BADcon game 4 – Ghaznavid

Game 4 – Ghaznavid – John and Malcolm

So, game 4 , Sunday afternoon. With 2 loses now we were right down the pack. When the draw was put up , and we had drawn Ghaznavid, I had mixed emotions. An army of Ghilmen and Turkomen wouldn’t be much fun. But my thinking was if that’s the army they wanted why pick Ghaznavid when there are probably better armies out there for that style of play.  The main difference I could see was the amount of elephants available. I wasn’t disappointed. There were 8 beasts in total

The list (~)was

  • 3 BG of elephants
  • 3 BG of Ghilmen (arm/sup/bow/sw)
  • 4 BG of Turcomen (sup/bow/sw)
  • 1 BG of Ghazis (prot/sup/if/sw)
  • 1 BG of Dailami (arm/sup/if/sw)
  • 1 BG of LF with a firearm

The terrain was mixed. On our left flank was a couple of contiguous field giving a 8” corridor of RGo against the short table edge. In the centre was a large open field. My suspicions were raised when they had won the PBI but picked agricultural and have a big open field as their compulsory. Not the move of a cavalry commander. ON the right were more fields, but nothing that bore and impact on the game

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Our plan was to deploy neutrally. Spear up front , Knights on reserve. Our trump card of deploying our 16 bases of Crossbowmen opposite the open field as our last move was somewhat trumped by the placement of a further 2 BG of Elephants and Dailami opposing them (the field would not pose a problem for the elephants and the impact foot would surely sweep us away).

The Ghaznavids had deployed (from left to right) the ghazis to go through the enclosed field. A string of Ghilmen covering the gap in-between. Elephants deployed somewhat in reserve, to exploit any gaps. Then 2 more elephants and Dailami and then a cloud of Turkomen to cover the open right flank.

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The game started slowely. At least having the first move allowed us to deploy the Crossbowmen who were in a vulnerable spot. One BG turned and marched left, the other right. The gap between replaced by 2 BG of spear, who were deployed to the rear. This somewhat limited our strategic advance , as the spear couldn’t really enter the field, but would act as a barrier on the far side. To be honest the Dailami might fancy their chances anyway.

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In response the Ghaznavids made a general advance. The Ghazis entered the enclosed field. We had placed the 2 BG of LF(4) bow there and really that was their game. They advanced we shot and evaded. But were enough of a nuisance for the ghazis not to ignore us , and therefore they played little part in the game.

The Ghilmen advanced and started shooting the spears. But the spears are pretty robust to shooting and not much happened. The Dailami & Elephants advanced into the open field, and on far right the Turkomen rushed forward , we had 2 BG of Knights and now 1 BG of Crossbowmen to hold them all off (not great). However, fortune favoured them , and 8 bases of Crossbow can shoot with as many dice as 12 bases of Lh when they dice to close to short range to try and win the shooting war. All of the Ghaznavid generals were marshalling elephants elsewhere and a couple of bad dice throws and the LH became disrupted, and then fragmented, as they pulled bad to get away some more targeted long range shooting broke one units and the Knights provided sterling support (not failing any impetuous charge tests). With that the Turks fell back and it was the Crusaders who would have the opportunity to envelop.

But the main event was in the centre. We had 2 blocks (of 2 BGs) of spear one in advance on the left. The other was limited by the field in front of it. It had fallen into a bit of a sticky situation. It was being shot at by the Ghilmen (superior), and now the fire syphoniers (cheeky). Our advance was limited as there were other troops , including the elephants, threatening the flanks. So we were being peppered with a lot of arrows and now taking a minus on the test (being shot at by firearms), we had to do something.

 

To the left of the , while the Ghazis pushed on to their road to nowhere, gaps where appearing and the Elephants were trying to wheedle their way through.  We has some KN in reserve (no ideal), but we tried to intercept with some spearmen. Then we had a breakthrough. One BG of Elephants did start of get through the gap, so we did have to commit some Knight. But the elephants were isolated, with a general. Our Knights did have a general and with the elephants angle of approach meant that the initial impact would be small , only 1 base,(thus avoiding too much of 3 dice per elephant at impact). We held in the impact. Then we swung around and started to overlap. The elephant then could only ever get 4 dice (at a +POA), and the Knight (even disordered had 4 dice , then finally 6 as both flanks were overlapped), while at a minus POA re-rolling 1&2s meant that the fight was pretty even.  At the same time the left most spear BG charges some Ghilmen, just to get them away, but in the charge threw a 6” , not catching the cavalry but allowing a little wheel an contact the other BG of elephants at the furthest distance. Again only a small contact reduced the Elephant impact effect and even though we disrupted in the impact, we held and then the numbers would tell. We had 8 bases and with the overlaps we could muster 6 dice (and then 8 when bolstered). While both sides were average, and level on POA , we were throwing more dice.

