lauantai 7. toukokuuta 2016

GNW: Battle of Narva 1700 - report completed


Scenario was fine tuned after Tuesday's play testing (slightly easier for Swedes) and three regiment commanders were assigned to take command of the Swedish Karoliner. All of them had painted at least one unit for the army, this made me very happy. We were ready to the biggest Muskets & Tomahawks game so far played at the Nopat-club. Read on how did the battle unfold! 



History

The Swedish army was commanded personally by Charles XII, assisted by General Carl Gustav Rehnskiöld.[3] The Russian forces were commanded by Peter and Charles Eugène de Croy. Claiming important domestic events in Russia to which he was required to attend, Peter had left Narva just days before and was therefore not present during the actual fighting. He trusted that his commanders would draw success from the battle and presumed that Charles would not immediately attack his well fortified forces of superior number. Some interpretations view his flight from Narva days before the battle an act of cowardice; most of Europe mocked the Tsar after the battle for his departure. However, some scholars believe this accusation has little merit, as reportedly the Tsar had placed himself in physical danger too many times previously for his flight to be out of cowardice.[20]
For much of the day, a blizzard engulfed both armies, making attacks impossible. However, at midday, the winds changed and the snowstorm blew directly into the eyes of the Russians.[17]:686 Charles saw his opportunity and advanced on the Russian army under cover of the weather. Source: Wikipedia.



Narva Scenario (Muskets & Tomahawks)

Duration: Max 6 rounds or agreed time limit
Victory goals
Decisive victory: difference of 2 or more in victory points
Small victory: difference of 1 in victory points
Officers are not counted as units, when  calculating victory conditions
Sweden
  • Sweden must breach the Russian defenses and lift the siege, in the end of the game Sweden must
    • have units (not fleeing) inside the Russian  defensive perimeter (1 VP)
    • clear enough of  Russians sieging Narva and thus opening a connection to Narva (2 VP)
  • Break Russian army:
    • Russia loses more units than Sweden (1 VP)
    • Half of the Russian units are removed from the table (2 VP)
Russia
  • Russia must keep Swedes outside their defenses and hence maintain the siege, in the end of the game Russia must
    • have the siege unlifted - no  connection to Narva defenders by Swedes (1 VP)
    • have no Swedes  inside the Russian defensive perimeter (2 VP)
  • Break Swedish army:
    • Sweden loses more units than Russia (1 VP)
    • More than half of the Swedish units are removed from the table (2 VP)
Lifting the siege: Siege is lifted when there is no Russian units (officers do not count) between an attacking Swedish unit and the defenders of NArva and the attackers are within 12” of the Narva defenses.


Scenario Special rules
  • Sweden uses hidden movement for all unit attacking in the beginning of the game. Each counter indicates the position of the unit leader model. Counter should represent specific units as they are activated with specific activation cards.  Sweden gets a dummy marker for each 2 real units. Whenever 2 real units are moved 1 dummy can be moved (4/2 etc.). All counters move 6” regardless of troop type or terrain. All officers have joined a unit for the duration of the hidden movement phase
  • Due to the snowstorm, visibility (spotting) is limited to 15” + D6. When a unit (not a hidden movement marker) is activated it rolls D6 and adds the result to 15”. If the Russian units get visibility to Swedish hidden movement markers, they are immediately revealed (real unit or dummy) and in case it’s a unit, it’s deployed.
  • Snowstorm ends if event 5 is rolled.
  • All Russian units, except 5 artillery units, remain in their “camps” (at least 10” from the defenses) until first attacking Swedish unit is spotted. After that they are activated as normal.
  • All Russian units, except Guard & grenadier units, are inexperienced and their morale is wavering at the best. All these inexperienced Russian units treat “flight” -result as “rout” instead (and are removed from the table).
  • Defenders of Narva may sally forth from the fortress gate, if they can spot (18” + D6) other Swedish troops
  • Should a cavalry unit be touching the earthwork defenses, they count it as light cover (-1 to hit)
  • Crossing the earthworks takes its width X2 in movement (excluding consolidation and pile in, which are not affected)

Rewards:
Swedes:
Campaign bonus: If Sweden takes decisive victory, it may take ⅖ artillery units in it’s next battle, historically Sweden captured almost all of Russian cannons.
  • Sweden wins, 1 xp each surviving unit
  • Unit reaching breaching Russian defenses first 1 xp
  • Destroying a unit in melee 1 xp
  • Unit connecting first with the defenders of Narva Fortress 2 xp
  • Officer: killing an enemy officer in a “duel”
Russians
  • Russia wins, 1 xp each surviving unit
  • Killing 3+ Swedes in a one volley 1 xp
  • Destroying a unit in melee 1 xp
  • Officer: killing an enemy officer in a “duel”


