Friday, 14 August 2015

Battle on the border, 18 September 1701 One Hour Wargame scenario

After the action at Valk the new Russian commander, General Kantstanski, led a withdrawal to the Livonian border. General Vakt, sensing he had an advantage that he could press decided to pursue the Russian force. Upon reaching the Ludzha river he found a bridge guarded by a single battery. The plan was simply to storm this bridge and carry on to intercept the Russians before they reached the defences of Pskov. Little did he know that the new Russian commander had a surprise in store for him.
This action plays out scenario 18 from Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames - Breakthrough. I rolled up two 6 unit forces which included some units that had already taken a bit of a battering in the previous action.
The view from the Swedish side in turn one. 
Arrayed ready to try to force the bridge.
The solitary Russian gun guards the road at the bridge.
The Swedes begin their advance. The Vasterbotten regiment will have the privilege of forcing the bridge. You can see that a couple of units already have casualties from the battle at Valk.

Wait! Where did all those Russians come from?
The battle begins. The Tverski Dragoons charge across a hidden ford straight into the Uppland regiment. The Moscowski Dragoons follow on foot - blocking their ability to recoil any distance.
The Smaland cavalry spin around and charge the Tverski regiment in the flank, rolling a 6 and running them down (6 +2 for cavalry charging doubled for a flank attack - devastating!).
The Vasterbotten regiment charges into the hail of grapeshot.
And they have no fire support as the artillery is kept busy by the arrival of the Russian infantry.
The Smaland cavalry regiment charge into the Dragoons who have recrossed the river to defend the banks. After taking out a few of the enemy they fall back from the combat.
The Semenovski cross the river at another ford the Swedes had no idea about!
The Vasterbotten continues to charge into the guns only to be repulsed by close range canister.
Trying to rally the Vasterbotten regiment General Vakt is hit by a piece of grapeshot and is carried from the field.
The Smenovski regiment begin to press the Karelska cavalry regiment, advancing and whittling them down with fire.
The Russian artillery is shredding the Vasterbotten regiment.
The Dragoons continue to defend their position.
Using the cover of the river bank the Swedish infantry are driven off.
The artillery are dangerously close to being wiped out - just one more charge!
The Swedish artillery is likewise imperiled by the Butyrski regiment.
The Semenovski Guard continue to press the isolated Karelska regiment that just can't seem to break them.
The Uppland regiment are once again see off.
The Russians roll a 6! The Vasterbotten regiment breaks!

With just a solitary hit remaining the Swedish artillery likewise rolls a miracle and the Butyrski regiment are dissipated.
This will be the end for the Karelska regiment. But it is turn 13. This last charge has stopped the town from falling and the Swedish line of retreat is still open.
The Jonkopings regiment follows in the footsteps of their Vasterbotten colleagues and removes the artillery. - They have the bridge!
Turn 15 and the Semenovski guard wipe out the Karelska regiment but are out of time to occupy the town.
Stalemate has ensued on the Swedish left flank. The brave Moscowski Dragoons have put in another creditable performance and held the ford.
The Ingermanlandski regiment advances to contest the bridge.
The situation on Turn 15. The Swedes have the bridge and the Russians have not taken the town, so technically a Swedish victory, but in the context of the campaign this is a very bloody draw.
Left in possession of the field the Swedes had time to mourn over the demise of the gallant General Vakt (he rolled a '2').  With so many casualties the decision was made to return to Marienburg to bury the genral and recover. The Russians likewise felt it prudent to return to Pskov and await reinforcements. This covers the October turn of the campaign.



  1. I've recently started using tweaked versions of OHW for my own Napoleonic and WWII games. Really simple mechanics and very playable.
    Really enjoyed your battle report and look forward to the next instalment!

    1. Hi Claybo, welcome aboard. I was going to play this campaign out with tweaked versions of Neil Thomas' Napoleonic Rules, but I actually prefer these. They are fantastic for solo gaming.

  2. Great minis and splendid pictures...not easy to take a bridge!

    1. Not when it is into the muzzles of the artillery! Thanks Phil.

  3. Great report Nate! Looks fantastic!

    1. Cheers Rodger. These One Hour Wargames are enjoyable little diversions from the painting table!

  4. Thanks for the detailed batrep! Inspires my own solo and hosting work.

    There's a real challenge to working with such a simple set of rules to give them a little more period detail without spoiling the basic design. Still, one very lacking issue I discovered was rules for units contacting units. I had to add a few paragraphs of rules after several playtests with experienced gamers. One designer I know opted the opinion that rules for contact are a make/break point for most rule sets and now I agree.

    I'm working on 1HW rules for ECW which will be up here:
    and have finished - for now - my dark ages variant:
    I've tried to keep within the spirit of the rules and only use the most simple changes which takes a lot more work than adding lots of rules.

    Another solo asset I've found is "Programmed Wargames Scenarios" by C.S. Grant. Useful for giving more context to both playtesting as well as testing design concepts. It's handy to have a set of defense orders for a side altho one still has to try and implement the orders for the opposition in a sensible manner.

    Happy gaming!