Game 2 – Colonial Spanish, Dean Green & Paul Freeman
Well with 0 points the next draw should be OK! Someone else who had had a whacking. So, when the draw came up it turned out to be Paul and Dean, club mates of ours. Minor gripe, that this was the third ‘Burton club’ draw in the first two rounds. But as least we were assured of a pleasant afternoon game. Smile for the camera boys
Having seen their army several times before in practice I knew what to expect. It was big, 19 BGs. 4 Mounted BGs Light lancer types (not great), the only saving grace was that they were average. 4 BGs of colonised Aztecs (warrior I/F, sword) again average. 6 or so Pike and Shot (Arq) units – mainly Avg, but some poor. And a couple of artillery (light and medium) and 1 LH BG. No superior, so that was something. It seemed like an OK draw. Hopefully our superior status could count for a lot in this game.
The PBI was +3 (Spanish) vs +2 (Ikko), we lost … OK … I’m not sure what the Spanish plan was, as they picked Tropical as their terrain choice. That meant that big forests were coming out. I guess they wanted to narrow the field and ‘go deep’ . I would have imagined that an open field might have been better so their mounted could run amok, but I was grateful as our left flank was covered by 2 forests and a marsh. The right flank had another forest and some Rgo in front. So, pretty good. The centre was clear , but that was OK, as long as the flanks were covered. The Spanish side of the table was completely open. I was a little worried that they might sit back and make us come out of our natural flank cover. There was a little threat of a ‘non’ game, but that is not in the Burton idiom. I think they realised that their lancers would be ++POA in the charge too.
The Ikko Ikki deployed was similar to the last game but more linear. There wasn’t much risk of envelopment on this table. The line was just the mix up it has been in the last game, with the rational that our opponents were much more flexible about manoeuvre than we ever would be.
The Spanish was quite ‘standard’. ‘Spanish’ foot in the centre, set up for divisional movement (they had an IC). Our left flanks was light on mounted, 3 BG of Aztecs the Light horse and some light artillery. Our right flank was under a bit of pressure. 4 BGs of lancers, some more Aztecs , all backed up by some pike and shot.
Losing the Initiative meant we moved first. The whole army shuffled forward, in a sort of ‘look busy’ manner. We didn’t want to advance past our covering terrain in the flanks, but we wanted to look as if we were making a game of it. Luckily with an army of Warriors that is quite easy with their limited movement options (no divisional moves)
The Spanish move was aggressive. The while infantry centre moved forward by division. The mounted wing lined up and drifted across to our centre. It looked like we’d have to face a cavalry charge with backed up with a block of European style infantry. Being 19 BGs strong I guessed they felt that to make an omelette they had to break some eggs. Aztecs advanced on both wings It was going to be bloody Aztecs – Lancers – Aztecs in the front line all backed up with numerous pike and shot BGs. Looked like a reasonable plan on their part.
The Spanish Artillery fires was desultory , which was a relief after losing so many bases to firearms in the first game.
It wasn’t the main event over here. A couple of Aztec units were facing off some armoured Ikko and Teppo.
We had 2 Ikko units facing an Aztec BG. Next was an armoured Ikko facing some lancers.
The main event. The remaining Spanish lancers and the Aztecs. One our side we had a mix of Ikko and Teppo.
I think on this flank the Spanish made a mistake. They were eager to close with the Ikko. That meant that their attack was disjointed. The Lancers were in advance the Aztecs were bring up the rear. As the lines closed over the next few turns that meant that the Ikko could bow the line, the Cav were then required to react and the BGs split. So rather than a block of hard charging Lancers it was almost each lancer unit would end up facing 1 Ikko unit. Being outnumbered 2:1 in bases by BG with warrior ++POA overlaps things started to look more promising for the Ikko. With a 4” move it was quite easy to stop the Cav advancing to a point where they could form a consolidated charge. More Artillery fire from the Spanish did nothing. We sneaked forward and had a couple of shots with the Teppo on a Lancer BG – and Paul obliged with a 1 on the Death roll J An Avg 4 BG with 1 base loss is a bummer. With more shooting looming on our part the Spanish charged. It was as good as we could get it the three lancer units were each fighting a single Ikko unit. Just the impact to survive! We lost each fight and disrupted each unit – MMmm. However, this might not be so bad. It meant that they couldn’t break off in the JAP and we had overlaps a plenty. In the subsequent melee fortunes swung our way. In the fight we were now level. They were average (all three with a general), we were superior with a couple of generals for good measure (with 2 warrior ++POAs on each fight). By my math the Lancers should get 2(.1) hits per turn (@4). The Ikko (based on being disrupted) should get 2 @ 4 (0 POA) & 2 @ 3(++ POA), so 2(.76) So even disrupted still having the edge.
