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 Tytuł: [BG] Kircholm 1605 (Dragon)
PostNapisane: środa, 31 października 2007, 16:24 
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Kircholm 1605

Polish tactical board war game simulating battle of Kircholm.

Author: Piotr Górny
Published by Dragon

The battle of Kircholm (27.09.1605) is one of the most famous in the history of Poland and one of the most impressive military event in the history of the world. Small, counting 3600 men Polish-Lithuanian army, commanded by hetman Karol Chodkiewicz, completely destroyed counting 12000 men Swedish army, commanded by the king Charles IX, who retreated from the battlefield. In the victory major role played husaria – Polish heavy cavalry using 4-6 meters long lances (don’t mistake them with hussards – light cavalry, most popular in Hungary and in XVIII-XIX century in the whole Europe). Victory allowed Polish-Lithuanian forces to stop the march of the Swedish army to Riga (nowdays the capital of Latvia) and hold southern areas of Inflanty (territory where nowdays are two states: Estonia and Latvia). This is only a short note. If you are more interested in the history of that battle and Polish-Swedish war which than took place, you will find more information here:

Game Scale
1 hex – 50 meters,
infantry units – companies (240-360 men),
cavalry units – squadrons (100-150 men),
artillery units – batteries (2-3 cannons),
1 turn simulates 6-10 minutes of the real time on the battlefield.

Sequence of Phases and Movement Rules
In the game there is 30 turns, each turn is divided on phases.
Phases of the turn:
1. Cannons loading (one phase for both sides)
2. Movement of the Lithuanian forces
3. Combat of the Lithuanian forces
4. Reorganization of the Lithuanian forces
5. Movement of the Swedish forces
6. Combat of the Swedish forces
7. Reorganization of the Swedish forces
During own movement phase the side which this phase belongs to moves all own units. Each unit has movement points limit. For moving on each hex unit ‘spells’ the number of movement points specified in the movement table (‘paying’ the movement points). Movement costs are different for different kinds of terrain (but in that game number of kinds of terrain isn’t large, the board is rather monotous). Movement is possible until unit doesn’t ‘spelled’ (used) his movement points limit and still has movement points, although unit isn’t obliged to use all movement points from it’s limit. Generally movement rules are standard, the same or almost the same as in most of the classical board war games based on the hex board.

Kinds of Units in the Game
Lithuanian Army:
- Husaria (cav.)
- Pancerni (Armoured Cavalry, Cossacks Cavalry)
- Raitars (cav.)
- Arquebusiers (cav.)
- Tatars (cav.)
- Volunteers (cav.)
- Infantry
- Artillery

Swedish Army:
- Raitars (cav.)
- Guard Raitars (cav.)
- Infantry
- Artillery

Unit Factors
Each unit has on the counter 3 factors (from the left side of the counter): 1. combat factor (for hand to hand combat), 2. fire factor, 3. movement factor. Units can be on the battlefield in different formations. Artillery has also kind of artillery factor (letter ‘A’ or ‘B’ on the counter) – it has a slight influence on strength of artillery fire.