OOB
Swedes

CiC Charles XII - must have joined either with foot or horse guard.
Stenbock’s division
  • 1 regular officer
  • 1 unit of 12 infantry - elite
  • 1 unit of 12 infantry
  • 2 units of artillery, 4 crewmen
Maidel’s division
  • 1 irregular (cavalry) officer, horse
  • Unit of 6 Swedish Lifeguard Cavalry
  • Unit of 8 Swedish Heavy Cavalry - elite
  • Unit of 6 Swedish Dragoons
Posse’s division
  • 1 regular officer
  • Unit of 10 Swedish Lifeguard, grenades
  • 1 unit of 10 grenadiers, grenades
  • 1 unit of 12 infantry - elite
Wachtmeister’s division
  • 1 irregular officer, horse
  • Unit of 6 Swedish Dragoons - elite
  • Unit of 8 Swedish Dragoons
Defenders of Narva / Horn’s division
  • 1 regular officer
  • 2 units of 10 infantry
  • 1 unit of artillery, 4 crewmen
Swedes total: 10 foot guard, 10 grenadiers, 68 infantry, 3 cannons, 14 heavy horse, 20 dragoons
Russians

De Croy’s division
  • 1 Regular officer, 1 militia officer
  • 1 unit of 10 Guards
  • 2 units of 10 infantry
  • 2 units of artillery, 4 crewmen (militia) - deployed at the defenses
Hallart’s division
  • 1 irregular officer, 1 militia officer
  • 2 units of 8 garrison infantry
  • 1 unit of 8 militia
  • 2 units of artillery, 4 crewmen (militia) - deployed at the defenses
Weide’s division
  • 1 Regular officer, 1 militia officer
  • 2 units of 8 garrison infantry
  • 1 unit of 8 militia
  • 1 unit of artillery, 4 crewmen (militia) - deployed at the defenses
Scheremettev’s Division
  • 1 irregular officer, 1 militia officer
  • 1 unit of 10 grenadiers
  • 2 units of 8 garrison infantry
  • 2 units of artillery, 4 crewmen (militia) - deployed at the defenses
Peter’s Division (Peter not there)
  • 1 irregular officer, 1 cossack officer
  • 1 unit of 10 infantry
  • 1 unit of 6 Dragoons
  • 1 unit of 6 Cossack cavalry
Russian total: 20 guard / grenadiers, 30 infantry, 48 garrison inf., 16 militia, 7 cannons, 6 dragoons, 6 cossack cavalry
Deployment

All Swedish units deploy minimum 24” away from the Russian defenses on the designated division deployment zones in the map below. All Swedish units are deployed as hidden movement markers

All Russian units, except artillery units, remain in their “camps” (at least 10” from the defenses). on the designated division deployment zones in the map below. Artillery units and up 1 officer / division is deployed at the defenses - on the designated division sector. Peter’s division is sieging Narva fortress and is deployed within 12" of Narva defenses.


Deployment of armies

As you have read from the above, only Russian artillery was active in the beginning of the game and rest of the army was deployed at least 10" from the defenses:



Swedish deployment outside Narva was hidden by the snow storm and we used hidden movement. Counters present units (position of the leader model) and dummies. Swedes had dummies in 1/ 2 ratio.


And Swedish divisions waited deployment on trays...

Round 1.

We decided to play "three cards in hand" mode, as this gives the players some tactical choices.
Joonas started moving Swedes as the first card was Swe irregulars (cavalry).


 Swedish commanders contemplating their tactical options - should cavalry  units be deployed for faster movement or still maintain the veil of hidden movement...
And concluded to deploy the Swedish cavalry.

This was the right call as first dealed six cards contained all four activation cards for Swedish cavalry! A great shout rose from almost 35 Swedish riders as they charged the Russian defenses.


Charge!
It seems that even the Russian artillery crews on watch duty were slumbering as none of the cannons fired as the ferocious cavalry charge swept in!  



 Gå På!


Holy mother Russia, they are coming!!!
(This is where the battery of my phone died, rest of the pics from Ludde and Mika, thanks mates!)





Several cannon crews were slaughtered or routed, but to every ones surprise few of them actually stood their ground !

Things _seemed  to look good_ for the Swedes, but their infantry was quite far behind and now the Russian bear had been woken! Would the brave Swedish cavalry hold long enough for the infantry to join in?

 Great commotion started in the Russian camp! Nobody had expected the Swedes to attack against greater numbers and in this weather!

