Early Russians - how do you use them

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Early Russians - how do you use them

Post by batesmotel » Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:38 pm

I had my Early Russians (post 1621) out for my first full size FoG-R game against early TYW Swedes. So what do you do with an army where the foot wants to hide in terrain and the rest is cavalry and LH that wants to play in the open? The Streltsi are average MF with musket and heavy weapons and don't look likely to stand up to either Swedish mounted or Swedish foot in the open. The bow armed cavalry needs room to maneuver and frontally won't stand up to equal amounts of Swedish horse and determined horse with commanded shot in support. With regimental guns, the Swedish brigades aren't even that inferior to the Streltsi in a firefight. This was my first shot at a list based on what I have and what seemed like it might be a reasonable mix:
  • 4 x TC
    1 Tatar Cavalry LH Unarmoured Average Bow Sword 4
    2 Tatar Cavalry LH Unarmoured Average Bow Sword 4
    3 Cossacks LH Unarmoured Average Bow Lt Lance Sword 4
    4 Streltsy MF Unarmoured Average Musket Hvy W Hvy W 6
    5 Streltsy MF Unarmoured Average Musket Hvy W Hvy W 6
    6 Streltsy MF Unarmoured Average Musket Hvy W Hvy W 6
    7 Dvoryane Cav Armoured Superior Bow Sword 4
    8 Dvoryane Cav Armoured Superior Bow Sword 4
    9 deti boyarskie Cav Unarmoured Average Bow Sword 4
    10 deti boyarskie Cav Unarmoured Average Bow Sword 4
    11 Cossacks Cav Unarmoured Average Lt Lance Sword 4
    12 German Mercs HF Armoured Average Pike Pike 3
    12 MF Unarmoured Average Arquebus 6
    13 Pischals Arty Unarmoured Average Hvy Art 2
    14 Streltsy MF Unarmoured Average Musket Hvy W Hvy W 6
Any suggestions on how to use this sort of mix or on better army composition appreciated. Thoughts after one game are that it may make sense to go with a GC to help the cavalry against the extra minus for being shot at by firearms. Alternatively, maybe a subordinate FC to allow a flank march. This might make it safer to try to go with more terrain on table. At the moment I can see the appeal of the post 1630 reforms to make the army more in line with European practices with pike and shot formations ;-). But then the Swedes are also probably not the ideal match.

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Post by timmy1 » Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:20 pm


I would recommend going for a GC and the from 1621 option. Put your Streltsy and both BG of Heavy Art (you do need another) behind FF and have the rest of the table open. User your LH to delay him in the centre then dash off to threaten the flanks of his advance. Push your cavalry forwards on the flanks. Yours will all shoot and can evade if one rank - he risks losing the protection of the commanded shot if he charges you, then you hit him in numbers. I would drop the German Mercs and one of the Tatar LH or Cossack LH. Against the Swedes I don't see the point of paying extra for the Lt Lance for your LH as you have no LH to fight against. Otherwise I think it is great value. This army is very like Ottoman and that gave my Early 30TYW Swedes a hard time at Britcon.

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Post by hazelbark » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:32 pm

I was actually working up a list last nigh very similar and came to the conclusions that Timmy1 outlined.

The other part of this is terrain. Vs the typical HF based armies you have some additional terrain options.

If you dont' go the way of the GC, I'd think about an FC for Flank marching and frankly your deployment will be wide anyway with the cavalry.

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Post by SirGarnet » Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:37 pm

Should be a fun match-up, probably more for the Russians than the Swedes (in terms of enjoying the troop handling). Swedish-Polish battles have been fun, win or lose.

Timmy's plan with batteries reaching out from a strong position sounds very annoying from the Swedish perspective. I think an mostly uneven or rough hill would be quite sufficient without FF (which might overly discourage the Swedes). If you put Streltsy further down the slope so they can be shot over you can pivot to new targets as needed, and they get the uphill bonus. They can outshoot the Swedish foot in a firefight, and shoot them on the way in, plus there is the uphill bonus in close combat. The only juicy target for the salvo foot is the Streltsy and guns, and if the Swedes go after that the horse archers worry the flanks and rear. If not, they try chasing and cornering mounted while under continual fire.

I suppose the overall concept is to manoeuvre to leave the Swedes no sitting target except the foot and guns and draw them out in different directions with threats from different directions so they are overstretched and offer gaps and opportunities to converge shooting on BGs from the front, flank and rear. A Swedish brigade can only throw 2 dice of musketry at any range, and hit mounted on a 5-6, so not incredibly dangerous even if you do get in their forward arc.

Because of the weak Swedish firepower, a GC is needed less than might be expected - you will have a lot more death rolls than CTs from shooting. The Swedes need the GC's aid against CTs. For the Russians the GC will be key for manoeuvre, so most likely best on a wing.

With at least 2 rounds of shooting at approaching horsemen to whittle them down, the Streltsy are not an easy target for Swedish horse to approach Also, the Streltsy are much better than vanilla Shot against horse in melee - the HW gives them a POA to match the enemy Pistol POA and cancels the usual mounted armoured + for a net even result. Also, staying steady does not matter for their POAs, making them relatively tougher if disrupted in Impact.

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Post by BlackPrince » Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:18 am

Retreat to Moscow and wait for snow!

It was better to leave disputing about the faith to the theologians and just run argumentative non-believers through with the sword (Louis IX).

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