game4_5

The Elephants proved to be the proverbial glass hammer, and within a couple of turns both had lost a base, and broke. This crashed them through a supporting BG  of enemy MF who were acting as rear support and allowed the Crusader spearmen to convert the pursuit of elephants into charge into the disrupted auxiliary foot (who held briefly then broke).  So on the far left we had troop swinging around.  With both flanks collapsing the Ghazanvids pressed the centre.  The cavalry got close and allowed the spear to charge, they evaded and fled around an elephant to its flanks, but the spear crashed into an elephant. This combat was swift and the elephant broke. The Crusaders pursuing toward the camp. By virtue of alignment and line ups as part of this combat the spears were behind the enemy lines and had cavalry to front rear and flank, so my hopes for them wasn’t high. Over the open field on the centre with the break of some of the supporting units crossbowmen advance, their target the last remaining BG of Elephants. The Elephants , given their compatriots less than stellar performance , thought better of it and tried to retire. This was leaving the Dailami somewhat isolated in the field ( we still tried to give then a wide berth as they are as tough as nails in the rough going)

game4_6

The Ghaznavid army was rocking, it has lost about 8-10 points of its 14-15. Most of the elephants were gone, LH had retired to the four corners of the board trying to bolster. As a final last ditch attempt some Ghilmen stood to be charged by some spearmen , to allow the last elephants to charge them from the rear.  Even though we lost the fight the doughty spearmen did not break (hurrah)

game4_7

At that point the Ghaznavid losses elsewhere , accumulated to a point where they broke. Leaving the Crusaders with a final 24-1 win. This was an interesting game. Our opponents were definitely committed to win, I suppose picking 8 elephants makes that decision for you. A great battle to end the weekend off with.

The final win shot us up the board and we ended up with a respectable 8th place.

Not bad for an army that had never won previously. As a final post mortem, I think in the past my army composition had been  a bit basic. You want big BG of foot, you want the Military Order knights (why else Crusader?) , but this always lead to small BG army count. Actually picking the Armenian ally was a breakthrough. In the past I had disregarded it as ‘nothing good’, and only ever really contemplated Bedouin allies to up the BG count, and give a bit of skirmishing potential. But the boost that the Armenians gave was access to the 4 bases BG of LF bow and MF JLS. Having 4 of these boosted the army size of 12-13  to a respectable 15. The Medium foot (with the change in v2 rules) meant they could support 2 BG of 8 Crusader foot (with resorting to silly columns). The general with his entourage of Armenian Knights was a hammer , so all of the allied troops had a role to play. Good choice, and I might use the Crusaders more often now! 

We had 4 great games, against 4 great opponents, who have reinvigorate me to do more FoG ancients! Thanks to all whom we played :-)

BADcon game 3 – Later Crusader

Game 3 – Later Crusader vs Later Crusader, Graeme and Rob

Mid table now sees us draw another Crusader army. Their army was similar to ours (no surprise), differing only by having no Military order knights and a Syrian Ally rather than an Armenian one. The Syrians bought some light horse and Cavalry lancers and some light foot.

The enemy Crusader army was

  • 3 BG of Knights
  • 4 BG of Spear
  • 1 BG of Crossbowmen
  • 1 Syrian lancer
  • 2-3 BG of horse archers
  • 1-2 BG of light foot bow

The terrain was minimal and played little part in the game. We had a single wood on our right flank (upon which we anchored), there was a piece of uneven ground on our far left that made a little contribution. We had won the PBI roll off and got to deploy last. Which was of little importance as troops lined up and looked to be matched off… an advantage we did have was to deploy all of our crossbowmen on the open left flank, this was opposed by the Syrian ally, so was good for us, we should win that shooting war. Our right flank was spears up against the wood (with our light foot deployed within)

game3_1

Both armies trundle forward. The Syrians did advance which was somewhat surprising, I was anticipating a mass redeployment when faced by so many shooters. I guess they didn’t want a hanging flank, and there weren’t many gaps for them to fill anyway.

