Battle of Coronel 1914

We fought out the Battle of Coronel using 1/3000 ships from Navwar and the Stations Manned and Ready 2 rules. In true wargaming fashion both admirals were aggressive.

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FoF campaign start: Enduring Oppression

We started a new Force of Force campaign yesterday: “Enduring Oppression” The Soviet experience in Afghanistan. We will be fast-forwarding through the long years of the occupation. In the beginning the Afghans will be poorly armed and disorganised, but as the game progresses they will gain experience and equipment. The Soviets will also evolve during the campaign from a strong but inflexible mechanised army to an army that is more suitable to operations in a mountainous country. We have three players in the campaign playing against the umpire (me). Janne has a platoon of VDV, Petri has Soviet motor rifle troops, and Eero plays a hard-line Khalqi platoon leader with a mixture of raw conscripts and revolutionary Sarandoy gendarmes. Each player had starting pool of points to buy their troops, and victory points gained during the game can be used to buy and upgrade troops. They also have access to scenario-specific assets (tanks, artillery, airlifts). The Soviets have to determine before each mission which of their men are sick (1-2 on d6) and the poorly motivated Afghans are prone to desertion (1-2 on d6). Most of the losses will be non-combat ones, and the Soviets will be realistically struggling to get their squads to anything resembling full strength. The campaign is set in a fictional province of six locations controlled by two dushman factions, religiously motivated tribes operating from Lah Tariq, and secular guerrillas based mostly around Bang Kaar. The six locations on the map can be pacified by winning missions there. This will lower the insurrection level in that location. Losing a mission will raise the insurrection level in that location. The first scenario was dictated by me to be the pacification of Pish Pawr, and building a fortified base there. This went well for the players, as they had access to incredible amounts of firepower. The village was pacified, unfortunately practically every house in the village was flattened by Soviet 122 mm artillery or Hind strafing runs. The camp is practically unassailable by the lightly armed dushman troops, so the second scenario was an ambush of some supply trucks, which was intended to lure a reaction force from the camp into a killing zone. Unfortunately this did not work for the dushman fighters, who lost most of their men before retreating back towards Lah Tariq. The players will now have pretty much free hand in deciding what operations to attempt next. They can move into any of the locations, even through... read more

Chef de Bataillon game

We had a blast from the past in our latest game night. Petri demonstrated the semi-skirmish Napolenic ruleset Chef de Bataillon, published in 1995. We pitted one Austrian battalion (144 figures) against two French battalions (72 figs each). The rules are trying to simulate the role of the battalion commander. Which they do fairly well in my personal opinion. Unfortunately this means that the player has very little to do, apart from trying to roll the dice well enough to get his unit to do what he wants. Even shooting is not automatic, you have to get your unit to follow the order to “fire”. Very strange. Personally I think the rules are an interesting anomaly as I prefer grand tactical games, where troops actually set up far from each other, the player can decide where and how to attack and defend, and actually feel that he is fighting the opponent, not the game system. Anyway, in our tense three hour game the Austrian battalion was happily decimating the French troops until a stray bullet killed the Austrian officer. The Austrians then routed from the field. As the Austrian commander the decisions I made during the game were: 1) “Hmm.. I want to shoot the enemy into pieces, that shall be our plan.” 2) “The way to do that is to form in line and advance.” 3) “I will see if skirmishers are useful: Deploy, (not really, therefore) recall skirmishers.” 4) “Advance into close range and keep on shooting until someone breaks.” Not that exciting, but interesting as an... read more

Russo-Swedish scenarios

On these pages we describe the battles that we have re-created in miniature. Battle of Leppävirta, 11th of March 1808 General de Brigade scenario details – Refight battle report Preliminaries: Russian forces crossed the border to the Savo area on the 28th of February, about one week after the main forces in the south. The 5th Division of Lieutenant-General Nikolai Aleksejevits Tutskov started operations with 3.000 men with rest of the division still marching to the area of operations. Finnish force in the area was the Savo Brigade under Colonel Count Johan Cronstedt with 4.000 men. The Savo Brigade was concentrated at Mikkeli with strong detachments to the east. However, based on false intelligence, Finnish forces had already started retreating northwards in order to protect their supply lines from alleged Russian flanking maneuver. With new orders to avoid pitched battles from army commander Klingspor, Savo Brigade moved to Leppävirta south of Kuopio. In the morning of 11th of March Colonel Cronstedt received reports that the Russian force of under 2.000 men was closing in from the south. Dispositions: Finnish forces deployed on the frozen lake. Infantry supported by artillery formed a single line with small cavalry formations on the flanks. In the forests east and west of the lake were detachments of jaegers. The eastern shore has plenty of steepish cliffs which are several meters high. This makes it impassable to formed infantry and cavalry. The Battle: Russians arrived sooner than expected and started to deploy opposite the Finnish line. The “battle” turned out to be only a minor skirmish, with two forces exchanging some scattered artillery and musket fire during the afternoon and cossack attempts to threaten Finnish flanks easily repulsed by Finnish salvos. Under the cover of night Finnish forces, according to the orders, continued their withdrawal north towards Kuopio. Apparently the Russians were somewhat hesitant to advance since their right flank in the east hadn’t frozen due to strong current. It is said that because of this several battalion commanders pleaded Cronstedt to crush the Russians with a flanking maneuver from west/behind. If all the troops of the III (Savo-Karelian) brigade that were present (some weren’t deployed) had been committed to this attack, their numbers would also have been superior to the Russians. Battle of Lapua, 14th of July 1808 General de Brigade Orders of Battle – Refight battle report It was already early summer when Finnish army under Klingsporg finally started its counteroffensive to the... read more

Albuera 1811 – the refight

The battle Anglo-Portuguese were initially deployed so that the Hamilton’s Portuguese guarded the ridge north of Albuera with Otway’s Portuguese cavalry securing their northern flank. Von Alten’s small KGL contingent was positioned in Albuera itself. Stewart’s 2nd division was in reserve roughly northwest of Albuera as were Cole’s 4th division with Lumley’s cavalry brigade but even further from the town. Their plan was to guard the northern flank with the Portuguese and to form several lines west of Albuera and repel the enemy with these well supported lines. On the north side the French surprisingly started advancing. This was because the Godinot had mistakenly understood his orders so that his troops were to advance to and hold the actual river bank. Advancing this way they arrived within canister range of almost half a dozen Anglo-Portuguese batteries which started reaping grim harvest. The French CIC quickly sent new orders to retreat to ballshot range while artillery of both sides kept on pounding the opposing infantry. The Portuguese troops stepped back as far as they could to either get behind the crest of the hill or at least to lengthen the distance from the opposing batteries. During all this the flank supporting cavalry of both sides just followed the spectacle while around Albuera these opposing divisions began a skirmish battle to which also the KGL skirmishers took part. In south the French fell upon the Spanish units struggling to form a front against the southern attack. The Spanish cavalry attacked French infantry while they were still disorganized from crossing the river which had been somewhat deeper than they had anticipated. However the French still proved to be more than a match for the weak Spanish cavalry. Losing their (weak) cavalry support immediately during the initial contact the Spanish infantry were thus left between rock and a hard place as they struggled against the French combined arms, but they managed to hold on. The other Spanish division marched south-eastwards to plug the gap between the other Spanish division’s left flank and Albuera. However before they managed to make a divisional wheel into position a Werle’s reserve division stormed across the river through the olive grove and fell on the left flank of the Spaniards and made mincemeat of battalion after battalion. A solitary battery of the KGL guarding the bridge could do but little to stop the French before being overrun. These heavy casualties inflicted upon the Spaniards with no real effect... read more

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