Saturday, 26 November 2016

The Raid - A scenario for any period, originally designed by C S Grant

I have recently returned from another meeting of the League of Gentlemen Wargamers in Scotland. This meeting's games were themed on the French retreat from Moscow in 1812. The weekend's games comprised a series of one on one scenarios on Saturday, where each player played three of the six games on offer, followed by a big multi-player game on the Sunday.

Sunday's LOGW game. This scenario involved getting pontoons and bridging equipment to the river and building a bridge over which Napoleon could escape to safety. Napoleon started at the far end of the table. Between there and the river, various French and Russian forces battled for control of the route Napoleon and the bridging equipment would pass. Napoleon escaped and the French achieved a worthy victory. I (one of the six Russians) got trounced.

Napoleon (foreground), in his sledge, at the start of the game, about to go like a bat out of hell for the river over 20 feet up table.
The scenario that follows, even though I got trounced playing it, really took my fancy. It was originally devised by C. S. Grant, appearing as a Table-top Teaser Special and in an early edition of Battlegames. It was tailored for 1812 by Charlie Grant (pictured above, on the right), who devised all the games for the weekend. The rules used, BTW, were written by Kev Calder (pictured above, in the centre).

My version of the scenario is posted here by the kind permission of both of the Grants. I have tweaked the scenario for the SYW, adding one or two ideas of my own. The scenario is a raid into enemy territory. This version of the scenario was written for use with my amended Piquet rules.

The Raid

The Russians have decided to winter in the current area of operations but have insufficient supplies to do so. Consequently, they are undertaking raids in order to stock their magazines. 

Russian Force:

Aim: Steal supplies from settlements (numbered 1 - 6 on the map) west of the wide river, burn what cannot be carried away and escape off the western table edge before the Prussians can stop you.

Forces: One command group comprising:
1 Leader ranked as Skilled
1 unit of Dragoons (Ready)
2 units of Don Cossacks (Ready)
1 unit of Grenadiers (Eager)
3 units of Line Infantry (1 Eager, 2 Ready)
1 battery of light howitzers (Eager)
3 Wagons.

Initial Deployment: All troops enter the area of operations marching in column of route using one (not both) of the western roads marked with a red arrow.

Capturing supplies: Each settlement has three points of supplies. Each wagon can carry three points of supplies. Each cavalry unit can carry one point of supplies. Any type of unit can load supplies. To load supplies a unit must enter the settlement, have a wagon adjacent or be cavalry loading their mounts, and declare their intention to loot on Officer Check. It takes one activation, on a Pillage and Loot card (x3 in sequence deck), to load one point of supplies onto a wagon or onto cavalry mounts. Each point of supplies successfully escaping via the western table edge earns one victory point. 

Burning Settlements: A unit must be in a settlement and declare its intention to commence burning on Officer CheckIt takes three activations on Pillage and Loot cards to completely fire a settlement. Each burning activation on Pillage and Loot cards earns one victory point. A settlement cannot be looted and burnt at the same time, or be looted after burning has commenced. 

Note: Whilst looting and burning, units count as disordered and they cannot shoot or initiate a melee. If attacked, looters and burners can be automatically rallied into fighting trim on Officer Check cards. Likewise, troops can be ordered to recommence looting and burning on Officer Check cards.

Note: Cavalry loaded with supplies deduct 4" from their move rate.

Note: Wagons are captured or destroyed immediately they have a melee initiated against them on a Melee Resolution card. They cannot be destroyed by small arms fire but can be destroyed by artillery fire - they count as a single '3 hit stand'. Wagons move on Artillery Move cards at a rate of 12", adding 25% if moving on a road, but deducting 2" per point of supplies being transported.

Note: We play movement into and out of buildings on Move in Difficult Terrain cards rather than on Deploy cards (because there tends to be only one Deploy card in the sequence decks for SYW armies).

Prussian Force:

Aim: Prevent the Russians stealing supplies and denuding the territory under your protection. 

Sentry Force: One command group comprising:
1 Leader ranked as Average
1 unit of Dragoons (Ready)
2 units of Line Infantry (Ready)
1 battery of field artillery (Ready)

Initial Deployment: Two of the sentry units are billeted in the town east of the wide river (buildings marked 'G'). One unit (infantry or cavalry) is on patrol outside a random (Roll D6) settlement west of the wide river, marching in column of route. The artillery is deployed in a redoubt sited to defend the bridges and ford on the wide river; the redoubt allows a 360 degree arc of fire but because the guns are primarily sited to defend the bridges and the ford fire at other targets will be at Down 1; fire Vs targets on the bridges or ford is Up 1; the guns cannot be moved.

Sentries have alerted you to the presence of the enemy and you have called for reinforcements. 

Reserve Force (off table): One command group comprising:
1 Leader ranked as Skilled
1 unit of Dragoons (Eager)
2 units of Line Infantry (Ready)
1 unit of Grenadiers (Ready)

Initial Depolyment: The Reserve Force begins the game off table and is marching as fast as it can towards the area of operations. It will not arrive before turn 4. From turn 4, whenever the Special 'A' card (x2 in sequence deck) is turned. test for arrival by rolling D8 Vs D8. If the test is successful the Reserve force will begin to arrive in column of route on the next Infantry Move in the Open card. The force will arrive using one of the road exits marked with a blue arrow. If the test was successful on an even roll, the force arrives at the town; if odd, the force arrives using the northern route.

Victory Conditions: For the Russians to win they must successfully steal or burn 22 points worth of property. Any other result is a Prussian win.

Terrain Notes:

  • High ground is type I terrain, stop at contact full rate thereafter, and blocks LOS. 
  • The wide river is passable only at the bridges and the ford. Artillery can only cross at the bridges. 
  • The narrow river is passable with difficulty (Type IV terrain, requiring a standard difficulty check) to infantry and cavalry. Wagons and artillery can only cross it at the bridges. 
  • Buildings are type III terrain and they block LOS. 
  • Woods are type III terrain and they block LOS. 
  • Roads add 25% to movement rate for troops in column of route.
  • Fields are scenic only. 

Army Characterisation Deck Draw: Each side will draw 3 cards from the ACD. Any Stratagem cards involving reinforcements, ambushes and flank marches should be ignored. Each side should have a minimum of ten morale points.

1 comment:

David said...

An interesting scenario, which I may have to borrow next year.