 Famous Von Repnin's Guard where one of the first units to get their men into formation and advancing towards the enemy


Soon the Russians opened up with their muskets and several Swedish cavalry units were driven 
back from the defenses - Swedish players wished the first round to finish, as their cavalry didn't really have much of activations left, so they were just taking in hits...

 Proper Russian Regular infantry (1 of just 3 of them) dashing towards the defenses.

 But the round just continued and continued, so eventually most of 
the Swedish infantry also deployed.

Lifeguard and grenadiers above and Ludde's Nylanders and Joonas' Dal Regiment below.

Situation in the end of round 1.
  • Russian cannons are mostly silenced
  • Russians troops dashing to the defenses
  • No real breach of defenses yet
  • Some of the Swedish cavalry units had taken quite a hit


Round 2.


Umpire (me) acting as Russian commander pondering the situation...

Close up from the Swedish perspective - infantry taking it's turn to mettle their strength and resolve against the Russian defenses 

Race to the defenses

Nylanders and Björneborgare joining the fray

Russian volley!

Swedish Lifeguards showed just how terrible they can be: devastating a unit of Russian garrison infantry with their grenades and then slaughtering the final cannon crew in melee. Seriously frightening!

Unit of grenadiers throwing their grenades into the lot as well



Mid game situation: bloody melee raging at the defenses, where men from both sides are
dying in droves, but the lighting start and advance has been stopped and Russians are bringing 
their numbers to bear... 




Round 3. Charles XII engages

As King Charles XII lead his Drabant cavalry to a charge against one of the remaining cannons in the left flank, the rest of the army also doubled their effort

The Drabants (Kings lifeguard cavalry) took some casualties and chose to take some distance. This didn't bother Charles, whom next urged the brave Nylanders (these fellows won the battle of Humblebek) to storm the defenses.

And they duly pushed forward first dispatching the von Repnins grenadiers and the one of the few Russian regulars - naturally Charles was in the middle of the fray all the time.

in the meanwhile Dal Regiment breached the defenses, supported by the remains of Swedish heavy cavalry and the Lifeguard. Several melees were fought, but would the Swedish and  Finnish courage win the day? Their numbers were dwindling fast... including the Lifeguard, whom took and enfilading shot from the last Russian cannon.


 Soon the Lifeguard casualties were revenged by Karelian Dragoons


Russians realized, that there could be a risk of a serious breach in the middle and reinforcements marched from their left flank.

In the Swedish left flank the Nylanders advanced around the Russian campsite guarded by a single unit of Russian militia. Otherwise this flank had been cleared of Russians...

Except for a Russian officer, whom Charles chose to challenge. The dashing swordplay ended with both the officer and the Swedish king falling to the ground bloodied... this actually made the Nylanders surge forward - enraged of the fate of their king.


Even the Swedish artillery joined the fight, but the impact was very light.

In the middle the Russian numbers had done their work and all Swedes had been killed or driven from the perimeter. Only the Lifeguard held their position.

Narva joins in

At least the Swedish troops had come close enough to encourage the defenders of Narva to engage the enemy. So they opened up from their defenses.


A Swedish storming party from Ebor Miniatures painted by Mika - stalwartly defending Narva

Few shots were exchanged between Russian militia and Nylanders

End of the game

Out of the some 200 miniatures so few remained on the field...


In the center Swedes had been repulsed...


Last of the Dal Regiment fleeing the battle, having sustained terrible casualties


















But the Nylanders had  made the connection with defenders of Narva and the Russian right flank was completely destroyed.



Swedish Dragoons burning the Russian HQ in the right (Swedish) flank

Remains of the Lifeguard - whom did well, but didn't really guard the life of their king....

Conclusion

Both sides had taken serious casualties, but let us review the victory continues to declare the outcome of the game.

Sweden succeeded in:
    • have units (not fleeing) inside the Russian  defensive perimeter (1 VP)
    • clear enough of  Russians sieging Narva and thus opening a connection to Narva (2 VP)
    • Half of the Russian units are removed from the table (2 VP)
  • Total 5 VP

Russia dodn't eventually meet any of their victory goals, even if most of the Swedish troops were casualties:
  • Russia must keep Swedes outside their defenses and hence maintain the siege, in the end of the game Russia must
    • have the siege unlifted - no  connection to Narva defenders by Swedes (1 VP)
    • have no Swedes  inside the Russian defensive perimeter (2 VP)
  • Break Swedish army:
    • Sweden loses more units than Russia (1 VP)
    • More than half of the Swedish units are removed from the table (2 VP)
Total 0 VP

DECISIVE VICTORY FOR SWEDEN

HEIA HEIA!







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