Saturday, 3 January 2015

Solo Zorndorf - part 4

The only advice I received about what the Prussians infantry should do, is to attack. So, that is what I decided their plan should be. I decided that the Russians should hold their centre, possibly making a local counter attack if the situation looked favourable, whilst trying to outflank Dohna's infantry with Demiku's cavalry; the Russians should give up their position to the right of the Galgen-Grund as a lost cause.

So the game began. Turn 4. Let the Prussians at 'em!

Fat chance, the first dominoes give 17 initiative points to the Russians and only 6 to the Prussians. And the Russians go first!

I've included this shot to show how I'm running the initiative for this battle. Each side draws a domino from a cloth 'cash' bag. The player with most spots wins the initiative and will go first. The number of spots on the winning domino is the number of initiative points won. Except, if either side draws a double the spots on both dominoes are added together and this is the number of initiative won. The loser gets the spots on the high side of his domino as initiative and goes second in the initiative round, unless it is double domino - when the loser gets both sides. The turn will end on a double blank domino and any domino totalling an odd number of spots being drawn together. It sounds more complex than it is in practise. I'm using the left hand clockfor the Russians, right for Prussians; there are no impetus phases in my domino driven games.

The Russians used their initiative to forward the advance of Demiku's cavalry, bringing them them up to the Langer-Grund. 

This is only a minor obstacle - stop at contact then no effect. In reality, it was the a slight dip with some soft ground at its bottom.
Along the line the Russians who can see Prussians in front of them let fly with volleys of musketry and to good effect. The Russians momentarily catch sight of the Prussians coming through the Stein Busch. The Russian battery commander is on his metal and immediately orders a salvo of canister from his Secret Howitzers.

My favourite Piquet sequence card is Heroic Moment. When you first play Piquet you generally use it to get a unit bonus to fire, or hope you draw a move card that will allow you to move a unit twice, or perhaps use it a a melee card for a chosen unit. All well and good but, it is so much more than that. The last line of the rule book definition is "Some room for interpretation is allowed; heroic people should also be innovative!". To me that means only one thing - you can bend the rules with it! In the above case visibility range should be limited to 4", because of the trees, and the Prussians would therefore be out of sight; but, this is 'heroic' artillery fire; perhaps the Prussians walked into a clearing visible from the battery, perhaps they just made too much noise crashing about in the undergrowth but, whatever they did, that artillery saw them and opened up.
Between the Zabern-Grund and Galgen-Grund Seydlitz launches his cuirassier into the last remaining Russians.
Schorlemer, seeing the threat that Demiku poses to Dohna's flank comes forward at the first opportunity.
On the other flank the Russians are finished.
On the other side of the Galgen-Grund, the fire fight is vicious. Both sides give everything they have got. 

However, the Prussians have been constantly mauled by the Russians and at last, their will to fight is lost and they melt away.
Marschall's dragoons now face the Russians without infantry support but, the Prussians have been lucky with their cavalry attacks so far.
Before Demiku can turn onto Dohna's Flank, Schorlemer's cavalry engage them in some inconclusive melees.
 Dohna's infantry burst through the Stein Busch and are on top of the Russian centre.

At long last, the Prussians turn an infantry move card. Such are the vagaries of Piquet.

Beyond the Galgen-Grund Frederick has brought up the infantry he rallied in the rear. 

He relinquishes them back under Manteuffel's command.

They begin to press a flank attack across the Galgen-Grund.

The Galgen-Grund was a shallow steep sided muddy 'ravine', overgrown with bushes, with a stream at its base.
The Observation Corps is now coming under pressure and one of its units cracks....
....but Browne is on hand to stop the rot and they are just a soon rallied.

A regiment of Dohna's infantry have moved across the Langer-Grund - probably a bit of local initiative being shown, it better work or that colonel will be cashiered.
At the end of turn 4, the whole of the Russian line is engaged in fierce fighting. 

On the left, Dohna's infantry and Schorlemer's cavalry are pressing the Russian left.
In the centre the bulk of Dohna's infantry, ably supported by the remnants of Kanitz's command have emerged from the Stein Busch and are engaging the Russians closely.
On the Russian right, Manteuffels infantry are launching an assault across the Galgen-Grund.
Everything is poised for the end game. Both sides have barely 20 morale points. Both sides still have reserves with which to launch an attack or bolster a defence. It's going to be close.


Gonsalvo said...

An ongoing treat to watch this game unfold!

I agree with you about the Heroic Moment Card - allows a lot unique possibilities for use, some with a Difficulty roll.

Sgt Steiner said...

Endlessly stunning