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Saturday, 15 August 2020

Disaster...but for whom?

Today, with Rhys unable to join us due to travel difficulties, Phil and I had another Seven Years War game. Once again I was using Prussians against Phil and the Russians.

I rolled badly on my initiative rolls, and Phil got to be attacker, and to deploy in both flank sectors of the table. At leas I got to choose which side of the Table I was going to defend in!

The battlefield, a steep hill behind the Russians, 2 woods and 2 low hills.

My Prussians deployed in 2 lines with guns on either wing, my horse, heaviest on the right, deployed behind the infantry.
The Russians, despite today having no more battalions than me, pushed his infantry far right, filling his gaps with artillery.  
 His left had all 4 of his Cuirassier regiments.
His centre, with General Fermor on the hill. A large group of Grenadier battalions faced my centre.
 I, unbelievably, AGAIN had 2 Cautious Incompetent brigadiers.
Phi had 2 as well, but he was able to place one with his weak right wing horse. 
He at least had a Competent brigadier, with the Grenadiers. 
 Phil got 2 of his Cuirassier regiments moving in the first turn, and these thundered towards the Prussian right.
My guns looked vulnerable. 
Phil got his infantry advancing too. 
A regiment moved into the wood to threaten my left wing.
 My right wing guns fired at the advancing Russian horde...
 ...but only managed to disorder one regiment of Cuirassiers.
 My move began with Von Seydlitz failing to get any orders through, the lead Kuirassier regiment managed to wheel a little though. But with the cavalry inactive, my artillery limbered up and retreated, rather than get run over by the massed Russian horse.
My right wing infantry commander moved a regiment to counter the enemy horse. 
 The centre and left wing infantry brigades failed to activate at all!...
 ...only my weak left wing cavalry managed to trot out to the flank.
My Frei Korps battalion was the only unit on the left front line to get orders, and they advanced to contest the wood. 
4 Battalions of grim Russian infantry were probably more than they could handle, though! 
The Russian right wing dragoons moved to support their infantry in the wood. 
The Incompetent Russian infantry brigadier had been slow starting, but soon he too began to advance toward the immobile Prussian lines 
The Russian left wing infantry moved to counter my wheeling infantry who had been screening my immobile horsemen. 
 One Russian Cuirassier regiment moved after my retreating guns.
A further 2 stood in reserve. 
 My right wing infantry wheeled back to face the advancing Russian infantry, as Seydlitz had come to life, and quickly wheeled his Kuirassiers to face the Russian horse.
 My infantry fired against the Russians, but failed to affect them.
In the third turn too, even with Frederick's prompting, the centre and left wing infantry failed to move! 
The left wing horse were in position to support the Frei Korps, but would have little chance against the brigade of Russian infantry. 
 The Frei Korps were happy to keep harassing the Russian infantry.
 A view of the battle from General Fermor's position: The Russian left.
The Russian centre. 
The Russian right.
The Russian left wing had withheld their return fire when my line attacked them, and they now closed and unloaded a fantastic first volley into my Prussian regiment! 
Amazingly, my men held, but their return fire was less powerful. 
On my left centre the Russian Grenadiers advanced on my incompetent brigadiers. Their men managed to damage one of the Russian battalions though! The Russians return fire was poor, and I lost no more stands than the one killed by a Russian howitzer earlier on.
On my right, the Russian Cuirassiers charged my Prussian Kuirassiers, who initially hesitated, but won the melee.
 The routing Russians retreated through the regiment behind...
 ...and these retreated off table rather than face the pursuing Prussians.
My infantry continued to nibble at the hapless Russian Grenadiers. 
 I finally got my left wing infantry to move towards the Russians in the wood.
The Frei Korps had been shot at ineffectively by the Russian infantry on their right, and now bravely stood their ground, sniping uselessly at the Russians in the wood.  
Disaster! My right wing infantry was shredded by a crushing Russian volley, which Routed the few survivors, the second line regiment failed to stand, and retreated disgracefully. 
The Russian Grenadiers had enfiladed my brave regiment, and they retreated through their second line which was still stuck in the wood on my baseline. 
I obviously couldn't count on my Incompetent brigadiers to recover the situation, and my left wing infantry was now overfaced. It was time to call it a day, and leave the field, covered by my victorious cavalry.

A well deserved Russian victory, and a fun game for both of us!

If only my dice had been better in the first turns, maybe we could have turned the tables, but never mind, let battles be battles!

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