Friday, 1 November 2013

28mm "Black Powder", SYW, The Battle for the Bridge at Tonnesburg.

First of all, A BIG welcome to my new followers.

Last evenings Weekly gaming session saw myself and Andy (Loki) delve once again into the SYW period.
I came up with a pretty tough scenario for this one.
Andy commanded the Prussians, taking the role of "Fredrick" himself, he really did play the part very well.
I myself commanded the Russians, taking the role of "Torrah Bollokov", a complete Idiot, the cap fits I suppose.
The table was laid out with a river that snaked across the table.
The river had three crossing points (two fords, and a bridge) and the object of the scenario was the controll of these crossing points. 
We were using the the "Last Argument of Kings"  BP supplement and both armies were marching onto the table.
The Russians got the first move and that's where things started to get difficult.
The Russians have pretty poor command ratings, My CinC was a Idiotic rating of 6.
I had two commanders with and 8 rating and the remaining three were all 7's.
Moving was going to be hard, rallying even bloody harder as I was to find out.
The Prussians with Fredrick at a rating of 9, another 9 for the guards and four 8's, a game of manoeuvre is deffo more suited to the Prussians.
The table started like this and the troops started to deploy.

The Russians started to march on and deploy.
This proved to be a very slow process as most were limited to a single march move as I failed command roll after command roll.
Even the Prussians were slow to arrive at first.

Russian troops were slow to move towards the objectives as the Prussians under Fredrick made rapid moves to the bridge and the two crossings.

The Prussians take the crossing on the Russian right as they march on towards the bridge.

The Russian Guards Brigade manage to get near to the bridge, but poor command rolls split the brigade as the Prussians advance towards them.
This right side of the table was evolving into where most of the action would take place.

The Russian left flank was a nightmare as units would not move and blocked everything else.
The Russian cavalry tried to form up on the road as the Prussian Cavalry sat poised ready in the centre peering at the Russians over the river.

To get the Russian cavalry moving, the Commander, General Keksoff made them form line on the road.
On the next Russian turn, he ordered them to wheel and advance down the road towards the crossing on the right.
The Prussian were slow on getting to this crossing and a swift move by the Russian dragoons may well have secured this objective.

But General Keksoff Blundered the order and a retreat order was issued instead.
The cavalry moved into their rear quarter and left the table with General Keksoff in pursuit.

The Russian infantry now had time to manoeuvre, haha, nope.
Roll after roll was failed due the the incompetence of the CinC, Torrah Bollokov and the brigade general Mifftov.
Command ratings of a 6 and a 7, were really starting to hamper the Russian advance.

Meanwhile in the centre, the Prussian brigade under Strauberg advanced across the bridge to join the Prussian Guards brigade under Zeiten.

Strauburgs Brigade deployed under a hail of musketry from the Russian Guards brigade.
Two rounds of enfilade fire could not stop the steady Prussians from forming their line.

They marched across the bridge to join their cousins and now two Prussian brigades faced off against a single Russian.
The Russian support brigade under Offalkov took forever to move up to support the struggling Russian guards.

Both side on the right blazed away at each other.
The Russian Heavy cavalry under Pimpski headed off towards the right flank as things were starting to turn a bit nasty fro the Russian Guards.
The Prussian Heavies under Seydlitz just sat and watched and prepared themselves to move over the Prussian held bridge if necessary.

Keksoffski's cavalry appeared again after a rally from their commander, but the still refused to advance.
By this time the Prussian brigade under Hoffen had reached and secured the left crossing
All three objectives were now firmly in Prussian hands.

As the slaughter on the right continued, both sides needed their special abilities to stand and fight.
The Prussians Steady rule allowing them to pass their first break test and the Russians Valiant rule allowing them to re-roll a break test were all needed as both side accumulated horrific casualties.

Offalkovs brigade finally arrived to support the Russian Guards, but it was all to late.
On four occasions the Russians were poised to charge, only to be disordered by the deadly Prussian musketry.
As battalions had fired and moved against each other, ground was lost, then re-taken.
Prussian Jaegers skirmishing in the wood took their toll on the Russian lines until canister from Russian artillery dispersed them.

The end came as the Prussian Guards under Zeiten took the initiative and charged the weakened Russian line.
The Prussian Guards broke one Russian battalion and continued their advance.
The Russians had to give ground.

The Russians under Mifftov had now managed to get at least some troops forward to threaten the crossing.
A couple of rounds of musketry troubled the defending Prussians of Hoffens brigade.
All a bit to little, to late.

As nightfall came, the Russians had little choice but to retire.
All three crossings were firmly in Prussian hands.
A well deserved Prussian victory for Fredrick (aka Andy)

This had been a very bloody encounter, with both side taking horrific casualties.
Although most of the action had been on the Russian right and between only parts of our armies.
In the end it was a tough one for either side, but especially tough for the Russians as they are difficult to move.
On an afterthought on the Armies involved.
The Prussians are without doubt on of the best BP SYW armies.
They have good command, and a good mix of good troops to choose from.
The 3+ morale on the Guards is deadly.
They can still suffer from poor command rolls, but that is down to the player.
They are still my favorite army for the period.
Now I don't often play the Russians in my collection and this was a first at BP really.
What can I say.
Poor command, but good troops.
They are very hard to move and to rally and did suffer in the game with this.
In a defensive posture I think they would be very good.
The Valiant rule gives them some staying power and they can mix it up with other armies in protracted firefights and melees.
In a game of manouevre, they suck bigtime, but I still love em.
Next week will be Hail Caesar again as myself and Andy crack out the Romans and Celts.
Maybe a good chance for Glenn and Karl to come and Watch the rules in action.


  1. It was a hard fought victory my friend those Russians are very hard to beat off and it took a while to see the Prussians finally break the Russian lines.

  2. Now that was a cracking looking and sounding game boys!

  3. Was a great game.
    Played in the spirit of the period and with plenty of laughs, tea and bad dice rolls

  4. Great report and photos Kev! Looks like a very enjoyable game!

  5. Very enjoyable report, Kev. Too bad about the Russian lethargy. Would your Russian tactics change if the scenario was replayed?

    Nice troops!

  6. Thanks guys.
    I really enjoyed the game.


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