This AAR comes from a scheduled Thursday evening warren game, structured to familiarize the newer warren players with the club rules napoleonic unit point system, some basic nationalistic army organization, and then field a player chosen “balanced” small corps on the tabletop. Scenario is straight forward meeting engagement, with even points (1700 predetermined points level) per side, fought for twelve active game turns (4 game hours) duration, or less if one side exceeds their MFP corp’s total to be declared defeated.
First a quick overview of the starting chosen order of battle by both player teams, then some brief discussion of the Combat Morale Rating (CMR) rating used in the group games. CMR is a major component of the club napoleonic rules, game play and interaction mechanics, and foundation of the points system. After CMR discussion, a brief understanding of the how the points system works. But first, the finished order of battles chosen by the two player teams:
The Russian player team fielded a small corps with two infantry divisions and attached mixed cavalry division. Their Corp’s roster included:
Russian Corps HQ with HQ base, ADC’s, military ammo train, baggage group, no attached artillery batteries or units.
Infantry Division: Grenadier regt (2×6 miniature battalions), Jager regt (2×6), four Musketeer regiments (2×6 each), 12-pound positional battery (12 cannon), 6-pound Foot battery (12), two Cossack regiments (1×4 each).
Infantry Division: Two Jager regiments (2×6 each), four Musketeer regiments (2×6 each), 12-pound positional battery (12), 6-pound Foot battery (12).
Cavalry Division: Three Dragoon regiments (1×5 each), Hussar regt. (1×10), Uhlan regt. (1×10), and attached 6-pound Horse battery (12)
Classical Russian organization. Infantry divisions same size of six regiments, with slight difference exchanging one jager regiment for a grenadier in one division. Cavalry in large division organization so a bit unwieldy on the tabletop consisting of hussar, uhlans, and dragoons. Being Russian, the artillery is solid with five large batteries, four foot and one horse. Toss in the two cossack regiments to tease the Polish-Lithuanian uhlans. The complete Russian .xls roster file: Russia Roster 1812
The Polish Corps formed as the Russian opponent for the Thursday evening scenario. Like the Russians, the Polish & Lithuanians form two infantry divisions, one Polish and one Lithuanian, and a smaller cavalry division. Not too often you read or see a 1812-13 Lithuanian division on the tabletop, WR likes the odd ball armies. The Polish or Duchy of Warsaw (DOW) and Lithuanian contingent order of battle outlined below:
Polish HQ: HQ base, ADC’s, ammo train, baggage group, and two Polish converged grenadier battalions (2×6).
Polish Infantry Division: Three Line regiment (3×6 each), a Polish Legion regiment (3×9), and two 6-pound Foot batteries (6 cannon each).
Lithuanian Infantry Division: Five Line regiments (2×6 each), two Lithuanian Uhlan regiments (2×5), and two Polish 6-pound Foot batteries (6 cannon each).
Polish Cavalry Division: Two Hussar regiments (2×6) and Lithuanian Uhlan regiment (1×5), with attached 6-pound Horse battery.
The Polish and Lithuanian force seems to be well-balanced and organized on paper roster. Attaching the Lithuanian uhlans to their infantry gives them local cavalry support but somewhat restricts them to the slower infantry movement. The Polish Cavalry division is small, only three regiments so the staying power is weak for numbers, but being hussars, the CMR is high. Artillery ratio good, twelve cannon for each infantry division, but no reserve batteries or heavier artillery cannon then their divisional 6-pounders on the battlefield. The complete Polish – Lithuanian .xls roster file: Polish Roster 1812
If desired, the reader can skip the next few paragraphs which detail out the CMR and napoleonic point system working and calculations, and go directly to the AAR report on the colorful tabletop miniature action._
CMR Value Ranking System: The Combat Morale Rank (CMR) is a comparative combined morale and combat effectiveness rating. Each miniature unit, in the Napoleonic game, starts the tabletop action with a base CMR rating. This rating is reduced as the miniature unit suffers miniature losses, causes the miniature unit to lose morale and combat effectiveness. Eventually, the miniature unit, if retained in the “front line” action, will rout (flee) from it’s tabletop position when pressured by enemy action (morale checks).
