Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Encounter at Splotz - a Sharp Practice AAR

 This AAR covers a battle fought using Sharp Practice rules at the club recently. I commanded the Syldavians while Kev led the Bordurians. The battle was fought using my 15mm 18th century armies.

During the War of Sinjenk's Nose, the village of Splotz, in the Syldavian province of Polishov was the site of more than one engagement between the Syldavians and their Bordurian enemies. This battle was an early encounter between the advance guards of the main armies.

Here is the village from the east, showing where the Syldavians will enter from.

The environs of the village itself would be the scene for most of the fighting.

The Bordurians deployed first, with light infantry taking advantage of a Moveable Deployment Point to swiftly occupy the village itself. This would give them an advantage which left the gallant Syldavians at a disadvantage for the whole battle. With two units of light infantry in the manor house and the farm (jägers and haiduks, the Bordurian term for grenzers), they would prove to be a tough nut for the Syldavians to try and crack.

Soon the Syldavians appeared on the scene, with light troops advancing between two hills towards the village, acting as a shield for the main body of fusiliers and grenadiers. A unit of dragoons, acting as Impact Horse guarded the left flank of the jägers. Bordurian lancers also arrived and began to advance upon the Syldavian right flank.

To the north of the village, the remaining Bordurian infantry began to advance to cover the open fields. At this point in the proceedings there was no sign of the Bordurian commander, who was presumably still enjoying a leisurely breakfast in a local inn.

Unwisely, the Syldavians decided to send their dragoons across to their left flank in an attempt to counter the Bordurian right. These would fall foul of concentrated musketry which effectively neutralised them for the rest of the battle.

The Syldavian jägers assaulted the haiduks in the farm but came under fire from the Bordurian jäger skirmishers inside the manor house, causing shock. They did manage to temporarily force the haiduks back from the wall but were unable to capitalise on this and were soon forced to withdraw themselves and were only rallied by the presence of a priest who was in the commander's entourage.

The main Syldavian line redeployed to receive the charge of the lancers who were totally wiped out. Unfortunately, in the fisticuffs they took a number of casualties. The grenadiers advanced around the church in an attempt to support the dragoons who were losing men and taking on shock. A Charge Them To Hell random event led them to make a rash assault on the Bordurian line, which led to them losing many men and breaking them.

A heavy pall of smoke descended on the battlefield which hid the fleeing grenadiers from the view of the jeering Bordurian fusiliers. The smoke also allowed the dragoons to make a much more orderly withdrawal.

With more Bordurian jägers entering the village, the Syldavian fusiliers were unable to advance effectively in that direction and they therefore took the decision to move to their left in an attempt to sweep around to the north of the village. While doing this they took shock and casualties from some very effective fire from the experienced Bordurian light infantry. At the same time, the jubilant Bordurian fusiliers also advanced across the open fields. By the time that the Syldavians had deployed on the left-hand hill the Bordurians were ready, loaded and presented. Both sides engaged in a series of exchanges of musketry, with the Syldavians coming off worst.

The Syldavian commander, his forces becoming low on morale decided that caution was the better part of valour and withdrew westwards from the field of battle, leaving the hated enemy in control of the unhappy village of Splotz.

So, a pretty terrible day for the Syldavians, who it has to be said took the wrong option when they advanced their main force towards the village through the wooded gap between two hills. This effectively created a bottleneck that would prevent them from having any space to manoeuvre. I think also that taking a unit of impact cavalry was a waste of time. I would have been better off with a second unit of light infantry. 

Anyway, well done to Kev, who had the better plan and the upper hand right from the start. For me, there is always next time.

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