Infantry Formations:
1. Shooting Formation – allows fully use units firepower, simulates the situation when musketeers are in front of the formation and pikmen are in the rear or on flanks of the unit.
2. Defensive Formation – pikmen are in front of the unit and musketeers are hidden behind them. It allows shooting but only half of the rate of fire which normally unit has in shooting formation. Strength of the unit is doubled. This formation is used especially against cavalry. Unit in that formation can’t move, it can only change facing or change formation to shooting.
Cavalry Formations:
1. Basic Formation – can be formed by each unit of cavalry. It is medium depth formation, not too dense, and not to loose. It allows charging and doesn’t allow shooting.
2. Shooting Formation – can be formed only by units which have pistols or arquebuses (raitars, arquebusiers). It allows shooting and doesn’t allow charging. Movement costs are larger than in basic formation.
3. Double Shooting Formation – the same features as shooting formation. Two units are placed on one hex and make stack (normally in shooting formation only one unit can occupy one hex, generally in the game stacks are forbidden; double shooting formation is an exception from that rule). Double shooting formation has firepower as two units in shooting formation, generally each unit shoots alone and the sense of making this formation is such that you can concentrate more soldiers and more firepower in small area. When unit becomes disorganized or changed it’s state to retreating, the formation must be divided and one unit must be put on the flank hex – of course flank hex can’t be in enemy ZOC, can’t be occupied by the enemy unit and there must be hex where cavalry may be placed (I mean suitable terrain) – if it is impossible, one unit from the formation is eliminated.
4. Assault Formation (Skirmish Formation) – can be formed only by Lithuanian units: husaria, pancerni (armoured cavalry), raitars and arquebusiers. It is loose, almost skirmish formation, allowing effective charge. Because of its looseness assault formation is almost invulnerable to enemy fire. Each unit in this formation occupies two hexes – there are special additional counters which are put under unit’s counter when unit makes that formation. Strength of each wing of the formation is the same as the unit’s strength in basic formation, so it doubles unit’s strength. The essential rule is that when in the result of combat unit must be withdrawn, it looses assault formation. Changing formation: when we want to make assault formation we unroll unit on the right flank hex (so after that hex which we occupied before becomes the left wing of the assault formation), when we want to change formation from assault formation to another, we roll it from the left wing, in opposite way (so after that the new formation is situated on the hex occupied by former right wing of the assault formation).
5. Closed Formation – can be formed only by Lithuanian units: husaria and pancerni (armoured cavalry). This formation can be used only during charge on enemy infantry. Unit in this formation can move only 1 hex, and after that must attack or is obliged to change formation to basic. No matter what was attack result, also after attack unit must change formation form close to basic. This formation multiplies strength of cavalry but unit becomes more vulnerable to enemy fire. Charging in it is very effective but sometimes can be risky.
Artillery Formations:
Shooting Formation – artillery can shoot but can’t move. Changing formation to moving formation costs whole movement points limit.
Movement Formation – artillery can move but can’t shoot. Changing formation to shooting formation costs whole movement points limit.

Disorganization State and Retreating State (Combat Levels)
These are two main effects of combat. Unit can during combat, movement, in the result of enemy fire or another event in the game, lose its formation. First step of it is disorganization, second step is retreating state – which simulates unit which was shaken so hard that becomes to retreat from the battlefield and his formation is completely broken. Units which become disorganized automatically change their formation into basic (cavalry), shooting (infantry) or shooting (artillery). Units have reduced movement limits, can’t shoot, attack and voluntarily move into enemy ZOC (but if they are forced to do it, they can). Disorganized units have ZOC, and fronting. When disorganized once more or when got result making them retreating, become retreating (change their state into retreating state). Unit in retreating state doesn’t have ZOC and any formation, must retreat at the beginning of own movement phase in that way that after movement it should be 5 hexes or more from the nearest not retreating enemy unit – if it isn’t possible, retreating unit is eliminated. Retreating unit can’t enter enemy ZOC – if forced to do it, is eliminated, retreating unit can’t attack in hand to hand combat and shoot. Retreating unit, when attacked, fights 1/5 of its strength in shooting (infantry), basic (cavalry) or shooting (artillery) formation. Any result causing disorganization or retreating state causes elimination of retreating unit.

Units Facing
Units are placed on hexes ‘to the corner’. In connection with it, each unit has 2 front hexes, 2 flank hexes and 2 rear hexes. Cavalry in assault formation has 3 front hexes, 3 rear hexes and 2 flank hexes.

Zone of Control (ZOC)
Each cavalry and infantry unit has ZOC on front hexes. Artillery and retreating units don’t have ZOC at all. When unit entered enemy ZOC, it must be stopped. There is possible to go out from enemy ZOC when unit is at the beginning of own movement phase in it but it is necessary to make special test. There are few procedures and kinds of going out from enemy ZOC. An essential impact on chances of going out from enemy ZOC without losing combat level has the circumstance if leaving enemy ZOC unit is an cavalry unit or an infantry/artillery unit and if leaved enemy ZOC belongs to cavalry or infantry unit (artillery units don’t have ZOC at all).

