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Monday, December 2, 2013

By Fire and Sword: Polish vs Swedish Skirmish

Joe and I played a game of By Fire and Sword. I played my Polish and he played my Swedish. We played 12 points on each side, so since the armies were equal, we played the patrol scenario.

The board post deployment

The Swedish consisted of three big blocks of Veteran Reiters, and one section of Veteran Dragoons.

A menacing wall of Reiters

And some more Reiters on the far flank
The Polish list consisted of a big block of Pancerni, two small blocks of Cossack style infantry, two blocks of Wallachians, and a block of Volunteers.
Wallachians and their advance deployment
I had enough of a reconnaissance advantage to advance deploy one unit, which ended up being some Wallachians to start near on of the objectives, and also outflanked a unit of Cossack style infantry, which would start rolling to come on the board on turn three.
The rest of the Polish line - Volunteers screening the meaty stuff
We each had two commanders, and we each bought the extra command point upgrade on our main commander. We rolled for random effects, and I was able to permanetly strip one command point off of his main commander, and he started one of my units disordered - which ended up being a Wallachian banner.
Disordered Wallachians!
And with that, we're off!
The Reiters start to move out. Big wide battle lines are hard to maneuver

The far flanking Reiters start to move towards the center

The open-order Polish have a much easier time maneuvering around the terrain, since they aren't wheeling

Volunteers charge forward like the meatshields they are while the Pancerni start to line up

Wallchians taking to the woods on a defense order

The Pancerceni and Volunteers surrounding the center house

Cossacks filling the gap on the left flank

The Swedish battle line moves up and Dragoons prepare to garrison the center house

The Volunteers are eager to charge in to the Reiters

On turn three, the outflanking Cossacks arrive on the far right flank

The Pancerni charge into a large Reiter block with moral support from the Cossacks to their left

The Volunteers don't quite get close enough enough on their first charge move - they're going to take some heavy fire!

The Dragoons garrison the center building. They're going to be a lot tougher to move from that!

The Wallachians that were disordered on turn 1 start to move towards the fight

The Dragoons put two wounds on the Volunteers

And the Reiters do a third to remove a stand, but the Volunteers hold strong and finish their charge

The Pancerni also lose a stand moving in for the charge

And they lose combat, twice, being forced to eventually flee!
And off the table edge they run :(

As to be expected, the five Reiters break the Volunteers, but the Volunteers claim one stand from the unit. Op success! The outflanking cossacks move into their rear arc, but the Swedish reform on a defense order before the Cossacks can make use of their advantageous position.

Meanwhile the other Reiters, that just broke the Pancerni, move up

The last remaining Volunteer runs off the board

The Reiters then charge the Cossacks, who get caught between a Reiter and a hard place.

Joe's tape measure photobombs this shot

The Cossacks charge the Reiters in the rear, but they're too little and too late to break them

The Wallchians charge towards some Reiters

Run 'em down boys!

Wallachians actually do some serious damage to the Reiters, but between the Reiters Good Tactical Discipline and the Wallachains Poor Tactical Discipline, they still bounce.

Parting shot - board at the end of the game!
Both sides scored 6 VP for scouting the objectives as per the scenario, but the kills were so heavily in favor of the Swedish that they scored an additional 7 VP, making it a historic victory for the Swedish.

And from Joe: My primary goal with deployment and early movement was to just get my Reiters into a position to move freely at 5 wide. Possibly because of that limited focus, I felt like I was outmaneuvered on both sides with units able to get around my flanks and move up behind me. Fortunately the outflanking cossacks couldn't change their order to a charge to exploit their positioning, and Scott's inability to spread to 6 wide with his Pancerni made up for my lack of foresight in dealing with his cossacks coming around my right flank.

After action thoughts from Scott: Splitting up the Cossacks was probably a mistake - three strong banners don't do much, especially against five and six strong elite troopers. I was disappointed by the less than spectacular performance of the Pancerni, but sometimes the dice just say no!

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