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In this first phase the shooting went in our favour. The Crossbowmen advanced ( Skirmishers can only prevent march moves with 4” in these new rules) shifting to allow Knights to pass through the ranks. The Syrian cavalry was in a quandary it could face off our Knights, who would be slightly better, or retreat for a better opportunity. The problem with allied troops is that you only get one general, and with some light horse getting peppered with crossbow bolts his influence was being stretched. The Syrian cavalry sought the table edge to avoid being overlapped on both sides, and thus faced the Crusading Knights rather than trying to a juicier charge on the crossbowmen.

 

This charge duly occurred and is it when bad for the Arab cavalry. The ‘knightly’ lance giving the Crusaders a POA. The Syrian soon lost a base and disrupted. The horse archers were wavering , with the Syrian general committed to the heavy cavalry fight he could no longer influence the other units in line of command. The Syrian lancers soon broke and that freed up that whole flank. The crossbowmen could start to wheel inwards and we had rampant Knights sweeping down round the left flank. All good so far…

game3_3

On the right there was a big of a standoff. We had 2 units of spear faced by 1 unit of spear and the crossbowmen , with both sides having some Knights in reserve. The opposing crusader were bringing more foot up to support the fight so it would be in our advantage to press on. We did have a better defence as we had 2 Bgs of LF in the wood which could pop out unopposed and shoot the mounted in reserve. The thought of the crossbowmen facing armoured spear was too much though and we got in a charge. The crossbowmen crumbled and dropped to fragmented. At the same time the 2 Bgs of knights classed, and we go the better of them. They lost a base and disrupted. That phase couldn’t have gone any better … and then it all went wrong.

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The fragmented crossbowmen who were then down to 3-4 dice needing 5’s beat our armoured spear (6 dice needing 4’s), not once but three times on the trot. Each time we lost a base as a result on the penultimate bound we did win against the fragmented troops (who with no general nearby couldn’t rally for the previous 2 rounds) but they threw 11 on the dice just enough to save them. Ignominiously the next turn they beat us again and we lost the 4th base (to auto break our 8 man spear unit).

game3_6

While this was going on the Knights next to them had a change in fortune too. After being 8 dice vs 4 dice up, they lost that fight (both sides needing 4’s re-rolling 1&2s ) .. to cap it off our general was killed, and our knights dropped to disrupted. To add insult to injury the enemy crusaders rallied. But the jig was up… Our knights broke, next to the routing spears. The pursing knights bounded into camp. We were haemorrhaging points on this flank now.

One our winning left flank , the Syrian thought better of it and started beating a retreat across the back of the table. Our crossbowmen were in pursuit, but would have no chance to catch. The flank was open a revealing some enemy knights. Who rather than being shot, advanced to be intercepted by a BG of our spear. The knights options were limited and ended up charging the steady armoured spear, not normally recommended. However, fortune was on their side and they beat the spear who duly dropped to disrupted. 2 more turns later and the spear were broken. In the centre some more spearmen fought (against other spearmen), but it was for naught. We did some success and broke some spear and knights, but our attrition points were too high and our army broke.

Certainly in this game the luck we had in the first game was cancelled out! We accrued 7 points in that game, which wasn’t too bad considering such a terrible set of events.

BADcon game 2 – Hungarian

Game 2 Bob and Peter – Hungarian.

After our perfect start things would get more difficult. The draw proved this. This is one of those armies that we couldn’t catch, and really they would have to throw the game away for us to get anything out of it.

The Hungarian army composed of

hung_list

 

The Hungarians has +4 PBI and won the roll off (no surprise), but gave the initiative away. This allowed us to pick Hilly and clutter the table for difficult going. With no open spaces they too were forced to add a couple bits of lesser going. On our left flank it was cluttered with a forest followed by a marsh, adjoining to the base table edge was a bit of uneven ground. There was about a 1’ of space to the left of that (which we weren’t going to touch). With this barrier running parallel to the side edge we had narrowed the table to about 4.5’ , which we could cover. The deployment followed the plan. Fronted by the spears and with the KN in reserve. We had a couple of KN deployed on the far right to fill the table to the edge. Our plan was simple, we’d have to wait this out a and see what developed. There was no point in trying to try the table push. It never works, and you end with a lot of hard work with a few BGs fleeing off the back edge.

