I've had this scenario ready to go for quite sometime, but after a variety of factors caused some delay, I finally managed to get around to giving it a run out on the table yesterday. Once again my good gaming chums Dave and Keith were up for giving the orders for their respective teams, with my goodself in the position to execute them well or completely cock things up. I'll leave you to decide which...
The excellent scenarios from OHW provided the basis for the game, with the numbers of units involved upped via Thomas' also excellent Wargaming 19thC Europe. Personally the combination of the two give a perfect solo game or one for an evening after work with friends, when time is limited.
Rules - Honours of War
Both sides were using the Austrian stats and had Dependable commanders.
Ruthenian OOB (Keith)
5 x Line Infantry (with battalion guns)
2 x Jaegers (with rifles)
1 x Dragoons
2 x Medium Artillery
Moravian OOB (Dave)
6 x Line Infantry (with battalion guns)
1 x Jaegers (with rifles)
1 x Dragoons
2 x Medium Artillery
This is broadly based upon Salamanca and is ideally a game with an umpire for the giving of information to either side and deployment, as will become clear below.
With orders received, I set about deploying both sides as can be seen below. I used my wooden blocks for the game and not only do I find them fun to play with, but they make the action a lot easier to follow, due to my limited photography skills and if using my Commission Figurines figures.
|An overview of the table, typically open Austrian farmland with few hedges or fences.|
|There's an awful of of Moravian troops right in front of very few Ruthenians.|
|The Ruthenian 'cavalry' ready to ride to the rescue.|
|The lone Ruthenian Dragoon unit with orders to act agressively.|
The Moravian troops automatically started first, with movement then following normal Honours of War intiative rolls. The Ruthenians won the Fire Initiative.
|Both sides open up, with honours fairly even, but the Moravian Jaegers couldn't hit a barn door!|
|The Moravian 2nd & 3rd Bde's on the move, as the Ruthenian 2nd Bde closes fast.|
|The Ruthenian Dragoons advance to the hill, unbeknownst to the Moravian troops.|
The Ruthenians won the movement initiative and elected to let the Moravians move first. They also won the fire initiative.
|The fire fight intensifies, with the Moravian 1st Bde losing a battalion and the Ruthenians only just avoiding the same. Maybe if the Moravian Jaegers could hit anything, it might have been different.|
|The Ruthenian Dragoons as they crested the hill they spotted the Moravian Line Infantry, who failed to turn in response as the Dragoons charged in, with them being dispatched in swift order (the red die marks them as routed).|
|The Ruthenian Dragoons then pursued and hit another Moravian Line Infantry unit who, although managing to turn, could not shoot as they were reloading.|
|In two rounds of fighting, the Ruthenian Dragoons once again prevailed, destroying yet another Moravian Line Infantry unit!|
|The end of a rather dramatic Turn 2.|
|The Moravian 3rd Bde has ceased to exist, with the 2nd Bde's flank somewhat in the air.|
|Both sides 1st Bde's have taking a battering, but the Ruthenian's are marginally the less worse for wear.|
The Ruthenian's once again allowed the Moravian's to go first, but crucially the Moravian's won the fire initiative.
|The Moravian's took a bit of a battering, as the limbered artillery was automatically overrun by the Ruthenian Dragoons, whilst the 2nd Bde lost a battalion to converged fire from two sides.|
|The Ruthenian 1st Bde's reforming battalion finally quit the field of battle after taking more hits. Despite this they held firm and the Moravian 2nd Bde had another battalion in a poor way after taking 3 hits.|
|The end of Turn 3 and the game, as the Moravian's were being flanked and had little left with which to achieve a pyrrhic breakthrough of offer any meaningful resistance.|
The End of the Game
Well that was very quick and a much more decisive victory than I would ever have thought, possible, looking at the forces involved and how the scenario was set up. I thought it would be tough one for the Ruthenian's, but 'twas not to be.
Post Game Thoughts
After a bit of a break, it was good to be back on the games table using Honours of War and my wooden blocks. Despite it being a very quick and one-sided game, I enjoyed it and thanks once again to Dave and Keith for their help with the scenario. So as always some thoughts in no particular order:
- As mentioned earlier, this sort of scenario really benefits from an umpire/third party, so that the flank attack is a surpise to the attacking player.
- Both sides had good plans and it could easily have gone the other way, with the Moravian's breaking through, but the die favoured the Ruthenian's when it mattered. Winning the fire initiative and/or the Moravian Jaegers actually hitting anything, could have turned the tide early on. Certainly a scenario that has replay potential to it.
- Both sides had their fair share of 'Inspiring' and 'Admirable' moves, so honours even here.
- The Ruthenian Dragoon's attack in Turn 2 was probably the game changer, as single handedly they destroyed the Moravian 3rd Bde and then in the following Turn their supporting artillery. Keith ordered them to act agressively and they certainly obliged. I was unsure whether to make them charge, as I probably wouldn't have done it, but orders are orders, which is half the fun of these sorts of games.
- Honours of War is really a great set of rules and as mentioned many times, my default rules for the SYW and 18thC gaming in general.
- As the hill blocked line of sight, I simply followed the Moravian orders until such time as they could see the other side of the hill, rather than playing the God like view that some players do. Unfortunately they really didn't get to see the otherside due to the Dragoons attack!
Next up is the second game in my narrative 'Rebels & Patriots' campaign, which should get played in the next day or two, all being well. Fingers crossed things are beginning to move in the right direction here in the UK, so maybe it won't be too long before we can meet up with friends, albeit outside, which will be nice. I think it's about 5 months since I've seen anyone! Face-to-face gaming might be some time off, but at least there's light at then end of the tunnel.
So until next time stay safe!