David McKenna
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Click here to withdraw to the first day of pursuit.

Turn 16: August 19, Morning (French morale 9, Russian morale 2)

(random event = “March to the Sound of the Guns”. No effect, as no reinforcements to arrive and no unit under flank march marker)
Realising that time is running out fast, the French player again spends another morale point to force march (-1 French morale): Res cav catching up with II outside Lubino and IIIc with IV in the woods to the north. Res Art and I both move to engage the Russian Res Art as IG moves through Gorbunovo, III moves south of the same and V heads towards Lubino. IVc moves towards Valutino Gorbo, IIc moves into Stabna, IV crosses the bridge to their NW and IC moves into the southern edge of the (still burning) Smolensk.

Res Art and I combine to attack the Russian Res Art, suffering an exchange of forces (both Artillery units). I advances after combat. Res Cav attacks II but are forced to withdraw into Lubino, with II exercising their option to ‘stand fast’. IIIc commits reserves (-1 French morale) against IV, but are broken outright (-1 French morale, +1 Russian morale), with IV opting not to advance.

(random event = “Smolensk Ablaze!” No effect as already ablaze)
The Russian player completely skip their movement phase!

With no French reaction or combat, the Russians are able to declare this a ‘lull’ turn (+1 Russian morale) as well as exiting II off the map for another +1 morale.

Situation at end of turn 16


Turn 17: August 19, Mid-day (French morale 6, Russian morale 5)

(random event = “Les Grognards”. Associated roll = No effect)
The French player again spends another morale point to force march (-1 French morale), moving Res Cav towards the northern LoC, III and IG to engage IV (-1 French morale for early committal of guard troops), V up to the road leading to the northern Russian LoC, IVc south of Gorbunovo, IIc into Valutino Gora, I north of GOrbunovo, IV to loop around the northern edge of Smolensk and VIII and Ic both move north a single hex (still in Smolensk)

IG and III combine against IV, who commit their reserves (-1 Russian morale) but are still forced to withdraw (north), with IG advancing after combat.

(random event = “The Czar’s Wishes” Associated roll = No effect)
The Russian player again decides to forego his movement phase.

Res cav withdraws from the field of battle (+1 Russian morale), and IV and Cossacks both attack (and commit reserves against, for -1 Russian morale) IG, but both attackers are routed: Cossacks withdrawing a single hex (due to elite status) while IV are routed 4 hexes off the map (+1 French morale, -1 Russian morale). IG advances after combat.

Situation at end of turn 17


Turn 18: August 19, Afternoon (French morale 5, Russian morale 3)

(random event = “Vive l’Empereur!” IIIc is eliminated for good while Res Art rallies in the LoC south of Smolensk)
Res Cav moves to engage Cossacks, while all other French units converge on them (they are, after all, the only Russian unit left …)

Cossacks disengage form IG and Res Cav, moving north to do so (as, I’m assuming, a unit in an enemy ZoC won’t be able to exit off the map through a LoC)

(random event = “Generals Argue” Really a No effect cards, since there’s only the Cossacks left!)
Those Cossacks make a run north, and that’s it for this turn!

Situation at end of turn 18


Turn 19: August 19, Evening (French morale 5, Russian morale 3)

(random event = “According to plan”. Cards reshuffled)
Res Cav, IVc and III all move north to engage the Cossacks, with IG moving onto the Russian LoC, V moving south towards Lubino, I south onto the road towards the same, IIIc south of V and IV moving towards Gorbunovo. VIII moves along the road towards Valutino Gorbo, with Ic looping around the northern edge of Smolensk onto the same road and Res Art entering the (still burning) Smolensk.

Cossacks disengage from III and Res Cav, moving north of IVc.

IVc commits reserves (-1 French morale) against Cossacks, but are themselves routed 5 hexes (-1 French morale), with Cossacks advancing after combat and then pursuing.

(random event = “Campaign exhaustion”. No effect, as morale tied (3 apiece))
Cossacks move north and cross the Kolodnia river, and that’s it!

Situation at end of turn 19


Turn 20: August 19, Night (French morale 3, Russian morale 3)

(random event = “March to the Sound of the Guns”. No effect as no reinforcement to arrive, and no units under flank march marker)
The French player again spends a morale point to force march (-1 French morale), allowing I to enter Lubino, IIc to move NE of that location, V to move NE of Gorbunovo, IV c to move west 3 hexes along the road north of Valutino Gora, III to move west 2 hexes, Res Cav SW a single hex, IV toward the Russian LoC on the north edge of the map, VIII into Valutino Gora, IC through Stabna and Res Art into the Russian objective hex in Smolensk.

Under cover of dark, and with no units left to rally, the French then drive down the Russian morale by 2 (-2 Russian morale) as they hold both Russian objective hexes of Smolensk and Lubino, before regaining a single point from rest (+1 French morale)

(random event = “Quelle Courage!” French may spend a single morale point to ignore a DW result)
Cossacks make a run north-west, falling just short of reaching the LoC along the northern edge of the map.

The night, V rallies in the LoC outside Lubino, Res ARt rallis in the LoC on the northern edge of the map while IV remains broken. The Russians then regain a single morale point from rest (+1 Russian morale), ending the game with a draw (French morale 3, Russian morale 2)

Situation at end of game


Final Thoughts

With just over half the number of turns of the standard game of Smolensk 20, the pursuit scenario has a different feel than its parent. Whereas, in the parent game, the two forces converge on Smolensk before the Russians make a break eastwards, this scenario commences with that break having already started, and the Russian forces fighting a rear-guard action against the encroaching French. For the French part, they have to be quick off the mark to catch up with the Russians, who are able to steal a march on them over the night of August 17 (game turn 10), with the burning Smolensk acting as a sort of speed bump to slow down their reinforcements. While the end result might have been slightly different had I realised the Russians could withdraw form a LoC at night (Russian morale at least 2 higher, for withdrawing one unit each over the nights of the 17th and 18th - I must admit, I went back and forth over deciding whether they could or not and eventually came down on the wrong side of the fence), the last few turns of the game saw the French forces trying to catch up with the fastest and most agile unit in the game: the Russian Cossacks, who, for their part, were looking for opportunities to nibble away at the stronger and (far) more numerous French forces.
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Jonathan Holen
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Great stuff!
 
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Steve Carey
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Good summary, and nice job (as always) David. thumbsup
 
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David McKenna
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Morale over course of game


 
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