sunnuntai 11. joulukuuta 2016

GNW: Battle of Klissow (Klesow) 1702

Lion of the North vs. August II the Strong



The Battle of Kliszów (Klissow) (Klezow) took place on July 8 (Julian calendar) / July 9 (Swedish calendar) / July 19, 1702 (Gregorian calendar) near KliszówPoland-Lithuania, during the Great Northern War.[7] The numerically superior Polish-Saxon army of August II the Strong, operating from an advantageous defensive position, was defeated by a Swedish army half its size under the command of King Charles XII.[8]   
Source Wikipedia.

After beating Danes in Humlebaek and Russians in Narva Charles turned his attention towards his cousin
Augustus, King of Poland and Electorate of Saxony. Their first encounter was fought in Klissow.

Charles was so arrogant, that he hadn't even scouted the enemy forces and was surprised to find the well positioned
behind obstructive terrain and more superior in numbers than he had expected... this demanded decisive and innovative moves...

Read on to find out, whether history was repeated or...



Saxon cavalry painted for this (and future) games

Lot of cavalry had been painted for this game...

Our scenario

Rules: Black Powder with co-op system: Before the Swedish side starts it's turn the Swedish players each roll a dice. The player with the highest score controls the Swedish King (CinC) that turn. Alternatively the player, who is most aggressive eg. troops are closest to the enemy (shaken units not counted) is CinC.  The player controlling the King decides in which order each Swedish divisions are activated. However, it is the player to whom the activated divisions belongs to, that decides what action his units will take.
Scenario special rules:
  • All Polish troops (except Guards) have -2 for break tests and Saxons have -1 (except Guards)
  • All Swedish units within 12” of their King are Brave and Steady

Scenario winning criteria: break the enemy army (= more than half of the divisions are broken).

  Order of the battle SWEDEN


Commanding General: Karl XII of Sweden (as per BP Supplement “Last Argument of Kings)





Right Wing (Division 1.): Generallöjtnanten av kavalleriet Renschiöld - command 9
First Line : Generallöjtnanten av kavalleriet Mörner

  • Livregementat till häst
    • Swedish Horse, Heavy D3, Elite 4+, Determined Charge & Tough Fighters
  • Ostgöta Cavalry Regiment - 2 squadrons
    • Swedish Horse, Heavy D3, Determined Charge

Second Line: Generallöjtnanten av Kavalleriet Spens

  • Livdragonregementat
    • Swedish Dragoon, Elite 4+, Heavy 1
  • Ostgöta Cavalry Regiment
    • Swedish Horse, Heavy D3, Determined Charge

Middle (Division 2.): Generallöjtnanten av infanteriet von Liewen (Command 8)

lst Line: Generalmajoren av infanteriet Stenbock

  • Lifgardet till fot (Swedish guard)
    • Elite 4+, TF, Terrifying Charge, Stubborn
  • Upplands Infantry Regiment
    • Ferocious Charge
  • Närke-Varmlands Infantry Regiment
    • Ferocious Charge
  • 2 cannons (light artillery)

2nd Line: Generalmajoren av infanteriet Posse

  • Västerbottens Infantry Regiment
    • Ferocious Charge
  • Kalmar Infantry Regiment
    • Ferocious Charge
  • Upplands Tremänning Regiment (Garrison infantry)



Left Wing (Division 3.):  Frederick IV, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp & Generalen av Kavalleriet Vellingk (Command 8)
lst Line: Generalmajoren av kavalleriet Stromberg
  • Södra skanska Cavalry Regiment
    • Swedish Horse, Heavy D3, Determined Charge
  • Smalands Cavalry Regiment
    • Swedish Horse, Heavy D3, Determined Charge
  • Livregementet till häst
    • Swedish Horse, Heavy D3, Elite 4+, Determined Charge & Tough Fighters
2nd Line: Generalmajoren av kavalleriet Nieroth
  • Smalands Cavalry Regiment
    • Swedish Horse, Heavy D3, Determined Charge
  • Livdragonregementat
    • Swedish Dragoon, Elite 4+, Heavy 1

