Saturday, January 31, 2015

Battle of Breitenfeld 1631

I hosted the Battle of Breitenfeld at the South Bay Game Club meeting on January 31 using "Repent or Die" by Manny Granillo of Hoplite Research Games.   Manny was Tilly, Bill McHugh was Pappenheim, Robert Packard was Gustavus, and I was Johan Georg of Saxony.  All the figures are Heroic and Ros.   Most of them I received from Bob Bergman in trade for 15mm figures.

Tilly had originally intended to avoid a battle until after winter.   However, Pappenheim, who had been ordered to locate the Swedes had engaged them and sent to Tilly for help.   Tilly advanced his army to support Pappenheim.   The armies fought the battle the next day.   After a couple of hours of artillery fire being exchanged, Pappenheim led his cavalry against the Swedish right.  Seeing this Tilly ordered Furstenburg to attack the Saxons and ordered the tercios to advance on them also.   Pappenheim made six attacks against the Swedes and was repulsed each time.   After being repulsed he led his cavalry from the field allowing the Swedish cavalry under Baner and Gustavus to encircle the Imperial army.  Meanwhile the Saxons put up a token resistance and then fled from the field looting the Swedish baggage on their way.  Isolano's Croatians arrived at this point to join in the pursuit and looting.   Seeing the collapse of the Saxon army, the second line of Swedish infantry faced left and advanced to protect their left flank.   The Swedes were able to capture the Imperial artillery and turn the guns on the tercios.   Only one of the fourteen tercios was able to escape intact.  Imperial casualties were 13,000 and an additional 5000 joined the Swedish army.   The Swedes lost about 3000.

In order to speed up play during the first few turns dicing for move distances was replaced with infantry moving 5 inches per turn, cavalry 10 inches, and generals 14 inches.   Normal dicing for move distances was used  once units got close enough to make contact or declared charges.

Ranges for guns were Light - 20 inches, Medium - 40 inches, Heavy 50 inches.  Muskets had a six inch range and pistols a two inch range.  Ground scale was 1mm = one yard/meter.


Initial setup looking East.  Imperial army is on the right and Swedes on the left 
View looking west.  Saxons on the right. 
Robert on left and Manny on the right 
Bill McHugh 
First turn.  Imperials moved first.  Pappenheim's cavalry advance. 
Furstenburg's cavalry advance towards the Saxons.
Swedish center advances.  Each Swedish regiment consisted of three battalions of pike and shot and two light gun batteries. 
Saxons advance to front of hill 
2nd turn Saxon artillery fire has no effect.  Troops in other parts of the battlefield closed on each other. 
3rd turn.  Pappenheim's cavalry charges the Swedish gun line. 
Swedish and Imperial cavalry engage on west end of battlefield.
Swedes send second infantry line towards their left. 
Imperial cavalry routs. 
More Imperial cavalry rout after failing to halt and slamming into the Swedish infantry. 
Furstenburg's cavalry engages Bindauf's Saxon cavalry.
Saxon cavalry rout taking most of the army with them.  Surprisingly one of their cavalry units actually routed its opponent.   The rest of the Saxon army then withdrew from the field.  Four squadrons of Croatians would arrive to join in the fun of chasing the Saxons.
Intense fighting in the center.  One battalion of the Swedish infantry regiment in the center was forced back while the other regiment threw back its attackers.
Baner's cavalry chases off Pappenheim's cavalry.  The Swedish cavalry had units of commanded musketeers providing additional fire power. 
More tercios advance on the Swedish line with Colloredo's cavalry behind them.

Furstenburg's cavalry advances towards the Swedish army.   The Croats have arrived at the bottom of the picture.
Swedish second line is arriving on the left flank of the four tercios break in the center.    
The Imperial center and left flank are collapsing.  The tercio on the right precipitated the collapse when it was outscored 6:1 on the combat die roll.  The Imperial army conceded the field at this point as Baner's cavalry would be moving into their rear area.

The battle began about 11:30 and ended about 3:30 with a half hour lunch.

Repent or Die rates units from elite (best), veteran, regular, militia, to rabble (worst).  Elites normally roll a d12, Veterans a d10, regulars a d8, militia a d6 and rabble a d4.   The type of die can be modified by certain conditions and except for rabble will be reduced by one type if the unit is unformed.  Firing and melee cause the units to receive disorder markers affecting the units' cohesion and morale.  Units can be pushed back or rout from melee.   Routs cause other friendly nearby units to check, possibly causing them to rout also. 
deployment map from the (unofficial) Great Battles of History website.  To fit the battlefield on a 5x12 area, each hex was 3 inches across and the east end of the map from the woods was not used.  The whole map would fit on a 5x14 foot area.

