Monday 31 August 2015

Battle of Wolmer 1st April 1702 - a One Hour Wargame

For this game I rolled up scenario 1 - pitched battle. Two hills, two armies and the victor would be the one with the higher head count at the end.
The forces deployed, seen from the Swedish side.
Opening moves - the Russians advance their wings, the Swedes just advance.

Straight into the action, the Swedish right wing crashes into the their Russian opposites.
The Swedish left advances to get into hand to hand combat.
The Swedes continue to push the Russians back on the right wing, despite some devastating musketry by the Rostovski regiment.
Stalemate on the Swedish left.
The Schlusselberg Dragoons and the Ostgota regiment hold the centre in the face of devastating ratillery fire.
The Jonskoping regiment savages the Tverski Dragoons while the Uppland regiment suffers heavily from close range artillery fire.
The Russian left flank is just about broken.
The Swedish centre continues to soak up the attention of the Russian artillery.
The Karelska regiment charges into a Russian battery and destroys it. The Smaland cavalry deal with the last of the Vladimirski Dragoons. Not sure why this picture came out so bright?
The Uppland regiment is destroyed by the Ingermanlandski regiment. The Jonskoping regiment advance to within short range of the Tverski Dragoons.
In the centre the Ostgota regiment and Karelska cavalry combine to recoil the Semenovski guards.
And two turns later a second double whammy, this time with the Smaland cavalry acting in tandem with the Ostgota, routs the Semenovski guards from the board. 
Turn 15 sees a last desperate charge by the Tverski Dragoons, which causes some damage but is ultimately futile.
At the end of the game the Russians had three units on the board and the Swedes had 4. A narrow win to the Swedes which will see the Russians retreat from Wolmer in some disarray - after all they don't have access to a road as it was blocked by the army they just fought.

The rules worked better than I had hoped. I was worried that the extra unit for the Russians would unbalance things too much, but it worked perfectly in the end.  The Swedes carve up in melee, no doubt about it, but they suffer in the run up from unanswered musketry. Automatically eliminating contacted artillery also streamlines the game quite well, but they give a decent wallop with their d6+3 hits at 15cm range. I have made a couple of minor changes to the rules, as I noticed that there were a couple of things that I had assumed but hadn't specified. Cavalry now automatically retire from combat with infantry even if the infantry also retires from losing 4 hits.
The next battle will also be in the April turn, as Gyllentrad pursues the retreating Russians. I haven't rolled this one up yet, so we will have to wait and see what the next battle looks like.


Sunday 30 August 2015

Livonian Campaign February through April 1702

After being repulsed outside Marienberg the Swedes retired on Valk, while the Russians continued with their siege operation in the snow. On 6th February with little hope of being relieved Marienberg surrendered. The new Russian commander General Nobakstorii determined to use this advantage to maximum effect.
Marienberg is captured.
The castle where Nobakstorii planned his next moves. (from Wikipedia)
March moves
 In March Nobakstorii moved to cut the muddy road between Riga and Valk, thus limiting the reinforcements available to the Swedish army. The Swedish General Gyllentrad hunkered down in Valk preparing the town for a siege. His plan was to weaken the Russians and await reinforcements from Sweden via Reval and Dorpat.
The surprise move
Then, suddenly, on March 24th the Russians made a surprise move. They went west and attempted to storm the town of Wolmer. The storming failed, but the town was caught unprepared and would be unable to resist a siege for long. On March 29th Gyllentrad left Valk with all of the troops he could muster. If Wolmer fell then he would be fatally cut off from Riga. If he lost this battle it would be highly likely that he would lose Riga. He needed to defeat the Russians before they could get their siege lines ready. The stakes were high on the morning of 1st April as the Swedes approached the Russian army arrayed for battle around a small hill outside Wolmer.


Napoleon in Egypt

Yesterday I received an order from Allan at Lancashire Games. It consisted of 15mm French and Prussians for the Franco-Prussian War project (I'll do a post on this later). It also had some samples of his upcoming 15mm Napoleon in Egypt and Italian Wars ranges, both of which I am very interested in. Last night I painted the French infantry in anticipation of the units that I want to field.
From left to right: 88eme Ligne, 18eme Ligne and 4eme Legere.
The view from behind.
The 88eme with its violet jacket and green cuffs is particularly rainbow.
The 4eme Legere in green with brown facings
The 18eme which had yellow cuffs and yellow piping.
I have a couple of Mamelukes half finished and the Italian Wars knights undercoated and ready for painting, so hopefully I'll have photos of them this week. At the same time I'm trying to finish off some Great Northern Wars Cossacks, Russian artillery and my first battalion of Prussians for the Franco-Prussian War, so hopefully by Saturday they will all be finished. It's raining today, so I'm hoping to clean and base the majority of the Franco-Prussian War figures. Tonight, however, is the next battle in the Livonian campaign, so painting will be put on hold to continue tomorrow.