Polish & Saxon army





Guidelines on different troop types (which unit in army lists)

  • All Dragoons are equal to Russian Dragoons:


  • All Horse Guard are equal to Russian Horse Guard:

Heavy +1, Elite 5+

All Regular Cavalry are equal to Russian Hussars (unless noted), without the Marauder -rule:


  • All Guard infantry units equal to Russian Guard
  • All are Elite 5+
  • All Saxon Guard are Stubborn

  • Approximately 50% of Regular infantry (noted) are Regular Russian Infantry and 50% are Russian Garrison Infantry

Commanding General: H.M. King of Poland and Kurfurst of Saxony (Command 9)


Left Wing: Generallieutenant Graf von Flemming
Division 1. First Line: Generalmajor von der Marwitz (Command 8)



  • Leib Dragoon Regiment
  • Goltz Dragoon Regiment
  • Leibgarde zu Pferd Regiment (Horse Guard)
  • Kurprinz Cavalry Regiment
Division 2. 2nd Line: Oberst Bodo von der Schulenburg (Command 8)
  • Leibgarde zu Pferd Regiment (Horse Guard)
  • Leib Dragoon Regiment
  • Kurprinz Cavalry Regiment
  • Eichstedts Cavalry Regiment


Polish division 3. Hieronim Augustyn Lubomirski (Command 8)


  • Hussars: Heavy 1


  • Pancerni cavalry
    • Lances

  • Dragoons
  • Cossacks and Wallachians:, as Russian Cossacks
    • Skirmish only, Marauders
Middle: Generallieutenant von der Schulenburg (Command 8)
Division 4. First Line:
  • Polish Guard Infantry Regiment
  • Kurprinz Infantry Regiment
  • Biechlings Infantry Regiment
    • Garrison infantry
  • Köningin Infantry Regiment
    • Garrison infantry
  • 4 X 12pdr guns

Division 5. 2nd Line: Generalmajor Wenediger (Command 7)
  • Saxon Guard Infantry Regiment
  • Steinaus Infantry Regiment
  • Görtz Infantry Regiment
    • Garrison infantry
  • Pistoris Infantry Regiment
    • Garrison infantry
  • 4 X 12pdr guns
Left Wing: Generalmajor von Steinau

Division 6. lst Line: Generalmajor von Reichenau (Command 8)
  • Steinus Cavalry Regiment
  • Leibgarde Regiment (Horse Guard, Heavy D3)
  • Milchaus Dragoon Regiment
2nd Line: Generalmajor von Brause
  • Jordans Cavalry Regiment
  • Köningin Cavalry Regiment
  • Milchaus Dragoon Regiment

Deployment


As said Saxons are well positioned behind the marshy ground with a stream and infantry & outnumbering artillery on a central hill. Polish cavalry is on the extreme right. Swedish army has infantry and few cannons in the middle and strong cavalry divisions on both flanks.


Saxon deployment

Saxon left wing - two brigades of cavalry

Polish cavalry in the extreme right.


Swedish commanders rolling for command - army deployed
We even had a visiting commander Petri from Lahti (Insta: figurefellows)




Round 1.

Swedes started the battle, but their infantry decided to stay put and opened up with their two small cannons, that were barely within reach to the hill occupied by massed Saxon infantry, no hits. Even Charles himself hid behind his infantry - was his tea break still on or what?


On their turn Polish cavalry on the right flank tried to charge their Swedish counterparts but the troops seemed somehow reluctant and only moved a bit.



Von Flemming's Saxon cavalry on the left moved to the edge of the marshy are and dragoons primed their carbines...


Round 2.

Swedish cavalry didn't hesitate, but charged towards the Poles, whom counter charged. On the Swedish right flank Lewenhaupt's cavalry moved also quite close to the stream, they were in for a surprise... Swedish infantry AND Charles still stayed put!


Swedish cavalry charge led to a serie of breaking Polish units, their charge quite formidable indeed! And after their horse guard trashed Polish Dragoons, they sweeped into the flank of the infamous Polish winged lancers (I wonder if proximacy would have allowed that...)


