torstai 17. marraskuuta 2016

Eagle Rampant: Battle of Virta bridges 27.10.1808

Babtism of fire for my Finns

Battle of Koljonvirta



For the last 6 weeks I've mainly been painting miniatures for the Russo-Swedish war 1808-1809 (after it Finland was ceded to Russia). So it was high time to get them onto battlefield, even if their painting is still mostly WIP. We played the so called "Koljonvirta battle", which is epitomized in Finnish national history as part of Ensign Ståls (Steel) poems by our national poet  Johan Ludvig Runeberg

Some info in English on the battle here

Warning: this AAR includes poetry in Finnish. You have been warned!


Mut toista tuli, törmältä kun täyttä vauhtia
riens' adjutantti Sandelsin, hevonen vaahdossa:
"Jumalan tähden, portaallen, aseihin", huusi hän,
"vihollisjoukon tiedetään täst' yli pyrkivän."
Päämiehelle hän lisäsi: "Te silta purkakaa,
jos voitte, muuten viimeiseen verehen taistelkaa!
Hukassa kaikk' on, taaksemme jo ryssät ennättää;
apua saatte, kenraali jo tulla lennättää."

Sven Tuuva


History simulated

Russians were attacking Finnish forces defending two bridges.They needed to capture both bridges and secure the hill on the western table edge to secure their positions. This would give trhem an opportunity to outflank the main Finnish forces. Finns needed to stop and drive them back.

Russian deployment
Finnish deployment
Russian objectives

The Battle


As Sandel's adjutant has commanded Jäger Sven Tuuva and his comrades were on their way to demolish the bridge of Virta-river as they got the first glimpse of Russian forces approaching...

Main Finnish forces under general Sandels were placed on defensive works further away, defending the second bridge.

In just few moments first elements of the Russian horde approached in the devilish form of Cossacks!




Hän kiiti pois. Mut ehdittiin töin tuskin sillallen,
kun ryssäparvi täyttävi jo rannan vastaisen.
Se laajenee, se taajenee, se tähtää, laukaisee;
jo suomalaista kahdeksan ens paukaus pyyhkäisee.



As first shots rang out, an alarm was raised in the Finnish main force and a squadron of Karelian Dragoons were sent to investigate


Brave Savolax Jägers were not shaken by the sight of the approaching enemies 
but met them with hails of hot lead! 




Ei hyvä enää viipyä, jokainen häikähtää.
Taas paukaus, ja jäljelle vain viisi miestä jää.
"Kivääri sojoon, taaksepäin!" nyt komennettihin.
Sven Dufva yksin hairahtui ja laski painetin.



Russian cavalry had been too bold dashing to the bridge and they paid dearly for their arrogance, soon the cossacks were no more and hussars were also driven back, badly mauled, hurrah!


But more and more Russians poured to the field of battle - when one was shot, two more marched in!

Luckily Russian commander Prince Dolkorukov (whom actually died in the historical battle) proved to be really incompetent (or a coward) as his commands ended several times as "snake eyes".


Mid-battle

Russians didn't seem to have much of spirit for this battle in them as their progress was very slow and the jägers just kept holding the bridge. Sandels decided to send a one more unit of troops into the fray, even if it meant leaving the defensive positions. This was a gamble to hold the Russians at bay until the night fall...

Ready painted model for General Sandels, filled with pure valor and "sisu" eg. beer.

Finnish troops pushing to the front, Prince Dolkorukov (aka Juho) 
struggling to get his troops orgnized

Another cavalry assault was made to the bridge, this time supported by infantry fire, but to no avail... Sven Tuuva & last few jägers held like heroes they are!




Ei aikaakaan, niin saakin hän jo niitä osoittaa,
kun silta täyteen ryssiä samassa tuoksahtaa.
Yks toisen perään rynnähtää, mut heistä joka mies sai
oikeaan ja vasempaan, niin että tempun ties.



Karelian Dragoons join the fray, facing now an organized Russian firing line...

Casualties start piling up, but once again Russians are driven back!


End of the battle


But with typical Russian grim resolve they once again march forward...

And finally Russian infantry assault drives the remaining few jägers away!

Käsinpä tät karhua ei voitu kukistaa,
ja lähin mies se luodilta hänt' aina varjoaa;
mut ryssäin kiihtyy rohkeus, kun toivo heikkenee;
nyt Sandels saapuu, huomaapi, kuin Dufva ottelee.


