sunnuntai 16. helmikuuta 2014

By Fire and Sword First divisional level battle .

With no camera on playing site, just a brief report. Basically my Poles got shotten to pieces by Swedish artillery and musketeers.

To my big surprise my force was precisely equal in force strength points to Swedish force meeting it.
( My opponen got a shipment of heavier artillery week before the game and his battery of 12 and 6 pounders together with artillery commander and ammunition wagon raised his strength point total by 10.)
So I was facing a minimumstrenght dragoon regiment, weakish infantry regiment with artillery support, heavy battery of artillery and medium strenght regiment of reiters.

On my deployment I had light regiment on the right, reiters on the left noble forces in the middle, with objective of occupying central hill together with their attached musketeers. Regiment of Opalinski was on a flanking move. My opponent had his dragoons on my right in a patch of forest, with divisional squadron of reiters close by , infantry in the center with grand battery on his left with attached musketeers and Reiter regiment on his far right.

I started by throwing the light regiment forward, nobles marching towards the central hill and my reiters advancing toward the left flank. My opponent let his Reiters ride towards the flank and advanced cautiously with his pike and shotte infantry. Parts of his battery and their support musketeers advanced to a hill conveniently close to his deployment zone. Shock number one: 12 pounder can shoot grapeshot for distance of 50 cm - easily reaching the flank of my reiter regiment and disorganizing squadron of reiters leaving them stranded on the open field in the fire field of whole darn artillery park.

Second turn saw advance of both parties, with arty tearing the already hurt reiters to pieces and making them run and the dragoons attached to this regiment also receiving fire.

Third turn saw Opalinski showing up on the left flank at the same time the Reiters were reaching the charge distance. On this flank mutual carnage was had when pancerni battled two different squadrons of reiters and my reiters and cossacks tried to reach the musketeers on the hill. On my right regimental guns managed to disorganize or put to flight banner of Wallachians but rest of regiment advance to firing distance of various enemies.

When the dust settled on left flank what was left of my pancerni had withdrawn in disorder after battleing two enemy squadrons and giving out lots of damage but also receiving similar amounts, Opalinski had ridden  to safety after some maniac had tried to shoot him, leaving him without orders and my cossacks who only just reached the musketeer flank with one base failed to hurt them, lost hurt and started fleeing. Artillery hurt the reiter regiment trying to come to grips with enemy, and the armored reiters trying to reach musketeers failed their charge by about 5 mm thanks to the difficult ground of gentle slope. After exchanging fire from close range the reiters returned to the foot of the hill in disorder. Going though this round took about an hour of gaming time. Nearly every unit had something to do.

Fourth turn saw passive regiment of Opalinski getting hammered by Reiters who despite this had hard time with Pancerni. My reiters and dragoons  tried to take the hill, once again and to support Opalinski by charging the Swedish reiters. Cumulative effects of melee and arty fire got them to to lose morale and the main body was wiped out. On the left light regiment got worse off in exchanege of fire and and started to be in fleeing condition. Infantry of noble levy regiment was nicely in position, but only musketeers had anything within range.

In fifth and sixth round the morale of both light and crown regiment broke too and, light regiment lost its commander and as result the noble levy also decided it had seen enough.

What saved me in points of calculating the gravity of my defeat was the fact that quite a lot of my forces had actually fled the battlefield rather than be killed.

The flanking maneuver worked pretty much as it should have -with reiters and crown regiment showing up at same time and place. Unfortunately they could not get their charges to work in co-ordinated manner. The hill with one unit of musketeers was surprisingly effective.
Light regiment did not do its job of shielding better striking units - its flanking movement on the right did not achieve anything. Reiters suffered surprisingly heavily from arty, thanks to good hadling of them by my opponent. Nobles did nothing and when having lan-infantry facing musketeers nothing good can be expected. They might have a role when defending some objective r they should be thrown closer to the enemy in harassing manner despite the losses.

No easy recipe for victory against enemy such as this. More careful deployment perhaps. Batteries could be charged frontally with several waves of open order cavalry, but that is bound to give horrendous casualties.

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