keskiviikko 4. maaliskuuta 2015

Ambush gone sour. Väijytys Liettuan takamailla

Ruotsalainen neliössä kruununarmeijan joukot vihreillä beisseillä
Deluge rulebook finally arrived and we decided to give the rules a test ride as fast as possible.

I used a Lithuanian Skirmish force of 6 points with: a banner of elite armore reiters (3 bases), a banner of cossacks (3), a banner of tatars (2 ) and two banners (2+2) of reiters.
My opponent used a Swedish list of 10 with 1 squadron of four arquebus armed reiters, two squadrons armed with pistols and a squadron of dragoons. All veterans, commanded by colonel, captain and a major he got as bonus for not taking armored reiters.

Kasakat valmiina lahtaamaan rakuunaeskadroonan.
 After throwing ambush, patrol and forage for possible scenarios I chose ambush. Leaving one point difference for additional effects. The Swedes were fatigued - meaning they had three tokens they would lose if units got disorganized and after losing those their morale would drop. This was partly offset by their superior numbers that allowed them to reroll one morale save in the game.

The enemy did what? You cowards, come back and fight!
Thanks to scenario one of opponents units would be hit by panic and be disorganized in movement phase of first round.

Swede deployed in a rough square with one squadron facing out from every opening I had left his deployment zone. I deployed both my reiters ready to threaten one group of reiters in vicinity of the tatars, cossacks threatening the dragoons and commander close to the tatars and reiters.  With all my units except the tatars loaded with charge orders I was ready to go. Plan was to crush the outnumbered reiters in one swift move as well as the dragoons and hit the other formations disrupted by fleeing remnants of the first two. Panic effect hit one of the opponents other reiter squadrons.
The dragoons are still withdrawing in order.
Plan was not totally without merit - unfortunately the enemy reiters did not countercharge with 2-1 odds and possible flank charge against them, but rather sensibly withdrew. And my armored reiter elite promptly got disorganized by confusion.

Cossacks managed to hit the dragoons, who dismounted so they could not flee as fast. Or as the Swedish commander put it so they could protect the regrouping reiters. This plan kind of worked - the dragoons got pummeled, but with help of commander boosting their morale and using their bonus from superior numbers they failed to run in terror. As a bonus they managed to kill off one base of the cossacks. Leaving this group without orders, one base killed, presenting their flank to a squadron of reiters four bases strong.

 Round 2. I get the armored reiters rallied and issued with orders - leaving the cossacks to their own initiative.  (They were too far removed from the commander to get orders without extra command points - since the dragoons had only withdrawn as infantry...)
The epic charge.

In thundering charge banner of Lithuanin elite cavalry join forces with their colleagues and smash to Swedish Reiters - except the dragoons shooting in defence and reiters shooting while charging manage to drop one base of Lithuanians. They promptly withdraw in disorder from such dangerous place leaving rather unimpressed reiter squadron the job of dealing with the Swedish veterans.
Elite reiters milling about, normal reiters fleeing.

Round 3. Cossacks have fled and are in practise out of the game. Armored elite have refused to get into order and stumble without plan in my center.  Reiters have put up a stiff fight, but Swedes have a slight advantage in skill, morale and after a while also in numbers.  As a result reiters flee.
Normal reiters and tatars rallied. Elite reiters have collapsed.
Round 4 Elite reiters failed to rally and were again hit by swedish veterans who put them to flight. The battle was surprisingly even - Swedes failed to give lithuanians any casualties because of their armor. Disorder and Swedish Good Tactical Discipline were enough to make my elite run for their lives. at this stage Cossacks are as good as gone, but my reiters have rallied into relatively good position. Other Swedish troops have started a wide flanking maneuver effectively taking them off the game.
Final clash.
Round 5. Elite reiters flee causing morale check on nearest unit - the reiters who pass it with commanders moral support. Flight of cossacks interests no-one.  Tatars move to safe position. But the reiters charge their Swedish counterparts, with commander joining unit. The Swede replies with countercharge and takes his colonel to fray.

My reiters lose first the shooting match and then melee in two stages - fleeing off table.

Round 6 is unplayed - in effect their would be no way for the Swede to catch my remaining tatars.

Lessons learned:
Banner of 3 alone is vulnerable especially against the Swede who has very good reasons for using banners of 4 to get morale boost from numbers. In ambush the normal cavalry can not catch cavalry in round 1 if they want to  flee and are not hampered by panic or something similar. The armour of reiters with value of 6 is real good and may make hurting such units rather tough.  Against Swedes Lithuanian reiters are not very good choice - atleast not in a small list. They will be lacking in both numbers and quality when compared to the oponent.

Nice, fun game, tactical victory to my opponent, but with the amount of troops I had on table at the end even that feels rather generous.

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