A random series of articles on war gaming in 40K, FOW and other systems. The headings are, WiP; Conversions and models in various states of assembly. PiP; Paint works on various models. Mission Critical; scenarios or missions to bring a bit of a twist to a normal game. MiA; rules for units and characters that could/should/might appear in a game. Dig In; How to guides on making various types of terrain for different game systems. Sit Rep; Battle reports and after action reports on games played

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sitrep (Blücher): The battle for Putin's Peitsche

The battle for Putin's Peitsche

In a bitterly cold January the first game of the new years in in the Knights corner.  In an attempt to get some use out of the models we painted last year Two dice and I opted for a game of Blücher. We do not play the game enough to be confident to do a set battle yet so we used the same armies as the last battle with some of the cards being replaced with models this time.

The Spanish dominated the pre game campaign.  Their cavalry out scouted the French to dictate the axis of attack and the Spanish columns seized the centre of the map to determine where the battle was fought. In parallel the Spanish guerrilla decimated the french second column destroying two units and crippling one or two more.  The only negative being two of the Spanish scouting cavalry regiment suffered heavy losses due to fatigue. Both regiments were attached to 1st brigade.

French heavy cavalry advance down the road to Estacia
For the battle, the Spanish 1st,2nd and 3rd brigades would face the French 1st, 2nd and 3rd brigades while the Spanish 4th brigade march to outflank the french and hit their 2rd column.  The battle put the Spanish in a bit of a conundrum. They needed to attack to press the their advantage on the weaken french 2nd column but they also needed to defend to allow time for their fourth column to show up on the French flank.  Plus the set battle is where the French start to shine and recover from their losses in the pre-game campaign ie they can go through the Spanish like a hot knife through butter.
In response the Spanish dragoons probe the french lines

The Spanish opening was pretty timid 1st brigade, with the two badly fatigue cavalry regiments, rallied recovering some of the cavalry strength. While the light cavalry, Empress’ Dragoons from the 3rd column rode forward and started to scout out the french (In Blücher, Units are marked with blinds until they are spotted or they move and there is nothing more annoying than discovering mid way through the game those blinds you thought were conscripts are actually the imperial guard. That can ruin your day).
The french swing into the centre of the battlefeild

The French response was far more aggressive with their 3rd brigade breaking cover and revealing itself to be a heavy cavalry brigade which then pushed forward towards the Spanish 1st brigade. Probably prompted by the knowledge the Spanish had a brigade march to out flank them.  (It is a shame you can not do secret moves in Blücher it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if the french were not aware of the outflanking Spanish. Then again Spanish infantry marching unprepared near a French cavalry brigade is a happy time for the French).

The Empress’ dragoons scouted out the French 3rd column and determine most its strength and which units were in the worst condition after their scrap with the Guerrillas. While the recently rallied cavalry from 1st brigade shuffled forward to meet their French cavalry. The Spanish heavy cavalry also pushed forward to meet the French.

Spanish dragoon get pinned between the french heavies to their front french light cavalry to their rear 
The French continued with their aggressive stance. Their 3rd brigade began to advance and its light cavalry moving to charge the Empress’ Dragoons in the rear. The heavy cavalry brigade began some charges with one regiment charging some Guerrilla cavalry from the Spanish 1st Brigade and another regiment charging the Empress’ Dragoons. Against the odds the Dragoons fought off the charging cavalry while predictable the Guerrilla cavalry transformed in a red paste and the feet of the french horse.

More Spanish cavalry commit to engage the french heavies
Without a single shot being fired things were starting to heat up fast.  Spanish light and heavy cavalry regiments charged the French cavalry that had routed the guerrillas.  Beating them back with the impetus heavy cavalry pursuing the retreating french. The Spanish Guard infantry advanced to start harassing the French horse cavalry. But the French got the initiative before the Empress’ dragoons could extricate themselves from the precarious position they were getting into being surround by French cavalry.

Spanish third brigade advances on the french lines
This time the French cavalry slammed into the Empress’ dragoons charging one regiment into its front and another into its rear.  Somehow the Dragoons (barely) survived and swiftly moved to the rear of their lines. Another french cavalry regiment charge the a Spanish cavalry regiment and routed it.

Spanish Guards brigade commits to pin the french centre
Predictably the Spanish were struggling to contain the French in a straight up battle having lost two regiments and with one on its last legs in exchange for no losses and there was no sign of the 4th brigade on its outflank maneuver.  Another cavalry charge by Spanish light and heavy cavalry regiments forced back another french cavalry regiment. While the Guard infantry began to harass the French cavalry with skirmish fire. The Spanish 3rd brigade also began to advance hoping to close the ground and engaged the weaken French 2nd brigade before the Spanish morale crumbled.

Already mauled by guerrilla attack the french give ground
French pressure began to waiver as their heavy cavalry brigade started to break up and soak up effort to reorganise. That said the first and only artillery shot of the french horse artillery attached to their heavy cavalry brigade destroyed the empress’ dragoon before they could withdraw to safety.

6mm french cavalry outflank a 10mm dice
The Spanish made the most of the French pause.  With the outflanking column still not in sight their last remaining heavy cavalry regiment rear charged a french cavalry regiment and destroyed it.  The Spanish 3rd brigade reached the battleline and destroyed a badly damaged infantry regiment.  The loss of the two regiments combined with the losses from the guerrillas was enough to break the French attack and force them to withdraw.
And start to flank the Spanish Gaurds

Overall a very satisfying game  The French only needed to destroy one more Spanish unit to force the Spanish to break while the Spanish struggled badly engaging the French in open battle.  I think we need to play a few more games and maybe start to mix up either the map or the forces a little. For the Spanish I think I may get some British or Portuguese allies to allow some of my units to go head to head with the French.  And maybe stop trying to be clever with the outflank moves that never seem to materialise.  While for the French it might be worth investing in some more light cavalry.  Their heavy cavalry is excellent but may be overkill.
Spanish cavalry save the with a flank charge that destroysa French cavalry regiment
(not often the Spanish get to say that)

Incidentally,  Putin's Peitsche is the term the Dresdeners give to the bitterly cold eastern wind that blows into Dresden in January the English translate is Putin’s whip.
On the flanks the Spanish third brigade routs another french regiment

That is all for now thanks for stopping by

No comments:

Post a Comment