January 2023 Report

So, the excesses of Christmas and New Year are long gone, although strangely the expanded waistline isn’t๐Ÿ™„, and we’re slowly back to gaming.

Our first game was actually an ‘away game’ with ‘The Regulars’ an ad hoc group of Warwickshire gamers meeting kind of regularly playing all sorts of games. On this occasion it was south of the border 1913 and the Mexican revolution where 4 separate factions vied to complete their objectives.

High point of the game was the Federales firing squad that missed the prisoner and then proceeded to chase him Keystone Cops style across the board until he ran into the arms of a revolutionary gang who exchanged a few shots and then exited the table.

Equally funny (or frustrating, depending on who you were) was the gang of gringo gunslingers hired by the government forces who did absolutely nothing to help the government. Oh well ๐Ÿ˜• Lots of laugh were had so a good start to the year.

Back at base we had a short Successors game to try a couple of rules mods which worked quite well so they’ll be incorporated into the set.

Next, the gang was back together after a very long absence and we celebrated with a French Wars of Religion game.

In this clash the Huguenots were largely cavalry based plus a couple of Legion shot units facing a Catholic army of gendarmes backed by more serious foot, namely Swiss and Spanish.

The Catholics decided to gamble all on their gendarmes sweeping away the more numerous Huguenot gentry in a series of charges and it nearly worked ๐Ÿ˜ฎ. However in a game of rolling cavalry melee’s which saw all 3 Catholic cavalry colonels killed numbers told and the gendarmes were shattered.

With their cavalry gone the Spanish and Swiss departed unharmed and the Huguenots wisely watched them go. An exciting game from a period that hasn’t seen the table for a while and the rules held up which was nice.

Next was another group game, this time our beloved Arthurian, featuring a Pict invasion of Powys & Gwynned.

The Picts deployed their infantry in the centre and left of the largely open field but placed their cavalry beyond a river on the right hoping to use this to shield them as they attempted a long flanking move – it nearly worked!

As always the nice neat battle lines soon became disjointed on both sides and bodies fell into melee piecemeal with the Romano Britons generally getting the better of it.

The Pictish cavalry attempt at turning the flank was stymied by a Powys division which managed to defend the banks in what turned into a very bloody affair.

Ultimately the loss of a sub leader undermined the Pictish assault and they returned north with nothing to show for their efforts.

Last game of the month was ourselves hosting a ‘Regulars’ meeting and we chose to get out the Syrian cityscape for a multi player game.

Our scenario was two Spetsnaz detachments heading out in BTR60’s to rescue a downed Hind crew stuck in the militia end of the city. The militia players had a number of entry points they could choose and the entry point for the BTR’s was randomly diced for.

As is always the case in these multi player games nothing quite went to plan ๐Ÿคจ

The militia plan was for two groups to advance toward the crash site, one on the road with a truck mounted ZSU for support and the other through the rubble to overlook the crash site. The third group was to ambush the BTR’s near their entry point as they came up the road. The Spetsnaz only had one plan, get up the road, get the crew, get out, shoot anything that gets in the way.

The ambush part of the militia plan failed almost immediately. The RPG shot missed and exploded in the street alerting everyone to trouble and the BTR’s kept going. Rather than then stalk the BTR’s by using the buildings as cover the militia player decided to take on the army check point (which was only there for scenic affect) and by the end of the game had lost all of his squad. Strangely this was the same player who screwed up the Mexican game with his non participating gunmen ๐Ÿคฃ

The other two militia fared better to start with. The ZSU brewed up one BTR but was itself taken out by an RPG. A brutal gunfight in the street and some desperate hand to hand fighting finished off one militia squad leaving the third to attempt to stop the rescue but superior fire power suppressed them and the rescue was complete.

It was a tough fight but enjoyable for all and great to get the buildings out.

On the project front I managed to get back into the 10mm Iran Iraq painting and some Iranian Chieftains are virtually done. A lot of time has been taken with amending the Successors rules and I’m hoping for that to be completed by the end of February.

Not a bad start to the year. See you next month!

December 2022 Update

So the year draws to an end and the last blog post of the year is prepared. I’ve rather enjoyed the discipline of at least one post a month so I think I’ll continue the process into 2023. The idea of entering the world of YouTube posts has been discussed but I’m not sure if I’ve got the patience for it. Anyway….

First up was an ‘away game’ set vaguely on the North West Frontier, featuring, British, Russians and local Afghan tribesmen. The rules were Fistfull of Lead Bigger Battles so any relation to historical reality was purely coincidental but a fine time was had by all.

In brief, the British sorted out the Russian armoured cars, the Cossacks kept well out of the way, the Afghan tribes sneaked about and then launched a savage attack on the British and cut them down, dispatches were sent to the Queen covering up the disaster ๐Ÿ˜„

Back at base we had another run at the Indochina game, mainly because the table was still set up from November.

This time the Foreign Legion managed to deliver to both camps and see off the Viet Minh attacks with some losses but not anywhere near as heavy as those the VM suffered.

Next up was our Successors game previously reported on so nothing else to say really.

Next was a return to one of our neglected periods, the French Indian Wars.

What started out as a single evening game turned into a double header; the original scenario of Indians and Coureur de Bois raiding settlements and making an attempt on the British outpost generated another scenario of Rogers Rangers raiding the Indian village to rescue captives taken in the first game.

We had a ton of fun with both games; both featured some early sneaking about and then fast and furious action where those with woodland skills came off far better than those without.

Next up was the valiant defence at a local ruined temple by the fine individuals of the French Foreign Legion in another re visit of a neglected period.

This is a period for which we have never quite found the rules which give us what we want and this game was played with yet another set that one of the guys had found at the back of a drawer, or something like that ๐Ÿ˜…

Great fun was had, well only if you were the Legion shooting down tribesmen ๐Ÿคฃ, but the quest for THE set of rules continues. I am firmly resisting hints that I should write another set.

In the spirit of utilising existing terrain layouts a quick shuffle of the Foreign Legion game gave us a modern middle east game for our vaguely connected scenarios featuring elusive insurgent groups, contractors, special forces and MENA elements.

For this one our elusive insurgent commander, Mehan Asnik, was meeting an arms dealer near a ruined temple to exchange gold for technology. Asnik bought along a single squad of militia and the arms dealer had his own contractors for close protection, little did they know that two troops of SAS had been dispatched to break up the party.

The SAS spent the early turns getting into position as an unknown (to them) clock wound down for the deal to be completed. By pure chance a militiaman spotted one of the SAS fire teams and opened up – big mistake!

