Well this seems to be a first for the WR. Normally WR decides to write-up a specific battle or mini-campaign, then proceed to composing the scenario notes (.doc) files after performing research to detail out the historical approach march of both armies, why they ended up on the same battlefield, and compares the research material for differences or conflicts etc.., especially in the units present and location on the battlefield. After all the steps and proofing the scenario notes…. play test the scenario for critical terrain to miniatures interaction, debug for issues which arise from having future gamers maneuver the tabletop miniatures, especially on the victory conditions. Then post a WR blog article on the site, followed then by AAR posting of the scenario played out.
This time, since the decision period for which historical battle scenario to play was reduced to one week, the whole process had to be compressed. One advantage WR had been he played a “Raszyn like” scenario several years ago so the feel and pace of the tabletop action was known. WR also remembered the players did a “power left march” and attacked Raszyn directly along with Michalowice. Jaworow never saw an Austrian miniature for the entire scenario. Dawidy saw the two grenzer battalions… they crossed the river and just sat in village for the victory conditions. The Mrowa (Ranka) stream slowed them down… but wasn’t a great terrain issue… and the Austrian artillery had a grand time with the smaller Saxon-Polish units. Wasn’t exactly what happened back in April 1809. So with that in mind the scenario notes file was completed the morning of truth (gamers arrival). Normally the gamers have an advance copy of the scenario notes and any discussion of the battle. For the historical scenario tabletop terrain map, the process was fairly easy… WR used Gill’s “Thunder on the Danube volume III” map (pages 13 & 15), and the internet drawn map source under “napoleonistyka” by Zbynia Olszewski, comparing both to a period drawn map WR had in his map files. More information on the scenario design, issues, conflicting data, and sources / links to be provided on next blog post.
To the scenario play test and AAR first this time…. then WR will post the Raszyn historical background material on next posting. Update: Battle of Raszyn 1809 historical background now posted.
The Raszyn 1809 scenario tabletop map below is drawn at 600 yds. (12″ tabletop) to the map square inch. Terrain features and their effect on gameplay is discussed in the Raszyn 1809 scenario notes (.doc file) at end. To play out the cavalry approach encounters between GB Rozniecki’s uhlan cavalry brigade and the advancing Austrian cavalry (GM Mohr advance guard, GM Geringer detachment, and the arriving kuirassier brigade of GM Speth), WR used an extra foot table extension to increase the tabletop width to seven feet. Once the Polish cavalry is pushed further in on to the tabletop (back towards Janki and Falenty), the table edge extension is removed.
The scenario play testers: Dan and Paul for team Duchy… aka the Poles. Should be noted Paul has Polish heritage in his blood. For Team White coats… aka the Austrians, Andy, Daniel, and Luis marched on to the tabletop (with the miniatures that is). WR had the opportunity to watch and record the scenario battle for posterity…. and make corrective notes for the final version of the Raszyn 1809 scenario notes (.doc) file (found at end of this blog article if interested). Scenario play went well, considering the compressed time frame to generate written material and research.
Note: Since WR had the opportunity to take photos of the interplay tabletop action, WR will describe the game play rules involved shown in the photographs as italicized notes. This scenario, being a smaller scenario and open ground provides clear examples of the game system and interaction of the units and sequence of play.
Scenario Start 1300 hours: Scenario starts as the Austrian advance guard and GM Geringer’s hussars enter the tabletop area approaching Raszyn at 1300 hours. Historically there was morning charges and skirmishing cavalry action before the Austrian arrival, contesting the Austrian broad advance towards Raszyn. DOW has the first movement but before they start their scenario movement the Austrian Charge Declaration Phase is performed. Having split their large hussar regiments into two sub groups, the Palatinal Hussars in Mohr’s advance guard declare charges against the distant DOW 2nd Uhlans.
Note: Before a Movement Phase commences, the opposite side has the opportunity to declare their cavalry charges. After passing a quick morale test, the defending side roll their receiving charge morale tests then play continues into the defending side Movement Phase (at half speed within the charge zone). Should be noted also that the charging side had the ability to ride their cavalry forward in their Movement Phase then declare the charge before the defending side’s movement. Cavalry changes position quickly in our games. The Sequence of play summarized below in chart form. For this chart and scenario, the DOW is Side one, the Austrians Side 2.
GM Speth’s kuirassier brigade doesn’t start actually on the tabletop at scenario start. They arrive measured from the tabletop extension edge during the Austrian first movement phase (1300 hours). WR placed them on the tabletop early to remind the Polish player team of their imminent arrival in the approximate position of their finished 1st turn of movement.
Note: Large cavalry units (8 miniatures or more) can divide themselves into two half (sub units) or “battalions” of cavalry. For Raszyn 1809 scenario, the two Austrian hussar regiments divided themselves into two-four miniature “battalions” or units. These “battalions” are independent units and retain the same parental CMR rating for shock combat. But for morale tests, the 2nd half of each unit is reduced by one for all morale tests. The 2nd half cavalry unit normally is marked by blue base corner marking on each miniature. If no division is made, the larger intact regiment retains the CMR for the entire unit.
Turn 1320 hours: Having retired on the first turn, the DOW players aggressively counter-marched and prepared cavalry charges against the advancing Austrian hussars on two axis of attack. DOW 2nd Uhlans closed ranks and rode forward to charge the Palatinal Hussars near the central Wygota Inn. On the open flank, DOW 6th Uhlans changed formation from open order to closed linear rank, then rode forward towards the Kaiser Hussars, followed by the 3rd Uhlans in nearby support.
