Saturday, January 3, 2015

Battle of Nieuville - A Grayrock Revolution Battle

I've been publishing Retrospectives on Saturdays and I have one ready, but I am going to save it for tomorrow. Instead, I have a battle report. Kaptain Kobold asked for more horse & musket battles so I played out another clash of the Grayrock Revolution. I have gone back to my grid-based rules (I did not like measuring or recording casualties) but I used One-Hour Wargames to determine the army compositions and the battle scenario. The scenario is # 15 - Fortified Defense and the army lists are as follows:

Bluderia - 4 infantry, 1 artillery, 1 cavalry
Grayrock - 3 infantry, 1 artillery, 2 skirmishers
Note - I don't have gray infantry in 2mm so I am using white as a substitute.

In addition, I used Thomas's solo set-up system to deploy the Bluderian forces. Random rolls ended up with a strong left flank (consisting of 2 infantry and the artillery) and a weak center (infantry only). I positioned the Grayrockian infantry in the built-up areas (the town of Nieuville in the center and the village of Hogfast on the left) and on a hill. Skirmishers are in the woods (right) with artillery in the center. I am not using generals in this game. Also, you will note that I am using my 2mm figures.

After his unsuccessful attempt to break the siege of the capital, Giovanni retreated to the town of Nieuville. He soon received word that Bluderia's General Waffenhoffer had left a token force in front of the city and was rapidly pursuing the rebel army. Giovanni set up a defensive perimeter running from Hogfast to the woods.

Waffenhoffer advanced on a broad front, with the bulk of his forces ready to assail Hogfast.
Disposition after the Bluderians move onto the battlefield (facing south)
 Waffenhoffer ordered the attack and the left flank attacked the village. Meanwhile, the cavalry advanced between the woods and the rocky ground.
The opening confrontation on the left.
 Sustained fire forced the Grayrock infantry from the village but with reinforcement they advanced to retake it.

Per Thomas's scenario, the infantry in the village is not supposed to leave, but the Command & Colors-inspired rules I'm using allow for forced retreats (on a roll of a flag on my C&C dice). I interpreted the rule that the infantry could not be commanded to leave but could be forced out.

Speaking of dice, I determined activation by rolling 3 dice. After a few turns I realized that, at the pace dictated by such few dice, the Bluderians could not win by the scenario-allotted 15th turn. I then upped the activation dice to 6, which seemed to allow a sustained offensive but still provided some interesting, random twists. I extended the game a few extra turns to compensate for their restricted activations early on.
Grayrock loses the village but returns to contest it
 The Grayrock counterattack re-took Hogfast, and sent one Bluderian infantry unit running.
The village is back in Grayrock hands.
 The victory was short-lived as accurate fire forced the infantry back out of the village. Meanwhile, the skirmishers in the woods and the Grayrock artillery took a toll on Bluderian forces. Waffenhoffer ordered the cavalry to take out the artillery.
More fighting on the left.
Cavalry charges the guns (center)
 The cavalry is cut down and the skirmishers rout a Bluderian infantry unit.
Accurate Grayrock fire devastates the Bluderian center and right.
 By this time, the Bluderians had won the battle on the left but the Grayrockians were successful on the right and center.
End of the first phase of the battle.
Bluderia is victorious on the left but devastated in center and right.
 But now, Bluderian reinforcements arrived. The skirmishers had moved up and were ready to contest the advance.

In this scenario, the attackers may, at any time, declare a reset. Their remaining troops are withdrawn from the board, and the entire army returns, posing as reinforcements. After turn 8, I decided to do a reset (I figured it would take too long to reposition the weakened forces on the left). Troops needed to be activated to enter the board. I again rolled random dispositions and ended up with a strong right flank.

Per Thomas's rules, skirmishers are the only units allowed in woods. I used the same rules for the rocky ground (center).
Bluderian reinforcements arrive.
They make a strong advance on the right.
 Bluderian reinforcements moved into Hogfast while battle raged around the rocky ground.
Hogfast taken!
 More cavalry arrived on the battlefield. Once again they charged the Grayrock artillery, but this time they overran the guns. Unable to attack the remaining enemy (either in town or rough terrain), the cavalry withdrew.

Again, I am using some of Thomas's terrain rules, which restrict cavalry to open ground.
The cavalry charge takes out the artillery.
Bluderian musketry wiped out the skirmishers in the woods and they began to advance on Nieuville.
Advance on Nieuville.
Fire from Nieuville and the woods devastated the Bluderian infantry.

Per the scenario rules, the defenders of the town/village get a firing bonus. I gave them +1 die (like Memoir '44, infantry get a maximum of 3 dice, dropping to 1 die at a maximum range of 3 spaces).

I liked how Thomas's rules made skirmisher fire less effective than infantry fire, however I think that skirmishers should be more effective at long range (they are better shots, they can sneak up and then fall back, etc.). Therefore, in this game, skirmishers used 2 dice regardless of range. It seemed to work well.
The attackers are devastated.
By this time, it became clear to Waffenhoffer that he could not take Nieuville. He gave the command to withdraw his forces back to Grayrock City. The rebels were victorious!

This turned out to be a nail-biting scenario. Bluderia had cleared out Hogfast by turn 8 (about halfway through) and Grayrock forces looked stretched when the reinforcements arrived. However, the skirmishers and the infantry in Nieuville displayed some brutally effective musketry, wiping out a couple of units. At the end, only the infantry in Hogfast and the cavalry (which could not attack a town) remained.

On another note, I took another idea from Kaptain Kobold. Instead of my usual red casualty markers, I used little "rocks" (actually chunks of cork board). The markers look more natural that way.

1 comment:

  1. I'm pleased! The rules I have been considering for this scenario using a square grid are the same as yours - +1 dice! I have assumed that this will increase ranges accordingly, so infantry will be 4-3-2-1 and (in my rules) Artillery 4-3-3-2-1. However I will not be allowing retreats at all, treating them as hits. Units get the cover bonus, though, and can ignore the first Retreat from each attack.

    As for Skirmishers, I'm thinking of making them 2-2, maybe 2-2-1, but with only three hits. However they can make a diagonal move and can convert the first hit they receive in close combat into a retreat. I'm looking at them as a possible part of a Great Northern War Turkish army under the square-grid rules.