Polish division under Jan Sobieski at Podhajce

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Polish division under Jan Sobieski at Podhajce
Division of field hetman Jan Sobieski
at the battle of Podhajce in 1667.
Michał ‘Kadrinazi’ Paradowski, Rafał Szwelicki
The Podhajce campaign of 1667
I
n spring 1667 Tartar and Cossack forces led by hetman Doroszenko commenced their offensive on Polish lands. The Polish army was not prepared to repel this attack. Soldiers were
unpaid, tired with previous campaigns and prone to rebellion. However field hetman Jan
Sobieski was able to gradually calm the situation in his army – the regular units were reorganized, some arrears were paid and preparations for repel the main enemy attack were started.
However most of Polish forces were spread out in garrisons, also king Jan II Kazimierz held a
large force with him in Kraków. The hetman could only count on about 8000 regular soldiers
(only half of which were cavalry), supported by private units and small levy of nobility force.
In autumn of 1667 Sobieski implemented the defense plan for Podole. Castles in that area
were garrisoned with regular infantry as well as private troops and local population. Polish
cavalry was divided into several groups and led by trusted officers, it fought with Tartar raiding parties prowling around Podole. This forced the Tatars to gather the whole army and to
march at Lviv after joining with the Cossacks. However hetman Sobieski himself barred their
way at a fortified camp ad Podhajce with the main force of the Polish army. In the period from
4 to 17 October his units repelled numerous enemy attacks, in which about 20-30 thousand
Tartars and Cossacks took part. In the meantime other Polish units operated at the Tartar-Cossack rear and attacked their supply lines. Tartar commander, kalga-sultan Krym Giray decided to make peace with Poles and withdraw from the siege in return for payment of unpaid
gifts for the Khanate. Despite a difficult situation hetman Sobieski stopped the Tartar-Cossack offensive and ensured temporary peace at Podole and Ukraine. The army led by hetman
Sobieski at Podhajce included about 3000 regular soldiers supported by several thousands
armed peasants. Regular forces included about 1000 cavalry (with 5 winged hussars banners)
and about 2000 infantry and dragoons.
Jan Sobieski (1629-1689) field hetman from 1666, great
hetman from 1668 – one of the best hetmans in Polish
history, he performed well both as an organizer and a
tactician. He achieved mastery in fighting Tartars and
Turks – he was able to use both maneuverability of Polish cavalry as well as combined arms tactics. He had a
group of officers who worked with him for a long time
and participated in his campaigns against Tartars and
Turks. Since 1674 he was the king of Poland and the
grand duke of Lithuania.
Jan Sobieski
Formation
Move
Armor
Morale
Skill
Sobieski
20/+20
5
7
5
1. Command Points:
Close Combat
1
Shooting
Weapon
1
Hand weapons
0
CC
Commander
Pistols
0
5
Scarce ammunition
2. Cost: 8
Effectiveness Range
Special Rules
Special rules
Excellent Commander [cavalry and dragoons]
Every turn he receives an additional Command Point. It may be used for giving Orders to the
following units or to be transferred to commanders of such units: Sobieski’s Regiment, Hetman’s
Own Regiment, Dragoon Regiment, Dragoon Company.
+1 modifier for Initiative rolls.
Initiative +1
All the Illnesses Known to Man
Jan Sobieski suffered from many afflictions about which he often wrote to his wife.
He cannot join a Unit with a Charge Order. Unit to which he is joined may never Charge or pursue
(if it is forced to charge or pursue it will loose the Charge Order and receives a Move Order). He
may only join a Unit with Charge Order only if the Unit is already engaged in close combat. He
may not march.
Special Rules of the Division:
On Their Own Land
(rulebook, p. 220)
Favorable Terrain
Sobieski was able to choose favorable terrain.
You may always take Scouted Locations or Covered Flank (one) tactic for free (even if you are
the Attacker and/or the Stronger Player). If you are the Weaker Player and choose Covered Flank
and want to buy the second one then you pay only 2 FSP.
Regiments Were Many, But They Were Weak
The hetman had many units under his command; however they were weak in numbers.
Sobieski’s Regiment (komput cavalry) – its strength depends on the size of the army. If no additional regiments are fielded then the regiment may have up to FSP:9, if one additional regiment
is fielded the regiment may have up to FSP:12, with two additional regiments the Sobieski’s
regiment may have any size.
Infantry Regiment at Podhajce is the same as a foreign pattern infantry regiment – new type –
from the main rulebook, however only the basis of the regiment may be fielded (plus adequate
pikemen and a regimental gun).
Dragoon Regiment at Podhajce is the same as a dragoon regiment from the main rulebook, however only the basis of the regiment may be fielded (plus adequate additional bases in four base
companies). If two dragoon regiments are fielded one of them is made elite for free.
Guns are Useful Against the Tartars
If only the basis of the division is fielded then you may only have up to 2 light guns. If an infantry
regiment is fielded as one of the additional regiments then you may have up to 4 light guns. With Muskets Against the Heathen!
The forces of hetman Sobieski were supported by several thousand armed peasants.
‘Peasant regiment’ at Podhajce is the same as the Cossack rabble regiment of the Cossack army
in the main rulebook. You cannot field Orthodox priests. Peasants (Cossack rabble) from this
regiment may shoot. Treat them as equipped with Poor Firearms and Shooting 1. The only Special Rule of the “peasant regiment” is Obedience.
Paid For by the Hetman
Jan Sobieski had numerous private units in his service. Despite the fact that their presence at
Podhajce was not confirmed we decided to enable fielding a combined private regiment as an
additional regiment. Sobieski’s Division at Podhajce in 1667
NOTES:
Special Rules:
On Their Own Land, Favorable Terrain, Regiments Were Many, But They Were Weak,
Guns are Useful Against the Tartars, With Muskets Against the Heathen!, Paid For by the Hetman
4
* (+1FSP per light gun)
– see Guns are Useful Against
the Tatars
Sobieski’s Regiment
Special Rules:
Regiments Were Many, But They Were Weak
5
NOTES:
60%
+1 FSP for Colonel
+1FSP for Rotamaster
instead of
Hetman’s Own Regiment
NOTES:
50%
If 7FSP are fielded Colonel’s Command Points are
* Janissaries and Polish-Hungarian infantry can be increased to
armed with muskets or with arquebus (both have to * Fielded according to elite Polish-Hungarian be equipped with same weapons).
infantry rules but allows using janissary figures. The unit can be joined into a squadron with Polish-
Hungarian infantry.
6
6