- May 25, 2009
Trial by Fire
Flag of the Russian Empire
As I walked into my chambers, my state advisor bursted into the room. I looked up at the man with a sense of fear with him. No one has ever bursted into the chambers of the emperor without approval from the emperor, or a set meeting unless it was of the utmost of importance. I looked at my advisor, and awaited the reason for this intrudence. It took the man a fair amount of time to collect his thoughts, and take a breath of air.
“WHAT?!”, I demanded of the man.
“My emperor, a brigade of rebels are assembling to storm the senate building. They are armed with basic muskets with no cavalry or artillery support.”, my advisor finally got his message out.
“WHAT?! Assemble the Imperial Russian Guard for immediate deployment to the senate! If one rebel touches that building, it will be mine, and your heads on the blocks,” I commanded my advisor out the door as I prepped for battle.
My advisor entered the my chambers ten minutes later to see me in full battle dress, and preparing for the surrounding cavalry companies to fallback in support of the 9,000 Imperial Guard already in the city. Having already sent out runners to the companies, I began walking out to my horse in order to meet my soldiers in front of the senate building. I motioned for my advisor to follow me, and begin speaking.
“My emperor, the local guards are being organized in front of the senate building as we speak, and the remaining 6,000 men are being brought in from Vyborg. You currently have three artillery pieces set up across from the Narva River with another twelve being brought in,” my advisor rambled off as we marched through the halls.
“Tell all reinforcements to hold north of the river with the artillery, including the cavalry. I’m going to try to force the rebels onto the frozen river then shell them. The few that escape into the city will be hunted down by the 9,000 local guards. I will command this personally, if I do not make it pull the guards across the river, and await the reinforcements. Hand control of the division to the highest ranking officer then assume your duties as minister. Do you understand,” as I gave my final orders with intention I waved my advisor off.
Nicholas the First, current Russian Emperor at the beginning of the AAR
I rode hard, and fast to the senate building. I wanted to make sure that I beat the rebels to the building, and was able to set up a strong defensive line on the entrance to the building leaving the rebels the only option, but to cross my open killing zone. As I entered the square, a couple rebel marksman opened up on me. The few loyal guards, roughly 100, ran into the square, and opened fire on the 3,000 rebels. The loyal men waited for me to safely reach the building before they fell back onto the entrance themselves. These brave men saved my life!
I looked among the ranks, and saw not a single officer. Only a handful of NCOs were in the mix, but they were of no importance. We held the stairs for a couple hours, as the remaining 9,000 guards assembled on the stairs, in the senate building, and in front of the building. The artillery finished setting up across the river, and awaited my orders. As the noon sun rose high into the sky, I looked to the hill overlooking the river, and noticed I had roughly 1,000 cavalry set up. I looked to my flags, and gave the nod for a cavalry strike across the river, and a small detachment of guards to advance. After a couple minutes, 250 guards began marching across the square. They were only to keep the rebels occupied while the cavalry struck into the left flank, and crippling the rebels into surrender.
The cavalry began their charge, at first it was a very promising one. They built up speed, and managed to stay concealed due to the 250 guards advancing on the rebels, with a couple marksman supporting the advance. Everything went to hell when the cavalry reached the river. The ice caused most of the horses to slip, a couple fell through the ice, and most stopped running. The cavalry charge became useless, and the 250 guards began to take a devastating barrage of fire. I ordered the men back to their former positions. The rebels saw what happened, and strengthened the left flank, and began gloating. I failed!
In order to stop the gloating, I ordered three artillery pieces to open with cannonballs on the left flank. I ordered another three to be filled with grapeshot incase the rebels attacked the artillery. The initial barrage stopped the gloating, demolished a house, and partially broke the left flank. The artillery continued to pound the rebels for five minutes before they broke rank. Roughly 1,400 attacked the artillery while the remaining 1,600 ran into the city. I ordered the 9,000 guards to give chase to the 1,600 rebels, and allowed the artillery to focus fire on the frozen river with cannonballs, and use the grapeshot against the rebels. The six artillery pieces destroyed the ice, and slaughtered the 1,400 rebels. The 1,600 rebels were eventually hunted down, and either killed on the spot or brought back for trial.
Artist depiction of Nicholas' battle in front of the Senate building
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The Decembrist Revolt nearly threw the Russian Empire into anarchy. Nicholas, the new Russian emperor, proved to the entire country that he was going to rule them, and that they were going to accept it or die like the 3,000 rebels who tried to take his senate. Nicholas would go on to set up the Russian Empire for further revolts, and eventually boil into the Russian Revolution of 1917.
This AAR will be my playthrough as Nicholas, Alexander, and hopefully the remaining heirs that Nicholas, and Alexander fathered. If I cannot hold back the communists throughout the entire gameplay then I will have to change to the USSR, and begin my playthrough as them. Basically, I’m going to attempt to make Russia the greatest country in the world, and keep the communists from taking over. I hope you enjoy, and thanks for following along.