Monday, August 1, 2016

Sharps Practice AAR - Finnish War 1808

What better way to celebrate my birthday then to post a AAR from my and Jonas latest Sharps Practice game:)

It is all set during the Finnish War 1808, The Russian Forces have invaded the Finnish part of the Swedish Kingdom and the Swedish main army are on the retreat and are hoping that the Swedish King will send reinforcements by a lithorial landing behind the Russian main army.

BUT...the Swedish lithorial landing takeplace behind the Swedish main army due to bad wether so instead to get the Russians surounded the Swedes get reinforcements to their main army that are on the retreat...

The Russians ofcourse tries to cut of the Swedish way of retreat but the Heroic swedish General von Döbeln manage to stop the Russians, at the Battle of Jutas 13 September 1808, and by that deed keep the line of retreat open for some more time. But not all Swedish officers was that heroic and Colonel Fiandt did at the same time unthinkingly blow up the vital bridge at Himanko, stoping the retreat line for the manin Swedish army as the bridge must be restored to get the supply train over it.

To buy time for the rebuild of the bridge and the supply train to get away the Swedish C-in-C Adlercreutz decide to give battle nearby the village of Oravais

The Russian Commander Kamensky realise that his attempts to threaten the Swedish read have been to weak and  that he would have to win a major engagement to continue the Russian advance.

The scene are set for the largest battle of the entire campaign involving about 5500 Swedes and 7000 Russians, The battle starts in the early morning houres on the 14 September 1808 with a van- and rearguard action ewolving in to a main battle that ends after about 16 houres when the Russians manage to make an full assault on the Swedish defences forcing the Swedish army to make a hasty retreat. The Russians was so exhausted that they did not manage to follow the swedes that managed to get away by the newly repaired bridge. The total amount of casualties on both sides was about 2500 men dead and wounded, 2/3 of them from the Swedish army.

As the rules, Sharp Practice from Too Fat Lardies, I use are a small scale set of rules I use to divide a majore engagement like this in to several smaller scenarios like a mini campaign. In this game I focused on the event that occured along the main road about 11:30 when the Swedish rearguards was on the retreat after their first 4 houres of fighting.

The area that the gaming board should depict are the small blue rectangle in the middle of the historical battle map. On the historical battle map, the the left, you can also see the van- and rearguard fighting during the morning houres of the 14 september 1808.

I used Scenario Three in the Sharps Practice rules "Defence in Depth" for this game. Both the Swedes and the Russians had their Primary Deployment Point set in advance but the road, their Secondary Deployment Points they was allowed to place by the scenario rules.

Both forces rolled for Force Morale and both got 11 from start. The terrain was open if not Forest or March that was Heavy Going, Fields that was Broken Ground and the stream that was a Wide Obstacle, except for the bridge ofcourse.

For the scale of the game I decided that one group per the rules would be a about a Company of Infantry or a Squadron of Horse, the unit names are froops that was inwolved in the battle but might not have been at this exact spot but I hope you cope anyway, after all its a game inspired by the actuall battle ;)

In our erlier games we have fellt that the cavalry arn´t that frighetening, at least not so we have felt that the infantry needs to form squares as they probably should by the Napoleonic era, we might ofcourse have missunderstand some rule. So for this game we tested out an additional Cavalry Chock rule, that all cavalry unit was able to use.

Cavalry chock: Cavalry attacking infantry in open ground, that haven't managed to form a squareformation, are a fearesome experience for the infantry. The psychological impact of this is reflected by Rolling 1D6 for each of the man in the attacking cavalry unit, causing one point of chock on the enemy for each 5 or 6 rolled if at the Gallop or each 6 rolled if at the Canter. This Shock is applied before Fisticuffs take place. 

Please feel free to use it if you have had the same experiense of to stoic infantry...