The Hungarians had a wing of light horse and light foot in the open space to the left, with the foot going through the difficult. In response we’d got 1 BG of crossbowmen and some Knights in reserve. The spears were close to the wood , but I wasn’t too bothered about the shooting. Hitting on 5’s on a unit of 8, with general and rear support. We should be able to take this all day.

In the centre was the Hungarian heavy horse archers and some more light shooters. Not so much to bother though. If we could prevent the ‘ganging up’ on the ends we should be ok. On the right they had deployed 1 BG of KN and 1 BG of lancers and some light horse. Our flank looked a bit hanging. But we had 2 BGs of Knights to fill that gap. If we could lure them into coming around, there was at least something we could fight.

game2_1

The game began with the Hungarians trying for a double envelopment. As we weren’t going far that suited us. Getting the terrain was far more important that getting 1st go to us.

Our left would be bit fraught. We had 8 based of crossbowmen to fend of 12 bases of light horse. The uneven ground meant that at least if they fancied a charge we wouldn’t be in the open. It was tight, but not terrible.

In the centre it would be a none event, cavalry closed and there was shooting across the front. While there wasn’t a lot we could do about it, it should’t hurt us as they were diluting their firepower across a lot of targets.

On the right the Hungarians lancers fancied their chances and marched around that way. Our knights in response meandered that way (looking busy), we didn’t want it to look obvious as we did have a advantage there.

For the large part of the game all the shooting was desultory . From the left the crossbowmen held on valiantly. The spears weren’t bothered. On the right flanks things were more interesting. The Hungarian lancers had got too close. The Crusader knights had come across and were now facing them off. Realising that their cavalry lancers would be disadvantaged they tried to get away. Buy a few poor dice throws and some crossbowmen acting a bait kept them close. The first combats was a knightly charge. Both side being superior lancer knights (with a general in tow). It would be even factors. In the first impact we knocked a based from them, so it was all looking up. However, that battle group then lead a charmed existence from that point on. Our other knights caught the Hungarian cavalry lancers and swept them aside (hurrah some points). With the other combat going in our favour things started looking up. It might mean we’d had 2 BG of knights and some crossbowmen running free on the one flank. However, fate had other ideas. The next turn the 3 bases of Hungarian knights killed the crusader sub general. They also disrupted and knocked a base off our battle group. So in one fell swoop we had gone from 8 dice re-rolling 1 & 2 s to 4 dice re-rolling 1s (vs 6 dice , re-rolling 1 & 2s) They then beat us again the next turn and then again in the following turn. Our units broke when it lost its penultimate base. This same unit turned 180 and then headed towards the other BG of knights and crossbow. As we had advanced , while they pursued the gap was large but as they had now moved light horse in front of us (which were uncatchable) we too did a 180 and turned toward the Hungarians. This 3 base units then beat our other BG of knights (who were untouched, 4 bases) ,and then the crossbowmen (8 bases) for no loss. So we has lost 6 attrition points. Now we were the ones with the hanging flank. Elsewhere things were looking bad, we had lost the camp to skulking light horse (no surprise). We had run out of things to fight.

game2_2

The crossbowmen on the left were finally feeling the worse of the exchange with the more numerous light horse. They were resorting to charging the light horse to at least alleviate alternate bounds of shooting. But like hyenas the Hungarian light horse would flee, but come back and pepper us again. If we had 2 BGs of crossbowmen things would have been fine. It was just a little bit too much for one unit to take.

In the centre I made a rash move to try and catch 1 BG of light foot archers , by charging it with 2 of our light foot. We had more bases , but we lost the impact and one unit disrupted and lost a base. They soon broke, we were then outnumbered and time for the other archers was soon up.

We were teetering on the army break and were looking for some avenue to get some more points. There were none. In the centre, where out spear had advanced, the opposing knights and cavalry (who had been spectators all game), and tuned 90 and headed to the safety of the corner.

Finally the crossbowmen broke and it was the end for the Crusaders. While we has been unlucky on our right flanks, at best we would have had another BG. To counter this their shooting had been poor and we might have broken an hour earlier with better shooting dice.

Against the grit and air armies we don’t have much of a chance, and this had proven that point. The Hungarians who were at home going forward as well as back could pick and choose were they wanted the battle to be. We could only respond and get what we could. In the end it was a 1-24 against. A grim game, but given that ~20% of the fielded armies would be of this type, one that we might find ourselves facing again.

BADcon Game 1 – Fatamid Egyptian

The 19th Burton and District competition started bright and breezy for us.