The DOW 6th Uhlans turned about near Janki, and with the 3rd Uhlans nearby, prepared to charge the Austrian Kaiser Hussars (1st half) supported by an unlimbered 6lb kavalry battery. Firing with limited effect during the Mutual Artillery Firepower Phase after Polish movement, the Austrian hussars and their supporting battery await the Polish Charge Declaration Phase forthcoming, in the sequence of play (SOP), since the Polish 6th Uhlans remained outside the 4″ reaction counter-charge zone.
Note: If enemy cavalry movement passes or ends movement within the frontal 4″ facing of stationary during any form of movement… including charge movement, of a good morale cavalry unit (non phasing player), that waiting cavalry unit may elect to declare immediate counter-charge (pass morale test). By declaring the charge, the counter-charging cavalry is considered to be in a state of charge and will ride forward for shock combat (charge to base contact movement) in the next forthcoming Shock Phase sequence. The counter-charging cavalry also extend out their charge zone reducing non-charging cavalry to half speed movement for any unit which hasn’t performed their movement within the charge zone. The charge zone is 22.5 degrees off the forward facing edge on both sides (total of 45 degrees).
The DOW 6th Uhlans sound their trumpets. The horses trot faster, to a canter, then into the full charge. The Austrian Kaiser Hussars likewise match the onrushing Poles with their 2nd split regimental group in counter-charge. Both brigade commanders join their thundering ranks into combat. Lance points vs. sabers, the Austrian hussar break first and ride wildly rearward chased by the onrushing Poles.
Note: Charges and the cavalry miniature movement is part of Shock Combat Phase. But before that sequence phase is reached there are several prior phases. First the Charge Declaration Phase is completed. A quick successful morale test places the charging cavalry into a “charge mode”…. considered to be trotting forward from that point on but no actual miniature movement performed till the Shock Phase. Then after the Rally Phase (for the charging cavalry side) is completed, the defending side has its Movement Phase for non-routing units (the routing units have already fled). The Movement Phase has two component sub phases. The first is facing and formation changes. All units perform facing or formation changes or both. Infantry battalions can form their squares, cavalry or infantry change from column to linear or linear to column, open order formations can close down to linear or column (no squares), artillery batteries limber up or unlimbered…. all for zero movement cost or deduction. The second part of the Movement Phase is the actual unit measured movement. Being in a declared cavalry charge zone all movement rates (distances) are halved. This reflects the speed of the approaching charging cavalry in the time scale (20 minute game turn). Any unit starting the Movement Phase in morale disorder is halved again (1/4 speed) for movement rate or distance. Effectively this means those units can barely move within a charging cavalry charge zone.
The primary regimental group of Kaiser Hussars looks on as the small detachment of 3rd btn. / I.R. #48 Vukassovich is ridden down. Following the fleeing Austrians, the 6lb kavalry battery is caught before finding safety behind the hedge. Its crew hasn’t a chance from the charging uhlan lances. On winded horses, the uhlans end their charge in automatic morale disorder satisfied they had just inflicted severe damage on the Austrian brigade.
Note: Once a cavalry regiment has completed its charge movement and all combative shock combat in the Shock Phase, the cavalry unit is placed in morale disorder status if not already by combat. A unit must cover 4″ minimum distance, be stopped entirely by terrain, or fight one shock combat to satisfy the charge minimum requirements.
After defeating the Kaiser regimental group, overrunning the I.R. #48 Vukassovich detachment and kavalry battery, the 6th Uhlans ended their charge. They could have continued their charge into the morale disordered primary Kaiser Hussar squadrons by charge extension (extra 6″ distance) but the penalty of automatic one miniature removal didn’t warrant the risk.
Back in the center near Wygota Inn, it was the turn of the 2nd Uhlans to test steel and courage vs. the Palatinal Hussars. After declaring their charge action, the Austrian Movement Phase reply was to form several squares, retire the morale disordered 3lb kavalry battery, and ride forth the two regimental groups of the Palatinal Hussars.
Note: During the Shock Phase there is a back and forth “option” method of combat. This translates to mean the Shock Phase player (or team) who didn’t just complete their Movement Phase has the first option for shock combat. If several shock combats or charges need to be determined, they have a choice on which one first. That shock action is completed…. see steps below…. then the “option” is granted to the opposite player side (team). They perform their shock combat action. If no available shock option, the team with options continues one after another till all completed. Should be noted the selection and order of the shock combats is important.
Shock Phase sequence (the basics):
1). Determine who has the “option”. The non-phasing term or player starts the phase.
2). If infantry shock combat, skip to received morale test #3 below. If cavalry charge, move the charging cavalry after determining the final angle of charge. Declared charge cavalry have a 22.5′ angle (45′ arc) of set the charge direction. Counter-charging cavalry can only charge dead straight ahead.
3). Perform a receiving morale test if the unit hadn’t rolled their test in the Charge Declaration Phase. Apply results if morale disordered or routed.
4). Perform any defensive firepower or pass by firepower effect. If loss, test morale for firepower loss.
5). Calculate the CMR difference using the Shock combat table. Calculate the odds ratio. With these two values cross-reference results sub table (of Shock Combat chart).
6). Roll d6, apply the results to either attacker or defender or both. If a unit routs, test morale for nearby and passed units along rout path. Maximum of one friendly unit rout test per Shock Phase.
7). Shock “option’ passes to the opposing side. If they have no infantry or cavalry shock actions, the “option” reverts to the other side till they have a possible option.
8). Keep in mind the movement of cavalry across the front of enemy cavalry may trigger counter-charges and escalate the back and forth cavalry movement.
9). Finish all charges, minimum charge distant movement (4″), any required morale testing, and possible commander (officer) loss. Next phase is Mutual Artillery Fire Phase.
