Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Battle of Gorodetschna: August 12,1812

The Hofkfreigsrat (aka simply "the Rats") subgroup of the Hartford (CT) Area Historical Gaming Society [HAHGS] will be running the Battle of Gordetschna at Battle Group Boston's annual spring convention, HAVOC, on Saturday April 2nd. We met today and played out a test game, and had a blast doing it. As usual, that lead to a few insights and tweaks to the scenario. I'll report on the actual game next time, with pictures, of course, but I wanted to present the scenario, both for any players who want to look it over beforehand (or use it for their own game), and because it is in exactly the same format that is planned for the Blunders on the Danube scenario book. Just as for that book, the scenario is designed for use with Brent Oman's Field of Battle by Piquet.

The Battle of Gorodetschna, August 12, 1812

Scale: 1 Infantry unit = 600 men, 1 Cavalry unit = 400 men, 1 Artillery unit = 6-8 guns Allied, 12 guns Russian.
Table Size: 5 x 9 feet

Background: The Saxons Corps and allied Austrian Auxiliary Corps under the combined command of FML Schwarzenberg were operating on the Southern Flank of Napoleon's invasion of Russia. As in 1809, there was a secret convention between Austria and Russia that they would both avoid active combat with one another as much as possible. The Allies had already pushed the Russian 3rd Army of the West under Tormassov out of one of its major magazines at Prujany. Tormassov resolved to slow their advance on Kobrin. He set his troops in a strong defensive position behind a swampy river, covering the anticipated line of Advance from Prujany. He was expecting the rest of his army, another 13,000 men, by nightfall.
    The Allies had suffered a sharp repulse at the hands of Tormassov earlier in the campaign at Kobrin, resulting in the surrender of a Saxon brigade. Reynier and Schwarzenberg were both eager to avenge the stain of that defeat, but they realized that a frontal attack would be extremely risky, and bloody even if successful. Reynier suggested a maneuver against the Russian left/rear, and Schwarzenberg agreed, detaching Austrian troops to support him.
Map: The River has marshy banks, and is Class III Terrain (combat bonus to the unit NOT in the River!) . Passage is handled as follows: All units stop at contact with the river's marshy banks. Their next move segment is to the middle of the river's water area. A third move segment is required to move the unit to the far edge of the river's marshy banks. Units moving across a Class III river are forced Out of Command. Artillery may not move across the river except at the bridges. The bridge at Podubny is narrow and unsuitable for the passage of Artillery; other troops may cross in Column of March only. The other bridges (actually more causeways than bridges) can pass all arms in Column of March or Attack Column. The bridges may NOT be destroyed in the course of the game.
The Villages are all Class II terrain. The Woods is dense and rates as class III terrain, although units on the road in March Column may move at normal Road rates. The swamp is Class IV (impassable); any units forced to retreat into the swamp are destroyed. The ridge is class II for movement only, and blocks line of sight; it offers no combat or elevation advantages.

Scenario Rules: Russian Batteries all have three UI instead of the usual two, and will have a CD UP 1 from the standard; this reflects the large, 12 gun Russian batteries. To reflect the combination of their poor firepower but great stoicism, Russian Line and Jagers, although Regulars, will have a Defense Die of D8 but Line roll on the Raw table for their Combat Die, and Jagers on the Regulars table! Austrian Jagers and Grenz, and Saxon Light Infantry may use Skirmish. Unrated officers are included for clarity, but are not represented in the game. Finally, on the first Russian MOVE card after Allied troops are seen emerging from the woods, any or all Russian Commands may expend one of their move segments to change facing for the purpose of responding to the presence of the flanking Saxon attack

Deployment: Saxon, Austrian and Russian forces are deployed as shown on the Map. Where Artillery units are listed under the Corps command, they must be allocated by the player to one or more of the sub-commands.

Russian Reinforcements: Lambert's command enters deployed within 8” either side of the Kobrin-Cherechev road on the first Russian MOVE card after Allied units are seen exiting the Woods.
Allied Reinforcements: Bianchi's Austrian command, followed by von Funck's Saxon “Division” enter in March Column along the road from Cherechev on any Austrian Move card. Any Austrian units that cannot fit in their deployment zone(s) can enter from the friendly table edge, deployed, on any Allied MOVE card.