The ensuing gunfight over the next few turns massively favoured the SAS, they were in cover, they were better shots and the enemy were generally in the open reacting to fire.

To be honest we had seriously forgotten how powerful Elite troops can be under the Spectre Operations V2 rules; two troops was way too much fire power, a better game would have been one troop split into two sections and those sections breaking down into fire teams as the game progressed. We had a lot of fun but it was very one sided.

Asnik however, did survive the fight and so our storyline can continue……

Our final game of the year was another Successors game, this time using armies from a little later in the time frame; Antigonid Macedonian v Imperial Seleucid.

In theory the game favoured the Seleucids, better class pike and cavalry but the more numerous (albeit varied) Antigonids more than held their own in a tough battle.

So, the year has closed and we have retired to our camps to contemplate another year of military recreation using miniatures. No major projects are on the horizon; Dave is tinkering with an El Cid set up and I’m going to get back on the Iran Iraq 10mm project while a group of us are kicking of a joint Mexican Revolution project for a series of linked semi skirmish games. All that remains to be said then is Happy New Year and keep on rolling.

The Successors Project: Part Five

“Are we there yet?” And I think the answer to that question is yes or certainly yes enough to be able to field full armies representing the various forces of the Diadochi to a set of rules that gives us what we want.

This week we took our time to play the rules complete, ie, choose two armies from the lists to the proposed minimum points value, choose the terrain from the listed items, work out scouting and deploy for battle. The two armies were Ptolemaic Successor (under Ptolemy I)and Eastern Satrapal (under Peithon), they didn’t met historically but certainly could have. The points gave the Ptolemaic a strong infantry core of, 1 x Agema pike, 3 x Pezhetairoi pike & 2 x mercenary Hoplites covered by Cretan archers, Rhodian slingers and Greek javelinmen; the cavalry wings were made up of 3 x Kleruchoi horse on the left and 2 x Hetairoi on the right. The Satrapal force was much more varied; their infantry centre was, 2 x Pantodapoi pike, 2 x Macedonian pike, 1 x Thracian peltasts & 2 x mercenary Hoplites covered by Cretan archers and Greek slingers & javelinmen all supported by 2 x elephants; the left wing horse comprised 1 x satrapal horse supported by 2 x horse archers and the right comprised 2 x satrapal horse, 1 x Xystophoroi and 1 x light horse javelineers.

A blow by blow account isn’t required here but how well the game reflected what we know of Successor’s battles is worth a look.

Traditionally the left wing cavalry would be lighter and would have a holding role while the right wing would be the stronger strike cavalry; the centre would be the infantry and here would be where the battle would be decided. On the face of it that was what we had although it didn’t quite develop that way….

The opening action was obviously on the cavalry wings – they moved twice as fast ๐Ÿ˜„ On the Ptolemaic right the strong strike force thing just didn’t work, the elephant was a worry, the enemy horse archers were annoying and the satrapal horse got the drop on one of them and it all went to hell in a hand cart when the commander got himself killed in a melee – lesson, don’t add your leader to a small unit, the percentage chance of dying is rather high ๐Ÿ˜ญ On the Satrapal right their strike force was evenly matched against the Kleruchoi but eventually prevailed and by the end of the game were pursuing the enemy to their camp.

Rules note; as a generalisation, elite cavalry, the Companions in all their various descriptions, are 6 figure units and the rest either 8 or 10 and no it’s not too small, go away and research just how many cavalry as a whole there were (it’s not a lot) and how many of them were Companions. For scale purposes 1 cavalry figure = 128 men, so a base of two figures is a squadron.

While all the cavalry shenanigans was going on the phalanx’s ground their way across the table with their respective skirmishers potting away at each other – the satrapal skirmishers had the best of it and drove off their opposite numbers. This worked as we wanted, a few casualties then the psiloi end up behind the pikes where they can protect the rear from any nasty cavalry that come sniffing around ๐Ÿ˜€

The main event soon followed and we were into the clash of pikes. From a rules perspective it’s all down to who gets the initiative and uses it well, as experience has shown that he who gets stuck in first will just keep on rolling, barring a stroke of real bad luck. In this clash the Ptolemaics got the initiative and ordered all six units in, huzzah! Err, no. Three units refused to charge ๐Ÿ˜ช and so when the initiative moved to the enemy there was a real sense of tension as they tried to rescue the moment but two of them refused to charge! and so instead of the nice neat straight line, so beloved by wargamers, we had a more staggered look as different merarchia advanced and gave ground independently of each other, which was rather the effect I was after.

Ultimately the Ptolemaics got their act together and superior class saw them through the initial wobble and crushed the enemy centre – both hoplite units and two of the pike units routed and Peithon was killed whilst steadying one of the pike units. In the units that routed the highest loss was at 30% and the lowest around 12%. Much like the real thing this was the end; one side had lost the bulk of its infantry and with the army general dead had no mechanism by which they could rally them until they reached the camp where they would have a single shot at redemption. On the subject of camps, neither side had lost control of theirs, the Ptolemaic camp was the more at risk due to the victorious cavalry heading its way (a Eumenes moment in the making) but it did have two cavalry units about to rally there (or not) but that was all a bit ‘if, but or maybe’, the reality was that some 13,000 men (scale wise) from the satrap army were leaving the field.

But what of those troop types not mentioned so far? Well the elephants were a worry for a while but not for long, the left wing elephant panicked when it’s mahout died (actually it’s a squadron but as a mechanism it works ๐Ÿคจ) and ended up in the way of the Agema pike who charged into it and finished it, the right wing elephant provided able support to the cavalry wing (and managed to stay out of ‘scaring the children’ range) but was ranged in on by the Cretans who shot it down. The Thracians did nothing, spending most of their time lurking behind the right wing elephant.

Once we were done we had a detailed discussion about how the game had played and where we thought we were in the project. First off, the rules; they play well, enough detail to make you think about what you are doing but swift mechanisms to resolve the contest of arms, the overall look seems right and the resolution feels right; we did have a couple of ‘oh shit this isn’t going to work’ moments, such as the failure to charge in the centre but in fact this resolved perfectly well and added a bit of suspense to the game. Secondly, the collection; it’s been quite a journey, it’s taken longer than we thought and even using the plastic figures it’s still been quite expensive which has caused a bit of tension, we’ve side tracked a couple of times – the Galatians are an obvious example, but taking a step back and taking a look at the whole we’ve got a collection to be proud of ๐Ÿฅฐ and we agreed that essentially it’s done.