With expected results...

Poles did not (yet) lose their courage due to these grim events put charged in with
the next wave of cavalry units! Saxons also joined the fray.
The second wave of Poles followed the example of the first... doh!

And Saxons took up the example as well!

A little payback was given by the Saxon horse guard, whom first drove away one Swedish unit shaken and the sweeped into the flank of the Swedish Lifeguard and finally decimating them (OK, they were shaken already).

After a few moments of violent clashing of men and beast the pride of the Polish cavalry was no more and their Saxon brothers in arms had been dented as well. Swedish cavalry had proved once again, what it's reputation was based on. The question was: had the Poles been able to wear down the Swedes enough? Swedes had only three brigades, out of them 2 needed to be broken in order for August to win. 

On Saxon left flank Swedes had gotten a nasty surprise: while preparing for the battle, the Saxons had scouted tracks through the marshy area and built some ways with planks and such. Hence they were able to charge across the area!

Here Saxons succeeded in drive the Swedes back after some tough fighting. Swedes regrouped back at their starting lines, next to the infantry.
- a request for the king was sent: Charles, we need you to lead us! 


Round 3.

Our  battle had flowed forward with a dashing speed and after 

a short lunch break we got back into our grim business...

Overview of the battlefield in the beginning of Round 3. The battle is still very much undecided


Finally the Swedish infantry got around to join the battle and moved towards the Saxon cavalry and spread out to the left as well. The King joined his cavalry...

Swedish infantry advancing.

Our visiting commander Petri got the CinC hat started guiding his comrades, whom were maybe still slightly tired after feasting last night...

Led by Charles, Swedish cavalry launched another charge. Typical Charles rushing headlong to the fight... even if us, enemy commanders recommended them to utilize their infantry arm more...

In the center a division of Saxon / Polish infantry and artillery was still sitting tight. Cannon crews
seemed to have a hard time getting it, that both powder AND a cannon ball is needed...

Last elements were still slogging in to the front... oh dear!


Generallöjtnanten av kavalleriet Renschiöld aka Petri 
feeling confident...?

Finally Swedish combined arms: cavalry led by Charles crashes in while supported 
by the musketry of Swedish infantry.

In the midst of the fierce cavalry battle cousins Charles and August
meet and draw swords!


Eclipse of the battle

Swedish cavalry pushed into one more charge on both flanks 
and first it seemed to yield desired results...


But they were already too worn from all those fights and from the Saxon cannon fire finally finding it's aim... broken the brigade had to leave the battle field...

In the Saxon left flank the worn out division had retired left to let the infantry move in...

In the thick of the fight Charles was leading his dwindling number of men. 


But even the Lion of the North can take so much! After his adjutant Rehnskiöld had been wounded,
Charles himself was hit by a pistol shot !!!

As the Swedish cavalry unit, that Charles was fighting with broke and the King fell to the ground,
 one of the infantry units supporting the fight broke in panic as well!!! Swedish  Lifeguard on foot held their ground and dashed forward to secure the wounded King.

With this cavalry defeat the Swedish right flank brigade was also broken 
and with it the entire Swedish army!


Battle field in the end of Round 5(?) - Swedish army is broken!


And starts it's retreat...

Luckily the Saxon cavalry doesn't have the strength to pursue


CONCLUSIONS

  • I think the game was excellent, it flowed well and lot's of drama, all the way to the King being wounded and the Swedish army breaking suit
  • First half of the battle followed history nicely: Polish cavalry was quickly eradicated, Saxon surprised the Swedes by crossing the marsh, but the Swedes didn't give up
  • Why the Swedes lost?
    • Their infantry didn't join the battle until very late, their fire power was not used to soften Saxon / Polish cavalry units
    • Swedes kept charging in with the cavalry brigades, even if they were quite worn out and the risk of bridages breaking was obvious
    • Charles was brought in too late, he's special rules could have saved 1 or 2 Swedish units from breaking
    • Finnish commanders acting as Swedish Generals hadn't read their history ;-)





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