sunnuntai 20. maaliskuuta 2016

GNW: Battle of Humblebek 1700


Russia, Denmark and Saxony-Poland under Augustus the Strong have formed an alliance and declared a war against Sweden.
In May, 1700, Charles XII - then eighteen - responded to the challenge from his neighbors by landing troops a few miles north of Copenhagen, in Humblebek. Charles leads the invasion personally and storm the earthwork defenses with his livsgard (lifeguard) - hence securing a beach head for the rest of his forces to land. Without putting up more of a fight, Frederick of Denmark agrees to commit no future hostilities against his cousin.

How did Charles XII fare in this game of modified Musket & Tomahawks?


The big question in this scenario is whether the Swedes can make it to the shore and storm the defenses before the Danish cavalry reaches the battlefield from reserve...

Marko deploying the Danes in Red.

Humblebek OOB (converted from the OOB in GNW campaign booklet for Lace wars)
Charles XII
1 Regular Officer
1 Guard (10), Livsgaard, Gå På, Grenades  
1 Grenadiers (10), Gå På, Grenades
1 Swedish infantry (12), elite
1 Swedish infantry (12)
3 X Artillery (aboard ship, cannot be targeted)
Deployment: Artillery aboard ship, each infantry unit in a boat, 15” from the shore line.
Denmark (use Russian stats)
1 Regular Officer
1 Militia Officer
2 X 10 Regular infantry (20% pikes)
4 X 8 Militia (muskets)
1 X Artillery
1 X 6 Dragoons, (carbines)
Deployment: Denmark deploys first; min. 50% infantry and artillery  at the earthworks, rest can be deployed in the village of Humblebek. Cavalry anywhere in the Danish deployment area.
1 Cavalry (irregular) Officer
1 X 6 Dragoons, (carbines)
2 X 6  Danish Horse (pistols)
Deployment: Enters the table from the Danish table edge, via the road on the left half of the board. Roll for each unit, starting from round 2, on each activation card: D6 4+ arrives. Officer arrives automatically with the first unit.
Table size: 4 X 4 feet
Victory: Should any of the Swedish units reach the village, Swedes immediately win. If the Swedes take the earthworks (unit(s) alive there as the game ends), it’s a draw. Any other result is a victory for the Danes.
  • Sweden wins, 1 xp each surviving unit
  • Unit reaching shore first 1 xp
  • Destroying a unit in melee 1 xp
  • Reaching Humblebek village 2 xp
Russians (proxyed by Danes)
  • Denmark wins, 1 xp each surviving unit
  • Killing 3+ Swedes in a one volley 1 xp
  • Destroying a unit in melee 1 xp

Max number of rounds: 6 (we’ll never get there)
Special rules:
Redoubts:  are heavy cover (-2 to hit AND -1 to lethality). Crossing them takes double movement, eg. 1,5” of obstacle takes 3” of the movement allowance. Redoubt should be about 20” in length.
Boats: move as follows, roll d6 / activation card (not action): 1 = Out of control, boat moves D3”, 2-4 boat moves d6”, 5-6 boat moves d6+3”. When the boat reaches shore, the unit (and officer in the same boat) is immediately deployed in line on the shoreline.  4 muskets can shoot from a boat. Unit in a boat taking a hit from artillery takes D3+1 hits. Units in boats can be shot with muskets as normal, but lethality is -1.
Pre-bombardment: Game starts with a single volley of all Swedish artillery units (no activation card required).

Fire support from ships: Swedish player has 3 cannons aboard a ship, whenever artillery shoots, player must nominate shots for both halfs of the table (split in the middle). Max 2 shots / half.

Danish deployment; militia thrown to the earthworks

Swedish deployment. starting positions below. 15" from shoreline

Marko, the commander or Danes, looks quite confident. First game of M&T for Ludde...

Opening moves

Game started with a salvo from the Swedish fleet, but shots were still wide off.  First card drawn was "Gå På" -special card for Sweden and all boats moved forward. Soon sporadic fire was opened from the ships - company sharpshooters felled one Dane and the cowardly militia unit retreated immediately towards the village! Danes responded to the fire and one boat was even hit by the Danish cannon, firsts Swedish casualties...

