Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Russo-Swedish War 1808: Battle of Leppävirta re-refight

The custom table I built for the Leppävirta game we played last summer was still intact in my workshop (check it out if you want to make any sense of this game) so we took it for another spin. We used General de Brigade rules again but changed the scenario a bit. Instead of the troops being deployed historically at the beginning of the scenario we recorded their marching order on paper and had them march on the table and essentially bump into each other. Having a meeting engagement this close to each other is a stretch of imagination as both sides have plenty of dragoons to give advance warning that the enemy is near, but it makes for a fun scenario.

The frozen lake near Leppävirta sees battle once more! Dragoons on both sides have deployed to screen the marching columns but it will be a hasty deployment for the rest.
The Savolax brigade has put it's artillery to the front of the column. It's risky but will prove important.
The Russians have an equivalent number of troops. Their artillery is at the back.
The Savonian artillery deploys quickly and opens fire on the Russian cavalry.
Savonian Jägers move to the right flank and skirmish with their Russian counterparts.
Cossacks more around the Savonian left. Any baggage in the rear is in serious trouble!
The Savonians have managed to deploy more quickly and achieve local superiority in firepower on their right. Artillery, infantry and jägers make it hard for the Russians to form up for their attack.
The Russians attempt an attack on the Savonian line but face too much fire so they retreat. The Savonians swing around the right, routing the Russian jägers in the forest and now threaten the Russian artillery which hasn't been able to deploy effectively. We call the game at this point as the Savonians have suffered only minor casualties.
The jägers push towards the Russian battery

The game was pretty much decided by the artillery. The Savonian artillery was on the front of the column and was able to deploy quickly and start firing right away. The infantry then moved to protect the battery while the dragoons screened the manoeuver. The Russian artillery was at the rear and wasn't able to deploy with a good line of fire during the whole game. The rest was simple math as the deployed battery gave the Savolax brigade more firepower. The Savonians could just wait and keep up their fire as the Russians were forced to charge as they couldn't match the Savonians at long range. It didn't end up well for the Russians.

I'm not sure if putting the artillery up front was gamey and unhistorical of me, but it proved decisive!