25 February 2014

BF&S Poles vs Cossacks "Patrol" mission AAR

Things have been moving very slowly the past couple of weeks, lots of work and real life stuff getting in the way - topped off by a weeklong cold that had me coughing my lungs out.

I hope things will pick up again over the next couple of weeks as I received my order of By Fire & Sword minis that will allow me to field a wide variety of new western/Polish type army lists. Most exciting of all is that me and my buddy Andreas are travelling to Poland at the end of next month to participate in the By Fire & Sword tournament in Warsaw (expect some awesome blog content to follow from that trip).

And speaking of By Fire & Sword, here is a much delayed AAR from one of the two BF&S battles fought two weekends ago. Christian had painted up most of his Cossacks to a tabletop standard and was very eager to give them another go - this time with a more adequate Cossack wagon backup than last time!

The lists were

13 FSP Polish early skirmish force (maxed out)

2 Banners of  Pancerni with spears
1 Banner of Pancerni
3 banners of cossack style cavalry
2 banners of dragoons
2 banners of Volunteers
Colonel 4 command points
Rotamaster 1 command point

15FSP Cossack skirmish force

Colonel with 4 command points
Esaul (proxied with mounted commander mini) 1 command point
2 plastuny scouts (proxied with Polish-Hungarian infantry)
1 sotnia of Elite mounted cossacks
3 Moloitsy sotnias
3 Register Moloitsy sotnias
1 sotnia of Reigsterer Moloitsy  veterans
4 wagons

Scenario rolled was "Patrol", additional effects generated by the cossack player was "Choice of battlefield" and "Panic".

The Cossack deployed their wagon train diagonally on the left flank, with two sotnias' of Register moloitsy behind them, flanking that force was a band of moloitsy to the left, and plastuny scouts, mounted cossacks and a sotnia of register moloitsy veterans on the right.

The Poles facing them grouped their spear armed Pancerni cavarly at the center in a large squadron, flanked by a squadron of Volunteers to the left along with a banner of elite cossack style cavalary. The Polish right was made up of a squadron of dragoons and a squadron of Polish cossack style cavalry.

Intent on testing the worth of the cossack wagons the Pancerni gladly charged straight at them on turn, small artillery pieces and muskets mounted on the wagons opened fire but failed to do any serious damage to the attackers, the riders clashed with the wagons and their crews - and the defending cossack infantry behind the wagons themselves. In the badly coordinated mayhem the overwhelming amount of attacks mustered by the cossack side was diminished by the durability of the armored Poles, a single base of Pancerni was lost, the wagons took a total of 4 damage points spread out across three wagons before the Poles were pushed back and forced to regroup.

Having experienced the humbling effect of the wall of wagons, the Poles resorted to trying to outflank the wagons and focus on the softer targets while scouting the terrain. So far the Poles had managed to scout the area near their own deployment zone, and the center of the table, the Cossacks had only managed to scout the area near their own deployment zone. If the Cossacks could be prevented from scouting the center valuable points scenario points would be lost to the Cossack commander. Also realizing that another attack on the wagon train would be counterproductive, the Pancerni withdrew out of case-shot range from the wagons - remaining a stationary potential threat while other Polish units did the dirty work.

On the right flank Polish dragoons dismounted and moved up on the forest occupied by cossack veteran infantry, engaging in a shootout with an enemy in a much more favorable positions. At the same time Polish cossack style cavalry raced past and attacked the enemy cavalry which put up a very good fight making it a bloody and hard won melee, ultimately the mounted cossacks of the enemy were forced to flee with the remainder of the cossack style cavalry in tow.

Back on the left flank Volunteers and elite cossack style cavalry mustered an attack on the Moloitsy sotnia, riding through a hail of musket fire from the infantry, and flanking fire from artillery armed cossack wagons both units reached the enemy infantry and managed to break their will to fight, pursuing them and riding down the fleeing cossacks towards their own table edge in an attempt to escape death.

Around this time a lone banner of Pancenri cavalry arrived from the right flank and began moving towards the Cossack Esaul and the last objective that the Poles needed to scout. Cossack infantry in the forest held their ground, scoring impressive amount of kills on the approaching Polish dragoons while using the treeline for cover. The Polish dragoons were so worn down by casualties that they broke and began fleeing  before they had been able to scout the forest. Fortunately for the Poles the Pancerni managed to get to the forest just in to scout it before the battle was over.

The fight bad proven to be a bloody affair. The Poles had managed to scout 3 out of 3 locations, the Cossack side had scouted 2 out of 3 locations (moving their wagon train just within reach on the last turn to scout the table center). A fair amount of Dragoons and Polish light cavalry had been killed during the battle, the cossacks lost a lot of Moloitsy infantry, and had their cavalry scattered. It was however in the end a Polish tactical victory.

(PS some of you may notice the casualty markers used by my Polish troops in this battle, those are the official casualty markers from Wargamer.pl, I will post pictures of them once I paint up the rest of the blister later this week).


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Ferb, one more AAR coming up in a day or two, from the battle between Andreas Courland force and Christians Cossacks :-)

  2. I ended up joining the BF&S Kickstarter because your AARs inspired me. Please keep posting them as it keeps me motivates me to paint at my highest level.

    (drummer from TMP)

    1. Thanks for the kind words, very happy you got into the game and hope you enjoy it as much as we do. More BF&S content will be posted shortly :-)

  3. Great looking game. I received the massive rule book for Christmas. Has anybody produced a quick reference sheet for the game. This game has a lot of very interesting ideas well beyond the standard ancients or rennaisance game but I can see it will take a lot of thumbing through the book to find them!

    1. I have copied the QRF from the back of the book, and have it handy during games. There was also a QRF PDF file on the By Fire & Sword site but I can't remember if it was in Polish only.

  4. Saw some great demo games at Tactica this weekend. Seems to be quite nice a rule set. Very interesting AAR.

  5. Nice battlereport and good pictures.


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