Monday, 10 August 2015

Battle at Valk 24th August 1701 - One Hour Wargames Scenario

General Shumasshedshiy deployed in a bottleneck where the road between Riga and Dorpat passes between a lake and a woods. In the woods he placed the Moskowski Dragoons while he marched up two regiments of infantry and a gun. Meanwhile General Vakt advanced with his cavalry deployed to the right to flank around the lake, his Dragoons screening the woods and his infantry poised to act as a battering ram to force the road.
The battlefield seen from above. The weather has been freezing so I came inside and played on the floor rather than on the wargames table in the shed. As a result the lighting isn't the best in these photos.
Shumasshedsiy advances his troops. He will join them in a moment, just a quick nip of vodka first.
The Moskowski Dragoons occupy the edge of the woods.
Vakt and his Swedes arrive on the table. The Schlusselburg Dragoons on the left will screen that flank while the infantry mass in the centre.
The cavalry are sent around the edge of the lake.
Swedes take first blood as the Russians get into position.
The Swedish cavalry continues its flanking movement.
A view over the battlefield to get the idea of the Swedish outflanking movement.
The Russians fire back to good effect, but in the crossfire Shumasshedshiy is hit.
This as good a point as any to note that unlike the One Hour rules, my modifications do remove bases. A single base of cavalry or infantry can take four hits before it is removed. A general rolls a dice to rally off any surplus hits equivalent to his die roll, but once an element is gone it is gone. When a unit gets down to half strength it shoots and fights at a -1 disadvantage to its die rolling. Still relatively simple, but a bit more complex than the rules as written. Artillery bases have 16 hits.
If the general rolls a '1' when it tries to rally a unit it becomes a casualty. Such is the fate of the Russian commander above.
The Dragoons exchange fire. The Swedes are on a hiding to nothing here, but they are are doing their job of diverting the attention of the Dragoons from the combat on the road.

The Swedes push forward as the Ingermanlandski regiment prepares to receive cavalry. Note that Vakt has rallied the hits off the Ostgota regiment that can be seen in the earlier picture.

The Ingermanlandski Regiment hold in the face of the Smaland cavalry, while the Uppland regiment charge the Rostovski regiment on the road.
A couple of notes about the above scene. Infantry facing to their front use their pikes in combat against cavalry. As a result, cavalry only strikes at half effect. This has allowed the Russian infantry to hold fast.
Infantry cannot charge other infantry in the One Hour Wargames Horse and Musket rules, which I've kept to - unless they are Swedish. Without Ga Pa tactics we wouldn't be playing the Great Northern War, it would just be any old horse and musket battle. The Swedes also get a +1 combat bonus to their die roll to encourage them to close and hopefully help mimic the results the infantry often had on the battlefield.

The Karelian cavalry charge the flank of the Ingermanlandski regiment.
Flanking units get double the hits, but the rules as they are written say that any hits against Swedish or Russian infantry are halved due to the pikes. I have since gone back and amended this to infantry fighting cavalry to the front. The Karelians should have swept through the flank of these guys like a hot knife through butter. As it was, the combat lasted several agonising turns.

The Uppland and Rostovski regiments continue to whittle each other down as the Vasterbotten and Ostgota regiments use musketry to wear out the Russian artillery.
The artillery breaks, but General Vakt is wounded in the melee trying to rally the Uppland regiment!
Not much left of the Ingermanlandski regiment now.
A bird's-eye view of the battlefield on turn 13. The Moscowski dragoons have broken the last of the Ostgota regiment and Uppland have triumphed in a hard-fought battle over Rostovski. The bottleneck has been cleared and the Swedes control the road!
The cavalry took a bit of a battering, but it will still be able to mount a pursuit.
The remnant of the Uppland regiment, now at 12.5% effectiveness, but victorious!
So The Battle of Valk is a Swedish victory. The Russians only needed to hold out two more turns and they would have won, which says to me that the scenario is pretty well designed to be that close with uneven forces. In campaign terms the Russians now fall back 2 Movement Points towards their supply lines.
The situation at the end of August 1701.
The Russians took some pretty harsh losses. For every 25% of a unit lost the same unit takes one hit when it reconstitutes at the start of the next battle. As Rostovski, Ingermanlandksi and the artillery lost 100% of their strength, they begin with 4 hits in the next game, as does the Swedish Ostgota regiment. Upland starts with 3 hits, the Schlusselburg Dragoons and the Smaland cavalry with 2 hits each. Every month that there is no battle recruits arrive to make up one hit. So If the Rostovski regiment can avoid battle until January 1702 they will be back to full strength.
Both generals went down in the fight. On a 1 or 2 they are dead and a new commander is appointed. On a 3-6 they will be back in command for the following month. Vakt rolled a 6 - just a flesh wound! Shumasshedshiy rolled a 2. Oh dear. Will the new Russian general be as aggressive? We'll have to find out at the end of the week with September's turn.



  1. Great report Nate! Hopefully the new Russian General has what it takes!

    1. General Kantstanski couldn't be any less effective - could he?

  2. Who says an interesting battle cannot be fought with only a small handful of troops? Not you, for sure!

    I recently bought a copy of OHW and your BatRep has motivated me to give them a read. Thirty scenarios? That will be a source for a number of potential clashes.

    1. I actually prefer these smaller battles. I find they have a bit more personality to them and they get results without day-long slogs. The OHW rules appear too simple at a first glance, but this is deceptive. The scenarios are likewise well thought out.