The CMR scale is 1 (worst) to 10 (best) with a special classification of “S” above the highest normal ranking of 10. The “S” CMR rating only is given to selected miniature units in the game. The CMR is grouped into three (3) broad morale classifications. These classifications affect the morale interaction of miniature units during morale checks.
The three morale grade classifications are: Militia Grade (1-4 CMR), Line Grade (5-7 CMR) and Elite Grade (8-S).
Should be noted that higher morale grade classification units don’t morale test for lesser morale grade units when they break and flee. That is a major advance during game scenario play. For example, a French grenadier battalion (CMR 8 Elite grade) will not test if Line (CMR 5-7) or Militia (1-4) morale grade break or flee nearby. Same applies for Line vs. Militia morale grade testing. But, for example, if an elite morale grade unit routs…. all will test for the breaking and fleeing elite unit pass-by movement, but still subject to the comparative unit size determination for every morale test,
Points Cost System: Before the scenario recap or AAR, a brief discussion on using our points system to create scenario rosters… for even sides or uneven, depending on the overall scenario. Point Cost Chart
Generally the first step is to determine how many “commands” a player (or team side) desires to field. A “command” can be of almost any size…. 1 to the 150 maximum of miniatures. Most are brigade, or division in size of 12 to 80 miniatures. Game structure commands are: single unit command, brigade, division, and small column commands. these make up the majority of tabletop commands, especially the bridge and division commands, of course depending on scenario design. Above those commands are the “senior” commands or; corps, wing, large column, then army and finally nation level senior commands. Senior level commands generally command other smaller and lower level commands.
So the Polish players decided to have three “commands”, two divisions of infantry and one small cavalry division or large brigade. For senior leadership or command, the three commands are placed under a senior command “Corps HQ”. Total cost from the above chart image is: Three division commands or 3 x 15 points plus 50 points for the Corps HQ = 95 points so far.
Polish Division: Three Polish DOW line regiments of three veteran battalions each equals 3 regiments x 3 battalions of 6 miniatures x each miniature cost of 8 points. The miniature cost calculates out as Base 6 CMR plus one for veteran raising CMR to 7 plus one point for entire unit skirmish ability. Polish DOW infantry is B class firing and three rank formation so no additional adjustment. Total cost is again 3x3x6x8 or 432 points. Polish Legion has 3 battalions of 9 miniatures at CMR 7. They also skirmish so miniature cost is 8 points each. Math works out to be 3x9x8 or 216 points. Two batteries of 6 cannon DOW foot artillery costs: 3 points for each 6-pound cannon x 6 cannon plus 20 points for the battery base. Total battery cost is 3×6+20 or 38 points x two batteries for total 76 points. Polish division points so far add up to 432 plus 216 plus 76 = 724 points.
The Lithuanian division is similarly done. The only difference is their infantry is only CMR 6, without whole battalion skirmisher ability, and two Lithuanian uhlan regiments are attached. Five line regiments of two battalions (2×6) each at CMR 6 equals: 5x2x6x6 = 360 points, The two Lithuanian uhlan cost 2x4x6(1.5) plus one = 80 points. Two Polish foot batteries like above cost 38 points each for 78 points. Total Lithuanian division = 360 plus 80 plus 76 = 516 points.
For the Polish small cavalry division: Two hussar regiments of six miniatures, one Lithuanian uhlan regiment and attached horse battery. Hussar regiment cost 6 miniatures x 8(1.5) plus 1 = 78 points each. Note the 1.5x multiplier is applied to the base CMR and then the extra point for light cavalry added. the uhlan regiment: 4 miniatures x 6(1.5) plus one = 40 points. the horse artillery battery: 6 cannon x 3 points each plus 30 points for battery base = 48 points. Total cost for cavalry division is 78×2 plus 40 and 48 = 244.
In summary the points work out to be 95 (HQ) plus 724 (Polish) plus 516 (Lithuanian) and 244 (cavalry) = 1579. To this total the corps ammo train (30) and two HQ attached converged Polish grenadier battalions (CMR 8 for 108 points) are added. Grand total for Polish-Lithuanian roster works out at 1717 points. For 41 years this point system has been used for the our group napoleonic rules….. has stood the test of time.
This basically how the napoleonic points system works. Now to the tabletop battle action after both teams have fielded their chosen commands and army structure. Lets see how the two fielded armies perform with the test of tabletop battle.
