Thursday, 13 February 2020

One-Hour Wargames 14: Static Defence

We are currently running a simple campaign comprising linked scenarios from Neil Thomas' book One Hour Wargames.  The outline of the campaign is described here, with the idea that whoever won the first game would get to choose the next scenario from a limited but branching list.  As recounted here, I won the first encounter, a 20mm Napoleonic French versus Prussians affair, which meant I got to select the second game we would play.
The scenario I chose was No. 14 Static Defence, where the defender was required to hold two objectives (a hill and a built up area (BUA)), whereas the attacker only needed to hold one of them by the end of the game (15 turns).  Furthermore, to add to the defender's woes he would at all times have to keep at least two units within 12 inches of the hill and two units within 12 inches of the BUA.

For this game we stayed in the Napoleonic period but I was able to field my new, 15mm Warrior/Roundway Russian army for the first time.  My opponents would be French with some Bavarian allies and the rules used were our trusty WRG 1685-1845.  Order of battle was as follows:

Russian (6 units)
1 x Murmansk Musketeers (Lithuania Inspection)
1 x Rostov Musketeers (Lithuania Inspection)
1 x Tomsk Muskteers (Siberia Inspection)
1 x Ekaterinoslav Grenadiers (Lithuania Inspection)
1 x Emperor's Cuirassiers
1 x 6th Jägers

French/Bavarian (6 units)
2 x French Line
1 x Old Guard
1 x Bavarian Line
1 x French Cuirassiers
1 x French Foot Artillery
The scenario puts the defender in the difficult position of having to defend two objectives but not knowing which one the attacker will go for.  The obvious objective would be the BUA, because it is closer to the attacker, but that's not how I decided to play it.  The map below shows the terrain and also what happened...
My plan was to attack the hill at the defender's side of the board, bypassing the BUA altogether.  I would advance directly to and assult the hill using my cuirassiers as a screen, whilst my jägers would invest the central wood to harass the enemy from there, thus securing my flank.
The French plan was to defend the BUA in strength (with the Old Guard and the artillery in attendance) and use the cuirassers as a mobile defence in the centre.
My plan went well.  As my infantry advanced in column up the left towards the hill, my curassiers surged forward to engage their French counterparts, whilst my jägers marched into the central wood.
The cavalry quickly engaged and the French found that they were no match for my newly painted Russians.
Meanwhile, the French, realising that the BUA had been completely bypassed, desperately started to move the defending troops out and towards the other side of the table, forgetting (perhaps) the requirement to stay within 12 inches of that objective.
In the centre things were going very badly for the French cavalry.  Being forced to flee they were pursued (and eventually caught) by the Russian cuirassiers (note hastily redeploying French artillery about to be trampled).
As for the Russian infantry, they stoically (and inexorably) continued their advance towards the hill changing into line formation for the assault.  The two defending French infantry regiments looked on, nervously.
And so to the attack.  As the Russians got closer, the French fired and forced the Tomsk regiment on the right of my line to halt.
But the regiments of the Lithuania Inspection continued forward, returning fire, when something rather unfortunate (for the French) happened:
This resulted in the French regiment on the left being all but blown away and its tattered remains turned around and fled.  The Ekaterinslav Grenadiers then moved forward putting foot on the hill, menacing the remaining French infantry.
Meanwhile, the Bavarians and Old Guard were moving towards their collapsing right flank (the Russian cuirassiers having chased the French cavalry off the table in the background), but we all knew it would be too late.
And so it proved, as a full volley from the Tomsk Musketeers punched holes in the last French regiment on the hill and the grenadiers moved in for the kill.  It was all over.
So, a resounding victory for my new Russians and a great start to their career.  I would take credit for the win, but perhaps their general deserves most of the glory.
And with two wins under my belt, my thoughts turned to the next game in the campaign.  According to the system I'd set up the choice was between No. 13 Escape and No. 18 Counter-Attack.

I swithered a bit between the two, but considered that as I'd won two games in a row I ought to make the next one more of challenge for me, so I decided on No. 13 and that will be the next AAR in this series.

1 comment:

ahmed said...
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