Unit Strength Rating Unit Strength Rating
Gustav II Adolph Hepburne
Schaffman 4 veterans
Horn Kochitzky 4 veterans
Upplander 4 veterans Taupedel 4Dragoons regulars
Baudisson 4 veterans Thurn 17R regulars
Caldenbach 4 veterans Grona 17R veterans
Courville 4 veterans Vitzhum 17R veterans
von Efferen-Hall 4 veterans
von Efferen-Hall2 4 veterans Torstensson
Steinbach 3CM veterans artillery 2H, 4M regulars
hand1 3CM veterans
hand2 3CM veterans Johan Georg
oxenstern 3CM veterans von Arnim 12B rabble
von Arnim2 12B rabble
Baner Loser 12B rabble
Smalander 4 elite Loser2 12B rabble
Vastergotland 4 veterans Starschedel 12B rabble
Damitz 4 veterans Starschedel2 12B rabble
Rhengreven 4 veterans Klitzing 12B rabble
Stalhandske 4 Fanatic Klitzing2 12B rabble
Wunsch 4 Fanatic Schwalbech 12B rabble
Tott 4 veterans Schwalbech2 12B rabble
Ostergotland 4 veterans Schmbrg 4 regulars
Livland 4 veterans artillery 4M rabble
Donhoff 4 veterans
Sperreuter 4 veterans Von Arnim
baner1 3CM regulars Arnim 4CR veterans
baner2 3CM regulars Kurfurstin LG 4CR veterans
baner3 3CM regulars Kurfurstin LG2 4CR veterans
baner4 3CM regulars Steinhaus 4CR rabble
Teuffel Bindauf
Kings Own 17R veterans Bindauf 4CR militia
Oxenstierna 17R veterans Bindauf 4LC militia
Hand 17R veterans Altenberg 4CR militia
Blaa 17R regulars Altenberg 4LC rabble
Ortenburg  4 veterans Loser 4CR rabble
Ramsey 3CM veterans Loser2 4CR rabble
Monro 3CM veterans Pflugk 4CR rabble
Hamilton 3CM veterans Pflugk2 4CR rabble

The light guns attached to the Swedish regiments were all rated as veteran.  Each strength point represents 100 men.  Swedish 17R infantry regiments are organized as three infantry battalions in a wedge shape with one in front and two behind and have two batteries of light guns attached.   3CM are commanded musketeers.   4LC are light cavalry.  Artillery H = heavy M= medium number = batteries,  Saxon 12B are pike and shot blocks (a mass of poorly trained infantry),   Saxon CR are armored caracole cavalry, all other Swedish cavalry are heavy cavalry.

For the Imperial Army T = tercio,  HC = Heavy cavalry, Croats are light cavalry lancers, LC = light cavalry, all other cavalry are armored caracole cavalry, artillery groups are two heavy guns and one medium gun.

For both armies the actual historical strengths of the units varied.  The strengths were averaged to 4 for mounted squadrons, 17 for the Swedish regiments, 15 for the Tercios, and 3 for the commanded muskets.

strength rating Unit strength rating
Tilly Colloredo
Tilly LG 4 veteran Monteccelli 4 veteran
Monteccelli2 4 veteran
Pappenheim Erwite 4LC veteran
Strozzi 4 regular Erwite 4 veteran
Neu-Sachsen 4 veteran Hareacourt 4LC regular
Rangoni 4 regular Coronino 4LC veteran
Neu-Picollomini 4 regular Colloredo 4LC veteran
Alt-Picolomini 4LC veteran
Alt-Picolomini 4 veteran Furstenberg
Pernstein 4 veteran Wengersky 4HC veteran
Pernstein 4 veteran Schonberg 4 veteran
Merode 4LC veteran Schonberg2 4 veteran
Alt-Sachsen 4 veteran
Sachsen-Altenburg career Alt-Sachsen2 4 veteran
Holstein 15T veteran Cronberg 4 veteran
Chiesa 15T veteran Cronberg2 4 veteran
Gallas 15T veteran
Neu-Sachsen-Furstenburg 15T veteran Isolano 4Croat veteran
Baldiron-Dietrichstein 15T veteran Isolano2 4Croat veteran
Alt-Tilly 15T veteran Isolano3 4Croat veteran
Geleen 15T veteran Isolano4 4Croat veteran
Artillery 2H, M militia
Von Wahl career
Goess 15T veteran
Savelli 15T veteran
Blankhardt 15T veteran
Pappenheim 15T regular
Comargo-Reinach 15T regular
Wahl 15T veteran
Wangler 15T veteran
Artillery 2H, M militia

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