Friday, July 05, 2013

Danzig Report

Played: June 20th 10am to 3:30pm
Length: Played 16 turns
Commanders: Mike (Russian) and Jeff (Prussian) vs. Eddie (CiC, Rabbe, and Coqueugniot) and I (Breyer, Robert, and Jeanin)
General de Brigade Deluxe

Our game based on the Russian attempt to relieve/resupply the besieged garrison at Danzig was a victory for the French side, but only by the narrowest of margins. Eddie commanded the French side while Mike and Jeff led the Allied troops. Having a strict deadline (3:30pm) pushed the Allies to strike rapidly in order to have units in the "victory zone" by the appointed time. This dispensed with the usual, lengthy, opening bombardment that has become standard fare in our games.

General course of the battle
While Jeff struck quickly with Von Rembow's and Loptev's brigades, Mike struck out on a rapid march to turn the French right wing. In support of the flank march, the guns of HMS Falcon hammered away at Rabbe's and Coqueugniot's brigades as they sheltered in the sparse cover of the woods. This allowed the three Russian brigades to move to the road virtually unmolested.

The Prussians of Von Rembow, supported by fire from Fort Weichselmude, drove the Saxons of Breyer back into the woods. Von Rembow's brigade soon came under fire from the French batteries on Holm Island and "Fort Vistula" which stalled any momentum that the Prussian attack had. The Prussian cavalry was hit several times before it tried to charge the French Chasseurs a Cheval who had moved to fill the open flank to Breyer's left. The Prussian charge was hurled back as the Prussian horsemen ROUTED and were lost for the rest of the battle. Meanwhile, Rabbe's Gardes de Paris were holding Loptev's brigade at bay with a succession of hard-hitting volleys (Eddie constantly rolled 9 or higher when firing) that left the Russians disorganized and unable to press home an attack.

While Breyer's, Robert's, and Rabbe's were holding off two Allied brigades, the French brigade of Coqueugniot was left to watch the rapid march of three Russian brigades on the French right wing. Luckily for Coqueugniot's troops, the HMS Falcon had moved to a position were it could no longer hit them (the ship had done exceptionally well given the range that it was firing at) and the Russian commander had trouble getting his troops making the flank march to turn and head for a new objective point. It took Mike 3 or 4 turns to roll well enough to give each of his three brigades new orders. That was just enough time for Coqueugniot's men to move to a position along the stream and defend the bridge. Once the Russians got moving again they began to launch a series of furious charges at Coqueugniot's brigade. Much to everyone's surprise, the Russian attacks were repulsed and the battered French line continued to hold.

At this point there was a bit of a lull as both sides regrouped and positioned themselves for the final act. The Russian flank force soon renewed the assault with a new round of charges that pushed Coqueugniot's brigade back and opened the road for the Cossacks to begin sweeping behind the French lines. Luckily for Coqueugniot, Rabbe's brigade was able to stave off the charges by Leptov's brigade. If Leptov's attack had carried through then it is likely that Rabbe's and Coqueugniot's men would have been routed or captured by the Russians. Von Rembow's Prussians were pressing closer to Breyer's Saxons but they were suffering under combined firing from Breyer's brigade and the artillery at Holm Island and "Fort Vistula".

In a last effort to decisively win the day, the Cossacks launched a charge at the small Chasseur a Cheval regiment that had moved to block access to the Allied "Victory Zone". Though outnumbered by the Cossacks the Chasseurs were able to break the Cossacks and drive them back (lucky roll in Melee Resolution!) at the cost of the Chasseur unit DISPERSING due to casualties. This combat had slowed the advance of Berlizeev's and Leontyev's brigades just enough so that there were only 3 Russian units in the Victory Zone when 3:30pm came to pass. With three Russians in the Victory Zone, Eddie rolled a die 6 and the resulting roll of a 5 gave the victory to the French!

In all, it had been a tense and competitive battle throughout the day. Both sides were rolling exceptionally well during the shooting phases which left many of our units teetering on the edge of rout or dispersal. The HMS Falcon was a considerable force, until it was finally driven off by the combined efforts of three batteries, given the fantastic rolls that Jeff made each time the ship fired.

If you feel moved to attempt this scenario just be sure that the Allies have a real chance to march directly across the table from deployment zone to victory zone in a short time. Our games usually run about 12 - 15 turns so the distance on our table was 6 turns worth of movement. This gave the Allies time to fight and still make it in time. The ship could fire across a bit more than half of the table and the forts had a similar range.