The Crusader army we picked was based on the following plan. With 32 bases of armoured defensive spear this was to act as a buttress while the Knights would deploy in reserve and either to the flank or centre (The military order being drilled could act as either fire brigade or exploitation force as required. The 2 blocks of Crossbowmen would deploy last where needed. So often these guys are in the wrong place. Not being the best troops in the world we thought that they needed some advantage. Also deploying 16 bases of shooters might shore up a hanging and certainly drive of any light mounted troops ahead of them. Here is the list –

list

Our opponents in the first game was the illustrious Hammy and Martin with their Fatamid Egyptians. The list was something along the lines of

  • 3 BGs of 9 bases of protected defensive spear
  • 2 BGs of Mamluks (Sup/Arm/Bow/Sw)
  • 6 BGs of Arab/Syrian lancers ( various grades from Arm/Sup to Avg/Unprot)
  • 2 BGs of LH with Bow/Sw
  • And a couple of LF BGs with bow

So about 15 BGs

With a PBI of 0, we lost the roll off, but our opponents passed the initiative. This happening in 3 out of 4 games. I’m not sure why people think that was such as good idea. Against a sluggish army like the Crusaders they largely like to be pinned back. Really this avoids the gaps in the line opening up too early. If you can deploy sensibly (with a reserve) then going second is no big issue (especially when you get the terrain advantage). In all of our games I didn’t feel like our opponents opening move was that much of an advantage. I would happily take this option !  As it happened it allowed our Crossbowmen to shine, where perhaps they might be considered mediocre.

game1_1

In this game terrain was largely irrelevant. A couple of bits of rough going in the flanks , back on the edges. Certainly a 4’  wide section in the centre. Our deployment was to plan.  The 32 bases of spear in centre (each group of 2 8s would be supported by 1 4 of Armenian MF (great filler)) We left a 16cm gap in the centre which could be closed by the spear or occupied by Knights or Crossbowmen. The Military order were centre rear. The Armenian Knights and Crusading Knights were deployed on the right (which with hindsight was a slight mistake). The Crossbowmen were split, one in a field to the left to shore up that flank and one to rear centre.

The Fatamids deployed in largely similar fashion.  Their spear rear centre. Mamluks deployed in front centre. Our right flank had 2 Syrian (Superior) Lancers and  2 BG of LH. The Left flank had 2 more Syrian Lancers and 2 Arab Lancers (lesser quality ), and a bit of LF Bow.

From setup it looked reasonable for us.  Our spear was better (armour), although less numerous. The Cavalry on both flanks we held a slight advantage, in quality , but we were less numerous in bases and BGs.

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Their opening move  was to send the LF and LH forward to hold us back. The Mamluks raced forward to start their shooting.  We ambled forward, not committing any reserves. On the right flank the LH started peppering the KN and tempting them to charge. With 2 BG of KN vs. 2 BG of LH it wasn’t too bad , there would have to be exceptional set of circumstances to break those (more of that later!) . The Syrians on our right didn’t fancy the 2 BGs of Crusading Knights bearing down on them and did a swift handbrake turn and moved back to a safer centre rear position.  On our left flank the general plan as I saw it was to envelop us with the Arab lancers while holding us in the centre with the spear and better Cavalry.

Our spears pressed on and the gap closed. The Mamluks started to shoot, but because they couldn’t gang up on any target the odds weren’t in their favour. 4 dice needing 5’s ,requiring 3 hits for a test and 4 for a minus… while the spear had rear support and general. Not much of sporter. As the spears closed the centre it was time to commit the Military order, to the our left. On our right there was a general swing inward. The LH were doing nothing and the chargers were swinging in towards meatier targets.

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The crux came as the lined closed to 4-5’ on the left one Military order was facing off 2 units of Syrian lancers. All BGs had a general in tow as no-one wanted to fail the test to charge. Being drilled it meant a 5 thought but they would have 2 tests each turn, so it was in our advantage to wait. We were trying to wiggle a spear unit to get closer and get in-between the cavalry standoff. This meant that the Berber spearmen were pushed to prevent that. Then as luck would have it Hammy failed one of the 2  tests that he needed to make. The impact was brutal. The Knights were a POA up, re-rolling 1 &2s … the Syrians needing 5 (thought re-rolling 1&2s). The Knights of Jerusalem were triumphal. They won the combat. The Syrians lost a base and disrupted – Perfect. In the ensuing melee the Syrians fragmented.  In our turn we just pushed everything forward. The Mamluks were a bit squashed, with Berber spearmen directly to the rear. But it wasn’t in our interest to charge, as they were superior with a general, we weathered the shooting. But now our crossbowmen had moved up with all the enemy committed (pinned), we could then just start shooting the end of the Mamluk line with 4 crossbow shots.