I'll also take this moment to put in a plug for Allan at Lancashire Games. His figures are great, they are very reasonably priced and he is a real gentleman to deal with.


Saturday 29 August 2015

August commission wrapped up

North Star civilians from their 1672 range.
Just finished varnishing these figures.
Another picture with the right hand lady turned for a gossip session with the Huguenot minister.
Korean commanders
These guys have appeared before as blue Huguenots, but Geoff wanted some different poses in his unit so I've repainted their blue bits red.
And here are their replacements - an officer and standing pose.
And two loading figures
The last part of this group was a Dutch artillery crew
They just need a gun to fire.
So hopefully Geoff likes these guys. I toyed with the idea of putting patterns on the dresses of the civilian women, but with all of the pleats I think I would have ruined them. I can spot one or two little touch-ups that are needed - it always happens when you take photos - but I think the final result is pretty good.
My Lancashire Games Franco-Prussian War figures turned up today, so they are going to skip the queue ahead of the 15mm Samurai. More on them later.


Monday 24 August 2015

The attempted relief of Marienberg 15th January 1702 - a One Hour Wargame

After the battle on the Ludzha river the Swedes withdrew to Dorpat to winter while the Russians withdrew to Pskov. At the end of December came the Russians under Kantstanski used the frozen conditions to make a strike for Marienberg, to try to capture it. Their coup de main failed and the army dug in to conduct a siege on the tiny garrison, figuring that they were in supply and that the winter was not too deep. In early January the Swedes under General Gyllentrad moved out to relieve the endangered town.

This game was a chance to try out a birthday present - a new folding card table that is 86 x 86cm - an inch short on each side of a 3' x 3' table. I went down to the shops today and bought a green polar fleece which I then spray painted and voila, I can play games in the house without having to sit on the floor!

I rolled up scenario 15 from the book, which was just perfect for the campaign scenario I had in mind. Based on Fontenoy it features an army in two defensive strongpoints holding out against an attack. Neil Thomas makes the strongpoints towns, but I substituted these for redoubts, because I'd already specifically made the terrain for them. I ignored the two special rules, the first that the redoubts had additional firepower, the second that the attacking army could replenish itself and bring on a whole new army. This didn't fit within the limited scheme of the campaign.

So the Swedes had 15 turns to occupy both redoubts and this would relieve Marienberg. If they failed they would retire to Valk and await reinforcement.

Turn One. The Swedes advance onto the table

First firefight between the Dragoons
The initial assault against the first redoubt manned by the Rostovski regiment.
A wider view of the Swedish advance
The Tverski Dragoons decide to hold up the Uppland regiment.
The Vasterbotten regiment decides it will deal with the Moscowski Dragoons directly
The Uppland regiment continue their stand-off with the Tverski Dragoons.
The assault on the redoubt falls to the Jonskoping regiment.
Slowly the Tverski Dragoons begin to gain the upper hand.
The Rostovski regiment is on its last legs.
The Vasterbotten regiment assault the Moscowski Dragoons, inflict some damage and then recoil. This incident has led me to make some amendments to the hand to hand combat rules in my Great Northern War variant.
Uppland take revenge on the Tverski Dragoons.
In a last desperate act of defiance the Rostovski regiment just about destroys the Ostgota regiment.
In the upper left corner you can see that the Semenovski regiment has been called out of reserve to support the redoubt.
Too late - Jonskoping capture the first redoubt!
The Vladimirski Dragoons are brought out of reserve to aid the failing Moscowski dragoons.
Jonskoping leave the redoubt to advance on the Semenovski Guards.
Vasterbotten turns and gives a solid volley to the Vladimirski Dragoons.
Semenovski unleash an unsteady salvo against the Jonskoping regiment.
The conflict in the centre is about to end in defeat for the Uppland regiment.
The battle of the minnows continues on the right flank.
The Vasterbotten begins to advance in the face of the Vladimirski charges.
Jonskoping go through the Semenovski guards like a hot knife through butter.
The Smaland cavalry comes forward to finish off the Vladimirski regiment.
The Swedes begin to close in o the final redoubt.
General Kantstanski is knocked out in the fighting trying to rally the Vladimirski regiment.
It is turn 15 and a furious Swedish assault is launched..
A view through the woods of the final moments of the battle
Bird's eye view of the end of the battle.
So at the end of Turn 15 the Swedes had not secured both redoubts. This meant a tactical draw, in which the Swedes would need to withdraw. February will see the Russians attempt to take Marienberg.
The game did throw up a few interesting moments, and I have amended the rules again for the next play through.