What next? A display game seems the next logical step so our Partizan entry next year will be a Successors refight, either Paraitakene or Gabiene, we reckon we could put on a reasonable version of either with what we’ve got, maybe a few more elephants would be nice ๐Ÿ˜

Anyway, thank you for reading along as we’ve developed the project, all polite and useful comments gratefully received, in the meantime, enjoy your gaming, however you do it.

November 2022 Update

Not a bad month, seven games and a visit to Warfare at the new venue in Farnborough.

The new venue for Farnborough was very nice, two rooms, a big one and a very big one; light, airy, catering where you didn’t have to queue forever, plenty of trade and some nice demo games. It’s a bit of a drag coming down from Coventry and I’m not sure I’d do it every year but on this occasion my good friend Mark at M&C Painting was there with the last of the Successors so well worth the trip.

Our first game of the month was a western gunfight set in the fictitious Dardenell County where a pair of Texas Rangers came looking for the Bald Eagle gang and found trouble! A fun little two hander that played out well.

Next up was another gunfight game, this time a multi player game, being a take on the film ‘3:10 to Yuma’ but this time the law were escorting the prisoner off the train and down the main street to the County lock up pending trial. Much miniatures blood was spilt on the streets of Mal Paso as the gang freed the leader and several follow on games were created.

Next up was a big game Cossack v Muscovite encounter which lasted over two sessions. In a game where Tartar allies raced around the table wearing down their slower opponents and the Streltsy performed badly we eventually ended up with each side having a collapsed wing and everyone else in no shape to press for victory. A draw!

Next up was an ‘away day’ WWII game featuring retreating Germans and pursuing Soviets for which I lost most of the photo’s ๐Ÿ˜ช Suffice to say that only a few Germans managed to avoid their pursuers but we did have the ‘fun’ of the NKVD squad opening fire on troops they deemed not to be vigorous enough in their pursuit of the fascists.

Next was a cartel game where a DEA/Federales task force sprung a trap on two sicario gangs exchanging gold for drugs at an abandoned airfield.

This was probably our best game of the month; the scenario flowed well, players were on good form and the rules covered everything we needed to.

When the game wrapped we had most of the Federales dead or gravely wounded and not a scratch on the DEA agents ๐Ÿค”, a significant number of dead sicarios and a haul of cocaine but both leaders fled the scene along with the gold.

Our final game was an Indochina encounter with the Viet Minh attempting to ambush a convoy and take out two Foreign Legion camps. It wasn’t our best game and we might give it another run in December but the column just about got through, losing only one vehicle and a few troops, and one camp was hanging on by a thread.

So, another month gone and Christmas is getting closer! Enjoy your gaming however you do it.

Dardenell County Reborn

A few posts back I discussed our tentative steps of getting back into western gunfight as a period and after a couple of false starts we have settled on the rules – The Old West Skirmish Wargames and our scale of 28mm, well actually 32mm given the size of the Dead Mans Hand figures and the Black Scorpion figures!

We acquired a whole town from one of our gaming acquaintances who was looking to invest in a new bike and added some new buildings and some more figures. We then had a couple of scene setting games to make sure we were happy and just recently held our first proper Dardenell County multi player game.

The game was the film ‘The 3:10 To Yuma’ in reverse. Ours was the ‘3:10 From Tanglefoot’ whereby notorious land grabber and alleged murderer, Abe McQuown, was being transferred from Tanglefoot on the 3:10 train to the county seat of Mal Paso for incarceration, trial and possible hanging, but McQuown had a cadre of loyal followers who had drifted into town determined to prevent his incarceration.

Our game was centred around McQuown being escorted from the train station down main street to the county sheriffs office by two professional gunmen, Matt Morgan & Craig Blaisdell, sworn in as temporary marshals. Waiting in the upstairs office were Sheriff Will Rogers and Deputy Johnny Gannon plus old Ernie Jones downstairs guarding the cells. Three groups of McQuowns gang were randomly positioned around the town waiting for their chance to ambush the marshals – actually this randomisation didn’t work out as well as I expected as the groups ended up within a couple of buildings of each other – such is the nature of random I guess ๐Ÿ˜„

For the first few moves not very much happened; the marshals advanced up the street guns drawn – yes I know McQuown has got guns but I wasn’t about to break them off and then re-glue them, Charley Prince, Bob Nicholson & Buck Slavin took up positions in the ground floor of the Los Pecos Hotel while across the street, Rick Belden, Ben Nicholson & Fen Jiggs took up similar positions in the Bar and Bunk – both of these were conveniently at the T junction where the sheriffs office stood. The only group doing anything was that of Cherry Valance, Tom Morgan & Curley Burne who advanced up the street from the Western Union office and into the open space of the T to face down the marshals. Somewhere far off, a dog barked ๐Ÿ˜‰

The action started with Valance and co drawing their weapons and Tom Morgan calling on the marshals to let the prisoner go to which Blaisdell responded with a, “get out of our way or face the consequences”. In this moment of calm before the storm confusion set in; behind Morgan a voice shouted “Tom, get off the street!” which was Belden from the batwing doors of the Bar and Bunk trying to draw a bead on Blaisedell, Morgan froze momentarily and Blaisedell shot him in the right arm, seriously wounding him and forcing him to drop his gun.

Then it all got a bit messy. Snapped out their lethargy Rogers and Gannon drew their guns and headed out of the upstairs office, Gannon leading. Out on the street Valance heard and saw the lawmen coming out and squeezed off a shot which hit Gannon squarely in the chest and dropped him seriously wounded and Rogers ducked back taking cover. Back with the marshals all hell let loose as Burne, Jiggs, Prince and Slavin opened up which saw Burne’s shot kill Blaisedell stone dead – there obviously were consequences ๐Ÿ˜ข

In the brief moment of quiet following the roar of the guns as the consequences of what had just happened settled in, Morgan put his arm around the throat of McQuown and jammed his Smith & Wesson against the mans head as he snarled “back off boys or the boss gets it!” as he tried to back heel open the door of the bank – no joy. But clearly everyone’s blood was up and Prince fired again, taking the risk he wouldn’t hit his boss, but (fortunately) wildly missed. Morgan now realised he couldn’t hold onto the prisoner and stay alive so loosened his grip enough to fire into the Los Pecos and in quick succession knocked down Slavin with a head wound and then snuffed out Prince with a precision shot. From the upstairs window of the Sheriffs office Rogers joined the gunplay putting a bullet into Valance but in the confusion McQuown started making his escape turning down into an alley and eventually disappearing into the outskirts of town.

