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Rauna : Umpire's Notes

This is a part of the Battle of Cēsis. On 21 June three Baltic Landeswehr columns attacked to the north and east of the town. The most northerly attack was repulsed, but the two other columns broke through the Estonian lines to the east of Cesis town, dispersing the Latvian 2nd Cēsis Regiment. These columns then peeled out, with the more northerly driving the main body of fleeing Latvians northwards, and the more southerly bearing mostly eastwards. This left the Estonian 3rd Regiment isolated at the southern end of the Estonian line and it had to fall back on Rauna during the evening.

 situation map
basic sketch, off a modern map

The game represents the next day, as the south-most column of Baltic Landeswehr pressed its attack further, trying to drive the Estonians out of Rauna and away from the rest of the Estonian army.
 

The game

The forces are mostly historical: if anything, more favourable to the Germans than in reality – there is some dispute over the size of the Michael Detachment’s infantry and it may have been much smaller.

It seems that in the real battle the two German armoured cars were impeded in their movement along the Riga-Pskov highway because it was “blown up” by the Estonians and took no part in the day's actions. As a bit of balance to counter-act the arrival of the armour in this scenario, I added a cavalry squadron to the Estonians (they were present, but guarding far to the rear and took no part). One effect of altering the sides is that players reading the history of the battle wouldn’t have too much information.

It is important to stress to the Freikorps player that he must attack with great determination: the scenario is likely to be extremely long and dull if he is allowed to take his time locating every enemy element before launching his attack.

At some stage during the day the German player should be told to stop advancing. He can be told that the rest of the battle is going badly (it was, historically) and an advance would just place his troops in further danger.

That night the Freikorps abandoned the entire area, under instructions from General von der Goltz. I have no idea what time these orders came though, but the umpire can use this as a way of ending a scenario which is either stalemating or obviously heading towards a conclusion.
 

Terrain

The “ford” immediately west of Rauna seems to have actually been the top of a dam (for a mill) or a weir – the important thing is that it cannot be destroyed.

The map comes in two versions. One has everything, while the other has the place names removed so that the underlying topography is more visible. The players need only have the first, but the umpire needs the second when calculating moves and lines of sight.
 

Outside support

There are 6 bases of Latvians in Muris with two officers. They will fight as normal Latvian regulars, since this is the hard core with the weaker elements having fled. They are, however, very disorganised and will take most of the day to get themselves into some sort of order. They should not take any offensive action. (Note: it is effectively impossible for the Freikorps to tell Latvians from Estonians without close examination of uniforms.)

Other than this, neither side should get – nor expect – help from outside. They were a long way from the rest of their respective armies.
 

How it went

A full transcript of the game can be found here:

Rauna transcript   in pdf   (this will open in a new window)

I found this very much the hardest scenario I have run. Working out lines of sight was slow and the commands were split into many independent outfits, which added a great deal of calculation time.
 
 
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