Wednesday, January 20, 2016

6mm Plancenoit AAR

So hopefully this isn't my annual blog post, as things have tended to be lately - still have lots of photos of projects and games backlogged, and stuff going on, but not much here.  In an effort to address that a bit, here's an AAR from last Sunday's game at Glenn's, a 6mm rendition of Plancenoit, with Glenn and Ron S. as the dastardly French, and myself, Dick, and Martin as heroic and manly Prussians.

The AAR was written by Glenn, I've added some commentary and boasting in bold italics. My few photos are from the end of the game, when the issue was no longer in doubt and I wasn't going to jinx anything.  They're after the report, with suitably Prussian captions.

On to the AAR:

Lobau's (dastardly French) plan was simple hold Plancenoit and refuse his left flank outside of the village so it could not be enveloped by the Prussian cavalry that was noted to be facing that flank.

Bulow's (heroic and manly Prussian) plan was also simple. He would attack on both flanks and slowly put pressure on the center.  (Actually we planned to hit hard on the right and centre, my job on the left was not to lose the game by going crazily into the town.  I just wanted to pin down the Guard and set myself up for an eventually multi-pronged attack on the strongpoints, to take away their mutual support for each other.  As it turned out, our attack in the centre was slowed by terrain and bulky units, and I was able to engage the town in time, using firepower to knock out one Guard unit near the end of the game and being ready to hit some others if we hadn't need to use our initiative/tempo on the right flank where Martin could win the game for us.)

The commander of the 1st Prussian Cavalry Brig. Schwerin (this was Martin) promptly put both of his regiments in motion. Their orders were to circle around to the rear of the French line and take out the gun line set up on the hill behind the village. As they were moving they noticed that the French left flank was pulling back.

In view of the changing situation Eicke commanding the 6th Hussars and Beier commanding the 1st West Prussian Uhlans decided to disregard their orders and try and stop the French from withdrawing. Sabers were drawn, lancers were lowered and in they went.

Jeanin (this was Ron S.) commander of the 20th Div. had been keeping a careful eye on the Prussian cavalry as he slowly withdrew his brigades on the French left. He soon noticed that the battalions exposed to the cavalry charges formed into squares.

The French were almost laughing as the Prussians were repulsed again and again. However, as this was being played out Losthin (also Martin) managed to push his 15th. Brig. forward. Now the French were caught in a vice with infantry to their front and cavalry on their left flank and rear.

It was now a struggle to the death which took Tromelin (Ron S.) as he valiantly tried to get the 107th Ligne to hold it's ground. Miraculously the entire Div. held up until the very end when the pressure from the Prussians was above and beyond what any courageous body of men could ever endure. The collapse was complete, the Div. was lost, with only a few stragglers managing to follow Jeanin on the road back to France.

Elsewhere on the battlefield the fighting had been sparse as the French Guard were in very strong defensive positions and the Prussians were only able to make minimal gains. The one exception was the loss of the 2nd Neumark Landwhre under Braunschweig. They tried to advance in the centre and found themselves overwhelmed by the firepower from Simmer's 19th Div. (Dick always tries to advance forces in the centre and they always get shot up, it's his thing!)

The game was ended at 4:00pm with the following standings:

Prussians (Chris, Martin, Dick):   11TP, 19AC, loss of 4 bases

French (Ron S., Glenn): 10TP, 12AC, loss of 8 bases

The Prussians leading in all three categories were awarded the victory.

Of special note the commanders recorded in their respective armies dispatches for honorable mention were Bony & Tromelin (Ron S.) for their valiant defense of the French left flank. Eicke & Beier (Martin) for taking the initiative with the Prussian cavalry in attacking the French left relentlessly, that lead to the destruction of the French 20th Div.

Next game planned for Sunday Jan. 31 Plancenoit revisited (everybody trying it from the other side and new guys slotted in).

This was my flank at the end of the game, that's Glenn's hand-wringing in the background.  My troops have position in and around the town, most of the actual buildings are held by the French, except in the very middle where I've just captured one block of Plancenoit.  On the left, I have two forces ready to go after some hurting French units (including one battery).  Most of the town and area behind it was set up by the French to be mutually supporting, so you had to go after the supports at the same time as the main forces, which was a slow set-up but if the game had gone on I think I was ready.

An overview of the Prussian centre and right (more on the right below).  The French here are down to holding the town blocks on the middle left and the hill at the back left-centre.  Sort of in the upper centre is where Dick's brigade got blowed up. Those fields and hedges slowed Dick's troops down.

Sky shot of the Prussian right.  That plowed field with the sheep is where the French were when they all ran away home on the last turn, after Martin was finally able to take them in a squeeze play.  Lambchops for all!

 Another view of the Prussian right, showing a bit more of the backing forces and the centre. 

For proper historical posterity, another shot of my flank and the town envelopment.  We left the church alone for the most part, though it took some pot shots at anyone getting too close.

No AAR is complete without a shot of the French dead pile...

Even better than one shot of the French dead pile is two shots of it!