The gunfight however was far from over. Realising his exposed position Morgan ran back down the street to take cover behind a convenient barrel while Rogers fought a lone battle with the gunmen in the street – although it was a bit one sided as he was in cover and they weren’t ๐Ÿ˜‰

Despite fire from the Bar and Bunk and the Los Pecos, Rogers downed both Burne and Morgan which was just as well because under the cover of the firing Ben Nicholson and Rick Belden had sprinted across the street and up the stairs to finish off the lawman so they could make good their escape. First through the door was Belden who levelled his Colt and……click. A dud! Rogers wasn’t so unlucky and his shot shattered Belden’s right arm giving the lawman enough time to knock the bleeding man to the floor and cuff him. Just as well because next in was Nicholson who shot wide as Rogers pulled his second gun and in the following exchange Rogers, and the now recovered Gannon, put a bullet each into Nicholson.

Back on the street the last shots were fired as Jiggs and Morgan exchanged shots, the lawman was a good shot but the range was long and Jiggs was good with a carbine so “when a man with a .45 meets a man with a rifle” and Morgan sprawled in the dust seriously wounded.

And that was it. One law officer dead and two seriously wounded plus a notorious criminal free to cause more trouble; serious questions would be asked! However McQuown was going to need to do some serious recruiting; Prince was dead and Morgan, Burne, Nicholson and Belden would stand trial once they had recovered from their wounds; Valance and Jiggs had made it to their horses out back of the Western Union office and the other Nicholson and Slavin had snuck out of the Los Pecos and disappeared.

All in all it was a good game and created several more possible follow on scenarios, we placed some 25 moves, had a laugh and rolled some amazing dice, good and bad. Perfect ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

October 2022 Update

The month started off with our bi annual trip to Newark for Partizan (The Other Partizan as it’s called) where we put on our Battle of the Scheldt WWII skirmish game, so not quite the battle, more of an action within it ๐Ÿ˜„

We bought a new mat from Tiny Wargames custom made to depict the sea of the Scheldt estuary, the beach in front of the town of Flushing and a standard green area for where the actual town would be depicted – looked good.

The game played well, the initial commando landings crept cautiously into the town, encountering some machine gun fire from the bunkers on the hill but little troop resistance as the Kriegsmarine squads (specially painted by Dave for the game) were up on the high ground facing out to sea and organising them for a counter attack proved quite the task for the German player ๐Ÿ™„

The arrival of the allied 2nd wave, comprising the Kings Own Scottish Borderers and the armour, gave the sole ‘big gun’ in the sector some juicy targets for the German player and in some unprecedented die rolling managed to sink two of the landing craft! While being some amazing shooting it was also quite the comedy moment because the armour that sank to the bottom had just been finished by Dave and so never actually got their maiden outing ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚

As the battle hotted up German reinforcements started to arrive and the fighting became a bit more intense with the commando’s taking some significant losses.

Ultimately the Allies were unable to gain significant ground and by the days end we could confidently say the Germans were still comfortably holding on.

Regarding the show itself, it seemed to be busy until well into the afternoon so from a numbers point of view the organisers should have been pleased. In terms of games some of these were quite magnificent and were a credit to those that put them on and added further to the shows reputation for top quality games. Trade wise it seemed to be the usual faces and business seemed to be steady but our perspective on all these aspects is limited to a quick run round the show by each of us taking time out from the game.

Back at the ‘Eagles Nest’ we managed to get a number of games in through the week. First up was a return to our cartel layout which hasn’t seen the light of day since pre Covid.

A simple game of a cartel gang ambushing a bullion truck on the way to the bank provided some deadly action and several comedy moments.

In the inevitable shootouts the body armour of the cops kept them in the game longer than the sicarios and the final body count left more dead sicarios than federales.

The comedy moments were provided by; two police cars running into each other, a police attack dog getting distracted by a stray cat and running off table, a sicario shooting out a plate glass window and then realising he was an open target and the female sicario sniper getting frustrated by a fellow sicario blocking her line of sight so started a brawl on a drive thru roof ๐Ÿ˜‚

Next up was an Arthurian era game; Saxon siege of a section of dike disturbed by Romano Britain relief force. We had a number of player available and so were able to have 3 Saxon commands and 4 Romano British.

The game was quite the slog – as it should be, and saw some vicious action which pleased us all.

The major event of the game was the death of three commanders in one turn – two were fighting each other with their bodyguards. Not surprisingly this rather tipped the game and the Saxon king fell back with his command begrudgingly leaving the bodies of his two sub commanders with their bodyguards.

Our final game of the month in fact turned into two games!

We planned a large GNW game which we judged would last over a couple of evenings but the first game was a disaster for the Russians with the Swedes forcing a stream crossing and routing the opposing cavalry quicker than we expected which led to a collapse of Russian army morale.

So the table was re-laid and the Russians defended a large village with some linking defence works.

In this fight the Russians kept one brigade of cavalry as a reserve while the other held the right flank. All the infantry were distributed amongst the buildings and defences.

The Swedes deployed all their cavalry on one flank and all their infantry on the other, facing the entrenched Russians.

This was a far more even battle. The Swedes certainly saw off the Russian cavalry on the one wing but their own significant losses and fire from artillery and infantry who had turned to face on that flank plus the arrival of the Russian reserve cavalry saw both the Swedish brigades head for home.

The infantry fight was brutal. The Swedes took losses from the artillery and long range musketry to which they couldn’t give an effective response, however once they were up close they charged into melee and the Russians reeled.

Ultimately, the left hand Russian brigade routed from it’s entrenchments leaving the Swedes exhausted at the defence works, the other brigade, however, held on and actually caused the Swedes to rout, so honours even.

The difference of course was that the Swedes had Charles XII around to rally them, the Russians had no significant senior general who would have a similar effect. As we rolled the last dice we figured the Russians would withdraw covered by their intact cavalry and the Swedes would hold the ground they had gained.

On the getting stuff done front, another unit of Huguenot cuirassiers were completed which should be the last one for the collection ๐Ÿค”

Also some additions to the western gunfight collection were finished, ready for our first game in November.

So, another month draws to a close and the days get darker and colder, hopefully we can keep the lights on for more games next month ๐Ÿ˜ Keep well everybody.

September 2022 Update

Tokhtamysch

Wow, September has been and gone! Holidays and building work reduced our meeting schedule so only three games this month and precious little done on the painting/modelling front.

Carlists

The month kicked off with a Carlist Wars game at the Bunker and for the first time in 3 years we had everyone present ๐Ÿ˜

Carlist guns

The game was fictional and involved a surprise attack by the Carlists on the Liberals camp unaware that more Liberal troops were on their way.