game1_4

The Syrians to the left broke, and the rampant knights smashed into the other Syrian lancers unit behind.  With their best cavalry ½ shattered and the other ½ now being outnumbered, the Fatamid saw this as a do or die moment ( they didn’t want drilled lancers floating around to the rear of their lines). SO, they charged en-masse in the centre.  The fights were level and there were a lot of dice. For the spear BG that was closest the left most lancers, it was a tale of woe that Hammy will be dining out on for a while..   I should mention at this point my daughter was in charge of dice duty.  In the impact were we were level, and they needed some luck (as they would be down in melee for armour). She rolled the first 6 dice , and rolled 6 5&6s  (showing off as 4s would be OK). Hammys dice were poor and he only got a couple.  He disrupted, it was all looking ominous. Then to compound matters with another throw she threw 11 to kill the general. A general waver when through the Fatamid lines, and several other units dropped after seeing this calamity.

To the right a lancer units was trying to sneak through to get a charge in against the Crossbowmen that were shooting at the Mamluks. But they took 3 hits for their trouble and threw the ubiquitous 1 for their death roll and removed a base.

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The whole centre was wavering now.  The left centre the second Syrian lancer was breaking…  the next Berber spearmen held on briefly but soon broke. The ripple that this caused fragmented the last spear units that was behind the Mamluks, as our turn opened we charged a Spear BG as the Mamluks (who has contracted to avoid being shot , but therefore could not evade. The spear charge also targeted the fragmented Berber spear who didn’t stand. The whole Egyptian centre was now in flight.

With KN bearing down on the remaining right flank, the jig was up.  We have a solitary fight on the very left flank were the Arab lancers manifested a charge into the crossbowem (in a field). With the loss of lance, disorder, and the bowmen getting support shooting that was only going one way

game1_6

The Fatimid’s lay crushed.  We have only lost 2 bases in the whole game and suffered 1 disruption. So would be a 25-0 .. a rare score and a perfect start for the Crusaders. Who prior to this had never won a game.

 

 

 

 

BADcon army preparation

This year’s Badcon is the Feudal period (so about 500AD to 1149AD or thereabouts). No heavily armoured Knights basically. Through a set of circumstances beyond my control I’m not really prepared for this year. Last year with the Gauls it was a bit easier, as we had a plan ( possibly not a very good one, but a plan nevertheless). Normally we can be planning for up to 6 months in advance, but this is a last minute thing. I’ve also been roped in as umpire (I thought I did it last year !), which put a bit of dampener on have an easy weekend. Hopefully, given the maturity of the competition scene it shouldn’t be too stressful. Most of my club mates have jumped ship now into the Renaissance period, which is a better game, and the ancients FoG:AM is probably going through its death knell. I’m not sure what it is. The mis-management of the v2 release (which is better , but could do with being a bit ‘different’), or the malaise of the regular competition player whose ‘meta’ gaming can suck the life out of it… I digress

So, with a week to go it looks like we’ll be using the Crusaders. This army has been knocking around for a few years , but has the ignominious reputation of never having won a game (not that I can remember). So why these losers? imagesKORL0Y7FWell … I’ve got the army… I like it … seems reasonable straightforward plan. Some spears, some knights and some crossbowmen

The Army was painted a few years back by a friend of mine , Jason (he of JAD designs). I’ve added some pictures to the gallery, but here are a few.

crusader1 crusader4 crusader9

More thoughts and plans to follow

Britcon Game 6 – Japanese

Game 6 – Japanese – Lynnette

So last game saw me on table 4. A good result here would probably get me somewhere near the top. Lynette hails from the same club as I, and I have fought with and against her Samurai many times. I knew cavalry weren’t a problem or artillery. So that was something to be grateful for. I just had to come up with a plan against the heavily armoured spearmen! I ran through a few scenarios, and my main plan would be get the spearmen no counting as ‘steady’ meaning giving them a case of disorder. This would allow my sword POA to count.  I’d be up in the impact and level in the melee. The Samurai are not shock so would not be able to break off from me but I would should anything go wrong. As I could shoot and the Japanese not, then the Samurai would have to charge me, giving me a turn to break off and rally should the plan got south. Sounded reasonable! So, woods again!