Combat (Hand to Hand Combat)
Combat is done during combat phase. Phase is divided for many fights. Both sides compare strength of fighting units and find the relation between their strengths. Of course there is many modifications of units strength and combat table modifications. For example when unit is attacked from the rear hex, any unit attacking from that hex multiples its strength by 4, when unit is attacked from the flank hex, any unit attacking from that hex multiples its strength by 2. The player which is attacking in that phase (in Swedish player combat phase attacking player is Swedish player, in Lithuanian phase the Lithuanian player) decides about fights sequence, it means that he decides which combat will be solved first and indicates units taking part in each combat. Of course indication of units taking part in each combat can’t break other rules of the game – in many situations player is forced by rules to indicate units taking part in combat in one way. Especially there is rule that each unit which has enemy in its ZOC must take part in combat if it is only possible. Effects of combat are losing combat level (changing units state to disorganization or retreating state), elimination of the unit, withdrawn by 1-3 hexes. Of course withdrawn effects are combined with losing combat level effects. Withdrawn can’t be done through enemy ZOC and through the terrain on which movement of withdrawing unit is forbidden (it can also depend on the formation which unit formed, in one formation some kinds of terrain are inaccessible when in another are accessible). Additional result for the winner is pursuit, of course possible only when the enemy unit was withdrawn or eliminated. Winning unit can enter the hex previously occupied by the enemy and pursuit him by the hexes which he passed during his withdrawal.

Shooting (by Infantry and Cavalry)
In ‘Kircholm 1605’ many units can shoot but shooting results are usually poor – the chance of gaining effective hit is very low. Almost each kind of shooting unit has its own range. Infantry has range up to 5 hexes (1 hex – direct range, 2, 3 hex – effective range, 4, 5 hex – maximum range), Arquebusiers – up to 4 hexes (1 hex – direct range, 2, 3 – effective range, 4 – maximum range), Raitars – up to 3 hexes (1 hex – direct range, 2 – effective range, 3 – maximum range), Tatars – up to 3 hexes (1 hex – direct range, 2 – effective range, 3 – maximum range). Note also that Tatars can shot also to the flanks so in 180 grades sector, all other units can shot in 60 grades sector (can shoot only to units which are before the front of them). Husaria, Pancerni and Volunteers don’t have shooting ability. Firstly, units can shoot in own movement phase, during movement paying movement points for each volley (infantry 1 MP for 1 volley, cavalry 2 MP for each volley), each unit can make during own movement phase maximum 2 volleys (Infantry, Raitars, Arquebusiers), but some units only one volley (Tatars). Units can also shoot during enemy movement phase targeting enemy units spelling movement points. During enemy movement phase units have the same volleys limits as in own movement phase. There is also a special rule that allows an infantry unit changing formation from shooting to defensive instead of making volley. Effects of fire depends on: 1) fire factor (infantry has the higher factor), 2) kind of range (direct, effective, maximum), 3) kind of formation of targeted unit, 4) terrain (very rarely because terrain is almost everywhere opened). Shooting results: U – unit becomes retreating, D – unit becomes disorganized, 1p and 2p – unit loses 1 or 2 movement points (for cavalry unit this numbers are doubled – so cavalry loses 2 or 4 movement points) – it is the most interesting effect, allowing to stop enemy unit in that way that it loses all MP and can’t move any more in that phase. Of course it is effect mainly for units which are doing own movement phase. On units in enemy movement phase it has only such impact that if they got such result, they can’t shoot, so losing MP in enemy movement phase results for them losing chance to making volley in reaction fire.

In ‘Kircholm 1605’ only cavalry may charge. Charge (movement) is done by units during own movement phase. To become ‘charging’, unit must be moved 3 hexes, and last 3 hexes of its movement, before it will enter enemy ZOC must be done without changing facing. During movement by last 3 hexes, before entering enemy ZOC, unit must be in basic, assault or close formation; formation may be changed only between assault and close. Charge (combat) is resolved during combat phase, as other ‘usual’ combats but in the same attack can’t participate charging and non charging units. Charging unit multiples its strength by 2. When during last 3 hexes of its charge movement unit moved down the hill, it gains +1 modification in combat table, when it moved up the hill, it gains -1 modification, when there was no hill and terrain was flat, there is no modification. About modification decides what was last slope which passed charging unit. If there is such situation that when charging movement was done, between charging unit and charged enemy there is a slope, and charging unit is higher, so that it charges down the slope, it gains +1 modification in the combat table.

Husaria was Polish heavy cavalry using 4-6 meters long lances (in fact first row of cavalrymen only). This lances was usually broken in the first attack but often this one attack was strong enough to brake the enemy army. To simulate that each husaria unit has additional lances counter which is put on unit’s counter or over it. In combat it gives +1 table modification. Lances counter is taken away after first combat or if husaria unit becomes disorganized or retreating (for example in the result of effective fire of infantry or artillery).

