The guys came up on Sunday to play a Swedes v Poles game using Pike and Shotte. The scenario required the retreating Swedes to enter the battlefield across two bridges and capture the hills overlooking the river and crossing points, thus enabling the bulk of their army and its baggage train to continue their withdrawal into the relative safety of Livonia. We started the game with some units on table. The Swedes had a brigade of horse (including some commanded shot) and two units of dragoons on table, but when we threw to see where they had deployed, both had entered the table over the same bridge, leaving half of the battlefield potentially under the control of the Poles. The Poles were allowed a 'brigade' of Cossacks and Tartars, and a brigade of mercenary German infantry, supported by two heavy guns. The Poles threw well for the Cossacks' initial deployment and were able to send a screen of cavalry out all along the centreline of the table. The Germans were a bit slower but were at least on the table.
All reinforcements were to enter the game from randomly determined points, the Swedes across the bridges and Poles from any of the four roads entering the battlefield area. We then threw to see who was fighting who. John and I got the Swedes. Rob and Paul were very pleased to get the Poles as they were keen to play with the Polish Winged Hussars. As usual I will describe the action in each sector of the battlefield through to its conclusion, at least as well as I can remember it!
At that point we called it a day. The Swedish right had just about held on, thanks to Paul's dreadful command roles. In the centre the German mercenaries were in retreat, the guns were in disorder and the cavalry in no position to face off the Yellow and Blue brigades. On the left, the Poles were unable to get the drop on the Swedish cuirassiers who were content to sit tight on top of their hill.
Verdict: An excellent game enjoyed by all and a Swedish victory, just. Once the Swedes had their infantry deployed the Poles found it hard to counter them, especially their firepower, although in the early stages their Hussars proved to be more than a match for even the best Swedish and Finnish horse. Thanks to Rob, John and Paul for coming up and sorry about the sharp pikes. Hope you didn't loose too much blood Rob! Sorry if some of the photos are a bit blurred but that was due to the ground shaking as thousands of Polish cavalry thundered onto the battlefield, and my poor photo skills).