Monday, February 16, 2009

Dennewitz After Action Report

I ran the Dennewitz scenario for my wargaming club, The Northern Conspiracy, last Friday at our monthly game night. I've been preparing for the game since my original play test in my basement which I reported earlier in this blog. Since my last update I was able to finalize the terrain for the game by flocking the forest marker felts to match the table cloth from my previous post. I also took some time and put my laser engraver to use making some 'Barker Markers' for pre-measuring a massed stand's location as well as a ZOC and angle gauge. The angle gauge we affectionately called 'hockey sticks' for obvious reasons. They have a 45-degree angle to measure obliques and fire arc as well as a 1" wide base for frontal ZOC and 1/4" wide shaft for side ZOC measuring. These were made in 2/3 scale which is what we use for 15mm games. We call this the 'hinch' scale.

This scenario was run on the full map as provided in the Road to Glory scenario that starts on page 84 of the Volley and Bayonet rulebook. I use the order of arrival and the OBs from the scenario verbatim with one exception: I added the Swedish Mormer Hussars and horse battery which is reported to have been present at the battle (see the OB here:

The opening moves for the French were comprised of a cautious advance to and deployment behind the Agger from the bridge, eastward to Rohrbeck by the Italian division with the French Cavalry guarding the left flank towards Gohldorf. The following few turns were comprised of each army deploying their arriving troops in parallel lines approximately 1400 yards from each other. The allies on a line from Dennewitz, through Gohldorf and extending approximately straight beyond Gohldorf. The French lines formed up southeast of the allies. During the deployment, artillery dueling between the artillery accompanying the Italians and the artillery of the Prussian Advanced guard division proved to be ineffective on both sides.

During the final stages of a lengthy and cautious deployment on both sides, von Oppen's Prussian cavalry division charged the extreme left flank of the deploying French force routing a brigade of French cavalry, only later to be repulsed and mostly destroyed by massed artillery and infantry small arms fire. Also on the right French flank, the Italians sortied out of Rohrbeck to try to out-flank the Prussian advanced guard. Recently-arrived reinforcements were able to repulse the Italians, driving them back through Rohrbeck and across the Agger. In the center, an opportunistic charge by the Prissuan Brandenburg Dragoons routed a French infantry brigade, but the French were able to reform their ranks in their following turn.

As dark approached the Prussian advanced guard began withdrawing behind the ridge between Dennewitz and Rohrbeck to avoid receiving additional casualties from the French artillery that had finally ranged in and begun to inflict casualties, but it was obvious to both teams that significant improvements in their positions could not be made before nightfall. The game was called by mutual agreement of both teams a turn before dark. The final point difference of .5 victory points was essentially a draw. Neither team made any mistakes and both teams played very cautiously which allowed for this outcome. I think this is a very well balance scenario that John Holtz has designed, and the players in my game very much wanted the additional time to play an additional day of battle. I hope to run the scenario again on one of our game days to allow them exactly that opportunity. Both armies had areas of strength and areas of weakness in their deployments and it would have been interesting to see how the battle would have played out if the players had time to conduct another day of battle.

Unfortunately for me I forgot my camera at home. I hope to augment this post with some photos that were taken by my friend Phil, as soon as I can get them from him.

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