Scenario Turn One: Being French or French ally, the Polish army will have first movement. Sometimes we roll the choice of first movement with a +1 on d6 for French or French ally armies. (high die roll gets choice). Across the front the Polish and Lithuanians advance to close the distance between the two armies. During the interval Mutual Artillery and Small arms firing phase, little combative firepower is given, manly due to the distance apart for the front formations. Russians also advance during their half of the turn, ending the first turn with both armies shorting the open distance between them.
Turn Two: Again the Polish and Lithuanian units march forward. Seeing opportunity, the Polish hussar regiment trot forward to charge the exposed Russian jager screen, forcing them to quickly retire behind their formed support behind and thus expose the Russian close rank infantry to Polish artillery fire. Combined arms is a big aspect of the rules.
Russian chance to react to the declared Polish Hussar regiment charge. In the sequence of play, the Polish cavalry moves, then declared their charge. Before the Russian movement, morale tests are taken for the charge, so the jager screen flees to the rear to rally up, the battalion columns tested with two going into morale disorder. Then the Russian Movement phase performed but at half speed in the angle charge zone (14″ depth) zone, Some good order battalions formed battalion square, which break the Polish Hussar charge during the following Shock phase.
Turn Three: Some battalion movement by both sides but no shock or close combative actions. Polish player team form two massed infantry columns, in the nearby village light woods, in preparation of assaulting the Russian held center hedge behind the village. Having chased away the Russian jager skirmishers, the Polish artillery batteries get another turn of firing into the Russian massed ranks before they can deploy another skirmisher screen on the Russian move.
Note: Each game turn has two Mutual Artillery and following separate Small arms fire phases, so in many situations chasing away the skirmishers gives two firing phases before the skirmishers can return to screen the front lines.
Turn Four: Surging forward, the first Polish column, formed by the Polish Legion battalions, exit the light woods and advance towards the Russian held hedge position. Russian musketeer battalions form line behind the hedge in preparation for the Polish forthcoming assault. After the Russian Movement Phase, the Polish assault goes in. Close range musketry cuts down two Polish miniatures but the Polish Legion battalion marches forward into the Russian held hedge. Heavy pressure forces the Russians to retire, leaving the Polish in procession of the hedge. Another Polish battalion clears the edge woods from the pesky Russian jager skirmishers. Apart from the assaults and mutual artillery bombardment, little direct action across the main battlefront this turn.
Note: Shock combat is simple in our games. 1) Advance the unit(s) to base to base contact. 2) Normal Fire Phase (Artillery and/or Small arms firing) for the defender. 3) Defender has their upcoming Movement phase to react by holding ground or some cases march away, if they stay in position, morale test to stand in good order or worse. 4) Fire again into the assaulting unit (doubled), complete any morale tests for firepower losses, 5) Determine the odds… single cavalry rank or up to six ranks of infantry for odds ratio. 6) determine the CMR differential between the foremost units on both sides. 7) Consult the Shock Combat table and roll d6 for result, 8) Perform the results and any additional routing friends morale tests. The basic mechanics of the Shock Phase.
Turn Five: The Polish assault wakes up the defensive Russians to counterattack against the Polish occupied village. Before the Russian movement, another Polish massed column exits the woods to assault the next section of the low hedge. Team Russia, seeing the main Polish effort is outside the village, previously had sent in their Pavlov Grenadier battalions to push back the Polish skirmishers then assault the frontal village buildings. Shaking off the token loss, the Pavlov’s go in and throw back the Polish screen.
Turn Six: As the artillery duel causes mounting losses, to both sides, the center is in disarray from the Polish assault against the low hedge. Continuing forward the Polish massed columns cross the hedge to engage the weaken Russian musketeer battalions or shift sideways to force the positional 12-pound battery to retire. Expand the center breakthrough is their plan it seems. The Russian player teams see that their right is “pinned” in place, their center slowly crumbling from the massed Polish assaults, so that leaves the left flank to apply pressure. First transferring two Russian dragoon regiments towards the center, then lining up their uhlan regiment to charge the approaching Polish battalions. The veteran battalions hold their ground, form square and give fire towards the charging Russian uhlans, The charge broken, the uhlans retire but have uncovered the Polish infantry to follow-up cannon fire.
