14 May 2013

By Fire & Sword: Battle between patrols AAR

This was a very interesting skirmish battle since we had two elite forces. The Swedish skirmish force made up of Veterans only, seasoned Reiters in armor and excellent veteran Dragoons - truly the crack troops of the Swedish army. The opposition was made up of the Lithuanian raiding force led by Wincenty Gosiewski and his Winged Hussars, backed by seasoned Reiters here as well, Dragoons and cossack style cavalry.

Army lists looked like this:

"Gosiewski Foray" (Lithuanian Raiding force): 11 points

Colonel Wincenty Gosiewski (4 command points)
Liuetenant Colonel Herman von Gantskopf (1 command point)
3 bases of Polish Dragoons
5 bases of seasoned Reiters
3 bases of Winged Hussars, with lances
4 bases of cossack style cavalry

Swedish Skirmish force: 10 points

1 Colonel (3 command points)
1 Lieutenant-Colonel (1 command point)
5 bases of Veteran Reiters with Arquebus
5 bases of Veteran Reiters with cuirass
4 bases of Veteran Dragoons

These two elite war bands clashed in the "Patrol" scenario. Andreas wanted to try out the Polish-Lithuanian stuff so he played the Gosiewski force, I played the Swedes. The additional effect was that a terrain piece was moved on the battlefield, it did not impact this game overall.

The scenario objectives were simple, there are three tokens on the table that represent areas to be reconnoitered by both forces. To do that, you need to have a unit or a commander within 10cm from a token at the end of your re-organization phase (end of a turn). Each objective is worth 2 points, and both sides can each gather 6 points this way in the scenario - however - each force may only truly earn these points if they have at least 1 commander left alive at the end of the battle. If all commanders in a force get killed then all those victory points are lost with them!

The Swedes grouped their men into three squadrons. A squadron of unarmored Reiters armed with Arquebus handguns, a squadron of armored Reiters and a tiny squadron of Dragoons.

The Dragoons were only meant to make a dash for the closes objective, while the Reiters were supposed to do the real fighting, which is also why those two units were deployed close to each other.

Initiative went to the Lithuanian force which moved forward and cashed in 2 victory points for the central objective. The Swedes cashed in 2 points for the left objective. Swedish Dragoons fired at the Polish cossack style infantry and scored a single wound, other than that the opening of this battle was very uneventful.

Turn 2 was when the battle kicked into high gear. Cossack style cavalry charged the Swedish dragoons, who fired a Salvo and broke the enemy charge, the Lithuanian cavalry was forced to withdraw and became disorganized. Lithuanian Reiters decided to charge the Swedish lines, but were short of movement, rolling to see what happened they failed the skill test and became disorganized in front of the Swedish Reiter squadrons - not good at all.

The Swedes had deployed in such a way so that they could charge the Lithuanian troops next turn, but also fire at them with Arquebus handguns - which cause a single wound. The Polish dragoons dismounted and began firing at the Swedish Dragoons but failed to hit. The cossack cavalry was left leaderless as both Lithuanian commander had joined and led units of their own - and their focus was limited to events on the frontline.

Swedish Reiters now charged the Lithuanian cavalry, Winged Hussars countercharged. Swedish armored Veteran Reiters crashed into the Lithuanian Retiers who were disorganized, and slayed 2 bases. The Lithuanian cavalry was completely brutalized and began to fall back, Swedish Reiters in pursuit.

At this time the Winged Hussars crashed into the Swedish unarmored Reiters and massacred them completely, killing 3 bases and forcing the remaining 2 to flee!!

Things looked bad but not yet lost for the Swedes,  and the Lithuanian force was probably worse off at the moment. However Gantzkopf rallied his Reiters and turned towards the Swedes. The two remaining Swedish unarmored Reiter bases were rallied as well.

It was only now that the Swedish luck ran out completely. It began with the Swedish colonel being charged by the Winged Hussars, and unable to escape their wrath - he was killed as his bodyguards failed to save him. The Swedish armored Reiters were about to deliver the killing blow on the Lithuanian Reiters - but the Polish Dragoons turned 180 degrees and unleashed short range fire - killing a base of armored Reiters. The Swedes panicked and failed their morale test, and had to withdraw - becoming disorganized.

Leaderless the Swedish unit then faced its demise as it was charged by Gantzkopf's Reiter squadron and Gosiewski's Winged Hussars, a slaughter where all but 1 base of armored Reiters perished and the last base fled off table.

As all of this was happening the Swedish Lieutenant-Colonel was navigating between the fields of fire of enemy units, evading death - but his luck too ran out at the end of turn 5 when he was killed by arquebus fire from the Lithuanian Reiters. This completely erased all 6 Swedish victory points!