"Hyv' on", hän huutaa, "niin, kas niin, sa poika urhoinen,
äl' yli päästä perhanaa, niin, vielä hetkinen!
Noin suomalainen taistelee, se vasta soturi.
Avuksi, pojat, rientäkää, tuo meidät pelasti."


Remaining jägers wavering after a stout defense, cannon destroyed

But their sacrifice has blunted and delayed the Russian advance, Finnish main positions are strongly defended and the daylight starts to fade away...



Ja ryssä huomas rynnäkön nyt tyhjään käynehen,
vihollisjoukko kääntyi pois, hitaasti kulkien.
Kun tyynt' on kaikki, ratsultaan käy Sandels rantahan
ja kysyy miestä, sillalla min näki sotivan.


Remaining Russian forces

Even women folk have been drafted to fight for mother Russia! Their army is quite a ragtag force after a long overdue campaign season!

Overview of the battlefield in end of the batle

Sven Dufvaa näytetään. Hän on jo loppuun taistellut
ja taistellut kuin mies, ja nyt on taisto tauonnut;
hän näyttää siihen nukkuneen lepäämään leikistään.
Vakaampi ei, mut kalvaampi on paljon entistään.


Ja Sandels silloin kumartuu kuollutta katsomaan,
ei tuntematon ole tuo, vaan tuttu vanhastaan;
mut alla hänen rintansa punoittaa nurmi nyt,
on luoti käynyt sydämeen, on veri ehtynyt.


"Se luoti tiesi paikkansa, sit' eipä kieltää voi,
enemmän tiesi se kuin me", näin kenraal' aprikoi,
"ei kajonnut se heikkohon ja huonoon otsahan,
parempahan se pyrki vain, jalohon rintahan."
Ne sanat sotajoukossa levisi yleiseen,
ja kaikki myönsi Sandelsin totuuden lausuneen:
"Älyä kyll' ei Dufvalla lie liiaksi ollutkaan,
pää huono oli", arveltiin, "mut sydän paikallaan."

Conclusions


  • Game was played with "Eagle Rampant" variant from the Lion Rampant rules by Osprey
  • Troops stats were from the ER article in WI April 2016 number and from the stats we got from Dalauppror, while visiting Little Wars -club in Stockholm
  • I think the armies were quite well in balance; Russians had two brigades and totally 58 points. Finns had one brigade and a detachment of Savolax jägers, total of 42p. See OOB below.
  • I had considered some mechanism for the jägers to demolish the bridge, which would then have slowed the crossing of it, but luckily this was not implemented as the Russians were even now struggling to get across
  • Game should be played as 2 vs. 2 team game. Now we played 1 vs. 1, but a failure of a command in one brigade only stopped giving commands in that brigade.
  • Now the deployment are for Russians was quite small, so they deployed first a one brigade and then the other
  • We had fun, especially when the Russian commander had rolled 3 times snake eyes... 

Orders of battle

Russia 58 points

Dulgoruki Brigade

  • 2 units of jägers
  • 3 units of infantry
  • 1 unit of cossacks
  • 1 unit of dragoons
  • 2 12 pdr cannons
Rochmanov brigade

  • 3 units of infantry
  • 1 unit of dragoons
  • 1 12pdr cannon
Finland (part of Sweden)

Savolax Detachment
  • 2 units of Jägers
  • 1 regimental cannon 
Sandel's Brigade

  • Kajana batallion 
  • Oulu batallion
  • Vasa batallion
  •  Österbotten batallion
  • Karelian dragoons
  • 2 x 12 pdr cannons

5 kommenttia:

  1. Kyllä sen vielä Koljonvirraksi tunnistaa kun vähän silmiä siristää :)
    Aineksiahan teillä olisi noissa figuissa Savolaisten puolesta varmaan Leppävirran ja Jynkän kahakoihin ainakin.

    VastaaPoista
    Vastaukset
    1. Juu. Noi on KAIKKI mun figuja. Jahka muutkin maalaavat omansa, niin on edellytykset vaikka mihin. Tämäkin olisi ollut 2 vs. 2 tiimipeli eli aika iso tälle sääntösysteemille.

      Poista
  2. A most splendid looking game! :)

    VastaaPoista
    Vastaukset
    1. Thanks Jeppan, it was, even if my painting is not completed yet.

      Poista