Government troops

The encamped troops were the ‘good’ troops being the Foreign Legion and the British Legion. Light companies were deployed forward of the position and visibility was restricted in the opening moves to simulate the dawn breaking. Once the first shots were fired (basically the Carlists running into the light troops) each battalion would dice for how many turns until it marched out from the camps. The Liberal reinforcements were pre programmed to arrive on the road emerging from the woods on the right flank but nobody knew when.

The camp and defended block house

The Carlists duly bumped into the lights and the game was on! The lights fell back and the Carlists pushed on as quick as they could but some good dice rolls saw the Government troops spilling out of their tents and forming up on the left flank and behind the blockhouse.

Carlists

In short, the Carlist attack on their right faltered in the face of the speedy deployment and eventually ground to a halt facing the tents. In the centre the Carlists did much better, sweeping away the opposition, isolating the blockhouse (which did prove to be a nuisance) and cutting the road. The left made hard work of the terrain and light opposition which meant it wasn’t in quite the best position when the reinforcements arrived.

Lancers mixing it up

When the reinforcements arrived (which was essentially the main army) the game took on a new dimension as they struggled to get off the road as it exited the woods quick enough to be in the right shape to fight. Both sides used spoiler cavalry attacks to prevent troops deploying and the cavalry even got to fight each other! The really bloody fighting was when the attack columns of both sides got stuck in around the ever expanding Government bridgehead.

The bridgehead

Ultimately the Government were able to push out from the woods, despite some serious losses – the Guards cavalry regiments were practically destroyed and move across the back of their lines.

Carlist brigade

By late afternoon (our time) we decided to call it through sheer exhaustion ๐Ÿคฃ and declared a Government victory – this was not without some debate, the Carlists rightly claimed they had split the Government forces in half by occupying the centre but as the game organiser pointed out the objective was to overrun the camps before the reinforcements properly deployed and, because of the failure on the right, they hadn’t, so victory to the Government.

Satrapal troops of Attalus

Our next game was another from the Successor project, this time the Imperial army of Perdiccas (so all the good stuff ๐Ÿ˜€) against one of the western satraps, Attalus.

the army of Perdiccas

The Imperials deployed four blocks of pike split evenly by an elephant centre with each pair combining a veteran block with a levy block; the left of the line was anchored on the Hypaspists and the right wing comprised all the companion cavalry.

Satrapal cavalry

The Satrapal forces were more numerous so overlapped their opponents but were not of the same class; they deployed with their cavalry on the right with a very clear plan of riding round the slow enemy infantry and striking the rear and/or looting the camp while the infantry, comprising two pike blocks and two hoplite blocks alternating with units of peltasts screened by psiloi, advanced to pin the opposition.

Hypaspists

Once the armies were deployed Perdiccas realised the enemy plan and set about sending his elite cavalry galloping across the rear lines in a race against time ๐Ÿ™„. Other than that both sides commenced their advance.

Satrapal cavalry try to avoid Hypaspists

The early action all took place on the Satrapal right where their cunning plan came unstuck because the Hypaspists got out in front of the pikes and basically got in the way ๐Ÿ˜. A couple of javelin volleys pinned the lead cavalry which road blocked the others and once that was sorted out the only way forward was through the Hypapists and that didn’t work out so well ๐Ÿ˜ข.

Hypaspists in action

Ultimately the action resolved itself with the Satrapal cavalry either destroyed or fleeing and Attalus dying leading his companions in an all or nothing charge against the lately arriving Imperial companions.

Siler Shields and levy

On the other flank of the Satrapal army events were more in their favour, the clash of pikes saw one of the Imperial levied pikes flee the field with their opponent in pursuit and while the Imperial veteran pikes crushed a peltast unit they soon found themselves being circled by the hoplites and remaining pike.

pike on pike action ๐Ÿคจ

The centre was a bit of a non event with the other two Imperial pike units being harassed by Satrap light cavalry for most of the game and the elephants facing off to the peltasts. Ultimately the light horse retired, which did leave the Satrap camp vulnerable but at least the peltasts killed an elephant.

dead elephant
Attalus with no troops left

The death of Attalus rather sealed it for the Satrap forces and so we called it.

the forces of Tamerlane and Tokhtamysh

Our final game was a sweeping cavalry encounter featuring the C14th forces of Tamerlane and Tokhtamysh an encounter facilitated by the slow repurposing of some really old figures from our Mongol, Russian and Mamluk armies of yesteryear and slogging away at a stupid metal mountain that accumulated when we had more money than sense.

Timurids

The field was mainly open with 2 low hills with a wooded valley between on one flank and a lone hill skirted by trees on the other. Both commanders occupied the hills in their deployment area with their guards. The numerically inferior but qualitifly superior Timurids deployed their allied White Sheep Turks on the right with orders to infiltrate through the wooded valley, unfortunately the Horde allied Cumans had the same order and so the battle for these commands was a disorganised exchange of arrows that finally saw the Cumans retreat.

White Shhep Turks under Quara Yusuf

The centre of the Timurid line was 2 commands of heavy cavalry screened by lights and supported by elephants, the left was a similarly formed command behind the stream. The Horde had 4 commands in the centre, one was purely skirmish horse , one was allied Russian cavalry and two were Mongol heavy cavalry – everyone except the Russians were bow armed and the Timurids were generally better armoured than the Horde.

Golden Horde

Tamerlane realised as soon as deployment was complete that his centre was in danger of being overwhelmed so he committed the Guard early and that diverted the Russian Boyars in his direction. The bow fire dissuaded the lead Boyar unit and then the hand to hand favoured the Guard – better armoured and better morale, end result was the termination of the Russian command (with extreme prejudice ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Golden Horde

The more even centre fight then saw both sides shooting bows for all they were worth and then exchanging blows. The Horde did manage a break through and one unit galloped off in pursuit of it’s opponent but overall the fight favoured the Timurids and the arrival of the force from over the stream tipped the balance; victory to the Timurids.

Birds of a feather!

In terms of stuff done, one of the guys painted up some striking pieces for the Successors project with a kind of Ptolemaic/Egyptian Pharaoh vibe. Could also be used in a fantasy setting?

We’re watching you!
Condottierre

Also another Italian Wars condottierre unit got done along with a couple of command stands, all from existing stuff that just hadn’t been got round to.

Landsknecht commanders
Desert

A few more random desert terrain clutter items got completed, suitable for any of our middle east modern skirmishes, or the Foreign Legion, desert WWII or even the Successors.

Hezbollah

Well another month over and, given the amount of time we have, fairly lean pickings in terms of games done. We had a chat about it and can’t really put our finger on the why; age, lack of enthusiasm, other stuff getting in the way, too many periods; it could be any, all or none of these, certainly we have collections that are perhaps seeing the light of day once a year – the Timurids, the GNW, Dark Age, Sikh Wars, and some that haven’t been out all year – most of the modern skirmish, the ACW, the Byzantines, 3 Musketeers. Slimming down the collections has started but then the Successors is brand new so….