Victory Conditions: Automatic/Decisive Allied victory – hold the road exit at Zavnice in force at any point . Major Allied Victory – hold any two river crossings and the ridge at the end of the game. Major Russian Victory – no “In Command”, unrouted/unsilenced Austro-Saxon units south of the river and east of the woods at the end of the game. Unless an “automatic Victory is achieved, play continues until one side concedes or fails Army Morale. If none of the above conditions are met, the side that does not concede/fail army Morale has won a Marginal Victory.

Scenario design notes: This was a difficult scenario to develop, because there is so much contradictory information or lack of information. Nafziger's book is, as usual, both full of detail but at time maddeningly incomplete or even contradictory. Several scenarios for other rules sets seem to contain numerous units that were not in fact engaged in the action. I have probably rather understated the Austrian strengths, but I think this works fine given both their tactical situation and limited enthusiasm for the cause. There is a good account of the battle on the web at: Link

Austrian Auxiliary Corps, FML Schwarzenberg (overall Allied commander)
Average; LD   , CR       Average Sequence Deck Morale Points: 61
12# Foot Battery Regular DD6   CD
12# Foot Battery Regular DD6   CD
6# Horse Battery Regular DD6   CD
(May not form Grand battery, but must be allocated to individual commands at the discretion of the Allied C-in-C)

Division Frimont Poor; LD    , CR
1st Grenadier Bn Elite DD10   CD
2nd Grenadier Bn Elite DD10   CD
1/IR Davidovich (Hungarian) Raw DD4   CD
2/IR Davidovich (Hungarian) Raw DD4   CD
1/IR Esterhazy (Hungarian) Raw DD4   CD
2/IR Esterhazy (Hungarian) Raw DD4   CD
6# Foot Battery Regular DD6   CD

Division Siegenthal Poor; LD   , CR
Jager Bn #7 Crack DD8   CD
1/Warasdiner Kreutzer Grenz Raw DD4   CD
1/IR Czartoryski Regular DD6   CD
2/IR Czartoryski Regular DD6   CD
1/IR Sottulinski Regular DD6   CD
2/IR Sottulinski Regular DD6   CD
Levener Dragoons Regular DD6   CD
6#Horse Battery Regular DD6   CD

Division Trautenberg Poor; LD     , CR
1/Kienmayer Hussars Crack DD8   CD
2/Kienmayer Hussars Crack DD8   CD
Reisch Dragoons Regular DD6   CD
1/St Georg Grenz Raw DD4   CD
Jager Battalion #5 Crack DD8   CD
1/IR Duka (Hungarian) Raw DD4   CD
2/IR Duka (Hungarian) Raw DD4   CD
1/IR Beaulieu Regular DD6   CD
2/IR Beaulieu Regular DD6   CD
6# Foot Battery Regular DD6   CD

Division Bianchi Poor; LD   , CR
1/IR Alvintzi (Hungarian) Raw DD4   CD
2/IR Alvintzi (Hungarian) Raw DD4   CD
1/IR Hiller Regular DD6   CD
2/IR Hiller Regular DD6   CD
1/IR Colloredo Regular DD6   CD
2/IR Colloredo Regular DD6   CD
6# Foot Battery Regular DD6   CD

Austrian Cavalry Division, Zechmeister Poor; LD   , CR
Hohenzollern Chevaulegers Regular DD6   CD
O'Reilly Chevaulegers Regular DD6   CD
1/Kaiser Hussars Crack DD8   CD
2/Kaiser Hussars Crack DD8   CD
1/Blankenstein Hussars Crack DD8   CD
2/Blankenstein Hussars Crack DD8   CD

VII Corps (Saxon), General de Division Reynier Skilled; LD   , CR

Corps Artillery (May not form Grand Battery, must be allocated to sub commands)
12# Foot Battery Regular DD6   CD
12# Foot Battery Regular DD6   CD
6# Horse Battery Regular DD6   CD
6# Horse Battery Regular DD6   CD

21st (Saxon ) Division – LeCoq

Brigade von Strendel Average; LD   , CR
Libenau Grenadier Bn Crack DD8   CD
1/Pr Frederick IR Raw DD4   CD
2/Pr Frederick IR Raw DD4   CD
1/Pr Clemens IR Raw DD4   CD
2/Pr Clemens IR Raw DD4   CD