Gå på!

Open fire!

History repeated itself  as the first to land were Charles XII and his Livsgard (which is my nominated unit in our campaign) - hurrah!

Livsgard deploys in their line battle formation while taking fire from the Danes, but these stoic warriors don't even flinch!

Round 2.

Rest of the Swedish are close to the shoreline already...
And the Grenadiers make their landing.

But Charles is not in the mood for waiting they storm forward and first do terrible damage to the Danish regulars with their grenades and then engage the militia!

And to nobody's surprise they are victorious and the Danish Militia takes to a flight!

Remaining Danish militia observe the Swedish elite nervously... Danish regulars have taken cover from the grenade barrage.

Then a surprising event takes place: Danish army have clearly taken more from the local farmer (in gray) than he could stomach... rumor says one of the soldiers has knocked her pregnant! Farmer lets it fly from his old musket and one of the militia goes down, his remaining comrades are shocked by this and dash away from the building. caring little about the commands shouted by the officer next to them.... (we had a very hearty laugh at this point!)

Three Danish regulars charge the Swedish Livsgard but are naturally globbed and bayonetted  to death. The number of remaining Livsgard slowly dwindle...

All the rest of the Swedes have landed, but are they in time to save their king and his Livsgard?

Livsgard come to their senses and take cover behind the earthworks with Charles, in the meanwhile the Kronoberg´s regiment storm the other redoubt driving the militia defenders away. 

Swedish commander Mr. Lund leads his troops forward and their elan seems to be carrying them towards victory. Danish reserves are nowhere to be seen...
Defensive positions strongly in Swedish hands... for now

Round 3. (If I remember correctly)

Situation in the beginning of round 3. Swedish troops moving in to secure their strong position.

Danish counter attack!

What might seem as a desperate final effort to stop the Swedish onslaught, the other Danish Regular unit moves in and charge the Kroneborgare.

A terribly brutal and exhaustion melee takes melee 
(it took like 10 minutes to get this scrap sorted out!)...

The Kroneberg`s regiment finally defeat the Danish troopers, but then the Danish officer charges in
and bashes the exhausted Swedes with his deadly spyglass!

Charles XII - Lion of the North

Situation has suddenly turned and only Charles and the Livsgaard ensign (yes I  know, wrong flag) remain in the redoubt. Danish militia charge in!

This proves to be fatally bad move as Charles slays 3 of them in one fell swoop of his rapier! 
(he has the Warrior trait)

Danish militia are no more - The Lion of the North stands wounded, but victorious! 
Hurrah hurrah hurrah!

First of the Danish officer challenges the Lion to a gentlemanly duel...

But Charles makes short work of him and of his fellow officer, who's brave or fool enough to challenge Charles as well!

No defenders remain in the Humblebek village as Charles takes a look around...

But in the distance the Danish reserves finally start arriving... "Oh dear, is this still not over?" things Charles!

Danish cavalry charges the Swedish Grenadiers to flank But the grenadiers fight valiantly (read: make very good saving throws)...

...and eventually beat the cavalry.

At this point we concluded the game as the village was taken by Charles and the remaining Swedish units could certainly stop the remaining Danish reserves...

Conclusions and highlights 

  • The game followed history quite nicely
  • I thought this would be really hard nut for the Swedes to crack, but they got a good start and did well...
  • The fact, that the Danish reserves didn't show up until round 3 had a huge impact. Should at least some of them have arrived on round 2, would have made this a totally different game
  • I'm happy with the scenario and the army lists now
  • King Charles XII was truly the Lion of the North!

4 kommenttia:

  1. Vastaukset
    1. Thanks! I've been wondering... what does AAR stand for?

  2. A truly inspiring description of a game session! I might try to convert this into a Black Powder game eventually.
    BTW AAR stands for "after action report"

    I look forward to read about your next battle! :)

    1. Thanks Jeppan! It was truly a fun game, even if I was mainly acting as the umpire. We will refight this again on 1st of April. Then we proceed to Narva, but that will require some further modeling, even if we already have a winter gaming board at the club.