Sunday, 22 April 2018

Great Northern War AAR (2)

On Saturday I made the trip up to Micks to fight the second battle of our campaign. Mick had picked the field of Fraustadt for the battle and to defend the Southern edge of the table.

Field of battle
Now I was nervous for this battle as I was using my Russian and Polish troops. Though much of the open ground would favour cavalry, the quality of my Swedish opponents would more than match this.

The plan was to advance with my Polish infantry to occupy the ground between the villages of Rohrsdorf and Geyersdorf (the actual Saxon position in the historical battle). I would also send out my Cossacks and Polish irregulars to try and harass any Swedish advance on this position. The centre I stationed my better quality Russian infantry and Dragoons. My Hussars and Pancerni were held off table until the Swedes revealed themselves.

Army deployed
Once I realised the Swedes were just going to come straight at us I called up the Polish horse to help defend the centre and my right wing around the village of Ogrey.

With the Swedish advance in the centre being led by a brigade of Dragoons I brought forward my own Russian and Poles to engage them. Surprisingly we got the better of the early exchanges before eventually being driven back by supporting Swedish infantry. Over on the left the Cossacks continued to threaten the Swedish right wing and thankfully drew off a brigade of Swedish Dragoons to prevent me crossing the stream at Obrachice.

Polish reserves 
Russian infantry
Marauding Cossacks 
Swedish battle line
Eventually my right flank came under enormous pressure. My 2 brigades of Russian infantry were facing 3 brigades of Swedes. 10 battalions against 18. Despite a few early successes the Swedes began to drive the Russians back.

Isolated Russian infantry
Dragoons on both sides shattered from melee
The collapsing right flank
With my right flank collapsing I decided it was time to throw in the Polish horse to try and drive off the Swedish cavalry and allow me to threaten the Swedish infantry. Now unlike their Swedish for, The Polish horse are rather fragile and quickly lose heart if things go wrong. At first they smashed into the veteran Swedes, driving them back before their supporting lines returned the favour. Now my Polish horse were streaming from the field in disarray.

On the left my Cossacks were eventually caught and set fleeing to the rear. It was at this point I broke off the engagement. So far my only uncommitted troops were 11 raw battalions of Polish and Cossack infantry, far too fragile to hold veteran Swedes.

Polish Horse begin their advance
Hussars lead the charge
Cossacks infantry
Despite actual casualties on the field being pretty even. The loss of my Polish horse fleeing the field and ceding the villages handed Mick a resounding victory.

A few lessons from the game. The point system hampers poor quality armies, Despite having a predominantly raw and trained troops against veterans. I was out numbered in infantry and had only a couple more cavalry regiments. The main issue is around the commanders. More troops you have the more commanders you need and these eat up any points you gain from lower quality troops.

Secondly the irregular Polish horse are at a distinct disadvantage fighting regulars. They are very brittle and break when losing a melee. We may need possible adjustments to the rout move as they easily seem to leave the table.

Overall a very enjoyable game and looking forward to the next one.


Michał Kucharski said...

Polish! Looking great!

Dave Huntley (sheepman) said...

A rare defeat Scotty, well done to Mick though.

Neil Scott said...

Cheers Michal

Neil Scott said...

A deserved victory for him. Need to practice more with the Poles

Paul Scrivens-Smith said...

An enjoyable report. What rules were you using?

Phil said...

Looks great, nice looking game!

Neil Scott said...

They are a homespun set adapted for hexes that we've been working on for years

Neil Scott said...

Cheers Phil

Paul Robinson said...

A good looking game. Well done.

Neil Scott said...

Thanks Paul