As the Lancer fight evolved it started looking grim for the Spanish, they lost some critical bases (meaning that each BG was 1 away from auto breaking). This combined with the Ikko rallying put the writing on the wall. In a strange quirk rallying the foot meant that the lancers would then break off against steady foot. This was critically bad for the Spanish. A Spanish general was killed and the Avg lancers all ‘wobbled’. Breaking off 5” with 1 unit disrupted and the other Fragged brought them very close to the second line foot. In the Ikko turn the warriors rushed forward 4”, couldn’t catch them but the lancers were definitely the meat between the ‘foot sandwich’. A Teppo volley blasted the last base of one lancer unit, breaking them. Elsewhere the Spanish IC had been committed in a desperate warrior dust up on the right flank. The foot behind the lancers were either burst through or dropped from seeing the rout. The Ikko were bearing down on them with suitable religious fanatical fervour.
On the left flank.
The armoured Ikko had survived the attention of the light guns(artillery can be like that can’t it!) and had now charged. Aztec were behind the guns an stepped up to take the brunt of the Ikko charge. The Aztec were + POA in the Impact , but then -POA in the Melee (well placed armoured unit) . The Ikko survived the impact and being superior with a +POA the Aztecs were now going to have a tough time.
In the centre.
One units of Aztec was holding on against 2 Ikko Bgs. We couldn’t quite bring overwhelming numbers to bear, so it wasn’t ideal but nevertheless, 16 Superior bases Vs 8 Avg it wasn’t good for the Aztecs. One disrupted Armoured Ikko BG was holding in with the last remaining Lancer BG. This fight didn’t seem to be going anywhere
On the right flank. With the Lancers evaporating and the foot all shaking behind it wasn’t looking too good for our opponents. All the Spanish generals were committed. One quirk was that the Spanish IC was leading some Aztec who had just become disrupted in the JAP. This meant that the I/F Aztec could break off from the H/W Ikko (who are non shock). The IC could then leave the fight… interesting, gave them some bolstering options.
However, it was all for naught. The Spanish collapsed. On the left the armoured Ikko broke the Aztecs behind the guns, then capturing the guns. In the centre the Aztecs were overwhelmed and the last Lancer BG was broken. On the right the Spanish looked to be in general retreat. Where the Pike and shot did fight the Ikko they were fighting a round then breaking off (to shoot), but this just had the effect off squashing the lines together. When the units did break it bought all the units close to test , or worse being burst through.
19 attrition points soon accumulated. For next to zero Ikko Ikki loss. None of our BG’s morale had got worse that disrupted. But the end of the game everyone was in good order. 25-0 for the Ikko Ikki.
As big as defeat for the Spanish as it had been for the Ikko in the first game. Surprising really as a 25-0 victory is quite hard under these rules. Poor old Dean and Paul had been of the receiving end of 2 of them in one day.
Couldn’t have really gone better for the Ikko. I think what it does illustrate it is the fragility of Average troops. The Renaissance lists do have a very proscribed nature. Far more so than the ancients game. I remember that during the first playtest that sponsors (Osprey) had wanted a quicker, more bloody game than Ancients (allegedly for the American market). They got it! You really have to get used to the mindset that when the dice go against you then really you’ve not got much hope to claw things back. I think that lack of control is what put a lot of the control freaks from the DBM era. It’s hard to manifest no win situations in FoG that were de-rigour against the better DBM players. However, I did see the first use of geometrically crafted terrain designed to exploit deployment in FoG A:M at the weekend … took me back to the DBM days and those ‘star shaped’ woods with interlocking points. I’m glad those days are behind me 🙂