Anyway, that’s it for the month. Next month is Partizan so maybe we’ll see folks there.

August 2022 Update

The summer is almost over and we’ve played in some serious heat! Only managed to get 3 games in but did manage 2 ‘away games’ so that was a plus.

Vietnamese village

First away game was with some of the local Coventry and Warwickshire crowd – Bob, Pete, JC & James in a return to Vietnam after the last awful outing with BOHICA. This time Pete put together a two pager sampling from some 80’s/90’s sets from when we all played in 20mm plus some ideas of his own.

It’s a jungle out there

Basic scenario was a US patrol of several fire teams charged with occupying a local village and conducting hearts & minds to woo the locals away from the VC known to be in the area. The VC were aware of the approach of the ‘imperialists’ but reduced in numbers so would have to be sneaky – players had a series of ‘ambush points’ they could appear at during the game, take a shot and disappear, if the US moved over an ambush point it was lost and VC movement therefore reduced. Movement was I Go You Go based on initiative and restricted to one fire team per ‘go’.

US forces

It didn’t take long for the US jungle walk to be interrupted when up popped a fire team with an RPG, the round exploded in front of the lead US team killing one GI and sending the officer scampering back ๐Ÿคฃ

Maybe we should spread out?

The US split its forces, one group stayed the course on the road and the other split left into the jungle where a booby trap was triggered resulting in a man down who now needed medivac – one fire team spent the rest of the game trying to get the man back to the start line where the helicopter landing zone was deemed to be.

Still taking fire

The VC continued to pop up and at one point flanked the US – a neat little special rule from Pete was that local villagers could pop up (but look like VC) who would fire ineffectually but would cause the US to chase shadows.

Shadowy VC

Ultimately the US withdrew with 3 KIA and 1 seriously wounded, so much for hearts and minds ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ

Roman Civil War

Next away game was in darkest Wales and a return trip to Lord Raglan (aka Gareth Lane) in a long delayed return trip, this time we were playing Roman Civil War – Septimus Severus v Pescennius Niger using the Soldiers of Rome rules which are a spin off of Soldiers of God rules I believe.

Niger’s eastern forces

As the visitor I was offered choice and I chose Niger, mainly because of the camelry and cataphracts. The western army of Severus was almost all infantry; legionaries, auxiliary and praetorians with a smattering of cavalry and the eastern army of Niger was heavy in cavalry – almost one entire wing, plus legionaries and auxiliaries. Both sides were divided into 3 command each (as per the rules); the Severan right was legions, auxilia and a lone unit of cavalry, the centre was the praetorians and the left legions and auxilia, Niger forces had the cavalry command on the right, the centre legions and auxilia and the left legions and auxilia plus cavalry. The rules are card driven (exclusive to the game) and similar to Dead Mans Hand in that you have permanent cards (in this case 3 – 1 for each command) and then 4 dealt cards each that are used alternately based on who has initiative; the cards allow you to do one specific thing, move, charge, melee, shoot, but also have a special event that you may use instead, shooting and melee is resolved using D6 and you can save hits.

Cavalry v Legion

The rules limit you as to what kind of battle plan you choose which in itself influences your permanent cards; I chose to hold my centre and attack with the wings, Gareth chose all out attack. This sounds fine but of course to fulfil the plan you need a run of cards and that is a frustration ๐Ÿ™„ It certainly took me a few moves to get into the rhythm of using the cards effectively and managed to throw away 2 units of camelry in the process ๐Ÿคฃ which made me think ‘this is all going to be over by lunch time!’

The afore mentioned camels throwing themselves away

In short; after my disaster with the camels the right wing redeemed itself (led by the cataphracts) and ultimately broke their opponents and headed for the enemy camp which they duly looted, the left duked it out inconsequentially but it was in the centre where victory was clinched because as Severus looked on as his praetorians slowly pushed my legions back an ignored auxilary archer unit emerged from broken ground and killed the emperor in a volley of arrows! My thanks to Gareth for gentlemanly pointing out I could do this, I had just assumed you could only shoot units ๐Ÿ˜.

Praetorians in action

I’ll admit I’m not a fan of card driven games but we had an exciting and fun game which lasted a lot longer than I thought it would. The reliance on the cards for what you can do did give some odd results, so units in melee didn’t actually fight because they didn’t have a melee card and this did mean melees dragged on longer than they should have and the stop start nature of the moving didn’t seem that realistic to me given the machine like nature of the Roman army. That said, I’d play again, just because something isn’t my thing doesn’t mean I wont play if invited to do so.

WWII

Back to our own games and the first of the month was a post Normandy action with Canadians advancing on German town held by Panzer Grenadiers and Volkstrum. Basic scenario had a full platoon of Canadians in Kangaroos supported by a troop of Shermans advancing on the allegedly undefended town, Germans have a weak Volkstrum platoon and a reinforced Panzer Grenadier squad plus a dug in Pak 40 and a Puma.

Kangaroo meets sheep

The Canadians advanced on a broad front (too broad actually), two sections advancinging right, the Shermans and platoon HQ taking up position on the central high ground and a lone section advancing on the far left.

Volkstrum under fire

After a few quiet turns the action got underway with the Shermans and the deployed mortar shelling targets as the HQ spotted them. The two sections on the right got into extended fire fights on the outskirts of the town with Volkstrum and Hitler Youth who they quickly eliminated although not before the Pak 40 took out one Kangaroo.

PAK 40

Having revealed itself the Pak 40 was picked out by the Shermans and silenced. The fighting continued into the town with the Panzer Grenadiers doing better but numbers told and they were eliminated along with their transport and the Puma.

Puma brewed up

Over on the left the lone section struggled to cross open ground and got itself shot up pretty badly but supporting fire from the Shermans saved them especially when it acidentally took out the Volkstrum HQ squad in a random shot on a building.

Heroes of the game

With the loss of all their heavy weapons and the panzer grenadiers the remaining Volkstrum fled the town and the Canadians took control. A good game, plenty of excitement.

Poles v Swedes

Next up was a large scale eastern renaissance, Poles & Imperialist v Swedes.

Massed Polish cavalry

Both sides deployed with a strong cavalry wing which in this case ended up facing each other, a weak centre and then a strong infantry wing battling to control a large hill.

