Monday, December 5, 2011


Through the haze generated by the rising heat of the barren landscape, the Cossacks of Hetman Taras Shevchenko ride on. 
"Why are we here again, friend?"  "The Tsar wants a warm water port."  "So why have we ridden south from Litharus when the Little Father already has troops on the border of Persia?"  "What, do I look like Oksana the Fortune Teller?  Ask him yourself!"  "Okay... but I wish you looked like Oksana..."
Suddenly, from a distant tower a signal flag is raised.
Firing breaks out from hidden irregulars and some Cossack saddles are emptied.

The rest of the advance guard marches on and prepares for battle.  A line and Pandour battalion with a light gun.  The latter shown in an open column of divisions.
The large group of irregulars that initially opened fire is quickly reinforced by a mass of cavalry and other irregulars that seem to appear as if from beneath the ground.
Line of battle for the Advance Guard is slowly formed.  On the far left a large mass of cavalry appears along with infantry, while a smaller group of cavalry arrives to our front.
Behind the Advance Guard, the main body reforms in response to the courier in the left foreground.  A general advance to disperse these rag-a-muffins will commence shortly.
The Cossacks, feeling a bit "elite" today, decide to ignore the larger numbers and cross sabres and lances with the enemy.  Despite finding the Persian cavalry to also be elite they manage to push them back in the first of a see-saw engagement.
The main body begins to move on table, confident of an easy victory.  Regular dragoons move to support the Cossacks still in melee.  The cards in the foreground determine in "Batailles des Ancien Regimes" the order of movement and firing per side.
The Dragoons cantor into the melee, adding their considerable weight.  However, fate is not kind and the Russians are forced back.  And as a regiment the Cossacks rout!
To the surprise of everyone though, the poor Dragoons (literally) held off the Persians, forced them back, and routed them!  Just as they were congratulating themselves, someone noticed the Persian regular infantry and new body of cavalry advancing.

As the main body in their summer dress continues to move on table, events take a sudden turn.
The dragoons are hit by a fresh body of cavalry, are routed, pursued, eliminated and lose their standard.  Our only consolation was that it seemed somehow appropriate to happen to poor cavalry.  Here some infantry face to the left to protect against a cavalry incursion while others press on.  Just disappearing over the hill is the battalion from the Advance Guard, pursuing a rapidly retreating enemy.
About this time the Rearguard and baggage train entered the main table.  The only remaining cavalry is with them and may be just in time.  Note the base of the tower on the back table, upper left.  Suspected of being a munitions depot our orders were to capture or destroy it.
Feeling safe, General Gruboaboyshichow and his staff advance to the initial Persian position and "supervise" the advance of a heavy gun.
At last we come to grips with the elusive enemy, who have fought a skillful delaying action while they grew stronger.  Here the bayonets and close order infantry of the Minsk grenadiers take a heavy toll on the enemy, despite their "poor" status.
Likewise the Jonava Musketeers engage the enemy regular infantry in a telling melee.

About this time the tower, which had taken a severe artillery pounding, collapsed.  With it went their hopes, such as they were.  The horse grenadiers saw off the last of the enemy cavalry and our infantry was solidly entrenched on the Persian back table.  The Persians had routed both battalions of the Advance Guard, along with most of our cavalry.  But in the end we held the field, so our dear old (really old) General Gruboaboyshichow will pen a glowing report to the Tsar and Arch-Duke.

My thanks and appreciation for the good-humored and gentlemanly behavior of the Persians, who were placed in a very challenging position.  Had we not rolled very poorly for troop quality it might have been worse.  Thanks too for John and Chris as the very capable fellow Russian players.  And of course thanks to Bill Protz for organizing and executing not one but three different games at his place last Saturday.

Iki kito karto mano draugai.  (Until next time my friends.)


  1. Bravo Michael! Appealing and revealing imagery with good text. Funny at times too. Lots of smiles for me to read the AAR.

  2. Mike,

    It was nice to meet you after reading your blog for several months. You are an enjoyable competitor across the gaming table. Congratulations on the Russian victory and I look forward to future games.


  3. hi,can I use your Picture of the lady with the cards above on my page?

  4. No problem for me, but I just found it on an image search to add a bit of exotic flavor to the post, so careful how you use it.