Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Battle of Gifhorn

End of Move 4
The first battle of our new Brunswick campaign was a really good example of how unpredictable our wargames often are.

At the end of move 4 the French had advanced onto the table and halted out of artillery range of 1st Prussian corps.    They then advanced their artillery within range of the enemy infantry.   This would allow them to fire on Prussian infantry, but the Prussian gunners could only fire on the deployed artillery.   The French would need 8 or more with 2D6 to hit, the Prussians gunners would need 10 or more.

Unfortunately I misjudged the distance of my French dragoons from the enemy artillery.   They were just within range.   I didn’t realise this until Jan pointed it out to me after the end of move 4.  It goes without saying that she is a much better judge of distance than I am!

In single corps games we roll 1D6 at the start of each turn to decide who moves first.   For move 5 this could well decide who won the game.   If I moved first I could withdraw my cavalry before Jan got a chance to fire on them.   I rolled a 4, Jan rolled a 5.   She moved first.   She needed 9 with 2D6 for a hit, she rolled 8.
End of Move 8
For the rest of the game just about everything that could go wrong the Prussians did.   Each time there was a critical dice roll, Jan rolled low.  When it didn’t matter she rolled high.

Her hussars charged my dragoons.   She won the first round of melee, with 10% casualties against my 20%.   Better still she was just disordered, I was shaken.   However on the second round I reversed the odds.  We both ended with 20% casualties, but now she was shaken and I was disordered.

The French artillery hit an infantry brigade for the second time.  With 20% casualties they needed 5 with 1D6.   They rolled 3, failed the test and joined the gunners running away

As my infantry advanced her artillery hit the leading brigade.  They made their morale and continued towards the guns.   She needed 6 to hit at close range, another 10% casualties would almost certainly rout the infantry.  She rolled 5.  The infantry charged the guns who routed with 20% casualties.

The landwehr brigade in square next to the guns had to test their morale due to the gunners rout.   They were full strength and needed 3 or more with 1D6.   They rolled 2, broke and also ran.

Finally two French brigades in column charged a Prussian brigade in line.   One round of melee is fought for each French brigade.    The first was a draw, with 10% casualties each.   But the second saw the Prussians break and run with 30% casualties.

Thus ended the game.  

Had the Prussians hit the French cavalry at the start of move 5 they would have won the game.   Without cavalry support the French would have called off the attack and retreated to avoid a very likely defeat.

As it turned out 1st Prussian corps was smashed, and will be hard put to hold their own for the remainder of the campaign.

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