zaterdag 13 december 2014

Prelude to Poltava 1709.

DBA-HX revised with 3.0

This was a test game between the Russians of Tsar Peter and Swedes of Charles XII set prior to the Battle of Poltava. Both armies were nearly identical in composition; 8 elements of foot, 1 artillery piece and 3 mounted elements. Of the three mounted units, the Russians had one of their number a unit of dragoons (Mtd-inf). 

On the Swedish side, all musketeer units were partially armed with pike  This reduced their shooting factor slightly, but they were compensated for this in the combat phase.

Russians deployment has the left flank anchored on the woods and the main battle line in echelon back to the low hill. Cavalry are held back in reserve with a small brigade of infantry.

The Swedes had two brigades forward with their artillery positioned between the two. The bulk of the Swedish cavalry are grouped on the right flank with the remainder held in reserve with the second line.

Opening round.
Swedish infantry on the left skirt the woods with the intent to deploy further forward. The second brigade wheel to their right to open more space for the artillery to engage the Russians. Russian opening shots bring the Swedish 2nd brigade in disarray.

After two bounds it becomes clear to the Russians the Swedes are bringing their reserves forward earlier than expected and committing their cavalry to a wide flanking turn. The Swedish column make a rapid deployment from column to line with one battalion dispatching Russian dragoons out of the wood. While the Russian right wing are sorting themselves out, Russian guns wreak havoc on a Swedish battalion.

Swedish cavalry sweep past the woods and are ready to engage their Russian counterpart. Musketry from the Swedish 2nd brigade put an end to the Russian cannonade while the Swedish 1st brigade are forcing the Russian back toward the hill. Russian cavalry bested the Swedes in their fight to bring the score even 3-3.

By this time the Russian battle line was in disarray. With the cavalry engaged with the Swedes, the reserve was not committed as too much time was required to reestablish proper formations. During the confusion, the Swedish 1st brigade handily rolled up the Russian right bring victory 4-3.

The last stage of the DBA-HX (3.0) draft required the insertion of battalions partially armed with the pike. This would allow re-fights of the Boyne and other battles prior to the general use of the socket bayonet.

Troops so armed do use a lower factor while shooting, but are compensated with a pursuit move on an opponent’s recoil, flee or destroyed result. 

maandag 3 november 2014

The Pruth River Campaign.

At the conclusion of this first test game I began revising the rules for this Horse and Musket era variant. The troop descriptions are greatly improved and optional rules are now grouped to a third page.

It was good playing a basic linear battle and for this test, the opposing sides had  
two commands of Russians with a command of Moldavian fighting two commands of Ottomans assisted by one of Tartar allies.

The series of photos show the deployment of all six commands. Russians are to the left of the photo with the Moldavian command positioned near the village. Protecting the right flank is a small command of infantry and dragoons supported by two units of horse.  

The Ottomans to the right positioned their line opposite the Russians; their CinC facing the Russian centre and an equal sized command deployed in front of the Moldavian line. The Tartars, all mounted, would envelop the smaller command of Russians and meet the Vizier’s command in the centre.

Photo one: Deployment

Photo two: Russian centre (CinC)

Photo three: The Vizier’s command

Photo four: Tartar (left flank)

Photo five: Moldavian command

Photo six: Russian right repelling the Tartar onslaught.

Photo seven: Russian centre did the unexpected and moved forward to meet the Ottomans.

Photo eight: Moldavian await the cavalry action before moving their infantry forward.

Photo nine: Moldavian cavalry crumble leaving their left exposed.

Photo ten: Russian centre punishes the Vizier’s command demoralizing it.

Photo eleven: All efforts by the Tartars are easily repulsed by Russian infantry and dragoons. The Ottomans leave the field to the Russians.

I am satisfied with how the game flowed. Dragoons did not have an opportunity to make multiple moves as these were set on defense and the outset of the game.

Artillery range remains 5BW, but unlike bow in the basic rule set, musket range is reduced to 2 BW or 160 paces. Historically, this is an effective rage, but it forced battle lines to close the distance between them to have any effect.

One more troop type needs to be added, those infantry still carrying pike.  

The Swedes made effective use of them, the Russians reintroduced them in 1712 while others armies had discarded them at the start of the Succession Wars.
Adding this troop type would allow battles to be fought as early as the Restoration period (1660/70).


Great Northern War – Moldavian now complete.

I had a very productive afternoon. The last batch of Moldavian are now finished and in a few hours the varnish should be dry enough to spread a glue and sand mix to dry overnight.

The previous post I mentioned a number of units would be rebased, those being the Mercenary German and Ukraine Cossack infantry. Both would be drilled close order troops. I found only descriptions of the German units, but found nothing for the Cossack unit. The latter I painted in earth tones and painted their cloth bags red.

In the photo are 2 skirmish units, a dragoon and artillery unit. and the infantry rebased as mercenary German and Ukranian infantry (4Ms). This brings the total Moldavian force to 24 elements which makes me happy as these came from the leftovers box.

Photo one.

Further reading about the campaign, under Ottoman domination no fortresses were allowed or built. However, Moldavia could protect their monasteries, such that many became strongholds. There are recorded 150 such monasteries.

Photo two, the Monastery at Sucevita.