With both Palatinal Hussar sub regimental groups counter-charging, the Polish players with first shock option had a decision to make; 1). engage both Austrian units as one combat, 2). impact one Austrian half group before the other, 3). or give the option to the Austrian side to see if they elect to charge one sub regimental group first (no combined shock attacks in our rules) into the charging 2nd Uhlans. If the Austrians decline the “option”, the Polish uhlans must elect their choice (no double declining). They impact one Austrian hussar sub group, defeat them, but suffer a reverse when the other Austrian Palatinal regimental sub group impacted them.
1340 hours: With two turns or forty minutes of actual game time completed, the Austrian advance continues. Polish 2nd uhlans retire before GM Mohr’s advance guard back near Falenty village. Out on the open flank, the presence and measured advance of the kuirassier brigade forces the 3rd and 6th Uhlans momentarily back till they can maneuver to charge again the Austrian Kaiser Hussars. But before they can recover from their previous charge, the reformed Kaiser Hussar sub group rounded the hedge to charge the 6th Uhlans.
Declaring their charge, the Kaiser Hussars crash into the disordered 6th Uhlans who cannot counter-charge. The result is quickly over and final. Still, from their earlier charge, they have inflicted 20% loss level on GM Geringer’s command.
Note: Morale disorder units are marked by turning one miniature in opposite direction of the unit facing. Routing units have their bases slightly stacked to reflect the rout status. Morale disorder cavalry cannot test morale for declaring counter-charges…. they must stand disordered in place.
Caught by the charging Kaiser Hussars, the morale disordered 6th Uhlans are cut apart, losing nearly half their strength to the sharp Austrian sabers. They promptly rout towards the safety of the open rear watched by the 3rd Uhlans seeing the kuirassier to their distant front.
1400 hours: With the first scenario hour completed the Austrians are advancing towards Falenty and the Mrowa (Rawka) crossing at Jaworow. WR removed the table extension since the cavalry action is now firmly center table.. Out on their left the battered brigade under GM Geringer plans to follow-up the retiring Polish cavalry if they continue their retreat. Seems the Polish 3rd Uhlans have other ideas. They declared a med-range cavalry charge (4-8″ range) against the blown 7th Kuirassier regiment. The kuirassiers test morale, only need any number below 9 to pass and met the charge rolling a d10. The unlucky 7th Kuirassiers roll the dreaded 9 and fail morale. Being already in morale disorder status, the disorder becomes a rout and they flee from the charging uhlans.
Note: Morale tests use a d10 roll with the “0” equaling zero and not 10. Thus a “9” is the highest number possible on a d10 roll. For the kuirassier receiving morale test, they have a CMR of 8, plus one for their nearby commander GM Speth, less one for the mid-range charge distance equals 8 required passing morale. Rolling a 9 means the kuirassiers go into morale disorder (1-4 over required number to pass). Being already in morale disorder, the compounded disorder converts into a rout status. the kuirassiers are routed base movement 12″ plus four inches towards the rear (16″).
Austrian left flank movement was limited. Having the Kaiser Hussars out of position to counter the charging DOW 3rd Uhlans, they ride forward partial distance to be ready next turn. The 5th Kuirassier left wheel to cover the rear of the routing 7th Kuirassiers while under fire from the four 6lb cannon Polish horse battery. Having routed the 7th Kuirassiers with their charge declaration, the 3rd Uhlans have no target within reach so their pull up after the minimum charge movement distance… a “pump fake charge” as we call it, since the uhlans only move 4″ forward in the Shock Phase while using the village of Janki to cover their open flank from the 5th Kuirassiers.
1420 hours: Both Polish uhlan regiments rally up and rest their horses while covering the village Janki and Wypedy position. Austrian movements were more aggressive. The 5th Kuirassiers rode forward and wheeled around the Janki village building, Both Kaiser Hussar regimental sub groups came forward then wheeling right, placing themselves on the open 3rd Uhlans flank. See the flanking hussars approach, the 3rd Uhlans tried to counter-charge the smaller sub group before them but failed their morale test. The looming Austrian Charge Declaration Phase saw two Austrian charges declared, the Polish uhlans wasting no time to rout away by totally failing their morale test.
Seeing the charging Austrian cavalry, the lone 6lb Polish horse battery limbered up and quick timed movement up the roadway, then unlimber when they cleared the charge zone.
With nothing in their charge zone, the Austrian cavalry occupy the position between Janki and Wypedy villages. The 7th Kuirassiers have rallied up from their inglorious rout.
At Falenty the DOW Sokolnicki brigade is placed on the tabletop, joined by the retiring 2nd Uhlans, as the Austrian advance guard approaches within long artillery range (adjacent map square). Three battalions and a supporting 6lb foot battery occupy the woods and both buildings, all eager to defend the causeway crossing.
1420 hours: The sound of thousands of feet, cannon carriage wheels, and commanding voices is heard when the Austrian main body of infantry and Korps reserve artillery batteries arrive. Led by the VII Korps headquarters with the attached four positional batteries, the long white coat column of three infantry brigades follows. All these commands are marching on the tabletop in strategic road mode formation under March orders. Being in road mode formation, the columns are narrow and lengthy, but march quickly along the roadway…. if one could call a Polish road a “roadway”.
On the tabletop, the two S. Wallach grenzer battalions approach the Jaworow damaged bridge. During the last evening, GD Poniatowski’s engineer officer rode from headquarters near Raszyn to supervise the defense of Jaworow and the Mrowa (Rawka) stream crossing. He ordered the removal of the bridge planking to hinder crossing and constructed two weak class I barricade positions before Jaworow village.
Note: Tabletop movement has two modes: Battle formations and Strategic march formations. Battle formations are the typical tabletop formations like open order, linear, square, column, limbered or unlimber if artillery. Strategic march formations are only columnar and all batteries remain limbered up. Road mode is a subset of Strategic march in that the columns are one cavalry miniature or two infantry miniatures maximum in width. Artillery batteries or train units double their base length. Units in Strategic march are automatically considered in morale disorder status so any negative morale test could cause entire commands to rout.
