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Sunday 6 April 2014

1915 Russians vs Central Powers

Today, we did a WW1 Spearhead game with a couple of new players (Dave O and Craig) taking part. Lawrence wasn't in it as he was under the weather. I too was not 100%, but agreed to command the Russian left.
The scenario was a small Austrian force holding a railway junction, being attacked by the Russians, and a supporting force of Austro-Germans moving to support the junction defenders.

The rail junction, supported by troops in trenches.
I commanded a Division, 2 brigades of Cossacks and a supporting infantry regiment. my horse had 2 guns in support and the infantry had 3 guns. 
Ian held the centre, with 2 infantry regiments. 
Phil held the Russian right, an Infantry regiment with a battery of 3 guns in support, followed by a brigade of Russian cavalry. 
Facing my Russian left, Dave O  led 2 Austrian cavalry brigades, with their own artillery in support.
Dave (the hat!) led the German left, a Cavalry brigade and supporting J├Ąger and artillery...  
...he also had an Infantry regiment in support. Craig held an Infantry brigade behind the rail junction and Dave O's cavalry.
My first move was to advance towards the Austrian horse.
Ian's force of infantry also advanced on the Rail junction.
 Phil also advanced.
Both Austro-German wings attacked with cavalry. 
The Austrians in the trenches facing me opened fire. 
Despite the range, they managed to destroy 2 companies of my Cossacks!
 The Austrian cavalry attacked my cavalry's artillery. 
I countered by attacking their flank while my machine guns fired at their front. 
 My cavalry also attacked the other Austrian regiment.Supported with fire from Craig's German infantry, I failed to make headway, and my first brigade broke.
Phil on the Russian right was by now heavily engaged with their German opposite numbers
 Dave O, Craig, Dave (the hat) Phil and Ian.
Having lost a cavalry brigade, my second , supported by my infantry, began to win against the Austrian horse. Ian's infantry began to assault the junction.
(An overview from the German side)
 A regiment from the second Austrian cavalry brigade attacked my infantry, and were effectively wiped out.
The battle was hotting up at the junction, Ian's Russians desperately assaulting the village, supported by Phil. The Germans were fighting equally hard to stop them!
On Phil's wing, Dave T.H. was starting to tear holes in the Russian infantry. 
On my wing, things were going better, as the first Austrian cavalry brigade, including their artillery and machine guns, broke and ran.
I now had a chance! - if I acted quickly, I could use my infantry regiment and my remaining cavalry brigade to break the remaining Austrians!
Ian had managed to break into the town, but the Austrian infantry counter attacked and broke the Russian regiment.
With the appearance of Germans from their right. 

Phil's brave Russians broke and ran.

On my wing, however, assaulted by my entire division, the last of the Austrian cavalry was defeated, leaving Craig with no flank protection for his German infantry.
With most of Phil's flank now in flight, the Germans began to outflank the Russians attacking the town.
Ian had his second regiment ready to attack, with the remaining infantry from Phil's force.
Ian (centre in picture) now saw no chance remained to take the junction.
The battle was conceded, and the Russians withdrew from the field.

It had been a very hard fought game, and I think everyone quite enjoyed it!
That is why we play wargames, isn't it, after all!


  1. An exciting looking game..... I could feel the pace and tension in your write-up.
    Nice work.
    Kind regards

    1. Thanks Robin, I think all the players were struggling to achieve their objectives without taking too many casualties!

  2. Nice report with beautiful troops, glad to see some cavalry here!

    1. Thanks Phil! - the cavalry were fun to use, tho' I lost a brigade of them trying to charge the Austrians horse with lance and sword!
      In Spearhead, it seems the best use of cavalry is to advance and shoot at the enemy!

    2. Yes... the days of cavalry charges are pretty much over. The added vulnerability of the mounted, combined with that fire factor modifier when shot at moving in the open, is pretty lethal.

  3. Another great looking game Phil thanks for the AAR. Cavalry is very vulnerable mounted but if you can get them to a hill or village and dismount they can hold up infantry for a long time. But as you said, having a massed attack on horse is just....FUN! We did a Sinai location game once and had the Desert mounted corps in good numbers (I think we had four mounted regiments - one on camel) and they thundered across the lines into the Turks trenches and although two of the regiments were destroyed going in (yep the camels didn't make it) the other two crashed into the Turks and ended up destroying the defending division (weakened I will admit). Tons of fun is always the name of the game though :D