Brigade non Nostitz Average; LD   , CD
1/1st Light Infantry Regular DD6   CD
2/1st Light Infantry Regular DD6   CD
1/Pr Anton IR Raw DD4   CD
2/Pr Anton IR Raw DD4   CD

22nd (Saxon ) Division – von Funck

Brigade von Sahr Average; LD   , CR
Von Spiegel Grenadier Bn Crack DD8   CD
Anger Grenadier Bn Crack DD8   CD
1/2nd Light Infantry Regular DD6   CD
2/2nd Light Infantry Regular DD6   CD

23rd (Saxon) Light Cavalry Brigade, Von Thielman Average; LD , CR
Saxon Hussars Crack DD8   CD
Polenz Chevauleger Crack DD8   CD
Pr Clemenz Uhlans Crack DD8   CD

Austrian Totals: 23 Infantry, 10 Cavalry, 8 Artillery
Saxon Totals: 13 Infantry, 3 Cavalry, 4 Artillery

Combined: 36 Infantry, 13 Cavalry, 12 Artillery

Russian 3rd Army of the West, General Lieutenant Tormassov
Average LD     , CR       Average Sequence Deck Morale Points: 48

1st Corps, General of Infantry Kamenski Average; LD   , CD
12# Foot Battery Regular DD6   CD
6# Foot Battery Regular DD6   CD

18th Division, Prince Tchervatov

1st Brigade, General Bernardos Average; LD   , CD
1/Tambov IR Regular* DD8   CD
2/Tambov IR Regular* DD8   CD
1/Vladimir IR Regular* DD8   CD
2/Vladimir IR Regular* DD8   CD
1/28th Jagers Regular# DD8   CD

2nd Brigade, Prince Khowanski Average; LD    , CD
1/Dneiper IR Regular* DD8   CD
2/Deneiper IR Regular* DD8   CD
1/Kostroma IR Regular* DD8   CD
2/Kostroma IR Regular* DD8   CD
2/28th Jagers Regular# DD8   CD

8th Cavalry Division, Tschaplitz Average; LD    , CD
Starodoub Dragoons Regular DD6   CD
Taganrog Dragoons Regular DD6   CD
Tver Dragoons Regular DD6   CD
6# Horse Battery Regular DD6   CD

2nd Corps, General Lieutenant Markov Average; LD   , CD
12# Foot Battery Regular DD6   CD
6# Foot Battery Regular DD6   CD

15th Division, Nasimov

1st Brigade, General Reichel Average; LD   , CD
1/Riajsk IR Regular* DD8   CD
2/Riajsk IR Regular* DD8   CD
1/Nacheburg IR Regular* DD8   CD
2/Nacheburg IR Regular* DD8   CD
1/10th Jagers Regular# DD8   CD

2nd Brigade, General Stepanov Average; LD   , CD
1/Koslov IR Regular* DD8   CD
2/Koslov IR Regular* DD8   CD
1/Vitebesk IR Regular* DD8   CD
2/Vitebesk IR Regular* DD8   CD
2/10th Jagers Regular# DD8   CD

Ad-Hoc Cavalry Division, General Anon Average; LD    , CD
1/Pavlograd Hussars Crack DD8   CD
2/Pavlograd Hussars Crack DD8   CD
4 Sqns Tartar Uhlan Regt Regular DD6   CD
1st Kalmouks/Cossacks Rabble DD4   CD
2nd Kalmouks/Cossacks Rabble DD4   CD
6# Horse Battery Regular DD6   CD

Generalmajor Lambert (part 3rd Corps) Average; LD    , CD
1/Kourin IR Regular* DD8   CD
2/Kourin IR Regular* DD8   CD
1/14th Jagers Regular# DD8   CD
2/14th Jagers Regular# DD8   CD
1/Alexandria Hussars Crack DD8   CD
2/Alexandria Hussars Crack DD8   CD
6# Foot Battery Regular DD6   CD

Russian Totals: 24 Infantry, 10 Cavalry, 8 Artillery

* = Roll on the Raw table for Combat Die
# = Roll on the Regulars table for Combat Die

The Battle of Gorodetschna, August 12, 1812

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