Although Steve and I have settled on Pike and Shotte (or at least our version of it) as our rules for this period we do look at other rule sets to see if there are any mechanisms which could be transferred. One set which I have looked at is "By Fire and Sword" by Wargamer. One thing that caught my attention was the way in which they dealt with the various categories of firearms. They make provision for the quality of the firearms, giving the better quality ones a greater range. Therefore, a standard musket has a range of say 18" whereas a poor quality firearm has a range of 12". We thought we could use this to reflect the variable quality of equipment of levy, militia and standing units within the Eastern theatre; this game was a trial of that idea. A mixed Polish/Cossack force is raiding into Muscovite territory in response to an earlier incursion by the Muscovites. It comprises of two Cossack infantry units, one of registered Cossacks and one of moloisty and two Polish infantry units, a "foreign regiment" and a Lan militia unit. They have a light gun to support them and four units of cavalry, 2 of pancerni and two of Cossack light cavalry. In response the local Muscovite boyar has assembled 3 local infantry units, two units of servant Cossacks and a unit of border dragoons. He has been joined by the commander of the local garrison commander with a Soldatski unit, a unit of urban streltsy and a light gun. There are also four units of cavalry, two of feudal cavalry and two of light cavalry.
|The initial set up, Polish/Cossack forces in foreground|
|The Polish Lan regiment|
|The Pancerni stike|
Matters were looking slightly better for the Muscovites in the centre. The Soldatski's first volley was sufficient to disorder the Registered Cossack unit facing them. A second inflicted more casualties and forced the Cossacks to halt to rally. On the extreme right, the Moloisty unit was coming under fire from the Muscovite light gun and also a small unit of Border Dragoons ensconced in the buildings of Mesto Vody. The Polish infantry had now moved up onto the left flank of the Registered Cossacks and into range of the Streltsy and Servant Cossack units. Even though the Servant Cossacks had poor quality firearms and were therefore firing at long range they managed to inflict losses on the Lan infantry, whose return fire was less effective. Volleys from the Streltsy disordered the Foreign Regiment before it could fire and the Polish light artillery was slow to get in position to support their infantry. To the Muscovite commander it looked like the enemy infantry were beginning to waver and he ordered the Soldatski to charge. They did charge, but not far enough to reach the enemy line, (we use variable move distances), and received a short range volley. Fortunately for the Muscovites this was ineffective, the return volley was not and the Registered Cossacks took further casualties. Next turn the Soldatski charged, received another short range volley, but closed to melee.
|The Soldatski charge falls short|
The cavalry battle was now in full swing. The remaining Muscovite light cavalry unit was charged by a Cossack unit, counter-charged and managed to defeat their opponents, pushing them back. However, the Muscovites now had to deal with the reserve Cossack unit which charged forward to cover their comrades while they rallied. The feudal cavalry and Pancerni were also now locked in melee.
|The cavalry battle in full swing|
The feudal cavalry struggled against the Pancerni, As they fought, the last Muscovite light cavalry unit broke and routed from the field. The nearest feudal cavalry unit had just pulled back disordered from melee, as had the opposing Pancerni. Before they could recover they were hit by the Cossacks and routed, with the Cossacks in pursuit.
|The Muscovite light cavalry rout|
|Followed by one of the feudal cavalry units|
|The final position|