Thursday, February 02, 2023

Shako - Utitsa scenario

Game at Stephens today and he choose to use Shako II and the Utitsa scenario (which we have played a couple of times) with me as attacking French and he as Russian defenders.

We managed to play through 6 turns (out of 12) with no real problems this time (we seemed to have brain barf last couple ot times we used rules) just having to check a couple of rules our recall was weak on.

Tough for attackers in this one especially as the objectives of Utitsa village and the steep 'Mound' are well defended by Russian Grenadiers. 

Artillery is potent in Shako especially as hits cannot be rallied off and Stephens heavy stuff caused me grief early on. 

I did manage to destroy 1 battery on the Mound with my Lancers which was of course only mildly satisfying. 

A unit of Cossacks charged an infantry unit in Line but were shot up and then destroyed as one would expect.

Game really turned when I charged in one turn with 10 units of Infantry and only managed to close with 2, this was particularly annoying against the Russian Jager Division on my left of which I had managed to stagger every unit with artillery and musketry fire. 

All but one of my charging Battalions were repulsed staggered and some with hits by good Jager volleys. 

Elsewhere not so surprising that I mostly failed to close as the Grenadiers in the village and on the hill were mostly undamaged and indeed I lost a unit destroyed outright due to accumulated casualties.

I did manage to force one Jager to Fall Back as did a Grenadier unit (huzzah !) but both recovered (of course) and these were minor isolated successes.

My infantry force was mostly staggered (which cannot be rallied off close to enemy) and several had hits so I felt unable to gain much more offensively and so at end of 6th turn I called it (playing time was running out as well).

Shako is a good system overall although we found some 15mm moves can be a bit fiddly (trying to measure 2/3rds of a 4" move is just a tad awkward), the doctrinal support rules for foot units work really well.

It certainly has the 'feel' of a Corps level encounter.

French push towards the 'Mound' 

Staggers and hits from effective Russian artillery cannonades mounted fast

French columns try to avoid artillery, my own artillery was pretty ineffectual 

French reserves form up 

On my left I am ready to charge en mass having staggered all the Jager and having suffered naught, but all except the unit on extreme left failed to make contact and were repulsed damaged !

Utitsa village a tough nut to crack (note I have deployed into Lines to try to lessen artillery effect)

French Lancers on my right have recalled blown having destroyed an artillery battery (was just where Cossacks are)

Highwater mark for French just prior to massed charges are repulsed almost everywhere



  1. An interesting part of the battle - but a tough nut!

    1. Tough indeed, although Russian artillery were very effective and I had my chance against the Jager but twas not to be.......

  2. An interesting part of the battle of Borodino! When we ran the whole thing in 2012 with FoB, the French were able to make headway, but not achieve decisive results. Shako is another of the rules systems I am happy to play if someone else runs it!

    1. Pretty much a bashing match as no room for any fancy maneuvering. In 3 outings with Shako, Utitsa itself has fallen but once whilst mound has never been in any real danger. Right and left flanks tend to stalemate. Shako is good system with nice feel for level of game its played at.