keskiviikko 22. maaliskuuta 2017

Pikeman's Lament - Finnish War battles of Pyhäjoki 1808

There has been quite a lot of talking about running a campaign of Finnish War 1808 -09. Quite interesting and eventful period of Finnish war history. Finland, or more precisely, eastern part of Swedish kingdom was a scene of one sideshows of Napoleonic wars. Related to peace treaty between Napoleonic France and Russia, Swedish part of Finland was attacked by Russian troops in order occupy it's territories and end Swedish rule in the area.  Swedes and Finns naturally resisted as much as they could resulting what we now know as the Finnish War. The war went from early 1808 until 1809, and there was quite many battles and skirmishes finally which give good base for campaigning the war. Despite heroic efforts of Finns and Swedes, more professional, bigger and better equipped Russian army won and annexed area of Finland into Russian empire.

Now roughly five Club members have started campaign aiming to go through the battles of this war, not all but fair amount of them. After some consideration I joined the team and took a role of Russian commander, since most player would like to play on Finnish side. But some one has be the "bad guy" also in order to have fights, so I'm went in for the Russians. Luckily I have quite good knowledge of Napoleonic Russian army from my previous painting project and our 1812 campaign.  The other good thing of "being a Russian" in this campaign, is there's no need to convert figures, there's some readily available in the market. The poor Fin players have to a lot of kit bashing, filing and sculpting in order to field a force.

So I only changed the scale of miniatures from 15 mm to 28 mm. Here's some first units I produced for this campaign.

The rules we use are fairly new set of rules called Pikeman's Lament from Osprey. It written by Daniel Mersey and Michael Leck. Very easy and straightforward set of rules created from Lion Rampart rules. The rule are quite simple (which I like)  and give good game play as well as smooth flow of action in the tabletop. The rules are set for Pike and shot period, but with some troops adaptation id can be easily used for black powder era too.

First encounter - The Battle of Yppäri April 1808

After enjoying appropriate beverages battle commenced.

When Russian started the attack in February 1808 Swedish - Finnish army decided to withdraw not giving a fight until Eastern time in April. The battle of yppäri was one of the first notable battles where Russian advance force intercepted withdrawing Swedes in Pyhäjoki Yppäri. Swedes decided to fight in order to cover their river crossing. And the fight erupted.

Russian started their assault along the road and the same time Swedes withdrew fighting trying their best to slow Russians. After a while another flanking force of Russian entered the frey and the Swedes were caught between two forces.

Finns are waiting for the Russian attack.
Securing forces at the crossing keep the keen eye around, there's nothing.
Russian line and hussars launch the attack.

Blocking force of Savolax infantry marching to secure the river crossing.

More Russians march on.

Hussars assault the gun, but are chased away.

Finnish jägers move to engage the enemy from the forest.

Stalwart Russian line marches on.

Russian light flanking force entering from the flank.

Light cavalry and jägers working together.

Some jäger action in snowy forest.

Russian win and after a hard fight Finns lose the fight.

Solid and strong Russian line firing salvos.

Flanking action on frozen riverbank.

Cossack advance into blocking position along the road.

Savolax infantry firing for their lives.

And Russian return with more muskets.

Flanking force is gradually closing the door behind withdrawing Finns.

Finns are now caught in crossfire.

Last remains of Finnish infantry trying to escape.

Chased hotly by Russian light cavalry.

Situation is desperate for the Finns.

Surrender you are surrounded.

Out of nowhere comes troops of Finish dragoons to relieve poor comrades.And are charged by the Cossack.

Dragoons are tougher and chase away Cossack.

Russian infantry advances steadily along the road.

The fight is over.
First fight goes clearly to Russians. Almost all Swedish-Finnish troops were killed in the fight and only some stragglers managed to escape by the help of lately arrived Dragoons.

Nice fight and very good test drive for the new rules. I liked the both. Next will be the battle of Viirret.