Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Reinforcements - a Ga Pa scenario

It has been some time since the Prince August figures had an outing, so this week I created a scenario set in the years following the Russian defeat at Narva.  The Russian forces are still recovering and Peter is expanding the army to meet the demands of the Great Northern War.  Three new 3 battalion regiments are accompanying a supply column on its way to join the main army.  With them are three trained battalions who will help to teach the relatively new recruits the 'joys'of campaign life.  Attached to the column is a brigade of three dragoon regiments and two batteries of artillery, one light and one medium. The main body of the column, commanded by Major General Repnin, has halted at a small village to allow the  rearguard (Colonel Schweden) to catch up.  Colonel Roshnev (commanding the dragoons) has taken the opportunity to go foraging.  Repnin's lunch is disrupted by the arrival  of a Cossack patrol which claims to have seen a Swedish force heading towards the village. The Cossacks are sent to find Roshnev and order him to return to the main column.  Meanwhile, Repnin deploys his 8 battalions in two rows of four,supported by his artillery.  His objective is to preserve the supplies in the wagon train.

A Swedish force in three columns is advancing on the village.  The right hand infantry column (Colonel Sparre) has 4 battalions (one being guard) and a very light artillery battery. The second column, commanded by Colonel Stackenberg has 5 battalions and will arrive opposite the left hand side of the Russian line.  The arrival of Colonel Creutz's cavalry (3 regiments) will be decided by die roll.  Overall, the Swedish objective is to drive off/disperse the Russian regiments and capture the supplies.

Repnin's line
 Sparre's column arrives on the field first and their line of advance will outflank the left hand end of the Russian line.  Not wanting to allow the Swedes the opportunity to concentrate on the end of his line, Repnin ordered the Fraserski regiment (one of his trained units) to move from the second line to extend the front line.  The poor leadership rating assigned to the Russians by the Ga Pa rules meant that unless Repnin attached himself to the Fraserski regiment it was unlikely to follow orders.  However, doing this left the rest of the front line 'out of command'.  The regimental colonel for the Novgorodski regiment took it upon himself to order an advance and the line began a wheel to the left to meet the Swedish advance. 

This should not have been too much of a problem, but as the Russian line began its movement, out of the tree line appeared the second Swedish column and they were now in a position to attack the flank of the Russian line.  As he galloped back to a central position, Repnin was relieved to see the battalions of the Narva regiment which comprised Schweden's brigade coming into view. With luck they would arrive in the nick of time to form up on the right of the Russian line and oppose the Swedish attack.  Less welcome was the sight of the Swedish cavalry forming up behind Stackenberg's infantry. The ferocity of the Swedish cavalry charge was well known and Repnin hoped that his  men were up to the challenge.

Sparre urges on his men
 Roshnev's dragoons now appeared on the Russian left, but their advance was impeded by the Fraserski regiment and the leading regiment the Moscow Dragoons had to form column to move round their infantry.  As they moved to find the Swedish flank they were hit by a volley from the Swedish guard battalion which drove them from the field in confusion.  However, the threat of the remaining dragoons was sufficient to make the guards form square.

Elsewhere, the Russian artillery was making an impact.  The Varvat Framlings regiment was forced to halt to reform its ranks as losses from artillery mounted.  An unusual hesitancy now gripped the Swedish infantry (ie Steve had a run of very bad dice) and to maintain pressure the Swedish cavalry were ordered forward.  The Finnish regiment Abo led the way, but, strayed within the arc of fire of the second Russian artillery battery.  The concentrated fire reduced the regiment to a shambles and they took no further part in the battle.  (The Swedish/Finnish cavalry regiments only had one step whereas the Russian dragoons had two).

Roshnev's dragoons
 Sparre's progress now depended on the Jonkopings regiment.  Wheeling inwards they advanced on the 2nd battalion of the Novgorodski regiment.  After an exchange of volleys the Swedes charged.  The Russians didn't wait for the impact, but fell back behind their supports, disordering them in the process.  Pressing on, Jonkopings then fired a volley at the 1st battalion of the Vologdski regiment, causing them to fall back. 

wreathed in smoke the guards' square suffers heavy casualties

By now the Russian line had lost all semblance of order and this made Repnin's job of directing affairs even more difficult.  The sole success was the damage inflicted on the Swedish guards by the volleys from Fraserski and fire from the Kiev dragoons.  Schweden's men had managed to stall Stackenberg's advance and the 1st battalion of the Novgorodski had beaten off a charge by the Upplands cavalry regiment.

Jonkopings press forward
 However, Jonkopings had by now almost reached the supply wagons.  Only the 3rd battalion of the Vologdski barred their way and they were disordered.  Three more of Repnin's battalions were falling back and the artillery had been overwhelmed by the reformed Varvat Framlings regiment .  Repnin sought out Sparre and offered his sword.  Although  victorious the cost to the Swedes had been heavy with most of their battalions suffering step losses.


  1. A bit of a pyrrhic victory to the Swedes. Nice to see those Prince August figures.

  2. Yes James, it is always a bit of a 'tightrope trip' with the Swedes. They need to get into contact quickly or the firepower of the Russians will do too much damage. I think that I need to get more cavalry for the Swedes to balance things up.