Swedish & Danish cavalry

On the cavalry wing it was a bloodbath. First of all the Finnish cavalry caused some shock losses on the Poles but strong counter attacks saw them off and momentum saw the Poles smashing into the Swedes & Danes in what became a long rolling cavalry action over several moves. Ultimately the Poles prevailed and 5 regiments of enemy horse were either destroyed or fled.

Scots brigade ready for action

The battle for the hill was a see saw affair with 10 regiments of foot ultimately battling out what became a stalemate with nothing to show but some very bloodied regiments.

Danish horse

We called time when the victorious hussars started to swing around the rear of the swedes, it was a hard fought game.

Sikh irregulars

Final game of the month was a Sikh Wars game. As usual the Sikhs were defending – high ground on their left and centre with regulars (foot & guns) plus a brigade of cavalry, village on the right with irregulars.

Sikh noble cavalry

The British/EIC deployed an infantry brigade to march through a village on their left and attack the Sikh village supported by a horse brigade, the centre was two brigades of foot and the right two brigades of horse.

British & EIC infantry

On the British right the horse were held back while the guns pounded the noble cavalry forcing them off the hill enabling the British horse to sweep up and dispatch the remaining horse and turn inward on the guns.

Nobles

In the centre the British infantry slogged forward under accurate fire from the Sikh guns taking serious casualties before the rear regiments were able to get close enough to volley fire the defenders out of their position.

Cheerio!

On the British left the cavalry and infantry acted in concert and forced the Sikhs from the village and then turned in on the other flank of the hill. Sikh regulars wisely retired.

A view from the hill

And that was August. Not much done on the painting/modelling front just bits and pieces finished off. Holiday breaks coming up so September might be a bit thin but we’ll see.

See you next month.

July 2022 Update

Bicocca

A bit of a crap month for gaming, only two games done, one was the Bicocca re-fight and the other a pick up western gunfight. The reason? Well reasons really, car crash, relative hospitalised, covid, you name it Dave experienced it!

Dardenell County

I’ve already posted about Bicocca so our only other game was a pick up game set in our fictional western gunfight county. In this adventure one set of cowhands saw beef bearing their brand in the stockyards that had been rebranded and went seeking the culprits.

where are the varmints!

It was a pretty simple set up, 3 cowhands per side, average stats to start then random amendment by die rolling. The Van Hee boys started at the stockyards and the Burton boys were just coming out of the blacksmiths.

Burton boys

Although it should have been a simple shoot out at the stockyards Dave made it all complicated by going commando (no, not that commando!) and sneaking off round buildings in what became a bad interpretation of Open Range.

Van Hee hands

In what became ‘here we go round the mulberry bush’ the Van Hee trio were trailing around asking civilians where the other guys had gone. Eventually the Van Hee’s cornered ‘Two Gun’ Brookes at the stockyards and literally filled him with lead while the other two Burton hands fled across the street.

duly ‘filled with lead’

Out back of the Telegraph Office scores were settled with the Burton boys firing from the cover of an abandoned shack and a half built building; in the shoot out at the building Adolphous ‘the Gent’ Rogers was laid low with a serious wound but his assailant was then put down by Van Hee firing as he came out of the back door of the Telegraph Office, out back of the Office Billy Blue went down with a shotgun blast in the leg but when ‘Shotgun Bob’ walked over to finish him off with the other barrel at close range Billy recovered enough to put a bullet in Bob’s head – shouldn’t have gloated Bob!

Successors

In other news, three pike blocks and the Hypaspists were based up for the Successors project which has made a big difference; a couple more pike units to go and the commanders and this project will be done.

OT-62’s

On the 10mm front got some APC’s done for the Iran Iraq project, might do a separate blog post on this.

Iraqi infantry deployed

Also went along to the Devizes show, Attack. This is one of those shows that has been around forever but I’ve never been, mainly because it’s a bit of a hack from Coventry. However, the stars aligned and I went down for the Sunday and it was a fine day out, very much in a late 70’s style (which is no bad thing) and if I hadn’t had other reasons to be there it might have been a bit ordinary but I did some shopping, did some chatting and came away pretty pleased with the day. Well done the organisers.

dried river bed from Attack

So that’s it, let’s hope August is a bit better!

Bicocca Refought; April 27th 1522

initial layout

“What shall we do next?”

“I dunno, Italian Wars?”

“OK, I’ll find a refight”

the manor house and the park

And so a refight of Bicocca was born, narrowly missing the 500 year anniversary. This is the battle that is anecdotally used as an illustration of what a liability Swiss mercenaries were, for it is here that they demanded a battle be fought or they would go home!

the imperialists camped out

The history is as follows. In the campaign season of 1521 the French under Odet de Foix, the Marshal Lautrec, were expelled from the Duchy of Milan by the Imperialists under Prosper Colonna. In the spring of 1522 Lautrec was reinforced by 16,000 Swiss and resumed the offensive, taking Novarra and besieging Pavia; Colonna took up a strong position at Certosa which Lautrec decided against attacking, opting instead to starve Colonna out. Great strategy but then the Swiss went and spoilt it by demanding their back pay (there was none๐Ÿ˜ฎ) or battle the next day, the reasoning being that loot would be to hand after a victory. Lautrec had no choice but to agree and march on the Imperialists who had now moved to the fortified park of Bicocca where they was joined by Francesco Sforza of Milan with reinforcements.

French deployment

The French deployed with 8,000 Swiss front and centre screened by some 3,000 Italian foot arquebusiers & 300 mounted arquebusiers under Giovanni del Medici (the ‘Black Bands’), the Duke of Montmorency notionally commanded the Swiss. Behind this were the French guns being dragged forward and behind them some 6,000 crossbowmen under Pedro Navarro flanked by companies of Gendarmes & Archers under such luminaries as, the Chevalier Bayard, the Duke of Lescun, and the Duke of Ponteformy. Out on the right flank was a mercenary condottiere force under the Duke of Urbino representing Venice.

the mighty Swiss

Inside the park the Imperialists sat and waited. The park was bounded by high walls with an entrance over a bridge in the eastern wall which was covered by Sforza’s contingent from the outside of the park and the west nestled against a marsh, but the most daunting aspect of the position was the sunken road that ran in front of the park directly opposite the French line of advance. The Imperialists lined the wall overlooking the sunken road with Spanish arquebusiers and artillery and behind them some 2,000 Spanish pike and around 8,000 Landsknechts under Georg von Frundsberg; the back of the park had several hundred Spanish & Italian men at arms under Antonio de Leyva in case there were any break throughs. Out in front of the road were around 1,000 Spanish Genitors detailed to be a nuisance.

