their position. More of the Saxon right wing was being detached to try and save the beleaguered left wing but to no avail.  


Lubomirski flees
Polish horse begins to reform
Here come the Swedish infantry
Swedish infantry assault the Saxon centre
It was at this point we called it a day. The Saxon left wing and left centre had been badly mauled, though there still remained fresh infantry in the right centre they would be need to fend of the Swedish Guards who were yet to enter the fray. The Polish horse had mostly fled the field with only a handful of regiments remaining. The Swedish, though winning were approaching exhaustion. It had been a hard fight particularly against the Saxon horse, where only their superior quality prevailed. the Liv Dragoon regiment had been involved in nine separate melee's throughout the day and still took their position in the front line.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Sharp Practice Austrians III

As I didn't manage to get to the club this week I was able to finish off another group of Austrian musketeers from the Victrix boxed set. These are the start of my 2nd company.


As part of ny loot from the Border Reiver show; I picked up a bluster from the Perry stand of the Austrian high command. I envisage using these as high level commanders during games. Here is the first if them completed.




I've put in an order with Perry miniatures for a unit of Jaegers. These will stuffen my skirmish line. I have also taken advantage of an offer from Warlord games. I received a £10 voucher after they took over Saxon miniatures (I was on their mailing list). So I've ordered a Prussian line battalion. Another 46 figures to do after the Austrians.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

GNW Poles XIII

In between painting Austrians I managed to finally managed to complete my last regiment of Pancerni. Like the last unit the figures are from Legio Herico. Can't recommend these figures enough.



This brings me up to 36 squadrons, just in time for the refight of Klissow in October.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Sharp Practice Austrians II

Following my last post, I've made some more progress on the Austrians. First up is another group of 8 Fusiliers. This brings the battalion up to 3 groups. This will be 50% of the required fusiliers I want to field.


So far I'm quite enjoying the Victrix figures. I already have a unit of skirmishers part painted and have started building the next 3 groups if fusiliers I need.

Now with a game like Sharp Practice I feel that I will need so extras to add to the story of a game. Luckily from the Colonel Bills stand at the Border Reiver show, I picked up just such a figure. I give you the Lady Charlotte d'Arlot. Currently in disguise wearing a Hussar uniform. I will be able to use her as an officers concubine.



Well best get some more painting done.

Monday, 18 September 2017

New Project

As I hinted in a previous post, I've started work on a new project. Though I'm still working on my Poles in the background. It all came about after a visit to the Border Reiver show. The Dave Thomas stand was selling Victrix boxed sets 3 for £45.  So Thom, Neil and myself decided to pick up a boxed set of Napoleonics each. Thom chose French, Neil the British leaving me with the Austrians. Our aim is to put together forces for the Sharps Practice rules.

So 56 Austrians for £15 was too good a bargain.  I also picked up a Perry's high command set. I've already decided on a starting force, picking up a couple of extra sprues on Ebay. I should end up with 2 battalions each with 3 groups of fusiliers a single unit if 3rd rank skirmishers. I can then add some Jaegers or cavalry at a later date.

So here are the first figures painted up. 2 groups of fusiliers and some command figures.






Must admit I'm impressed with the Victrix figures. These being the first I've put together. Quite straightforward to put together. Just need to add the flag. I've already started the 3rd group of fusiliers and have built the skirmishers.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Oldhammer Battle report

Last week at the club Neil and I decided to dust down some old figures a have a game of Warhammer 3rd edition. We did put in a few stipulations as it is over 20 years since we played the rules. We each took a level 25 leader and 2 level 5 champions. We didn't bother with piints, just bring some figures and have a game.

I decided on my Dwarves, bringing a unit of elite longbeards, 2 units of clan warriors, 2 small units if crossbows, some giant slayers and of course artillery.

Neil brought some undead led by a vampire. He had 3 units if undead horseman and the rest were skeleton warriors.




The game began with a slow undead shamble towards the dwarven line, who replied with crossbows and artillery fire. The organ gun proving quite deadly. The Undead horseman quickly swept around the flanks and charged into both if my crossbow units. The deathly horseman proved too much and both units fled. Both of my units of clan warriors stepped up to engage the horseman. Both melees lasting a couple of rounds.





The undead infantry continued to advance towards my centre. With the clansman holding off the horsemen my crossbows rallied and returned to the line to hold off another unit of undead cavalry. Then my general led forward his longbeards and crashed into the undead foot. With sharp blades they easily dispatched their foes.



With time running out we called it a day. The dwarves had held off the undead. A very enjoyable game which brought back great memories, even if it did require much looking through the rules.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

GNW Poles XII

Another  unit finally across the painting table. This time another unit of Pancerni. The figures this time are from Legio Herico in Spain. These are very nice sculpts and were a joy to paint. They are slightly larger thsn Essex figures but could still be mixed in the same units. Something I'm planning with some Dragoons.




The figures come with separate steel spesrs and shields. I chose not yo add the shield as these were becoming obselete by this period. This just leave 3 more regiments to vomplete. I have made a start on these.

Sunday, 10 September 2017

GNW Poles XI

With the re fight of the battle of Klissow getting closer. I've made some more progress on the Polish troops I require. I've added another regiment of winged hussars which brings me to 6 regiments. Like the last regiment the figures are from Donnington.



I also put some paint onto another battalion of infantry. This time I went for a green and red combination. The figures like the rest of the infantry are from Essex.



This army is now drawing to a close with 2 regiments of Pancerni and 2 of Dragoons to complete. I can then make a start on a new period and scale.