Friday, April 25, 2014

BLB Scenario: Winter 1706 GNW in Poland

August the Strong's Saxon Army prepares to attack the enemy
Gunter Heim impressed us so much with his Saxon Army on his last visit to the UK that I just had to incorporate them into this year's schedule. We wanted to get the Swedes out again too as they are so different to game with. The final element to the game was my desire to put on a winter table and see how that looked.

Swedish position. Note the Saxon prisoners in forward earthworks
Overall, the combination with a tough scenario proved very challenging for the players. The game is set in Poland in 1706 sometime soon after the Battle of Fraustadt. A Saxon force is attempting to push into Swedish held territory and comes across a blocking force defending a strategic river crossing.

12 battalions, 22 squadrons, 4 guns and 4 dragoon regiments
The Swedes are uncharacteristically entrenched and with significant artillery support. Part of their force is made up of Saxon prisoners whose loyalty must surely be under question.

The guns were well positioned to hit the enemy ridge
The only visible Swedes in the blocking force are the gunners and two regiments of Horse one of which is the Livgarde. The Saxons have overwhelming superiority in numbers but are operating on a narrow frontage with a long way to go to reach the bridge and capture it. With August the Strong leading they are inspired by their King yet he is no great general and so movement allowance each turn is another limiting factor.

Game 3- Saxons hit the brick wall of Halsinge, Uppland & Ostgotland
Beyond the ridge is hidden a three battalion brigade of Swedish infantry. Marching to the sound of the guns are a further three battalions and 7 squadrons of Horse. In all games this last component of the Swedish force never appeared!

Game 2: The Swedish Lifeguard appeared. A battalion was destroyed!
We ran the game three times. Two Swedish wins and one Saxon. Gunter managed to get his newly painted Leib Regiment through the centre and they charged and destroyed the 1st battalion of the Swedish Life Guard Regiment of Foot. Now that is some claim to fame! During game 1 the Swedes held the ridge comfortably and did so without the aide of the hidden infantry or reinforcements from off table.

Regiment Abo och Bjorneborgs

In the second run the Saxons steamrollered through the centre giving Glory Hunting Gunter a moment of joy when the Guards went down to his buff coated Leib Cuirassiers.

This proved to be irresistible
In the final run the Saxons made heavy weather of taking the ridge but looked to be breaking through down the central road until three battalions of Swedish Foot popped up out of the ground and blocked the path.

Some schmoozing went on at the forward barricades when the Saxon prisoners in Swedish pay were offered terms by their former brothers in arms. On two occasions the pragmatic Saxons accepted the terms, killed their Swedish officers and bolted for the Saxon gun line. In several other instances they fought on. On particular group of Saxons fought so well that they held up the attacking Saxon horde far longer than anyone expected.

Saxon Gardes du Corps in action. Can you spot the King?
It was good fun for the Swedish players to be on the defensive and to use artillery which is a bit of a novelty! As you can see from the evidence, some of the guns were not well handled as they blew up!

Whatever you do.. never roll two 1s in an artillery shoot!
More wins for the Swedes in defence than in attack if you reference back to the Klissow 1702 blog-post from last October.

We enjoyed this one. It looked different and taking defensive works proved to be challenging as always.

13 comments:

  1. What an amazing collection Gunter has - really impressive looking game!

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  2. Fans of Gunter's collection will notice that different regiments fought in this battle than at Klissow. He has another 8+ battalions which have still not taken the field although finished. I think he has another 12 battalions as yet to be painted! He IS the King of the Saxons!

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  3. The snow table looked very good using the powder, did it clear up easily at the end of the day?

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  4. Actually it cleared up surprisingly well. We lost about 1/5 of a jar. Not bad considering it cost about £8, so the effect was gained for less than £2.00. There was a fine dust residue on the boards afterwards which vanished when Bob used his make up brush to flick it into Gerry's handbag.

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  5. Very, very, very impressive battlefield! I've just read your last comment, and I am really impressed by your attention to details...Great looking game!

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Thank You all for the kind words about my Saxons!
    Let's say they fought well in Dumfries even as my first try to break the Swedish defensive Line was stopped in its tracks. The second attempt was done more straight forward without hasitation and also from an abit more advanced starting position. The 'Steamroller' in the center have been 5 Cuirassier Regiments with the fresh painted Leib-Regiment which broke through the Swedish Guard Battalion after three rounds of close combat. This marked also the end of the battle and it showed that the curse of fresh painted units could be broken!
    The Snow had one disturbing effect as it was clinching to my flexsteel bases of my Saxons as if it was magnetic itself! I had to clean each the 98 bases one by one.
    The snow worked against the magnetic sheets in my transport boxes!
    After all a great battle on a lovely scenerie!

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  8. Fantastic battle report, Amazing terrain... i felt cold just looking at it :)). And would the king be the gentleman in the grey suit?

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  9. Good shout Rittmeister but even Gunter is slightly more cautious with King August! The King is in a red coat sword raised, lower left centre of the same shot. Often he does seem to find himself involved in close combat!

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  10. Fantastic images from a fantastic looking game. The Saxon Army in red is beautiful.

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  11. Being a gamer of that particular conflict, I really love to see GNW games. Gunter's army is amazing. I really love all the eye candy of battle reports on this site.
    We once had the Swedes on the defensive, but they ended up winning by launching a glorious counterattack.

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  12. It's great seeing Gunter's army in action. Looking forward to future events!

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  13. Excellent battle report. Enjoyed the visuals of two beautifully painted/based armies.

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