Swedish OOB

1st Battalion of Uppland regiment
4 Groups of Regular Line Infantry with Muskets.
Leader, Status III
Leader, Status I

2 companies of 1st Battalion of Hälsingland regiment
2 Groups of Regular Line Infantry with Muskets.
Leader, Status II

1 Squadron of Nyland Dragoons (should have been Carelian Dragoons but I havent got any minis for them)
1 Group of Dragoons
Leader, Status I

Russian OOB

1st Battalion of Sievska Regiment
3 Groups of Regular Line Grenadiers with Muskets.
Leader, Status III

2nd Battalion of Sievska Regiment
3 Groups of Regular Line Infantry with Muskets.
Leader, Status III

1 Company of the 3rd Jäger regiment
1 Group of Line Jäger Skirmishers with Muskets
Leader, Status I

2 Squadrons of Grodno Hussars
2 Groups of Scouting Cavalry
Leader, Status I
Leader, Status I

Here are a summer of the game:

I Commanded the Russians and Jonas commanded the Swedes. the AAR are ofcourse influensed by the Russian perspective of the battle;)

As the game started I feelt that I needed to get my Russian troops on the table ASAP to get them over to the other side and capture the vital Swedish Primary Deployment Point. So as soon as a Leader come up I deployed him and his troops on the table and started to move as swiftley as possible against the Swedish line... The Swedish had a more hold back tactic and only deploying the troops in the last minute to stop or harass the Russian Advance.

As a coup de grace I thought to exploit the open road to the Swedeish Primary Depolument Point by using a group of fast moving Grodno Hussars...they turned out not to be as fast and ended up on a hill half way to the bridge, the Swedish responce came quick by 2 groups from the Hälsingland regiment that was deployed in the treeline opposite to the hill and opened fire...

I continued to deploy the Russian Line Infanrty and the Grenadiers both in Opem march column to get them speed up therir pace... The Line infantry was very keen to get in to the fray so they swiftly moved past the both hills and ended up in front of the just deployed Swedish, Uppland regiment that was covering the Bridge. The Upplanders was luckey and managed to get away two or even three close range Volleys before the Russian Line infantry even had managed to get in to a propper line formation...

At the same time some Swedish Dragoons appered in the deep forest on a flanking mission, the russian responce was to send in their Jägers to protect the flank of the Grenadiers that was advancing over the field to engage the Hälsingland Regiment...

After recieving several devastating volleys the Russian Line Infantry breaks and start to retreat, the russian commander feels he is losing the battle as the Grenadiers to have problem to form a propper line formation and attack the Hälsingland Regiment in front of them. So in a desperate action he decide to send in the last group og Grodno Hussars in to the Swedish Uppland Regiment as they at the moment stands unloaded...

The following fisticiffs ends in a disaster for the Grodno Hussars, that breake and flees with their tails between their legs...

After that humiliating defeat the Russians Force Morlae was down to 3 and the Swedes still had 11. So the Russian Commandes decide to withdraw and await reinforcements...

It was a devastating Swedish Victory... 34 Russians minis dead and just 3 Swedish...

We can conclude that if Jonas had been in command of the Swedish army in 1808 Finland would still be a part of the Swedish Kingdom;)


  1. Congratulations! And what a gret looking game!

  2. Happy birthday!
    The game looks terrific.

  3. Good choice of scenario for Sharp Practice and gongrats on getting Finnish War on your table! I think the battle of Juutas would itself make for a good small scale Napoleonic action. I think it was something like two battalions plus some Jägers per side?

  4. Great looking game. How are the rules working out for the game? I have not played the rules yet. Hope to see you at the club soon.

  5. Happy birthday Michael!

    Thanks for another splendid AAR and thanks for hosting another fantastic game in this campaign. Also, thanks again for letting me win. ;)

    Depending on the terrain and/or the forces, this scenario really favours the defender. It would be interesting to play it again, but this time as the attacker. I think maybe the key here it to make a more concentrated attack, perhaps with your force coming on in waves. A tough nut to crack in any case!

  6. Happy Birthday and fantastic looking game!


  7. Happy Birthday Michael! Awesome looking game!

  8. A splendid report and very many happy returns Michael.

  9. Happy birthday and thanks for sharing the AAR. Wonderful looking figures and terrain. Also great setting of a historical action in a SP game.

  10. Beautiful report! You always host great games. And happy birthday!

  11. Happy Birthday
    Thanks to the history of the story
    and an awesome photo-narratives

  12. Happy Birthday Michael, I hope it was a great one! A wonderful AAR that has me wanting to play Sharp Practice. And read about the Finnish war of 1808. Well done!

  13. Stunning AAR once again Michael! And of course I do wish you a rather belated Happy Birthday too!


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