Medici’s Black Band

The original French plan called for Medici to clear away the Genitors which would allow the artillery to move close enough to deploy and batter down the ramparts, engineers under Navarro would then fill the ditches and the Swiss would attack. Out on the flanks, Urbino would turn the Spanish left (they obviously didn’t know about the marsh or had no time to scout forward) and Lescun would lead the Gendarme companies in an attack that would drive off Sforza and break into the camp via the gate. None of this went well at all ๐Ÿ˜ง; as soon as the Genitors were driven off the Swiss ignored Monmorency’s order to halt and continued on to the Imperialist position where they came under artillery fire and then sustained harquebus fire which caused heavy casualties but being Swiss they just shrugged it off. At the sunken road the impossibility of the task became apparent, once they had jumped down into the road the Swiss found that the height to the Imperialists above them was as tall as their pikes! So with all formation lost (the famous Swiss column was no use here) the Swiss floundered around at the mercy of the enemy arquebusiers and the few that did gain a foothold were soon thrown back. After about an hour of this the Swiss gave up and marched back leaving half their number behind, dead or wounded. Elsewhere, Urbino made a half hearted attempt at the marsh and then gave up but Lescun did actually managed to get over the bridge and into the camp but de Leyva showed him the exit.

Lescun and the Gendarmes

How to refight a battle that shouldn’t actually have been fought? Firstly did we have the numbers? This is a big battle and even at the 1:50 ratio we use in our rules it was still going to be a stretch, so rather than beat ourselves up about it we went for representation by block. We had 4 Swiss pike columns so that was our base line; the Spanish colunellas we easily matched and our 4 Landsknecht blocks matched the Swiss, the Gendarmes/Archers were an exact match to the numbers along with Medici’s Black Band and the Italian and Spanish cavalry, the various supporting cast crossbowmen and pikemen (French and Italian) were slightly under represented but they did nothing in the real battle and did nothing in the game! The big task was the park of Bicocca; the size we just built around the deployment of the Imperialist force which in itself was based on the contemporary maps that are available but a sunken road on a 2D table is a challenge; after a bit of thought we opted for sections of Last Valley road with a wall running along one side (the Imperialist) and a hedge the other thus guaranteeing cover and advantage of ground for the Imperialist arquebusiers and ‘double disorder’ for the advancing Swiss. Our next problem was the Swiss; no self respecting wargamer is going to do what they did (well we would because its history so why wouldn’t we?) so we amended the command rules slightly so that the Swiss would be forced to advance unless the general used command points to actively stop them – in the rules each commander has command points reflecting his historical performance (or at least our interpretation of such) and uses these to move his troops but Gendarmes need points to NOT move (reflecting their lack of discipline) so we just widened this category to include the Swiss – Monmorency was a 2 so even if he did spend his points at least 2 Swiss would be on the move and then co-ordination would really be lost!

Genitors face off to the arquebusiers

So how went the refight? The early moves were much like the real thing, just a bit less well co-ordinated. In the centre the Swiss trundled forward as Medici took on the Genitors which took a while longer than history, this wasn’t due to the Genitors being particularly effective (they weren’t) but due to the fire coming from the park which at one point halted the foot arquebusiers who the Swiss just marched right through ๐Ÿ˜‚. Eventually the Genitors were cleared out and Medici headed his force towards the left side of the park (seen from the French side) to try and keep the defenders occupied while the Swiss attacked on the right.

Impressive?

On the French right, Urbino decided to use his points to get his crossbowmen forward to maybe shoot the Swiss attack in by clearing the Imperial skirmishers out from where they had jumped into the sunken road which they were using as a trench (sneaky!) – in the long run this kind of worked in that the skirmishers in front of the manor house were eliminated but it didn’t do much to help the Swiss. On the French left, Lescun duly advanced but Sforza decided to come and meet him and use his crossbowmen to wear down the Gendarmes – it took a while for Sforza to convince his mercenaries to get moving and their firepower wasn’t that effective but they did managed to kill Ponteformy which stopped his company (rules note, no Captain, no move).

Swiss skirmishers in the road

But it was the centre that mattered. The Swiss skirmishers soaked up most of the Imperialist fire and frankly it wasn’t that good (sometimes the dice gods just don’t smile on you) but one Swiss column lost its captain and so was stood waiting for Montmorency to come over and appoint a new captain (rules note, replacement captains have to be appointed by a command figure joining the unit). Eventually however the Imperial skirmishers were cleared out of the road and the Swiss started to climb in.

Cry Havoc!

Despite their disorder two of the Swiss ‘charged’ their opponents at the wall. One column overran the guns it was facing and ploughed on into the park, the other was stopped briefly by one of the Spanish harquebus colunellas but then they routed with heavy losses. The problem for the Imperial player in this was when and how to commit his pike although in these two examples it didn’t matter too much, the Swiss who overran the guns then ran straight into Frundsberg’s veteran Landsknechts who held and then inexorably pushed the Swiss back into the road and the other ran into von Sickingen’s Landsknechts who scattered with the loss of their captain after a couple of rounds of melee.

Landsknechts hold firm

The other two Swiss were a little tardy, one was the one that had to wait for Montmorency but once it had it’s new captain it too was over the wall and into Frundsbergs block – normally this would have finished the Landsknechts but the lack of ranks the Swiss could count plus their disorder and the fact that they hit Frundsberg as he was pushing back the other column meant that his momentum trumped their ‘charge’ and they were stopped. The 4th block had taken the more serious losses from fire and so as it assaulted the walls it had already lost supporting ranks and was held at the wall for two embarrassing turns of melee by a harquebus colunella; once they had seen off the the arquebusiers they were then charged by one of the Spanish pike colunellas and held.

Frundsberg’s boys

The pike blocks were now locked in combat; both sides tried to use their forlorn hopes to turn the tide but they largely cancelled each other out (the rules allow bases of halberdiers/sword & buckler men to issue out from the blocks). The deciding moment was when the 2nd Spanish colunella managed to align itself on the flank of the Swiss that had seen off von Sickingen, there was no need to fight that out, those Swiss were done and knew it and so fell back. It was over for the Swiss, so near but so far.

Fight!

We could have played it on for several more turns but the result was always going to be the same, the Swiss, disordered and lacking effective supporting ranks, had just not been able to punch an immediate hole and follow on.

On the flanks it was all a bit of a non event; Urbino performed much as history and was defeated by the terrain, Lescun actually did worse than history, being held by Sforza long enough for him to be unable to make any difference.

Spanish & Landsknechts

The performance of the Swiss in actually getting into the park was pleasing given the historical impossibility of it happening and we had some tense moments as we rolled for the pike melee’s. All in all a good scrap and a lesson in what not to do either historically or in recreation ๐Ÿ˜Š