The remaining Swedish unit, the Dragoons, were also badly beaten up in close combat with cossack style cavalry and ended the battle with 2 bases.

Overall the Swedish force had been almost wiped out, the survivors numbered 2 bases of Dragoons and 2 bases of unarmored Reiters.

The Lithuanian force had won 6 victory points, and cancelled 6 Swedish victory points for the scenario alone (you needed a commander left alive to get those victory points). So 6-0. Then the death toll was added to that, the Lithuanian troops had suffered Acceptable Losses, the Swedish force had suffered a Massacre with over 75% of their force value wiped out.

The total victory points of the Lithuanian force numbered 11-0, and amounted to a Strategic victory (2 points short of a Historical Victory). Despite this the game was extremely fun and very exciting with sudden turns. At first it looked as if the Lithuanians would win the weak Swedish flank - but were beaten back unexpectedly. Then the Swedes mauled the Lithuanian center. The center was then saved by the Polish dragoons at the very last second, and then the Swedish main force and its main commander were all destroyed!

It also looks like we will be 8 guys playing this game at the club once the Kickstarter ends,  two more guys seem to have given in the past couple of days. And with more people here in Sweden also picking up the game I can see a tournament in the near future after the Kickstarter has been delivered and the guys have had the time to paint up their stuff!


  1. I thought everything was Lost due to my failed charge with the reiters. I wounder where i got the idea that they had 20cm charge. But it was a closer game then you can think.

  2. The Swedish colonel, like all commanders, can fall back when he becomes the target of a charge, but the Winged Hussars were in his face and would have hunted him down no matter what with their 40cm charge range anyway.

    Yeah those Reiters, if the Polish Dragoons would not have saved them chances are that my Armored Reiters would have destroyed that unit and continued to wipe out the cossack cavalry and dragoons!

  3. Winged Hussars!!!

    The check-points should not be tokens. It was a big mistake. Those should be forests, villages etc. It makes all the difference when paying against PLC. Imagine dragoons in a village or reiters hidden behind a forest.

    PLC is hard to beat in an open field. Especially against winged husars.They took down 3 bases before reiters could even fight back :D

  4. Great photo's and a great little BatRep. Nice one.

  5. If "tokens" should be terrain. Could I have moved one of them as I was allowed to move one terrain feature. Of are they treated as objectives?

  6. @Andreas, you can never move stuff that is related to the scenario objectives - same as with the bridge in the river crossing. And it was I who was supposed to move the terrain since you ended up playing the P-L and I played the weaker Swedes.

  7. @MiSiO, that makes perfect sense. I wondered about whether or not that was the case but then assumed that the objectives needed to have regular size and shape to make it fair for both players.

    1. Use tokens to mark a point from where You count those 10cm. Inside a wood/village. Well. I always use terrain deployment system from the end of the scenario section. Each player place a terrain element (even an objective element). If You want the battlefield to be full of small element, place small elements. If You want 30x30 elements, use them.

    2. Thanks for the tip, we will do that next time :-)

  8. Good to know, haven't read through the whole mission and force point section yet.
    Ah! lucky the terrain feature didn't make a diffrence

  9. Another great AAR!
    I've noticed, that PLC go points for one of the objectives in first turn, but You can reconnaissance this objectives at the end of second turn and above. It didn't make a difference, but sometimes it does.

  10. Another great AAR! The Hussars seem to be just as overpowered as my reading of the rules suggested ;-)

    1. They are super deadly during the first charge when they spend their, after that they are just very hard to kill in regular close combat. A much better way to handle them is artillery with case shot and infantry firing salvo, hoping to break their morale or at least make them take reduced armor saves.

      If time had allowed it we would have played again and tried out the Swedish Detachment with the infantry and guns against the Lithuanian list.

      Btw, congrats on joining the Wargamer team, very exciting to have you contributing to the upcoming army lists and stuff. Been reading about the Danes on your blog and they seem to be a very different army from the Swedes, which is great as that will add more flavor to the game :-)

    2. *where they spend their lances

  11. Congratulations for You and BF&S team! It is sometimes better to let hussars break their lances on a small unit and then countercharge or salvo them down. Oh. And never use swedish lists stronger than 10. 1-2 points difference allows great tactical adventage. I will mail You Anatoli 2 nice roosters to try out against Gosiewski.

  12. Congratulations for You and a WG team!

    Hussars are great as they should be. They are small in numbers and it is their weak point. It is a good idea to sacrifice a single company to break hussars' lances. Then counter charge. PLC is deadly when they can charge with impact. Hussars usually moves in open order. It give negative modifiers in combat.

    They are are well-armoured (7!) but with musketeers' -3 at close range a salvo can deal a lot of damage. They are also poor against buildings and bad going terrain.


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