torstai 7. toukokuuta 2015

1812 Retreat from Moscow - first game played!

This was truly a white death...

My White Death 1812 project (see the relevant project page) reached it's first climax as a first demo game was played tonight at our gaming club. Since my Russians and father winter brutally crushed the hapless French, my always so cunning friend and opponent Jaakko made sure that his version was the first to be published:

The actual PRAVDA is now broadcasted on this channel... read on!

Setup for the game

OOB and scenario is described in a previous post here

The French column was marching / straggling through snowy, silent landscape, somewhere in Russia... there were few units still capable of fighting and they were escorting a column of stragglers: wounded and exhausted soldiers and motley crew of camp followers etc. But the calm silence would soon be broken with sounds of musket shots and screams of dying men... the white snow would soon be tinted with red, blood red.

Setup of the game: French elements moving along the road, Russians in hiding. 2 French units in reserve. We used hidden movement markers and Russians had two dummy markers as well.

Jaakko set out boldly with his French troops on the table; Chausseurs checked the nearest forest and took positions there, while his largest Grand Army fusiliers formed a line and proceeded more cautiously on the left side of the road. No reserves came available for the French.

First Russians to be spotted were a unit of 6 militia carrying old muskets and pikes... 
not the greatest threat?

French pushed forward on both side of the roads and more Russians were discovered: strong firebase of  two Jager units with an officer and cossacks on foot in the forest near the small building. French fusiliers opened fire on the cossacks and killed one, but the cossacks didn't lose their nerves.

French Chasseurs securing the right flank

Did the French make a bad tactical move by pushing forward without even a
sight of their reinforces? Behind the French one Russian hidden movement marker was approaching on each side of the road...

Second round saw the arrival of the French light cavalry, whom immediately spotted the cossacks and engaged them with their pistols blazing. The French would have wounded on 2+ on D6 (+1 from pistols on the first round), but Jaakko rolled abysmally: 1,1,2,2. I sawed one, so only one cossack fell,  The fight continued and...

Surprisingly the cossacks emerged victorious!

The cossacks continued towards the rear of the column - it was time to start taking out them! In the meanwhile the Russian Militia had charged the French Chasseurs to their flank, whom decided to take a flight and most (4/6) were brutally stabbed to death to their backs! Also the cossacks on foot added to the toll of dead French by shooting at the fusiliers in line. In this game shooting line in the open versus skirmishers in the woods is really not a winning concept!

But still the French column pushed forward!

Jaakko decided wisely to react on the cossack threat behind his column and moved both his light infantry officer Leclerc, as well as his left flank fusiliers to stop them. Fusiliers opened fire, but another abysmal dice luck from Jaakko saw the cossacks emerge unscathed. What happened between the French officer and the cossack is so nicely described in Jaakko's battle report, that I just have to rephrase it here:
"Lieutenant Leclerc, the highest ranking officer leading my ragged column dispatched one of these villains with his carbine and challenged the last cavalryman to a duel - heroically setting himself between the diabolic cossack and my wounded stragglers.
The dastardly cossack closed within pistol range and shot Leclerc in the thigh. Only after seeing my gallant officer incapacitated in this way did the rogue muster up the courage to engage the French hero in combat - running him through with his lance."

After skewering the Leclerc this heroic cossack to slaughter few French stragglers, untill... another rephrasing from Jaakko's report:
"The cossack's laughter turned into a blood curdling yelp as the mortally wounded Leclerc, with his last strength, fired his reloaded pistol at the cossack's back. With that, the brave French officer slumped over 
- he had done his duty."


Finally the French veterans arrived from reserve and dispatched the remaining Russian Militias, whom had gotten very bold after their incredible success and were outflanking the French troops, but alas, it was too little and too late!

The French troops were scattered and the Jagers moved in for the kill!

The French got some revenge by cowardly sniping the cossack captain Skovoroda. Luckily he was only wounded and will return to capitulate more French invaders!

Besides the troops causing havoc, this round of the game also saw quite a few drastic events: Russians Jagers were drawn into a battle frenzy by seeing the honored cossack captain fall - they made short work of the French that got in their way. In addition to all this brutality, the Lord Winter also decided to play his part - in this event all activated units had to roll D6 and on 1-3 one of them succumbed to snow and cold. Surprisingly this took a much harder toll on the Russians!

Turn changed and it was acknowledged that the French couldn't win the game anymore, so we decided to call it a day... what I'm trying to say is:
The wind howled and the blizzard got thicker. Temperature was dropping fast down -30C. Russian Jager Captain Dolohov realized that Father Winter would soon finish the remaining scattered French, those poor souls! He almost felt pity for them, almost...
It was time to retire, it would soon be dark and he could already hear the howling of the hungry wolf pack. Now he actually felt sorry for the French!
Before taking shelter in the nearby datcha, Father Rasputin made a short evening mess and 
blessed the captain and the Jager company flags. Once again heroic defenders of the Motherland and done their duty. Invaders would soon be all dispatched!

Quick analysis on the game and scenario

  • It was fun and visually pleasing
  • Troops in firing line are not a match for troops in cover / skirmishers. This version of Muskets and Tomahawks is missing the +1 to hit from volley fire (= firing with minimum of six models in a firing line) - this we shall take back
  • Cavalry is really brutal in melee, which is accurate I think.
  • All the French should have been deployed immediately, now the Russians got an upper hand too fast

1 kommentti:

  1. A second game of the same scenario was played in Ropecon. All the French deployed immediately. This made the game much more balanced. It ended in a draw.