Monday, 5 January 2015

Solo Zorndorf - part 5

This report will combine the action from turn 5 until midway through turn 6, at which time the battle was effectively ended. Turn five and six were unusual in the number of high initiative swings they produced - the double six domino appeared no less than four times, and there were several other doubles too. 

On the Russian left Demiku's cavalry and Schorlemer's cavalry came to grips all along their lines.
On their right the pressure was building as Seydlitz brought his cavalry to an undefended length of the Galgen-Grund but, as it was, the Russians had had enough.

They broke and fled towards the Hof-Bruch.
Things were not going well for the Russians. The Observation Corps was beginning to feel the sting of Prussian musketry.
But, at the Galgen-Grund things were going from bad to worse as their line collapsed.
Seydlitz was across the Galgen-Grund and, cutting off the Russian retreat as they fled helter-skelter for the safety of the wetlands of the Hof-Bruch, his troopers captured them in their thousands.
What Russians remained to the left of the Observation Corps were pressed back onto the boggy ground. The elated Prussians began their advance to finish them off.
Only the Observation Corps remained largely intact.
The cavalry action on the right was now beginning, and the Prussians were getting the best of it here too.

This ended turn 5.
The last of the Russians fleeing to cross Hof-Bruch in the direction of Quartschen were captured by Sydlitz's troopers.
Then, by chance, things started to turn in the Russians favour on their left. Perhaps, just perhaps......
In the centre the last of Saltykov's and Galitzyn's troops were being shot to pieces.
In a last counter attack, born of desperatation, a couple of determined battalions of combined grenadiers take advantage of a lull in the musketry. 
First one regiment of Prussians took to their heels...
...then another. 

Was this last gasp of the Russian infantry enough to swing the battle. 

The Prussians are down to a handful of morale chips. The Russians still have some to spare.
Back on the Russian right they are throwing themselves into the fight with some elan. Schorlemer's cavalry begin to break.

The Russians are invariably rolling dice of less value than the Prussians but are winning hands down on almost every roll.
Even the Cossacks are encouraged. 

We are using a difficulty check before allowing Cossacks to close - this does not apply to Heroic Cossacks!

At first they are thrown back but,.....
..........they attack from every direction and overwhelm their adversaries.
It looks like it is too late. Without warning a fresh attack by Dohna's infantry upon the Russian left causes the Observation Corps to disintegrate.
The Russians draw double six and the Prussians draw a nine. The Russians have 21 initiative points. Low and behold, first card up is Command Indecision and they lose the lot! It never rains when it pours.
The Prussians now spend their six initiative points and win the first sixteen of the next initiative with a high double of their own. By the time it is spent, their are no Russian infantry still in the field. They only have a couple of regular cavalry units (the others having galloped off in pursuit), a few regiments of unreliable Cossacks, and two morale chips left. The Prussians have troops galore and one morale chip.

The Russians throw in the towel and order a general retreat.

The last two turns saw the Russians finally run out of luck. They got their cards at the wrong time, their firing was ineffective due to poor dice rolling, and the Prussians got much more initiative. Only in their last gasps did their luck begin to change but it was far too little, too late.

This was another solo success, as far as I'm concerned, The battle took seven or eight hours to play out, and playing it a turn at a time was definitely the way to do it. It also made the AARs easier to write as things were fresher in my mind. I hope you have enjoyed reading the AARs.

11 comments:

steve said...

Great stuff as always James.

Edward Sturges said...

Really good AAR. Love the figures as well.

Assuming these are 24 figure battalions and 8? Figure cavalry regiments, what were the respective number of infantry and cavalry units and guns on each side?

Regards

Edward

Der Alte Fritz said...

This series on Zorndorf, in aggregate, is one of the best wargame reports that I have read in a long time. You let the colorful pictures largely tell the story, with just enough commentary to convey what happened and keep us on the edge of our seat.

There must be a way to condense this into an article for one of the wargame magazins.

Gonsalvo said...

Great series, James. Interesting that both armies were down to almost zero Morale Points, but he Russians had almost no army left!!!

AHunt said...

I like this way of doing it. Easy to follow and it keeps me coming back for more. Needless to say, the battle looked amazing, as always.

Phil said...

Great pics as always!

JAMES ROACH said...

THanks guys, I'm glad you enjoyed them.

Edward,

Numbers were roughly:

Prussian: 38 Btns (25,000), 129 Sqds (10,500).

Russian: 55 Btns (33,308), 21 Sqds (3,382), 3000 Cossacks.

The difference in figure ratios (infantry Vs cavalry) has been commented before and my answer is still the same:

I don't play Btn level games, I play Regt. level.

An infantry Regt. (2Btns) and cavalry regt. (5 Sqds) have almost exactly the same frontage when in line. The cavalry Regt. has half as mmany combatants (roughly) so infantry at 24 should face cavalry at 12. However, the frontage of my infantry is such that it is impossible to get twelve cavalry on four stands each 45mm wide, so there are only eight (fitting nicely as it happens). My rules do not count heads, they count in something approaching 'unit integrity points' so actual figure numbers don't matter much. To be closer I could have used 16 figure infantry units, but that, two ranks deep, makes them look like they are in loose order (SYW infantry almost lock together with elbows in armpits when firing) and I don't like infantry in single ranks. It's a fudge but, it's one I happily live with.

JAMES ROACH said...

Oops, forgot the artillery note.

The Russian field pieces were outnumbered, roughly two to one. However, the battery frontages were similar (and the Observation Corps had LOADS of integral artillery). Consequently, to reflect this, I made all of the Russian batteries field pieces, and all of the Prussian batteries heavy field pieces, though much of the Prussian artillery has finished its work pre-game in this scenario.

Michael Peterson said...

Another amazing SYW game. I was hoping the Russians would rally and make a come back, but it looks like it as a exciting finish.
Always inspired by your games.

daggerandbrush said...

Tricorns off to you! Beautifully painted armies and a great spectacle to share in such a richly illustrated way!

Scheck said...

A wonderful battle, great pictures showing all the little masterpieces you painted . I am deeply impressed - wonderful!
Peter