tiistai 19. marraskuuta 2013

By Fire and Sword - First Try

The game was setup with main motivation of getting hang of the rules.
I had a Polish skirmish force of 11 Force points against 12 points Swedish detachment of my opponent.
I had colonel upgraded to 4 command points, with assisting Rotamaster. Two banners of pancerni, two banners of cossacks, a company of dragoons, one banner of wallachians and one large banner of volunteers. My opponent brought similar command, 4 banners of reiters, a banner of arquebus armed reiters, 2 companies of dragoons, 2 companies of musqueteers and 2 regimental guns.

With my force weaker I got to roll for the scenario. Rolling two times ambush and once bridge battle we got the bridge battle, since the difference in strength points did not allow for me to take the ambush.

For additional effects I got delay for the enemy, stranding half of his dragoons from the deployment and both got unexpected reinforcements allowing us to attempt get destroyed units back into the game. My huge advantage in recon allowed me to set one unit aside for later appearance as flanking unit – to which rople I set one banner of cossacks.

I deployed first concentrating my force on the side of the ford, with idea of making a wide sweep with the heavy hitting pancernicossacks set up as one strong squadron and with their flanks covered by wallachians and volunteers. This proved to be an tactical error since holding the bridge was the main objective of the scenario

My right flank: wallachians, dragoons Pancerni and the volunteers from Danzig.

My opponent deployed his reiters in one squadron towards the bridge, with musqueteers, arquebusiers and dragoons on the side of the ford and guns in edge of forest with field of fire to bith bridge and ford.

The proud cossackbanner ready to charge the puny Swedes.
First round saw my gallant cossacks on the bridgehead charging the enemy reiter squadron twice its size and receiving a countercharge. Results were unpleasant for the cossacks who first received the reiters pistol fire while charging and even though they gave at least as much casualties they got were overwhelmed by the Swedish iron discipline and sheer numbers of the reiters – resulting in withdrawal and new lost combat after pursuit. 

On the side of the ford my pancerni, volunteers and wallachians moved nicely forward, with dragoons taking defensive positions at the side of the ford.

The force on the ford advancing in good order.

The enemy as said charged at the side of the bridge. His dragoons, musqueteers and arquebusiers tried to block the ford and moved forward. His cannons opede fire against the Danzig volunteers with no visible results.

Round two saw my cossacks fleeing from pursuing Swedish reiters and my right advancing in good order although slowly - even though the Poles could swim with their horse they still advanced only at half pace.

At this stage my opponent dismounted his dragoons and prepared his musqueteers for defence. On round two - designated time to start calling the flankers in the guys refused. On round three I got an 0 meaning they would not come this round - or round four either...
Poles in the river, Swedes loading their firearms on the right.
 The game proceeded with my volunteers taking on the Swedish banner of mounted aquebusiers on countercharge - and much to our mutual surprise actually beating them back by sheer weight of numbers. We both kind of expected them to just  collapse under disciplined attack of Swedish Reiters. The Pancerni got the musqueteers and with some abysmal dice rolling on Swedish salvo threw them back in sweeping movement.  (No damage - maybe one hit with eight dice!)

With the wallachians rounding the flank Polish attack could turn left towards, the bridge on rounds four to six.

 My wallachians and pancerni turned towards the Swedish guns and charged. The Swdish commander was pulling his battered arquebusiers and his big squadron of reiters towards the bridge for the final stand. At this point my gallant volunteers charged the Swedish dragoons on the flank - making zero damage and collapsing in shock on witnessing such tenacity.

Guns at the edge of the top forest, volunteers fleeing in the middle. Pancerni and wallachians turning towards the guns

On round five my flanking cossacks finally arrived and charged a company of enemy dragoons that at last had arrived to the field - the delayed unit remember? Succesful charge left the cossack loitering at the edge of the map with no orders - outside the command range of my second in command. The pancerni charged the foremost cannons, got hit first on the flank by those pesky dragoons left there by volunteers and than by canister shot and decided to  call it a day. (without even losing a base...)

On round six my wallachians killed the enemy gun, enemy shot some errant shots towards various targets, but no real changes happened. Swedes took heavy losses, Poles acceptable. With the difference of one in strength points and the objective firmly in the Swedish hands it was a tactical victory to the Swede.

Both sides made errors in deployment - the Swedish player complained leaving his guns too far back and wasting his shots into inefficient long range fire. I did not utilize the bridge enough but got mired into crossing the river by ford and swimming - costing me time before getting into fighting contact. And leaving the actual objective badly undefended.

But nice first try. Lots of stuff was played a bit wrongly, but general pace of game was better than I feared and the feel was pretty intuitive. Finding needed rules in the middle of the game on the other hand definitively was not.

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