The column of reserve 6lb and 12lb positional artillery batteries marches in. The column head pulls off the roadway to allow the following two positional batteries to march quickly forward alongside.
Note: The quickest way for a road bound column to deploy normally is for the forward section to step off the roadway and march alongside the road using a normal strategic march rate and the rear section to still use road march rate (14″ vs. 24″). Then on the next turn remain completely stationary to change from Strategic march formation into Battle mode formation (still in stationary columns for the moment). After the stationary turn, the command can march forward, changing formation as needed to engage in tabletop battle (depending upon their current command order selection (Attack, Engage or March). The key is to complete the changeover from Strategic to Battle mode out of enemy artillery or charge range since the strategic march mode is extremely venerable, morale wise, to complete command failure if challenged to pass morale tests.
Scenario note: After playing the scenario, WR changed the Raszyn 1809 scenario notes placing the reserve artillery batteries at the end of the Austrian infantry columns. Having the reserve artillery positioned at the column head was player choice before the scenario restriction and as the reader will see, their influence was felt at Jaworow bridge crossing..
Out on the open western flank near Janki, the action quiets down as both sides try to rally up their disordered cavalry units.
1440 hours: With the arrival of the Austrian main body since 1400 hours, the battle slowly builds in intensity. The Duchy forces can only plan how to hold back the massing Austrian strength after seeing which way the main Austrian effort is directed. Artillery bombardment increase with the 6lb foot battery at Falenty inflicting damage to the Palatinal Hussars.
Quickly how things can fall apart…. Near Wypedy, the rallied DOW 3rd Uhlans formed up to charge the advancing Austrian cavalry. Their charge was declared and the Austrian kuirassier and hussars paid little attention morale wise. They closed up their own ranks and advanced. The clash was soon won in Austrian favor, the 3rd Uhlans, with severely wounded GB Rozniecki in their ranks, flee back towards the Michalowice bridge, chased by all the victorious but disordered Austrian cavalry. Polish 6lb foot battery quickly stopped the Austrian 5th Kuirassiers inflicting a miniature loss.
1500 hours: Six turns or two hours of game time completed. The Polish infantry brigades occupy and control the three major crossing points over the Mrowa (Rawka) stream since dawn. One bridge, at Jaworow, has been rendered unusable till repaired. Only the foot bridge crossing near Dawidy, allowing infantry to cross in limited numbers. remains unguarded. Falenty is garrisoned by GB Sokolnicki’s brigade preventing Austrian movement over the causeway. Team Poland seems satisfied for the scenario play so far.
Discussing the situation, seeing the unengaged Austrian cavalry ability to ride over and cut off the causeway exit near Raszyn, the DOW 2nd Uhlans are positioned to cover the causeway exit. Meanwhile, the GB Sokolnicki’s infantry are positioned to cross the marshy ground via the causeway before the looming Austrian assault causes their forceful ejection from Falentry.
The Austrian response straightforward was to form up the I.R. 48 Vukassovich battalions into column and assault the outlying Falentry building. Austrian batteries advanced to place the village under direct bombardment… by 3lb cannon, the original door knocker choice.
The Austrian 7th Kuirassiers ride forward and Kaiser Hussars shifted right from Michalowice bridge towards the exposed 2nd Uhlans guarding the causeway exit. The 5th Kuirassiers turned about and rode south beyond visibility range from the double Polish batteries positioned at Michalowice bridge.
Note: Firing across the Mrowa (Rawka) stream has limited visibility at ground level. For this scenario WR restricted range to 8″ if any part of the blue fleece stream was fired across (excluding the bridge footprint area). For the post game revised scenario notes, the range was further reduced to 6″ into or through the terrain, same as for light woods. This represents the marshy, wooded banks of the stream during the battle. Batteries placed on the low hill, or along the roadway over the stream bridges, have no visibility restriction firing at targets below the hill, or along the open roadway. Likewise for batteries firing at the elevated hill or along the roadway over the bridge, the visibility is not restricted. WR using a loose chain of tree miniatures alongside the blue fleece stream bed to remind the players of the reduced visibility across the Mrowa (Rawka) stream.
1520 hours: The Jaworow position seems secure. Without the ability to storm across the bridge the Austrian infantry assault would require lucky d6 rolls to enter and cross the deep Mrowa (Rawka) stream and marshy ground. But….. the Austrians actively seeks bridging materials and present their special event card on the Polish team. Reading the event card…“Austrian Bridging Material”, the 7th Pioneer detachment collects logs and other material to span the bridge. If they can stay in position for one full stationary Movement Phase, the bridge is repaired sufficiently to allow infantry assaults across the bridge and later, artillery or cavalry units to cross. Trying their luck, the 7th Pioneer detachment use open order to rush the exposed bridge end and start passing forward bridging planks, logs or bound material. The Polish 6lb foot battery sends cannister volleys or round shot into their exposed but open order ranks to persuade otherwise their effort. Meanwhile, the S. Wallach grenzer pop off musket shots at the opposite Polish skirmishers, ay least keeping them busy from disturbing the pioneers. For the record, the Polish roll for possible reinforcements failed to generate any from the “Austrian Bridging material” event card.
Note: Normally open order formations cannot enter a minimum fire zone (2″ for muskets or 4″ for artillery batteries) unless in or behind terrain or performing a task during a siege situation. For this Raszyn 1809 scenario, the bridge and nearby light woods allows the open order pioneers to work on repairing the bridge. Till the bridge is repaired, as asked by team Poland, they cannot assault the open order pioneers since the 2″ bridge gap prevents movement into Shock Phase assault range (less than 1″).
