Sunday, November 18, 2012

SHAKO - Rear Guard Action 1812

Playing games on Saturday with my boys was a bonus, they were keen to go with a SHAKO battle.

This time the Russians would have 2:1 advantage over the French - who were simply called upon to last as long as possible ...

One of the interesting things that can come about when a 6 year old makes the plan ... you can get some very 'unusual' setups and plans!

a confusing series of crossing paths in the plan for the Russians
In rear-guard were 4 battalions of line troops and 1/2 horse battery for the French.

It took three turns for the Russians to move into range on the French ... during which time the crossing columns had to move and shift on one another allowing for one 1/2 horse battery to roll far forward, preparing to blast the French, who took a risk in throwing out a column at the battery and caught it in the process of unlimbering - only a re-roll card saved the battery from being totally destroyed.

By turn 5 the columns of Russians had been sorted out and new orders sent to the cossacks on the far right wing - the attack would be devastating and involve combined arms!

by turn five the Russians were more sorted out
Russian Cossacks are faced by French Line Infantry
The Russian Infantry was still marching to positions
The French decided to not form squares and fired volleys into the advancing cossacks.  They failed twice to get any hits or disorder the cossacks.  When the charge came home, the did not form square and fired again, failing then in the close combat the score result was a tie!  Since the Russians have the move option (with almost all forces in motion!) the French Infantry line was driven back by the Cossacks - who were at the very limit of their commanders radii, and recalled back rather than drive any more forward.

Upon reflection from the game, I had a thought to 'force' certain layouts on players (based on historical positions or standard tactics) then let the players have to amend or adjust their plans from this starting position ... it certainly has some merit for both teaching historical tactics and coming to a better understanding of the sort of mix-ups that can happen in the battle situation.

Turn 6 was one of a pause for the assaults and continuing to get forces ready for the Russians, while the artillery duel got going full force... the Russian Dragoons came out the worst for the situation along with one of the French battalions taking 2 casualties.

artillery battle during turn six
Turn 7 was another Cossack charge, that was repulsed by a French emergency square (that battalion had recovered and raced back to protect the 1/2 battery that was killing Dragoons and now Russian infantry (it had not missed all game!)).  Meanwhile the Russian 1/2 battery that had been mauled in turn 3 was now back into position and unlimbered ready to fire ...

Turn 8 was the decider, three artillery batteries fired on the start of the turn for the Russians, scoring hits for each of them.  One French Battalion was simply cut to pieces having taken a total of 5 hits it was gone (only 1/2 the brigade remained).  With a wounded column (unable to change formation) and a fresh column facing a wounded French square, the Russians threw the Infantry columns at the square that had just repulsed the Cossacks.

coup de main, 2 Russian columns smash through a French square
With both brigades reduced to 50% in the same turn a morale roll was called for, both rolled "1" meaning ROUT.

The Russians smashed this rear guard in 4 hours of battle and were still mostly healthy - certainly the Cossacks could keep on the heat on a retreating Grande Armee....


David Cooke said...

Great fun! Enjoyed reading the AAR.

James Fisher, FINS said...

Another nice report of an interesting game David. Your six year old has a good grasp of Napoleonic history already--well done!

I have nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award. See post on our blog.

MurdocK said...

I dunno James,

He had two infantry and one cavalry brigade crossing paths in the same 6" of territory.

It was madness that we worked out eventually.

You can see the mini map of his plan in the first picture.

Phil said...

Nice AAR, looking great!

James Fisher, FINS said...

Good point MurdocK... I skipped over that little detail (!) and was thinking more of his idea (?) of a small French rearguard having to hang on against overwhelming odds!