17 September 2013

Swedes vs Lithuanian Winged Hussar patrol AAR

This weekend I got to play three different games - and among them was a skirmish battle of By Fire & Sword where I tried out my newly painted Reiter’s and historical commanders for the Lithuanian Winged Hussar list.

Our forces in this game

Lithuanian Winged Hussar list/ "Gosiewski Foray": 11FSP

Colonel Wincenty Gosiewski (4 command points)
Lieutenant Colonel Herman Gantzkopf (1 command point)
3 bases of Winged Hussars
5 bases of elite Reiter's
4 bases of cossack style cavalry
3 bases of Dragoons

Swedish force: 8FSP

Colonel (4 command points)
6 bases of New Type infantry
6 bases of unarmored Reiter’s (4 with pistols, 2 with arquebus)
1 regimental gun

As the weaker player and defender my opponent Andreas badly wanted to roll for the "River crossing" scenario, but his three scenario dice generated "Battle of patrols", "Ambush" and "Foraging supplies". The latter two would force him to be very offensive with his small force against my superior numbers. So he chose "Battle of patrols", which at least gave him 3 side effect dice to even out the differences in army strength.

The three side effect dice generated "Good day/Bad day", "Panic!" and "Choice of battlefield". The way the effects played out: my colonel (Gosiewski) lost 1 point of command due to having a bad day. A wheat field was placed in my deployment zone to slow down my units, and the panic result struck my Reiter squadron which started the scenario "Disorganized"!

As the Lithuanians had 8 points of reconnaissance more than the enemy, I got to pick flanking maneuver and forward deployment for two companies. I skipped the forward deployment, but put my Dragoons to flank the enemy - I would start to roll for them at the end of turn 3.
The scenario, battle of patrols, features 3 objectives which both sides have to reconnoiter. This is done by having a commander or a unit within 10cm of an objective at the end of the turn (re-organization phase). Each objective is worth 2 points, and can be claimed by both players. However, in order to score these recon points at least one commander in your force must survive the battle. If you lose all your commanders you lose all your recon points!

The Swedes won the initiative and began moving their Reiter squadron towards the center objective. The Lithuanians moved their cossack style squadron towards the objective on the hill to the left and the winged hussars towards the woods to the right. Lithuanian Reiter’s managed to rally during the first turn.

Swedish artillery began firing at long range, using roundshot against the Winged Hussars and clipped one rider, while the Swedish infantry scored victory points for checking out the forest objective and Swedish Reiter’s scored points for the center objective near the small encampment.

As soon as the Lithuanian light cavalry had checked the hill, they followed the Lithuanian Reiter squadron in a charge against the Swedes. Too late did the Lithuanian commander realize that allowing the unruly cossack style cavalry to join the attack would bring disorder to their lines. The Swedes stopped their horses and stoically raised their pistols, ready to fire - as soon as they could see the whites in the eyes of the storming Lithuanian cavalry they unleashed a volley of pistol fire and the nearby regimental gun fired a case shot.

Unprepared to the artillery attack the Lithuanian Reiter charge was stopped dead and the squadron along with their attached commander were thrown back disorganized. Making it through the bullets the badly coordinated cossack style cavalry reached hand to hand combat with the Swedish cavalry but were fought off and had to withdraw.

Meanwhile on the opposite flank, the Winged hussars were moving about with increased frustration, their way was blocked by a regimental gun and the nearby Swedish infantry just waiting to unleash a salvo. Figuring that they would at least move into position from where they could launch a charge later the Winged Hussars exposed themselves and came under fire. Their loose formation, long range and their armor would be enough to protect them - but the Swedes were lucky and their unleashed salvo was accurate enough to land two hits which effectively killed two more riders and reduced the Winged Hussars down to two bases - had them break and  flee - and drop their lances in the process...!!

Just unbelievable.

Back on the left flank, the Lithuanian cavalry squadrons had rallied and mounted a new charge - this time the effect was brutal, two Swedish Reiter bases were destroyed and the Swedes were pushed back twice and ended the turn disorganized. The artillery fired again but missed - and was now out of ammo.

At this point the Lithuanian Dragoons arrived on the far right flank - their sudden appearance caused the Swedish infantry to panic and end up disorganized. It looked as if the Swedish line was defeated.

The Winged hussars were rallied and launched a renewed attack on the Swedish infantry and rolled so bad on their attack dice that they only managed to kill a single enemy soldier while themselves losing two more riders! What is going on!?

The Lithuanian cavalry softened up the Swedish Reiter’s by opening fire with their arquebus and then charged again killing another base of Swedish Reiter's but the enemy evaded destruction. Back on the right flank the Polish dragoons swung about and opened fire at the back of the Swedish infantry, but the effect was modest.
The battle was almost over when the Swedish commander emerged out of the dust at the flank of the Lithuanian commander and opened fire with his pistol.

Taken completely by surprise the Lithuanian command was hit with both shots (as fire came from the flank), and I failed both armor saves!

This prompted the most important roll of the entire game, 2 D10 had to be rolled for the skill check to see if the Lithuanian commander would be saved by his body guards. I rolled, and built up some tension by holding the dice cup down for a moment before revealing - 2 successful results!! The Lithuanian colonel was grabbed by his retinue and fled 20cm away from the enemy into safety.

The battle was over, the Lithuanians had 6 victory points for the scenario objectives, the Swedes had 4. Lithuanian losses were acceptable so I got +1 victory point, the Swedish losses were heavy so Andreas did not receive any additional victory points. The battle ended 7-4, and was classed as a minor victory. But it could well have ended a draw if the Lithuanian commander had been gunned down.

Next time we play Andreas will borrow my Reiter’s and try a more cavalry oriented Swedish list (which will be a tough nut to crack) and I will run my regular Polish skirmish list again.


  1. Great looking minis, these Winged Hussars are always so impressive!

  2. Sounds like you where using the same winged lancers I used when I first ran this list, couldn't hit and ran off from everything, it was embarrassing

  3. Yes - I had the worst luck with the Winged Hussars in this battle. But I also played my force wrong and made many stupid things - perhaps I was too excited about playing this new skirmish list with newly painted up models :-D

    I should have swapped the position of Winged Hussars and cossack style cavalry. The Hussars would have fared much better vs the Swedish cavalry than riding around in the enemy artillery/musket crossfire.

    I forgot to use Caracole when firing with my Reiter's the one time I used the order "Defend" - could have made a big difference.

    And the cossack style cavalry was launched to support my Reiter's from a very bad angle. I was too eager to overwhelm the Swedish cavalry. I should have moved around the hill and attacked with my light cavalry from the rear and hit the Swedish cavalry with my Reiter's from the front.

    I should also have kept Gosiewski closer to the action so that he could provide the morale test re-roll bonus with his presence. It would have meant a lot in a few fights.

    Also, allowing the enemy commander to completely sneak up on me like that was a complete shock and could have turned the battle into a draw.

    Next time - when I'm not daydreaming - this force will be managed better :-D

  4. My lancers always seem to fire an air barrel when they attack as well. My cossacks though always seem to fight well. Great report Anatoli!


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