Crossing the Mrowa (Rawka) stream other than at the bridges requires a successful d6 roll for infantry. No artillery or cavalry may cross except at the bridges. March unit up to the stream (blue fleece material) and roll d6. If a 6 is rolled, the unit may enter the stream with 4″ movement cost (O/O formations just need successful d6 roll to cross stream). Terrain and firepower disordered while in the stream zone. If failed roll, add +1 to roll on next attempt. Failing twice forces the unit to change location one full move along the stream bank.
The “Austrian Bridging material” event card, as a penalty for use, allows the Duchy team to roll for one of two possible reinforcement units which, historically, were moving towards the battlefield to arrive that evening late or stationed within easy marching range.
Out on the western ground the DOW 2nd Uhlans, having crossed the narrow causeway earlier, wheeled right to face the approaching Austrian Kaiser Hussars. With no charge declared, the Austrian Kaiser Hussars regular movement (within 4″) allowed the 2nd Uhlans to counter-charge them as they rode into range. Seeing the oncoming charge before them, the Kaiser Hussars counter-charged the counter-charging 2nd Uhlans as the two Austrian kuirassier regiments approached by Janki Inn.
The Kasier Hussars won the even fight, sending the 2nd Uhlan back towards the Raszyn bridge just as the 1st Chasseurs a’ cheval were crossing released from the Poniatowski’s Duchy (Corps) headquarters at Raszyn.
First view of the Saxons! The Saxon detachment under GM von Dyherrn (von Polenz) deployed on the low hill near Raszyn with the Duchy Corps headquarters. The two Saxon 6lb positional batteries opened fire on the surprised Palatinal Hussars, inflicting losses in their ranks across the Mrowa (Ranka) stream.
Note: WR has only one Polish chasseur a’ cheval regiment painted so a regiment of Polish hussars was used to represent the DOW 1st Chasseurs a’ cheval during scenario.
1540 hours: Feeling threatened by the mass of Austrian infantry battalions marching on Falenty, the Sokolnicki brigade defends the last Falenty building for the moment as other battalions cross along the causeway. The Austrian I.R. 48 Vukassovich, having cleared one building, seeks to engage the departing Polish battalion near the causeway. Meanwhile, out on the open ground, the arriving DOW 1st Chasseurs a’ cheval regiment forms line to flank charge the Austrian Kaiser Hussars before the two kuirassier regiments can intervene. Suddenly the unlucky 7th Kuirassiers realizes that they had ridden into a bog after completing their movement. Team Duchy had presented their “Stuck in a Bog” event card, which allows them to place an unknown boggy ground directly centered under the surprised Austrian cavalry regiment, if within 12″ of any other terrain bog. The mired kuirassiers can only dismount themselves and walk their horses out of the terrain, then remount after some delay.
Mud staining their pretty white breeches, kollets, and horses, the embarrassed dismounted 7th Kuirassier troopers stumble out of the boggy ground (undressed miner miniatures used). Next turn they can remount their horses (sending for the camp followers to clean and press their white uniforms too).
Another Duchy surprise…. “Heroic unit” event card. Grasping their heroic card first, before the Austrians realized they could play theirs, the Polish 1st Chasseurs a’ cheval heroically perform on the battlefield led by GD Poniatowski himself into combat.
As the cavalry lined up for the sword play near the Raszyn bridge exit, the ever aggressive Polish 6lb horse battery, with some infantry nearby, recrossed the Michalowice bridge to pester the Austrians. Wasn’t needed… as GD Poniatowski’s successful charge with the 1st Chasseurs a cheval retired the Austrian cavalry.
While the Raszyn bridge exit ground is being contested, the Jaworow position is coming under direct Austrian threat. Several positional batteries (2x 6lb, 2x 12lb) arrive to bombard through the light woods along the Mrowa (Ranka) stream. The Duchy 2nd Btns. of the 1st and 8th Regiments, plus a 6lb foot battery, feel the increasing passage rate of Austrian round shot. Their weak class I defensive position provides little cover to the impact of the iron spheres. Firing directly into the 7th Pioneers detachment working exposed on the bridge, the Polish 6lb foot battery forced a retirement of the pioneers due to failed (firepower loss) morale test. The pioneers failed to remain stationary at the bridge for one complete Austrian movement phase. A Polish cheer!… but the pioneers will be back.
At Falenty the last Polish battalion (1st/8th?) exits the village and marches on to the causeway, looking very nervous about the Austrian Palatinal Hussars positioned behind them. I.R. 48 Vukassovich splashes about in the marshy ground while the lead battalion of GM Civilart’s Austrian brigade approach Falenty. Saxon positional battery bombard the exposed Palatinal Hussars for another miniature loss and counter-battery the 3lb kavalry battery. One Polish battalion formed square at the causeway exit to prevent Austrian cavalry interference and sealing the causeway exit while the rallying 2nd Uhlans find themselves at the Raszyn bridge exit.
1600 hours: Three hours of scenario game time in the books. The 1st Btn./8th Regiment truly should be worried. A column of Palatinal hussars rides down the vacant street of Falenty and sounds their charge directly along the causeway. Panic takes hold as the rear battalion ranks struggle to flee the charging hussars. With the battalion in growing morale disorder their fate is certain.
Craving a bloody path into the Polish infantry, the Palatinal Hussars ride down the battalion. Fleeing survivors jump into the marsh as the hussars give chase along the causeway.
