March 2023 Report

Not such a busy month what with holidays and a show to distract us but we did our best πŸ˜€

First up was an Italian Wars game, Venetian v Florence, so lots of crossbows and condottierre 😁

The focal point of the game was the monastery on the hill which the Florentines made a key part of their attack sending 4 units of militia crossbow to scale the walls and occupy it, the Venetians decided to ignore it and advance across the plain towards the waiting Florentine pike.

I’ll admit it was a painfully slow game; both commanders were overly cautious, trying to keep their troops aligned rather than striking out with a select few, a tactic that suited the Florentines and negated the Venetian strength in better cavalry.

Lots of crossbow shooting was the predominate feature of the game which blunted the Venetian piecemeal cavalry attack and made the Florentines almost impossible to dig out of the monastery. When time was called we ruled a narrow Florentine victory, not because they had done anything outstanding but because the Venetians hadn’t done anything at all 🀣

Next up was a clash from our Timurid collection, Muscovite v Golden Horde, lots of cavalry zooming about.

The Muscovites deployed all of their Boyar cavalry (6 units) on the right behind a hill with the intention of sweeping up and over it to turn the Golden Horde left. Their centre was weekly held by Polish spearmen and Prussian allies out on the left covered by a wood.

The Golden Horde deployed their Cuman allies to cover the hill (not realising an avalanche of steel was coming their way!) and deployed their own Mongol troops in the centre (light horse covering the heavy horse), leaving the right devoid of troops, reasoning that the woods would slow down whatever the Muscovites deployed there.

The main part of the battle was the fight for the hill where the Cumans did a fine job of holding up the Boyars with some deadly arrow storms which halted the lead units. This in turn negated the Boyar numerical superiority as they traffic jammed behind the lead units.

Eventually the Boyars were able to drive the Cumans from the field and swing inwards to attack the vulnerable Horde centre – or so they thought……

In the centre the sheer volume of arrows did serious damage to the spearmen and a couple of well timed charges from the heavier Horde cavalry sent them packing after a brief fight. In the time the Cumans had tied up the Boyars the Horde had swept away the Muscovite centre and left.

Undeterred the Boyars swept down the hill seeking glory and exposed flanks but the Horde now committed it’s as yet unbloodied Guard for the decisive encounter.

The Guard were the decisive factor, one charge, one round of melee and their opponents were galloping away pursued by the triumphant Mongols who then ran over another unit and Boyar morale collapsed. The battle was over and the Golden Horde was triumphant.

Next on the agenda was an away day sci fi game with friends in the Coventry & Warwickshire area.

I can’t say I really had any clue what was going on but fun was had.

Back at the ‘eagles nest’ we indulged ourselves with a big SYW game featuring our Prussian and Austrian collection.

In our scenario an advance guard of Prussian Frei Corps and other assorted light troops had seized a crossroads and nearby hill in anticipation of the advance of the main army. The Austrians had been alerted by their scouts and their main army was closing fast, hoping to crush the advance guard early and gain the initiative.

The game became a race against time as both sides tried to push troops piecemeal into the combat zone.

The big moment was the crash of two Austrian cavalry brigades into the lately arriving Prussian ones. The fight went back and forth and by the end of several turns the Austrians were triumphant.

Unfortunately for the Austrians however the Prussian infantry had formed a decent enough line to dissuade any further attacks and as the Austrian infantry had been fairly dilatory elsewhere the day was the Prussians and the road junction was held.

Our final game was a multiplayer FIW game with British regulars and Rogers Rangers trying to get to an abandoned fort before opposing French regulars and allied Hurons.

Entry points were randomly chosen – which rather favoured the British, and off we went for an enjoyable couple of hours of sneaky Hurons, volley firing British and dying Frenchmen.

Clear winners were the Hurons, who occupied the fort with the loss of only one brave although, as the British player pointed out, “what the hell are they going to do with it now they are in it?” πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

March of course is also Hameerhead month and so we ambled along to Newark and met friends we hadn’t seen for a while, caught up with the Twitterati and even spent a bit of money. Some nice games on offer which we just didn’t get round to playing in and an eclectic collection of items available at the table top sale. A good day out and worth the trip.

In other news some more of the 10mm Iran Iraq project got finished, not far off doing an actual game soon I think πŸ˜‰

Also some pack animals, Danish troops for the GNW collection and Austrian artillery. Slow and steady wins the race πŸ™„

We’ve also spent some time talking about slimming down the collections to a manageable size. The Prussians that featured in this blog are definitely going so if anyone is interested in a sizeable Prussian army (mainly Front Rank) please get in touch. The rest of the ACW collection is going to go as well plus some of the skirmish themes that just never went anywhere. Maybe I’ll do a separate blog post prior to banging stuff on eBay.

Anyway, that’s it for this month, see you next month πŸ˜ƒ

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