Range – 12 hexes. Range is divided on few sectors of fire, in each sector effectiveness of artillery fire is different. 12-9 hexes – maximum range, 8-2 hexes – effective range, 1 hex – direct range. Between the artillery unit and the target must exist visibility. Players check so called ‘line of sight’, which means line connecting center of the hex occupied by shooting artillery and the center of the hex occupied by the unit which is the target of artillery fire. Results of artillery fire are the same as in case of infantry hand shooting, but there are only two results: U and D, there is no result 1p and 2p (look to the part about hand shooting). Artillery may shoot in any moment of enemy or own movement or combat phase.

Cannons Loading
At the beginning of each turn there is cannon loading phase which is for both sides. Each artillery unit on which there is no loading counter is put counter ‘loading cannons’, each artillery unit on which is counter ‘loading cannons’ is put counter ‘cannons loaded’, each artillery unit on which is counter ‘cannons loaded’ is stayed with this counter (in fact there is one loading counter, on one side of it there is written ‘loading cannons’ and on the other side there is written ‘cannons loaded’). When artillery makes volley, counter ‘cannons loaded’ is taken off from it. Of course shooting is possible only when on artillery unit there is counter ‘cannons loaded’. This counter simulates loading cannons process, and makes that artillery can’t shoot each turn. In fact process of loading cannons was in that times long and caused that artillery fire wasn’t so dense. Author writes in the game rules that during Polish-Swedish wars in that period in field battles artillery of both sides rarely was able to make more than two volleys.

The role of commanders in the game isn’t so visible, although they have an influence on reorganization and add modifications in combat. There is also a rule that when an unit staying on the hex next to hex occupied by commander it can reduce level of disorganization when have just lost a level by one level – a player who commands this unit makes additional test. The chance of gaining positive result is low but negative test result doesn’t cause any additional negative consequences. Elimination of the commanders: as usually elimination of the unit accompanying the commander causes the elimination of that commander, when a unit accompanying the commander gets in combat or in the result of fire hit (loses level becoming disorganized or retreating) player who commander belongs to is obliged to make test checking if the commander wasn’t killed. Generally command rules don’t exist which is an essential disadvantage of this game (mainly for advanced players), rules about commanders are simple, almost basic.

Units which are in suitable distance from enemy not retreating units can be reorganized in reorganization phase (each player has own reorganization phase after combat phase). Reorganization of disorganized units is easier, they can be reorganized also when they stay near to the enemy, reorganization of retreating units is harder, retreating unit to be reorganized must be 10 or more hexes from nearest not retreating enemy unit. Reorganization relies on making test. Commander’s presence on the hex with unit or on the next hex visibly helps in reorganization.

Panie, weźcie kości w rękę i wyobraźcie sobie, że gracie z królem Kastylii, i rzucając je na stół zdajecie wszystko na los bitwy. Jeśli dopisze wam szczęście, zrobicie najlepszy rzut, jaki kiedykolwiek uczynił król na ziemi; a jeśli rzut wam się nie powiedzie, inaczej nie odejdziecie z gry, jak z honorem.

Gil de Osem do króla Portugalii Jana I Dobrego przed bitwą pod Aljubarrotą (14.VIII.1385)

Ostatnio edytowano niedziela, 17 sierpnia 2008, 16:51 przez Raleen, łącznie edytowano 2 razy

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PostNapisane: sobota, 16 sierpnia 2008, 21:06 
Colonel Général
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Dołączył(a): czwartek, 22 grudnia 2005, 15:40
Posty: 34456
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This description of "Kircholm 1605", one of the best Polish war games surely isn't full and surely has disadventages and mistakes. I hope that together with you it would be possible to make this description much better. In some parts I tried almost to translate same parts of the rules, some are more general. If you found any mistakes please let me know.

Here some photo of the game: ... Itemid=119

Panie, weźcie kości w rękę i wyobraźcie sobie, że gracie z królem Kastylii, i rzucając je na stół zdajecie wszystko na los bitwy. Jeśli dopisze wam szczęście, zrobicie najlepszy rzut, jaki kiedykolwiek uczynił król na ziemi; a jeśli rzut wam się nie powiedzie, inaczej nie odejdziecie z gry, jak z honorem.

Gil de Osem do króla Portugalii Jana I Dobrego przed bitwą pod Aljubarrotą (14.VIII.1385)

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