Seeing daring opportunity on the right flank, and the exposed Polish batteries, the Russian player team retires their infantry and trot forward the large hussar regiment. A bold charge is coming.
Turn Seven: The entire Russian Hussar regiment charges after losing one miniature from the hasty re-directed Polish artillery fire last turn. Having the hussars so close (-5 CMR), the charge receiving reaction tests are going to be brutal.
Note: Large cavalry regiment (8+ miniatures) can be broken into two half “battalion” wings and operate separately. The drawback is the 2nd half of the regiment suffers a minus -1 CMR morale adjustment only for morale test. Their original CMR is retained for all shock combat calculations.
After the Polish Movement phase is completed, the Russian Hussar regiment charges home. From the charge tests, one artillery battery crew bolts for the rear, one stand their ground with lintstock in hand, as another falls into morale disorder, reducing their final firepower. Several nearby Lithuanian battalions are shaken and retire. Still, one hussar is blasted away as the hussars run over the batteries, riding down the valiant gunners. A big “take the cannon” victory for team Russian.
Charges can continue forward up to the normal movement range of the cavalry unit, then add another 6″ for extended charge (losing one miniature horseman as cost). After crushing the Polish artillery batteries, the Russian Hussars continue their charge into the disordered Lithuanian infantry, cutting down the newly raised battalion in position. This bring the charging hussars into the arc of Polish Hussars, who promptly counter-charge and repulse the Russian Hussars. Still, the damage is done.
First Russian hussar wave charged, the second half commence their charge into the exposed morale disordered Lithuanian battalion. They are crushed like the other battalion. A sole Lithuanian battalion square protects the last Polish battery from being overrun after their crew bolted for the rear.
Turn Eight: So far the tabletop action has been tense for both sides. Seeing their left flank badly hit from the successful Russian Hussar regiment charge, the Polish player team seeks to balance the books with their own charges from the right flank. Three Lithuanian uhlan regiments form up and declare charges. The nearby Russian cossack screen disappears from the formed cavalry advance. Russian 6-pound battery crew goes into morale disorder so the nearby musketeer square shifts over to cover the battery. Trotting forward, the second half of the Russian Uhlan regiment and a single dragoon regiment confront the charging Lithuanian uhlan. Cavalry clashes, the square fires volleys, but the brave Lithuanian cavalry break the Russian cavalry leaving the exposed disordered battery to be overrun, despite the best efforts of the nearby square musketry.
On the opposite flank, the arriving two dragoon regiments back up the victorious hussars. Russian go for the final victory by positioning their right flank cavalry to charge home and clear away the Polish Hussars. Both sides now have exceeded 20% loss levels so their divisional CMR morale chipped by one pip.
Turn Nine: Going for the Polish jugular. The reformed Russian right flank cavalry charges to sweep clear the Polish left battlefront. First the hussars charge, supported by both dragoon regiments. the mass of Russian horsemen crash into the hasty positioned front line, a disordered Lithuanian battalion defending their abandoned cannon, and the Polish Hussars in massed cavalry column. Sharp swirling fight, finally the Polish Hussar give way and the Russian Hussar overrun the hapless Lithuanian infantry battalion. Chasing the Polish horsemen deep into the Polish rear, the hussars clear the path for the next Russian Dragoon regiment to directly impact another Lithuanian battalion. That battalion fires an ineffective volley before the horsemen rip into the panicky battalion. Another bloody rout of the surviving Lithuanian infantry. By now the Polish left flank is in total ruin as the last Dragoon regiment rides forward to chase the remaining Polish cavalry away. The Polish left flank is totally broken and in flight.
Turn Ten and Scenario end: The scenario is basically over. With the Polish left flank retiring, their cavalry trying to stem the Russian horsemen advances, it is the victorious Russian infantry marching through the village which completes the victory. Several commands have now reached the damaging 40% and 60% loss levels, which reduces the CMR (-2 or -3) for morale tests. Additionally, both sides on this turn reach their army MFP threshold levels so starting on the next game hour turn both will drop all Attack orders and slowly erode their morale minus one CMR every hour. This ends the scenario. Hard fought action for both player teams with the final touch given by the Russian horsemen to secure the victory.
Cheers from the gaming warren.