We played First Contact on 10 January. The battle began with the Tatars assaulting the Cossack infantry while the latter were still in march column. Although the odds were in their favour, the Tatars fell short all along the line. They recoiled and settled into an exchange of fire. A Polish cavalry assault against the Cossack cavalry screen also bounced badly, gaining valuable time for the Cossacks to get out of march column.
The Cossacks formed in two lines, most facing the Poles to the South while two regiments held off the Tatars to the North. The Poles then broke the Cossack cavalry but the latter had lasted long enough for their infantry to get out of danger. There followed a race between Poles trying to get across the flank of the enemy and Cossacks bending back their wings and retreating to high ground.
The Cossacks won the race, forming a powerful ring that the Poles could not break. The Poles made one attempt to take on the Cossacks head on, their dragoons trying to 'fire in' an assault by Pancerni, but this was repulsed. At this point the Reinforcement card was drawn, bringing four regiments of Muscovite horse onto the table. The Poles thereupon conceded and the game ended.
This had been a challenging game, especially for the Poles. It may have been some consolation to them that the outcome was what happened in the real encounter. Their dragoons lacked the firepower to beat the Cossacks in a firefight, while the cavalry couldn't take on the enemy from the front. Could the result have been different? Yes indeed, if the Poles had been faster off the mark and got in amongst the enemy while the latter were still in march formation.
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