Friday, May 11, 2012

Bitva Pultusk

The combined Russian-Boyar force pressed towards the Pultusk bridge and ford of the River Narew.

In defense Mieczyslaw battalions had been assembled with light guns to hold the bridge and ford region.

These battalions were set to cover the ford, as this area was the only one large enough to permit large troop formations to cross.

The artillery was set up to make crossing the bridge, a narrow space, impossible for infantry formations.  One battalion was deployed into skirmish, while the other was in line, well back from artillery range at the river.

Boyar and Russian brigades arrived, Boyar troops were tasked to cross the bridge, while the Russian columns pressed into the ford gap in the marshy ground.
The Boyardvina brigade pressed into the bridge right away, the leading brigade failed to charge home.  They were promptly blasted by the Mieczyslaw light gun battery. 

This column stayed on the bridge and pushed for charging again, again they failed to proceed into the target.  Now the skirmish line had begun firing, the column had taken on 25% casualties at this point and they were finally routed off of the bridge.
 Meanwhile at the ford, the Russian brigade had set up their guns and had infantry columns moving up ...
These guns continue to fire towards the Line and skirmish deployed Mieczyslaw battalions, the woods covering protected the dense lines, the skirmish deployment was enough to also lower the effectiveness of the light gun that was able to fire toward them.

No further delay could be accepted by the Russian commander, watching that the Boyars were thrown off the bridge by the Mieczyslaw artillery, the time for the crossing was now.
It was the rush across the river that saw the death of the Russian Brigadier, his loss was enough to cause a loss of confidence in the zeal of the columns.
That loss of zeal, ended the charge.  The columns were pushed out into ragged lines, while a fresh column was prepared to move forward.  Through all of this the Mieczyslaw lines (now the skirmishers had been reformed into line), were delivering volley after volley into the Russians.

The whole Russian-Boyar army now was fast approaching the 25% casualty rate. These ragged lines now began to lay down volleys of their own.  Now the Mieczyslaw army was taking casualties, pushing them close to the 25% level.  The Russians had one fresh column - this was to be the victory trump card. A gap was made in the Russian firing lines, they charged just as the two firing lines collapsed.
The column charged, the Mieczyslaw battalion fled from the woods (right to the edge of the table!), the remaining Mieczyslaw battalion, seeing that the Russian column which had just run off the other battalion, was now in some confusion and disarray (they had just come out from the river) with their FLANK exposed at their front!
The Mieczyslaw charge was successful, the Russians did not stick around to fight it out and fled back across the river in a total rout. 

This now put the Russian-Boyar forces at 25% (morale check level), and the Russian commander was hard pressed to keep the battalions from fleeing...

Just following the CHARGE! moment for Mieczyslaw ...

The Boyar brigade (seen in the background, distance to the left) was all that the Russo-Boyar army had left to get across the river.

One more push at the Pultusk bridge is the order for the Boyar battalions.  At nearly 50% casualties for the first battalion, the prospects for the second assault are not good...

Never-the-less the order is given, the forward line of infantry forms into column to advance on the bridge.

 While the Boyardvina troops moved into column, the Russian commander was hard pressed to keep his troops present, while at the end of every turn the whole army was checking against retreat as now the casualties had reached 30%.  Meanwhile the Mieczyslaw battalion had been rallied (only just on the 2nd - final! - attempt) and was now moving back into position.

The other battalion was strung back out into skirmish order as the Russian artillery resumed firing.
Without surprise, the Boyar attack across the bridge was repulsed.  The initial charge failed, pummeled by artillery the column again remained to 'try' a charge again.  The second attempt also failed.  That battalion took 50% casualties driving the Boyar force to 50% casualties and the total army to 40% casualties.

This was too much for losses, the army failed the morale check after that rout from the bridge.

Pultusk bridge was held against odds of 2:1.

Game was played 6 May 2012; rules set used Warfare in the Age of Reason.


Archduke Piccolo said...

One of them there near run things, by the look! What does that augur for the Boyardine invasion?

MurdocK said...

The overall situation is not yet clear, at least 1/3 of the Duchy is already overrun.

The Altmoranians are still fighting the Russians, with the recent gains of the Russians in the Baltic then the north flank of Brandenburg is threatened. This may cause the blue coats to fall back from the Narew to a new defensive line ... or they may be able to hold this eastern flank while the Austrians are punished in the south.

Were the Prussian to fall back then the north flank of the Mieczyslaw position would become impossible, and the Boyars get what they want with the Russian help. With the lines being held, a counter-offensive becomes a possibility ...

YES the battle was certainly a near run thing!

Capt Bill said...

Reich Duke Wilhelm is pleased to hear of the Duchy of Mieczyslaw's recent victory. He has requested that the College of Honors award your commander the Ancient and Honorable Order of the Tankard.

MurdocK said...

Thank you Capt Bill,

Does the Tankard come 'filled'?

Bluebear Jeff said...

A nice account, sir, as always. I particularly like the "turn number" in the bottom left corner and the printed information on the photos.

-- Jeff

MurdocK said...

I have been taking the pictures of the turn 'die' that I use - the big d20 - for a number of games now (making the tracking of time easier in building up the storyline). This time I decided to use cut outs in the pictures.

Worked well with the FPGA on the Marauders blog also.