It has been a while since my last post, real life intervened as it is prone to do from time to time. This scenario is a follow up to my previous one and concerns the campaigns of King Charles X of Sweden against the main Polish Crown army. Details have again been taken from volume 2 of "Charles X's Wars" by Michael Fredholm von Essen, which is published by Helion.
Having heard that the Poles were in and around Wojnicz, Charles led a force of c 5,200 men, (the vast majority being cavalry) in that direction. The Polish army under the command of Hetman Stanislaw Lanckoronski was slightly larger, numbering c 6,200 men all mounted.
After an initial skirmish between the outposts the two forces deployed. The Poles deployed in three divisions, pancerni on the wings and hussars and pancerni in the centre. A regiment of dragoons was ordered to defend the camp. The Swedes placed their cavalry on the wings and the centre was held by dismounted dragoons and a few infantry, which took advantage of "a defensible gorge"
|A view of the table with the Swedes on the left|
.The objective for the Poles is to drive back the Swedes and protect their camp; for the Swedes, they would like to break this part of the Crown army and capture the baggage, so both sides need to attack I rated the Swedish horse as slightly better than the pancerni, but not as tough as the hussars. There was only one small unit of hussars and the bonus for lance only counted in the first charge. To account for the "defensible gorge", any defenders would gain the benefit of the attackers charge bonus being nullified. The dragoons in the Polish camp counted as being in hard cover. The cavalry wings each had 4 regiments and the Polish centre had one unit of hussars and one of noble levy. I used the levy mainly because I didn't have enough pancerni. It did weaken the Poles slightly, but they did have more units.
|First the Poles win|
The Swedes won the initiative and moved forward, as did the Poles. Battle was soon joined and the Swedish right, which had two veteran units began to gain the upper hand. The Polish centre decided not to charge the Swedish dragoons, but moved to bolster the Polish right which was coming under pressure from the Swedish left. As usually happens the Polish hussars charge proved unstoppable and they overcame two Swedish units. However, they became isolated and were overwhelmed. By now the Polish left had disintegrated and losses on the right were high so a Swedish victory was declared.
|A rare sight, routing hussars|
After lunch we swapped sides and ran the scenario again. Once again the Polish right was in trouble and needed the centre to help them out. One notable event was when a fresh unit of Swedish horse charged a small, shaken unit of Polish noble levy. In the melee the Poles inflicted no hits on their opponents while receiving 8 in return. Against the odds they managed to save all 8, but as they were shaken in a drawn melee they had to take a break test. This came up double one so they routed. Once lady luck proved how fickle she can be!
Historically the battle was a Swedish victory and the Poles lost their baggage and also parts of their army changed sides. The catalyst for the loss was the unsuccessful charge by the hussars against the dismounted dragoons. The leader of the hussars was Prince Dymitri Wisnniowiecki and being young and inexperienced perhaps his enthusiasm overcame his common sense. Among the Poles who changed sides was one Jan Sobieski who later went on to be king of Poland.