Tuesday 24 January 2017

Battle of Sotapeli March 4th 1808 - a fictive wargame battle in 54mm (part 2)

The Swedish Jäger had retreated towards the centre , giving my one Battalion in full strength to try to connect with the remaining Russian jägers whom had retreated into the cover of woods at the edge of the table., But Siegried urged 2 of his battalions towards the breach and I  had to stop my attempt.

Then Siegfried thought  about sending his Jägers in with a charge to finish of my remaining Jägers. I thought it was a dangerous idea as the Swedish Jägers in skirmish formation, against the Russian Jägers, in cover with their general, was a very disadvantaged gamble with very useful troops. After calculating the odds, Siegfried diverted his Jägers towards the endangered Swedish centre .
My grenadier battalion had charged Ronny'sJäger battalion  for the second time, and now the Swedes broke, the grenadiers obliged  to make a breakthrough charge, which was less successful.  But it made my grenadiers very vulnerable,  their flank exposed.  Adrien on his turn also charged a Swedish battalion in the centre sending it backwards with heavy losses.

The Swedish turn was a disaster for my command. My grenadiers were hit in the flank by the hussars of Siegfried’s command. The grenadiers stood firm but lost halve of their figures. My "rescue" battalion was attack by Siegfrieds 2 battalions strong blocking force, pushing my unit of table. My command was halved with only units in bad shape at breaking point. 

Swedish two figures unit of dragoons

But Adrien’s force was still in strength and the Swedes to dispersed to mount a coordinated  defence.

Siegfried asked Ronny to start a retreat  But Ronny had already been able to push back 2 attacks on his right flank and  judged his position strong enough to withstand other attempts.

Jägers covering the retreat
It proved to be a fatal mistake. The third charge of Adrien’s force broke Ronny's veterans and destroyed this battery. suddenly , Ronny’s force was in complete chaos.  Flight the only option, turning a draw with the benefit of a captured supply column into a defeat.

Thursday 19 January 2017

Battle of Sotapeli March 4th 1808 - a fictive wargame battle in 54mm (part 1)


 The Swedish CIC, Lieutenant General Karl Nathanael af Klercker decides to give the Russians a blow trying to annihilate the Russian column. The Russian CIC , Friedrich Wilhelm Count von Buxhoevden , has been alerted by his Cossacks scouts about the concentration of Swedish troops and hurries with a division to the rescue. Klercker , aware of the Russian main force, turn the bulk of his army to slow down the Russian advance, while the jäger column is dealt with.

The dice decided.: Ronny as Swedish CIC, Siegfried as commander of the force dealing with the Russian jäger column, Adrien as Russian CIC, Dirk as commander of the Russian jäger brigade, and one regiment of the Russian main force. 

The jägers deployed around the column.

But the crossfire of the Swedish jägers, the finnish regiments and the artillery was lethal for the Russians. 

In no time, two battalions were destroyed. another one isolated in front of the column, were I had no other option than to go into the offensive attacking a Finnish unit in woods, and pushing them out and now having themselves the cover of the woods. But, now completely surrounded, it was just a matter of time before also this unit was gone.

Pavlograd Hussars

In the meanwhile,  With the dense woods, Adrien was struggling to organise his troops before going into the offensive. Ronny, tried to create a defence line.
I had to try to sent my line regiment in support of the battered jägers.
But Ronny hurried his Swdish jäger battalion to my side of the table, giving flank fire and frustrating my advance.

I had to use my grenadier battalion to drive of the Swedish jägers, but it took a few turn. Time my Russian jägers hadn't, and it gave Siegfried the time to urge part of his troops towards my advancing line battalions.

The first encounters of the main Swedish and Russian forces in the middle.
At first the Swedes stood firm.

Sunday 8 January 2017

Run for the Vaal river: a Boers tale....

A wargame subject that makes me enthousiastic is the Anglo-Boer conflicts at the end of the 19th / start of the 20th century. For years I'm improvising on figures to mimic these opposing forces. Articles in this blog illustrate how I partially dealt with this. With the recent arrival of Expeditionary Force Natal Boers, a new impuls arose to more, get into the modifications needed in my primary wargame ruleset (About Bonaparte, Dirk Donvil: Partizan Press, 2011 Nottingham). In direct communication with the maker of the set, I made some alterations and where needed applied supplemental rules (and I'm sure will have to make more in the wargaming future). 

This report covers the latest table top skirmish in 54mm with these 'tools'.

The situation

A small Boer commando tries to make it's way through the High Veldt to the river Vaal. They bring with them a brand new Krupp fieldpiece along with two carts full of supplies and ammunition. There's one unit of four Boers still mounted, the CIC (general de Wet) is in the sadle too. Three units of four (each with a Boer leader as a fifth fig.) skirmish in the vicinity of the supply column. Their goal is to get the gun to the furthest side of the table (behind the rock formation, a typical South African 'Kopje'). 

The Commonwealth (more commonly called the 'British' or 'khakis') forces here are organized in a 'Flying Column'. Mounted light infantry mounted on sturdy Basuto pony's (like the Boers) and living of the land. Designed to track down and pin Boer commando's, playing them at their own game. In the game: when mounted 'cavalry' and when not 'infantry'. They must stop or destroy the Krupp gun, keeping it from escape over the river Vaal into Orange Free State. Here too; one mounted unit with the mounted CIC (major Foothill) and three dismounted unit each with their section leaders. 

Game lasted only four turns. Initiative each turn decided by highest D6 roll.

The khaki mounted unit overtakes the Boer column from the rear and hurries to the right side of it, hoping to disable the wagon drivers. Dismounted units at 6, 3 and 12 o'clock. CIC Foothill, in gray, in the middle. 

Mounted Boers on the right side of the wagons. De Wet on horseback, left of the column in front of the Kopje. Two units of dismounted Boers can be seen here (one with a yellow fig., the other with a red). 

A third Boer unit in reserve, at the rearside of the Kopje.

The gaming rules used here (with 'try-out' modifications for Boer warfare) 

Hard to see due the flashlight, but this is a formidable dice throw. Resulting in the meltdown of 'Foothill Horse' units.

Boer objective is reached: the Krupp ordnance is behind the Kopje.

End of skirmish. Boers reserve in front, the other units ahead left and right: to live another day.

What's left of the khaki's...

their sole CIC.... in dispair!

The victor! Christiaan de Wet