Finally the last of the Palatinal Hussars bolts for the rear leaving another miniature behind. Out on the western flank open ground, the Polish cavalry has new purpose; keep the Austrian cavalry from the causeway exit till the last infantry battalion of GB Sokolnicki’s brigade can cross the Mrowa (Rawka) stream. With GD Poniatowski riding up and down their frontal ranks, the “heroic” 1st Chasseurs cover the deployment of the rallied 2nd Uhlans behind them. Over near Michalowice, the remains of 3rd and 6th Uhlans, with their 6lb horse battery, recross the stream and ride over the open ground. A Polish resurgence to contest the open fields south of the Mrowa (Rawka) stream..
At Jaworow bridge the 7th Pioneer detachment returns, attempting next turn to repair the damaged planks and span the exposed beams. Alas, the pioneers suffer another loss from the polish foot battery, fail morale again and retire with half the unit lost. Austrian positional batteries bombard the weak barricade position causing loss in the Polish infantry. The S. Wallach grenzers have removed the token Polish skirmishers from the stream bed. Suddenly GB Kamienski pitches from his horse, shot the chest with a mortal wound.
The leading Austrian brigade (GM Civilart) marches into the outskirts of Falenty, soon to cross the nearby marsh or causeway. The 2nd Brigade (GM Tauttenberg) forms into battle mode formations (by being stationary) before their quick columnar advance on Jaworow village. Erzherzog Ferdinand von d’Este sends orders to both brigades to quickly assault Raszyn and Jaworow as the daylight is fading. Pioneers rallied by Ferdinand d’Este, they return to the critical task of repairing the bridge (planks wise).
Not so fast Poland… the Austrian cavalry, having rallied from their last encounter, ride forward to charge the 1st Chasseurs. Fresh from their “marsh bath”, the 7th Kuiassiers, having mounted their horses during the formation and facing sub phase (Movement), formed out in line and advanced. Backed by the advancing 5th Kuirassiers and the worn Kaiser Hussars, the Polish cavalry will be tested again. At Jaworow, the 7th Pioneers suffer another loss, the depleted officers hold their men with determined resolve. If they had broken, they may have left the battlefield for good and the bridge repair left unfinished. Austrian luck finally shows, by holding stoic under fire, the pioneers remain stationary for the Austrian movement turn and the bridge is finally repaired for all arms crossing.
Austrian kuirassier trumpeters sound the charge…. here come the heavy cavalry ranks of the Austrians during the Cavalry Charge Declaration phase.
1620 hours: Team Duchy in a happy mood. They have slowed the Austrian advance over the Jaworow bridge and somehow kept a presence on the south bank of the Mrowa (Rawka) with their battered Brigade Rozniecki cavalry. Nightfall is scheduled for 1900 hours, just eight turns away for the scenario. Team Austria knows they have the muscle to force the Polish army from the tabletop, just need to cross the Mrowa (Rawka) stream before nightfall and then clear the northern bank during the six night turns if they haven’t exceeded their army Morale Fatigue Points (MFP) level.
Seeing the charging kuirassiers, the Polish cavalry steady their ranks and then trot forward. GD Poniatowski orders the 2nd Uhlans to form line and back the trotting 1st Chasseur before them. Polish battalions cross and exit the causeway seeking the protection of crossing the nearby Raszyn bridge. The sounds of hundreds of horses, trumpets and animated riders drown out the noise of battle.
Note: As long as the army hasn’t exceeded their determined army MFP level, it may elect to continue the battle into the available night turns (six typically). Once army MFP threshold exceeded, the commands immediately downgrade any Attack orders to Engage which, by preventing assaults, charges, and close range fire combat, makes the advance hard to continue without constant order violation penalties (2 per unit per each order violation instance). The order violation MFP penalties add up quickly, eventuality exceeding the army threshold and ending the scenario at nightfall plus quickens the point when, at exceeding the MFP level on a game turn hours, causes the army to start a process of reducing the CMR -1 for every unit every game turn hour thereafter.
Heroic for a reason, the DOW 1st Chasseurs a’ cheval again repulse the 7th Kuirassiers and send them in retreat towards Janki Inn. The Polish battalions from Falenty can march in safety to Raszyn.
1640 hours: Over on the Jaworow bridge action, the 7th pioneers, having finally completed the bridge repair last turn, step over the newly laid planking and watch as a column of S. Wallach grenz storm across the bridge behind them. By now, the battered Kamienski Brigade (2nd Btn./1st Regt, 2nd Btn./8th Regt,) and the 6lb foot battery have started to retire back towards Raszyn, seeing that their reduced strength couldn’t stop the Austrian masses across the Mrowa (Rawka) stream. Only the small skirmishing 2nd Uhlans detachment was left to contest the Austrian advance at the barricade. Seeing the Austrian advance, GM von Dyherrn orders his weak Saxon battalions to defend near Rybie village while supporting the retirement of the Kamienski Brigade.
Note: During the scenario not one attempt was made to cross the Mrowa (Rawka) stream other than using a bridge. Scenario notes allows both sides to cross with infantry the stream if a “6” result is rolled (d6), adding plus one to roll on the final 2nd attempt of crossing. No artillery, cavalry, or train can cross unless at bridge. Failure to enter/cross forces the unit to march a full move to another location for another attempt. While in the terrain disordering steam bed (blue fleece material), the unit reduces march rate by 4″ and any firepower greatly reduced to only disordered volleys. For the scenario report, the footbridge (infantry only) at Dawidy wasn’t used by the S. Wallach grenz battalions either.
The bottleneck at Falenty slows the Austrian columns of Brigade Civilart. Crossing the marshy ground will be slow going (4″ cost or half speed) for the unlucky battalions not using the causeway. The advance guard (GM Mohr), having taken 20% losses clearing Falenty, leads the Austrian advance chasing the retiring Polish battalions towards Raszyn. Occasional Saxon round shot lands in the dense columnar ranks… they have the causeway zero’d in.
