Rules and Scenarios for 17th Century Wars in Ukraine
There is background on the 13 Years War between the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth and Muscovy in the Periods Played section, here.
MATERIALS AND SCENARIOS FOR 'FOR KING AND PARLIAMENT'
Here are our latest (April 2021) house rules for adapting the rules, 'For King and Parliament' by Simon Miller and Andrew Brentnall, to armies in eastern Europe. The house rules and troop stats now cover the armies of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Muscovy, the Cossacks and the Crimean Tatars.w
Here are two scenarios, added in April 2021, for the third day of the battle of Lubar on 16 September 1660, which was the first confrontation of the campaign in Ukraine between the armies led by Sheremetyev, Voivod of Kiev, and by Grand Hetman Potocki. The first scenario offers the historical version, involving a Polish-Tatar assault on the Muscovite-Cossack camp. The second is a What If scenario, presuming that Potocki agreed to a battle plan supposedly proposed by his junior colleague, Field Hetman Lubomirski. Both scenarios use the house rules for fighting battles in Eastern Europe using For King and Parliament, at the top of this page.
The battle of Lubar 16 September 1660: what happened on the day
The battle of Lubar was the first act of the Chudnov campaign of 1660, when a Muscovite-Cossack alliance took the field against the armies of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and their Tatar allies in Ukraine.
Lubar was in fact a confrontation over several days. It began on 14 September with a chance encounter between the vanguards of the Commonwealth-Tatar army and the main Muscovite-Cossack army led by Sheremetyev and Tsetsura. Having made contact, the two sides made camp within a few kilometres of each other. At this time it was standard practice to fortify in the presence of the enemy, first by placing wagons around the perimeter and if a long stay seemed likely, by digging earthworks.
After the initial clashes of the 14th, both sides spent the 15th strengthening their camps and preparing for battle. The Commonwealth and Tatar camps were placed near the town of Lubar, with easy access to fresh water and forage. Sheremetyev and Tsetsura’s camp was well situated for defence with forest to its rear and an emplacement on high ground covering its southern side, facing the enemy. However, it was poorly suited to a long stay, as forage was scarce and its water supply was a marshy stream that was barely able to meet the needs of 30,000 men and their livestock.
On 16 September, the opposing forces drew up in battle array, facing each other between their camps. The Commonwealth army had an interest in fighting in the open, where it could take full advantage of its superiority in cavalry. The enemy was believed to be unaware that Field Hetman Lubomirski and his division had arrived in theatre to join Grand Hetman Potocki. According to some accounts, Lubomirski proposed setting a trap, by hiding his troops behind high ground and drawing the enemy further into the open before launching an ambush. For whatever reason, no trap was laid and the whole Commonwealth army advanced on the enemy. In response, Sheremetyev withdrew the bulk of his army back behind his camp earthworks, leaving two forward garrisons: the fortified hill in front of his left, occupied by infantry and artillery with cavalry hidden behind the hill; and trenches in front of his right, occupied by Tsetsura’s Cossacks with light artillery.
The action began with an assault by Potocki’s Command on the Muscovite-held hill. The first attack, by Polish dragoons, overran the position and forced the enemy infantry out. The Muscovites counterattacked and retook the hilltop, to be ejected in turn by some of Potocki’s ‘foreign’ foot. Meanwhile a cavalry fight developed around the base of the hill, with both sides feeding in reinforcements. The hilltop may have exchanged hands again in the course of the fight but by late afternoon it was in Polish hands and the Muscovite forces had withdrawn to their main camp.
With the hill in his possession, Potocki ordered his troops to prepare to assault the main enemy camp. However, as his infantry formed up in front of the Muscovite earthworks it was disrupted by heavy artillery bombardment and this evidence of Muscovite determination, combined with the advanced hour, prompted Potocki to call off the assault.
On the Commonwealth left flank, Lubomirski’s infantry attacked the Cossack forward trenches and eventually cleared them. Again, given the late hour, Lubomirski did not wish his troops to go on to attack the main camp, from which the Cossacks kept up a determined fire. At this point, according to Polish eyewitnesses, an incident occurred that led to the fight restarting. Throughout the day, the Tatar contingent had been coming and going from the field, harassing the enemy with bow fire and looking for weaknesses around the enemy position. Shortly after the Cossack trenches had been cleared, a senior Tatar warrior fell wounded from his horse in front of the enemy camp and a group of Cossacks jumped out from behind their earthworks to take him prisoner. Seeing this, those Tatars in the vicinity rounded on the Cossack group, saved their wounded comrade and amidst the confusion, pursued the enemy back inside the camp. More Tatars followed and were joined by Polish horse and a regiment of foreign foot, all of whom broke into the Cossack earthworks. The infantry commander believed the Cossacks were breaking and urged that the breach be exploited, but Lubomirski insisted that all troops return to Polish lines.
The day therefore ended with the Commonwealth army abandoning its gains on both the left and right wings and retiring to its own camp.
The fighting on 16 September illustrated the strengths and weaknesses of the opposing armies. Sheremetyev and Tsetsura were outclassed in the cavalry arm so unlikely to win a battle in the open. Potocki and Lubomirski meanwhile had too few infantry to carry the enemy camp by storm. Sheremetyev decided to stay behind his earthworks and wait to be reinforced by Chmielnicki’s 20000-strong Cossack army, which was only a few days’ march away. Potocki and Lubomirski laid siege to Sheremetyev’s camp.
Over the days that followed, the Muscovite/Cossack camp, hemmed in by the Commonwealth/Tatar blockade, began to suffer from the poor water supply and limited access to fodder. Moreover, Chmielnicki showed no signs of advancing to reinforce Sheremetyev, despite exhortations to hurry up. On 26 September Sheremetyev retreated to his forward supply depot at Chudnov, pursued a little belatedly by the Commonwealth army. The next day, the two armies settled down again in much the same situation as before, with Sheremetyev blockaded in his camp by the Poles and Tatars.
There would follow several minor engagements, a battle at Słobodiście and the desertion of his Cossack allies before Sheremetyev was forced to surrender and marched his army into captivity. As events turned out, the confrontation at Lubar on 16 September had been the high point of Muscovite fortunes.
MATERIALS AND SCENARIOS FOR TERCIOS
Scenario: Loyev, 6/7/1651 scenario for Tercios
This is a scenario for the engagement between a detachment of Radziwill's Lithuanian army and Nebaba's Cossacks at the Dnieper crossing during the Bialy Cerkiew campaign of 1651. It is a rare situation in which the Cossacks were on the offensive.
Scenario: Slobodyszcze, 7/10/1660 scenario for Tercios
This scenario includes map, OOBs, special rules and historical background to this battle in 1660 when a Polish force surprised a Cossack army in camp. It was a good game to play and gave an opportunity to use those Cossack wagons.
I attach a scenario for Tercios/Kingdoms, based on the Polish assault on a Muscovite redoubt at Lubar, in the Cudnow campaign. It is a smallish scenario, playable in an evening with ten units or so per side.
These charts are adapted from the Warlord Games' Pike and Shotte rule set, with distances adapted to suit figures based on 40mm bases. They also have a few house rules, for example for war wagons, which aren't covered at all in the main rules.
I have uploaded a scenario of the first encounter of the Ukraine campaign at Lubar, on 14 September 1660. It is written for Sam Mustafa (Honour Games)' rules set, Maurice. These rules are intended to start in 1690 but with only a little stretching, they provide an interesting challenge for 1660.