lauantai 22. marraskuuta 2014

Division game AAR - divisioonapeli pelipäivänä

So for the Nordic games day we staged a division size game at my local library.

Puolalaisjoukkojen keskustaa.

Hyökkäävät ruotsalaiset vasemmalla, puolalaiset oikealla
I had a Polish crown division, consisiting of force of pretty strong light and elite Cavalry regiments, Basic strength volunteer and Dragoon regiment, overstrength infantry regiment and some additional units.

My opponent brought a garrison division with two barestrength national infantry regiments, regiment of national reiters, minimum strength regiment of dragoons and some additional artillery and musketeers.

To my great surprise the Swedish commander, heavily outnumbered decided to use his forces for a surprise attack.   With the large difference in strength points he decided to use a surprise attack - giving him forward deployment, assisted with an additional artillery barrage and some field fortifications to cover his flanks.
Ruotsit valmiusasemissa
For additional effects he rolled major panic, good omens and march losses to my troops.

I won recon, uncontested, by throwing the light regiment to the task. Hit by march losses earlier that regiment took further losses by having troops straying during recon - so the regiment deployed in two different parts and quite battered even before the game began. For good measure this same regiment was hit by panic on turn one.

Puolalaisten vasenta sivustaa

 Even with dragoons detailed for flank attack and light regiment deployed in advance position I had trouble fitting all my troops to the deployment area. (We had slightly too narrow table, in future deployment area should probably be fixed for full size in such cases.)
Since I knew I had to take two rounds of fire without firing back I had a screen of less valuable troops between my heaviest hitters and the Swedish artillery.

In hindsight - this was a risky tactic.

Ruotsalainen tulivalmistelu.
I survived the initial barrage relatively unharmed and with formation almost intact.
On round 1 of actual game I tried to maneuver my troops forward to a position where they could charge the enemy next turn without being subject to musketry this turn. I simply could not get them all to position where they would not have been subject to case shot by artillery.
Losses to case shot cause automatic morale tests and with these fumbled I had fleeing troops crashing into ready troops, causing both disorder and panic as they fled from the Swedish guns.

Häröpallo kierroksen 1 lopussa

By the end of round 1 my hussar banner had fled the field, elite cavalry regiment was in severe disorder, volunteer regiment was in disorder, largely fleeing and covering the field of fire of the infantry and artillery and elements of the light cavalry that had deployed to Swedish flank had been shot to flee offboard.

By the end of round 2 Volunteers have been wiped out in cascade of fleeing that has taken with it crews of artillery and almost the musketeers of infantry regiment.
Light cavalry regiment was within one point of breaking and elite one was in only slightly better shape.
On the plus side my falcons and 6 pdr had hurt enemy infantry, although nowhere badly enough to force panic.

My dragoons enter from the Swedish right flank, but fail to cause any panic. On Round three some shots were exchanged with no real results. Poles have taken a beating although most losses were fleeing, not killed units. I have still hold of all the scenario points, but my main force is perilously close to braking - and the game would continue for 5 more rounds.

Nice experiment, with some, but not too many, interested spectators. For demo game I had too many minis on the table or rather, we should have come to do the setup hour before starting time. We made the scenery night before, but just unpacking and organizing armies to the table took much longer than anticipated. Also the game itself ran a bit slowly with little events. So for demo purposes a skirmish might be the way to go.

On tactical level - I should have launched those troops capable of reaching the enemy on first roun in charge despite anticipated losses. Now I ended up taking those losses anyway in space of two rounds, without touching the enemy. On my left flank I should have run sideways to get more space, despite exposing new troops to gunnery. And deployed in a way that would have allowed the volunteers to get sideways without blocking the artillery from shooting. I had congested deployment area, and my deployment added to the problem.

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