Sunday, March 2, 2014

All the King's Men - 54mm toysoldier war night, Battle of Gohfeld

Not quite finished with my Russians I decided to field them on Friday night anyways. I wanted them tested in the flames of battle! I was a "coalition" of French (Spencer's) and my Russians while Spencer played Allies, British and Hanoverian.

Shin deep in "Imagi-Nations" the map used was of Gohfeld. French-Russian Coalition formed in the south east corner and Allies formed across the west end of the field. A river (The Warre) ran through the middle and the FRC had the bridge so could access the north bank.

Map of the actual engagement, ours was more of a battle and we added the Russians to the French. Our map was also simpler. In this one you can see that the French lost.


French in command, the Russians had the mission to get across the Bridge over the Warre and make a go of taking a hold of the north bank. In front leading the column are 3rd Observation Corp Musketeers followed by the legendary Apsheronskiy, followed by the reserves of 3rd Grenadiers. On the flank are Ukrainian Landmilitia cavalry.

Deployed in column and ready to take the south bank of the Warre are the French. From left to right in the picture above are light infantry backed by cavalry, some old-timey and well regarded French musketeers, a newer unit wanting to prove themselves in the center, and grenadiers. Behind the "mill" building is our general and to his right are 2 artillery units.

On the other side were the Brits and Hanoverians, you can see them in the pics below:

At the onset of the battle I needed to deploy my Russians on the North bank, at the least get 2 infantry units there. This was paramount to my strategy. The French were to just move forward and get as close to the center as possible. I also wanted to get some kind of presence on the hill. This would later be a failure on my part as I had sent my skirmishers to do so but they over shot and ended up behind enemy lines and killed or captured to the man.

I was very successful in getting Apsheronskiy and 3rd Observation Musketeers across followed by the Ukrainian Landmilitia cavalry unit. Not full strength but enough for a show of force that would work out in the end.

I then was able to get my artillery in place and firing effectively. You can see them (some dead) in the second pic just above to the left and across the river of the Russian line.

Spencer moved his skirmishers forward effectively screening his whole south bank army from my musket and artillery lines. This forced a lot of my artillery fire and action economy on my Russians, one artillery volley wiping out one of his charging cavalry units and heavily damaging the second coming at my Russians.

On the south bank, after the failed raid of my skirmishers and in the face of very effective skirmisher fire from the Brits I was able to form up 2 lines of infantry. Backing the skirmishers are a stalwart and Hanoverian immovable infantry line anchored to the south via that hill which was later occupied by a Brit infantry unit.

I was, finally, able to break that skirmisher screen and smash another Hanoverian infantry line to the right with my French cavalry who then moved forward to smash the remaining artillery of the Allies. I, too, lost my artillery so it was payback!

The cavalry charge was supported from the north bank by Apsheronskiy volleys of musket fire.

Speaking of the north bank, things were getting bloody:

Apsheronskiy moved forward after offering support to the cavalry on the south bank and gave to to the allies. They took heavy losses after squaring off the line with the 3rd Observation Musketeers on their right. Russian cavalry charged forward, sent an Allied infantry unit to the left on the run, retreated, but was not quick enough to get away from a return volley from the allied right. Apsheronskiy crept forward a bit more to bring muskets to bare (at just above half strength) and held off any rally by the allies on the north bank.

Back on the south bank the Russian reserve Grenadiers were ordered forward to support French infantry as losses were building there. The fighting was heavy, acrid smoke filled the air, and line troops were exchanging volley after volley. The French cavalry was lost, no artillery, all skirmishers were gone or captured. It was up to the line infantry to win the day and adds were quite even.

In the end, through many casualties, the FRCoalition won the day. It was a matter of losses and morale (thus a die roll) and was pretty even all the way.
 Russian 3rd Grenadiers (in reserve) deployed to cover losses on the French/Russian south bank right flank.
Through attrition and with Allied morale broken, the Allies left the field leaving Grohfeld to the French/Russian Coalition.

Metagame-wise, the cards were pretty even. We'd both get solid runs of 5-6 turns in a row. It's pretty depressing to be on the receiving end of that. It's pretty lucky feeling to be the one making the moves. We had one round where the "deck-buster" card was at the very bottom of the deck and we ran through the whole deck. We had one round that ended immediately with the "deck-buster" right at the top.

The dice were black and white. You either got a real good roll or a real bad roll. It kind of washed out.

As mentioned, it came down to lost units and a "command roll" that depicted whether your general stayed or left the field of battle. I was the first to lose enough units to hit the bar for this roll. I made it. Spencer lost the next unit forcing a command roll and failed the roll, thus his army left the field of battle. The game was pretty even throughout.

Again, if you want to try out "toy soldier" scale wargaming give All the King's Men a try:
Rules are free, minis is your choice. As mentioned before all of our minis are cheap BMC bags of American Revolutionary War plastic figures.

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