Out on the western open flank, both sides rally their cavalry, and the occasion battalion of infantry from Michalowice forms up, drawing breath from the recent encounters. The rest of Brigade Rozniecki’s cavalry join up across the stream.
1700 hours: The fourth hour completed (12 turns) with two hours more of daylight. Player morale on both sides see a victory. The only issue looming for the Duchy team is their rising army MFP level. If the trend hold true they will exceed the army MFP threshold on the next game hour (1800) and start the process of reducing army strength by morale fatigue (-1 CMR cumulative adjustment every game turn hour thereon).
Austrians start the cavalry wars again with a charge by the 5th Kuirassiers and Kaiser Hussars. On the Polish movement after the declared charges, they form up Brigade Rozniecki and the heroic 1st Chasseurs a’ cheval to meet the Austrian charge. GD Poniatowski has ridden back to Raszyn to confer with GM von Dyherrn about the Austrian advance via Jaworow so his leadership will be missed.
First the Kaiser Hussars charge home, clearing out their skirmishers in the process. Those sneaky Poles brought forward their 6lb horse battery behind the hedge. Firing cannister into the hussar flank as they passed by the battery frontage, the loss caused morale disorder in the hussar ranks. Their broken charge met by counter-charging Polish (6th?) Uhlans and lowered lances, soon sent rearward. Not waiting the for 5th Kuirassiers to ride into their ranks, the heroic 1st Chasseurs a’ cheval, having beaten armored kuirassier meat before, promptly counter-charge into the 5th Kuirassiers and overthrow them again. Not a great day for the Austrian kuirassier regiments. The remaining 7th Kuirassier charge, finding themselves in column, have no real target, so they just trot forward 4″ (pump fake charge) and stop disordered.
At Jaworow crossing, the Austrian stream of battalions steadily march across the repaired bridge with artillery, while the two grenzer battalion form open order to screen off the bridgehead.
Stubborn Austrian kuirassiers. If the last charge didn’t work out… let’s try another. The 7th Kuirassier form a linear formation and wait to rally up from their last charge. At Falenty, Brigade Civilart and GM Mohr’s advance guard battalions find the going tough crossing the marshy area, even with the causeway of Polish dead.
1720 hours: Those tricky Poles…. Seeing the 7th Kuirassiers form then rally after the charge declaration phase, they set a trap. Turning the 1st Chasseurs about, they ride up behind the kuirassiers… still in their own morale disorder state from their previous charge. Additionally, they ride forward the depleted 3rd and 6th Uhlans into position to flank charge the kuirassiers. Then, in the following Polish Charge Declaration Phase (just before the Austrian Movement Phase), they charged the 2nd Uhlans in front of the 7th Kuirassiers. This triggered the 7th Kuirassiers to counter-charge the 2nd Uhlans at their front. By now, having rallied the 1st Chasseurs a’ cheval behind the kuirassiers (sequence step right after the Polish Charge Declaration Phase), they declare their own counter-charge since the kuirassiers are moving within 4″ of their frontal facing (in a state of charge is considered movement and trips counter-charge opportunities). Austrian armored sandwich soon to be served.
Now the fun part…. Seeing the charge (hearing more likely) by the Polish 1st Chasseurs behind them, the game of shock “option choice” takes place. Poles have the first option for shock combat, they denied choice for the moment. The option choice swings to the Austrians who elect to ride forward only 4″ (minimum charge movement requirement) instead of impacting the 2nd Uhlans (WR was puzzled by that option choice). Shock option returns back to the Poles… who charge home the 1st Chasseurs in the kuirassier hindquarters instead of the 2nd Uhlans. Defending with only two miniatures (for rear or flank attacks odds), the kuirassiers were soundly beaten again. Now, being surrounded by the “minimum fire zone” of cavalry (1″), the 7th Kurassiers must roll a special morale test, if failed, they will surrender in place. Passing their morale test, they broke out fleeing down the Janki roadway once again, waving at the innkeeper’s daughter and seeing their newly found bog in passing.
Near Jaworow, the Austrian movement and expansion across the Mrowa (Rawka) stream is pressing the weaken Brigade Kamienski and the arriving Saxon battalions. Austrian 3lb kavalry battery sends their small weighted shot into the Saxon flank.
1740 hours: “Turn before the hour” is announced to remind players if they wish to make command order changes before the game hour turn (and reduce order MFP expenditure). Looking at the MFP totals, team Duchy knows they will exceed their army MFP threshold on the 1800 hours turn and start the process of -1 CMR army fatigue adjustment every game hour hereon. The Austrians are close to go over at 1900 hours unless they can conserve some MFP expenditures…. less miniature losses and reducing hourly order usage. It will be close…. says WR acting as GM for the scenario.
Silence…. no Austrian charge trumpet is heard, a first for the many hours before this moment. Team Duchy keeps the Jaworow expanding Austrian bridgehead contained for the moment, but they will soon have to retire for the low hill and Raszyn village, defending till nightfall four turn away. There is just too many Austrian battalion waiting to cross the stream at the narrow bridge to launch a counterattack.
A developing problem near Falenty. With the Polish cavalry riding about on the open ground near the causeway exit, how to exit the marsh and not be charged immediately upon exiting think the Austrian team? Nothing stops a battalion forming a “square like all round” formation while standing in the marsh terrain, but then it cannot move forward since the deduction is 4″…. and squares for trained line grade infantry move maximum of 4″. So the plan is to form a linear formation, which base moves at 6″ less 4″ marsh deduction means it can exit move up to 2″. Hopefully the battalion then can pass any charge check because if morale disordered, the movement is one-quarter rate in a charge zone… they cannot make it back into the marsh and soon cut down in place. Maybe use a “battalion masse” formation of three miniature ranks instead suggests WR. Being a column formation, movement is 8″ for class B infantry, less the 4″ leaves 4″ to march out and clear the marsh terrain felt. Also has a charge receiving benefit of +2 CMR to pass the charge declaration morale check if the Polish cavalry elects to charge. A risky situation which really needs the Austrian cavalry to clear away the hovering Polish cavalry.
