Monday, 23 May 2016

A Second advance on Riga. Another fictional scenario from the Great Northern War using Ga Pa

Family commitments ruled out a game last week, but this week offered Steve and I the opportunity to try out a second Ga Pa scenario.  This is set a few years after "the Encounter at Rauna" post and the quality of the Russian force has improved, whilst that of the Swedes has declined due to the demands of the King's campaigns against Saxony.

The terrain is very simple to set up, basically is is open, with a couple of woods on the flanks, no ambushes this week!

Russians on the left, Swedes the right.
The Russian forces comprise 12 battalions of infantry, of which 9 are rated as trained.  Of the six regiments of cavalry 5 are trained and one, the Horse Grenadiers are elite.  To complete the Russian force they have two batteries of artillery which are of heavier calibre than those fielded by the Swedes.  For their part the Swedes have 8 battalions of infantry, 4 veteran and 4 trained and 6 units of cavalry of which three are veteran and 3 trained.  They also have two very light battalion type guns.  The Swedes have two other advantages, their commanders are better and all the cavalry are 'gallopers' rather 'trotters'.  However, their cavalry units only have 1 step whereas the Russians have 2.   The Russians objective is to break through the Swedish position and march on Riga, whereas the Swedes must stop the Russian advance.

First blood to the Russian cavalry
A roll of the dice decreed that, once again, Steve would command the Swedes.  We then rolled for the rating of our commanders, I ended up with two rated as 6 and three as 7, Steve had 8s and 9s.

The Swedes won the initiative and decided to attack, which suited me as my lower rated commanders would have difficulty managing a co-ordinated advance.  I therefore relied on Hold orders for the infantry although the cavalry did venture forward on the flanks.  The Russian artillery proved its worth from the start, out-ranging the Swedish guns they were able to disorder the advancing battalions before the Swedes could reply.  Indeed, when my cavalry repulsed the first Swedish cavalry attacks I allowed myself a brief glimmer of optimism.

The Swedish infantry stand firm
Big mistake!  When the Swedish battalion guns were advanced in front of the battalions on the Swedish left I ordered the front line on that flank to advance; hoping that their volleys would drive off the crews.    The first line did advance, but their support lines did not, and to compound the error, I had miscalculated and Steve still had orders available for the infantry on his left and two battalions quickly marched forward to support their guns.  The musketry exchanges resulted in me being disordered and failed command rolls in subsequent turns meant that I couldn't recover.

The front lines prepare to cross bayonets
On the wings fortune still favoured the Russians.  My left wing cavalry drove two Swedish units from the field, but became disordered in the process and once again struggled to recover.  Meanwhile the elite Horse Grenadiers decided to advance, hoping to threaten the flank of the Swedish infantry. Steve countered this by moving his converged grenadiers to face the threat.  Their volleys eventually drove off the Horse Grenadiers, who had attempted two charges, but had been repulsed on both occasions.  On the opposite flank the same sort of thing happened.  The Russian cavalry drove one unit of Swedish cavalry from the field and then caused two more to rout.  However, all the Russian cavalry was now disordered and could not exploit their advantage.  As my commandeers struggled to regain order, the Swedish commanders quickly rallied their men and then sent them back into the fray.

The Horse Grenadiers are driven off
In the centre the advance of part of my front line had masked the fire of my guns.  This encouraged the Swedes to press on with their attack and they quickly moved forward.  Soon  both front lines were exchanging volleys, with casualties on both sides.  However, the quality of the Swedish infantry enabled them to withstand the pressure  whereas the Russians began to fall back.  This tended to disorder their supporting lines and the Russian commanders struggled to restore order.

Trying to rally the troops
Now the advantage on the wings began to swing in favour of the Swedes.  Their reordered cavalry were able to charge their disordered opponents and quickly drove them back.  Progress on their right was particularly good.  Driving all the Russians from the field the Swedes redeployed to threaten the flank of the Russian infantry.  Assailed to front and flank the Russian infantry were in dire peril  At this point I ceded victory to Steve.

The end is nigh!
The two amendments we had implemented,

1  Attached commanders aiding recovery from rout/disorder

2  Units interpenetrated by units of an equal or better quality had to check for disorder

seem to have worked well and will be written into the rules.  


  1. An enjoyable report. I confess that I find the older HE figures very attractive, they're not as polished but they seem livelier and the poses more natural.

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  3. Those PA are really lovely. They have a simplicity and charm all of their own.