Monday, 3 October 2016

AAR The Battle of Kaniv

On Sunday I was hosted at the Grimsby Wargames club by Paul Robinson for my first game of Great Northern War and had a fantastic day,.

First of all thanks to Paul for making me so welcome (he even made me butties!) and providing a fun game.

The club itself is a little gem, a converted two floor building which I believe is actually owned by the club and can therefore be open for games every day or evening of the week with I believe 5 tables, two of which are pretty large, its a cracking layout.

Paul had the game all laid out and set up with armies ready to go when I got there on Sunday at 10.30. The game is set during the invasion of Russia and has the Swedes trying to force a crossing of the Dnieper river defended by Russian troops. Rules were the Grimsby clubs own and were quick to learn and easy to play.

The Swedes had ten 32 man battalions of foot ( a further two would appear later after a flank march) with 3 guns, 2 squadrons of Drabants and 7 of Dragoons.

Facing them were 16 24 man Russian Battalions with 2 guns, 2 squadrons of Horse Grenadiers and 7 of dragoons.  The Russians also have a redoubt that can take a battalion or battery of 2 guns.

So a similar number of figures, terrain in favour of the Russians, quality in favour of the Swedes.

Paul kindly gave me choice of army, being polite instead of going straight for the Swedes I chose to role a die. I got Russians, I guess I should have known it was an omen of things to come!

 As I wasn't sure where Pauls reinforcements might come on I chose to spread myself out, a little too thinly as things turned out, you can see that occupied the reverse slope of a long ridge with my redoubt sat in the gap between the two long hills., a large wood on either flank would conceal any reinforcements trying to steal a march.
 The Swedes decided to concentrate on my left flank and centre whilst occupying the rest of my army with the cavalry.

 As the Swedish foot marched forward the cavalry very quickly got to grips with the Russians initially holding their own in the mass cavalry battle in the middle. It wasn't until later that I realized this mass of horse flesh prevented my right flank brigade from supporting the rest of my army, a mistake that would prove costly.

 As the cavalry pulled back to reform and the Swedish foot continued to close, the reinforcements appeared for the Swedes in the shape of two guard battalions on the left flank. They had achieved local superiority. The Russian right flank began to curl in to try and add its weight to the battle but it was all looking a little too late.

 Mean while the Swedes had weathered the storm of Russian closing fire and smashed into the front line battalions, the Russians were able to see off a couple of units but as the centre began to stabalise the left began to buckle.

 Four units of Swedes now faced 3 of slightly battered Russians on the left, the outcome was hardly in doubt. as the fourth unit routed to the table edge.
 Wihtin 2 moves the Russians had  broken through and the end of the left flank was in sight.
 Meanwhile the massed cavalry melle had resumed and completely blocked the right flank brigade from joining the fight. In a minor victory 3 squadrons of Russian Dragoons looped around the rear and drove off 2 squadrons of Swedes and over ran the first Swedish Gun.
 The Swedes in the centre had pulled back to reform

 But the left flank ahd gone and the Swedes had turned to roll the Russian army up.

 The 3 squadrons of Russian Dragoons now lay behind the exposed Swedish foot of the centre, but the rest of the Russian cavalry was crumbling and the centre was being pushed back on itself.  Time for an orderly retreat with the two intact brigades of foot before they were completely surrounded. Swedish GA PA winning over Russian firepower.

A cracking game and a great introduction to the period for me. Paula nd I spent more of the day swapping anecdotes and plans for our armies than gaming at some points but this just added to the day for me.

Thanks for your hospitality Paul, look forward to a return match.


  1. Great looking game, Grimsby seem to be very well organised, what a great set up.

    1. They certainly are, cracking little club with the tables permanantly up so you can just turn up and play

  2. Certainly looks a nice venue and good to see you getting all your units out and in action after so long. Very impressive.

    1. Andy the figures were almost all Pauls, mine are still a way off getting on table, although maybe next month a very small game.

  3. A perfect game (friendly and easy going)

  4. Roger, the pleasure was all mine in hosting such an enjoyable day. Bigger and better for next year then?

  5. Wonderful looking game. I enjoyed the report and thanks for the tactical lesson.

    1. If I was a more generous person I would be thanking Paul for the tactical lesson. But thanks David.

  6. Nice looking game. I like the gentle nature and size of the hills.

  7. They worked well Norm. Struggling a bit with adding the follow me bit, not sure which one it is.