05 February 2014

BF&S Royal city of Gdansk vs Prussia AAR

In our second battle this weekend we pitted the Royal City of Gdansk (still only available as a Polish language PDF) against the new Prussia list.

The Royal City of Gdansk is fairly close to the Courland list in terms of being a sneaky defensive "cheap" list filled with average units and the ability to pull off effects such as an Ambush during battles regardless of how good or bad your reconnaissance was.

But where Courland is made up of poorer troops, most Gdansk soldiers are average or just as good as those of Poland-Lithuania or Sweden. This is another list to try out for those players out there with a collection of Musketeers and Reiter miniatures.

As I played Gdansk I put together a list that looked like this:

Major: 3 command points
6 bases of mercenary Reiters
10 bases of mercenary musketeers
2 bases of sharpshooters

I was tempted to add the city mounted militia but decided against it since the list only has a single commander and he only has 3 command points at his disposal. It would make commanding the list very difficult.

Andreas who played the Prussian territorial defense force this time around put together a list that looked like this:

Lieutenant Colonel 3 command points
Captain 1 command point
8 bases of Prussian musketeers
6 bases of Prussian territorial defense Reiters

Being 2 points weaker Andreas rolled for scenario, and picked the Attack on the Village, where he depoyed two companies of musketeers evening out the difference between the forces, though once again we managed to calculate the Prussians wrong and see them have 2 bases of musketeers less than they should have. I don't know how we managed that as we both read the list and wrote the same mistake twice in the army roster.

The Gdansk troops started moving on the village, well armed Reiters on the left, musketeers and sharpshooters in the center backed by the Major, and on the right flank a company of musketeers that were soon joined by another company that had been lurking in ambush in the woods.

Riding out the meet the enemy the Prussian territorial Reiters moved swiftly against the Gdansk cavalry, covered by Prussian infantry firing Spanish muskets from the village on the advancing Poles.

Both cavalry formations lost a base before clashing in close combat, due to small arms fire, the fighting was won by the better trained Gdansk cavalry which forced the Courland riders to fall back behind the village.

Meanwhile Prussian and Gdansk infantry were trading musket fire with each other as the Poles advanced over the open fields into the range and fire of the Prussians armed with heavy spanish muskets. The range however made the fire from both sides highly inaccurate, and few casualties were inflicted. One of the Gdansk companies lost a base but passed their morale test without breaking a sweat. The problem now was that the Prussian troops had the village and good cover while the Poles were still in the open. Taking the village head on at this point seemed difficult, so the Polish commander decided to wipe out the surrounding Prussian troops first, and then swarm the village.

As such the fire on the right flank was focused on the Prussian musketeer company in the open, in an attempt to destroy it quickly, on the opposite flank the Gdansk cavalry followed the retreating Courland riders and fired at them with their arquebus guns. Another clash between the cavalry finally had the Prussians break and flee - their commander was unable to rally them - and they left the battlefield. This left the Prussian infantry alone, but still in control of the village.

Time was now running out, and much effort was put in trying to uproot the Prussians from the village with musket fire, but the process was painfully slow. Additionally one of the Polish companies on the right flank broke and began fleeing, and the Gdansk commander was too far away to rally them.

Ultimately, the Poles were unable to enter and secure the village fast enough before the battle ended. One more turn would have been needed in order to place the order "Defend" on some Polish infantry and at least contest the village. But as it was the fight ended with a strategic victory to the Prussian defenders.

It was interesting to play two roughly equal forces, especially the infantry had a busy time moving around and firing at each other in a way that was completely new for us (usually we have one force with infantry vs a force with cavalry). The sharpshooters are a great unit and well worth buying for the Gdansk list, with their skill 5 they are solid shooter - though their impact on this battle was limited due to the enemy being well defended inside the village. However, I think the sharpshooters would have been great in the same location, or guarding the River Crossing. The downside of the sharpshooters is that they have regular muskets with range 30cm and only two wounds. As such they don't have the huge "sniper rifle" range of the cossack sharpshooters and are vulnerable to return fire from enemy infantry.

On the whole we had a great time trying out some new forces this weekend. I still want to try out the Polish Volunteer list vs Courland, perhaps next time.


  1. I love You AARs! Fantastic job!

    True. There is something wrong with Prussian list. I assume that a commander should be ## not ### and there should be an extra company of musketeers if You want the lost to be 5FSP.

  2. About Gdansk infantry/sharpshooters ambush (same thing for Muscov). You can use it in this scenario as it is not reconnaissance related.

  3. Loving all the BFaS content - keep it up!


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