So back rides the battle-scarred kuirassiers, bested several times by the Polish cavalry. checking their training manual…says men on large horses and sharp swords beat up light cavalry all the time. Looking at their swords… all bent, chipped and bloodied, maybe not so sharp. Large horse check…. leadership questionable…. battle experience so far down right negative. Must be time for the exceptional party to lead the kuirassiers or better yet… charge with both regiments. Novel idea for the Austrian cavalry!
Sensing the Austrians will win the upcoming cavalry fight, and risking an Austrian battalion somehow blocking the retreat path over the Raszyn bridge, GB Rozniecki orders the cavalry brigade to retire over the bridge before the Austrians seal off the escape. They could ride back to Michalowice but the roundabout route off table would take them out of the battle.
1800 hours: One hour till nightfall (3 turns). The Duchy army fatigue level (MFP) has been reached and triggers the entire army -1 CMR adjustment for the game hour turn. Austrian kuirassiers have returned and sound their joint charge. Polish 2nd Uhlans wheel about to face the charge as other cavalry regiments and the horse battery seek to cross the bridge.
Austrian infantry edges close to the marsh edge, safe from cavalry but bombarded by the nearby Polish 6lb horse battery for the moment. Down thunders both kuirassier regiments, one at a time, per the option of shock combat. The cavalry brawl erupts in front of the Austrian infantry, cheering their countrymen forward. One kuirassier regiment cannot break the stubborn Polish uhlans, they wheel away for the second wave of heavy horsemen. This time the weight of impact throws the 2nd Uhlans across the bridge in retirement. Another Polish regiment wheeled into place and they are throw back by the kuirassiers too. Having expended their mounts charge distance (12″), they cannot charge further and ride down the exposed Polish horse battery, looking terribly exposed.
Near Jaworow, the grenz battalions close ranks to chase away the small uhlan skirmishing screen while the rest of Brigade Kamienski retires towards Rybie village. The Saxons take losses from the Austrian cannon just across the stream but within visibility range.
1820 hours: Two more turns to nightfall. The Duchy Corps needs to control the Raszyn bridge to score a scenario draw result, including holding for any night combat turns (up to six) if the Austrian remain under their MFP threshold.. One reduce uhlan regiment stands in line to delay any Austrian infantry marching directly. The 6lb horse battery unlimbered on the bridge roadway and shells the emerging Austrian columns. Over the Mrowa (Rawka) stream the Saxon battalions retire to the hill base with the remains of Brigade Kanienski while their positional batteries bombard the grenzer battalion for loss.
1840 hours: Last daylight turn or 18th game turn. Saxon-Polish team organize the bridge defense. Cavalry behind the village, the Polish 2nd Regiment occupy the roadside buildings (church) covering the bridge exit. The 6lb horse battery tried to limber up and escape over the bridge but an Austrian opportunity volley lies low the struggling gunners. Saxon grenadier battalion occupies Rybie building. Redoubling their bombardment of the approaching Austrian columns, the Saxon 6lb positional cannon glow from the heat of battle. They can only await the Austrian assaults.
Note: Changing unit facing or formation (F/F) within the minimum fire zone of infantry (muskets 2″) allows the infantry to fire a doubled (2x firepower) volley into the F/F changing unit. For the artillery, battery, when they limbered up, the formation change triggered the opportunity volley, removing the gunners.
Charging over the Raszyn bridge into intense musketry, the Austrian leading battalion takes their losses in stride as they aim for the class III level (stone) church. Along the stream roadway, two Austrian columns form to assault the Saxon battle-line. Austrian batteries group together and shell the exposed Saxon positional batteries in a deadly exchange of shot. Several Austrian brigades receive new orders to stand down before the hour game turn accounting for order expenditure; the cavalry kuirassier brigade under GM Speth, GM Geringer’s battered Kasier Hussars, the advance guard of GM Mohr, and lastly the late arriving brigade of GM Pflacher. All ordered to Reserve order thus changing the MFP expenditure from 13 MFP to 2 MFP on the hour 1900 turn. That critical step and Austrian planning held off the Austrian army exceeding their army morale (MFP threshold) for another game hour (till 2000 hours) therefore allowing another hour (three turns) of nighttime combat.
1900 hours: Knowing they cannot stop the Austrian juggernaut from seizing the Raszyn bridge, the Saxon-Polish army retires back to exit the battlefield. Playing their “Heroic actions” event card and determined Austrian leadership at their front (GM Civilart), the Austrian battalion seizes the church from the desperate Polish 1st btn. / 2nd Regt. Defending the other Raszyn building to delay the Austrian limited pursuit… soon stopped cold due to the presence of Polish cavalry, the battle soon ends with the last cannon shots exchanged by the Austrian batteries.
Scenario results…. Determined to be an Austrian minor victory since the Austrians controlled two of the three bridges, have two or more commands with less than 40% loss level across the Mrowa (Rawka) stream, but Saxon-Polish commands remained on the scenario tabletop at end. Nineteen game turns played for game starting at 11am and ended seven hours later. Thanks for Andy, Dan, Daniel, Luis and Paul for playing at the warren and enjoying another WR historical scenario.
Pending the write-up on the actual Raszyn battlefield, scenario notes and design, plus photos of the actual battlefield, here is the scenario notes (.doc) file: Raszyn 1809 Scenario notes
Update: The Battle of Raszyn 1809 historical background now posted.
Cheers from the warren.