With the benefit of hindsight I should gone for Agricultural, the enclosed fields that would have given me would give me ‘protection’ against the spearmen (meaning they wouldn’t count the spear POA), without getting any disorder!

game6_1

The terrain ended up looking familiar with bit woods on the flanks with a 1m section of clear ground in the centre. There was a lot to play for here as a good result for either of use might result in a podium finish.game6_2

There was a bit of desultory skirmishing on both flanks, but nothing to write home about. The main event would be in the centre. On either flanks I had highlanders in wood slightly in advance hoping to win there and envelop the Samurai. However, the Samurai hadn’t read this plan.

The line advanced to 6” and shooting. But shooting at armoured opponents (needing 5’s ) resulted in very little effect. It did, however, have the effect of lighting the blue touch paper. So

  • Samurai closed to 4”
  • Scots closed to 3” to get close range shooting
  • Samurai charged. I had knocked off a few bases

I was unusual having someone do to me what I had been doing to everyone else all weekend!

game6_4

The lines clashed. In the impact the Scots had the upper hand (as you would expect), but none of the Samurai failed their COH tests L. Then it was grim, I did have some places where base loses had denuded the back rank of the spearmen so we’d be on level. But I had a lot where I needed 5’s game6_3

Every unit in my centre had a general in tow, or was superior. The Samurai were mostly superior also. (with some elites thrown in !) game6_5

The way the lines fell meant we had 1 massive scrum , where most units were fighting multiple units. We only had a couple of 1 on 1s

On the flanks things weren’t going too well either. In one wood fighting against average bowmen (against whom I was +POA) and average spearmen (against whom I was level). I kept losing bases, for no effect. On the opposite flanks 2 spearmen BGs against 2 highlander BGs. I fragmented 1 spear unit, but after doing so could not inflict another on it for the remainder of the game. They stayed for so long Japanese cavalry marched thought the wood (yes that’s right at 1” a turn), and charged my flank to rout me … the spearmen still being fragmented! game6_6

In the end my troops started to disrupt and then break off. But even with a great commander would not rally. I had broken a couple of units but my casualties were mounting.

In the end time was called and I was 2 points off breaking. I had inflicted 6~ but on a far larger army , so it ended up as a 4-16 or therebouts. Another turn would have secured Lynette the win though (with a +5) which would have pushed her top four.

Overall a great competition. I enjoyed the Jacobites. Certainly they have frailties, and I never came across a big cavalry army. Also winning the PBI roll off helped immensely being able to pick big bits of terrain and avoid ‘tricksy’ open spaces. In the final rankings I came 8th , which I think isn’t too bad with a weak army

Britcon Game 5 – Anglo Dutch

Game 5 – Anglo Dutch – Ray

Sunday morning and faced with mid table mediocrity ( which actually was better than I was anticipating) facing Ray and his Anglo Dutch. Rey had picked the army of Flanders and not Ireland. So instead of increased Danes he had drafted in some Swedes.

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Again woodland, and both flanks seemed secure with woods, although I knew Ray wouldn’t have much cavalry. His army is well known to me and offered few surprises. 3 guard units, 2 Danes (1 superior), 2 Swedish , 8 dragoons and 1 unit of rubbish cavalry & 2 compulsory line units and 1 BG of medium Art. They were all arrayed in a line across the table.

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The Scots advance echeloning back on the left.

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Ray faced the quandary of long range shooting where he was no better off, or closing to short , delivering the volley and receiving the charge. He chose the former, but the canny Scots closed to just outside 3” where they could charge at a point that suited then while still being al long range for musket fire. After realising this Ray had little choice to close to 3” and hope. The resulting fire was desultory. A few bases were lost but with a great commander and rear support then it was unlikely that morale would falter. game5_3

The Scots delivered their glorious charge in good order. It was broadly successful, and over the next couple of bounds then the core of the Anglo Dutch left flank and centre crumpled. One guard unit put up a valiant fight and routed the highlanders in front of it. These then threatened the Irish that had been trying to help secure this flank. However, with a few big accrued on the left flanks the Williamites threw in the towel. game5_5

20-5 to the Jacobites. A game were they had read the plan. This game was not plagued with swinging dice results and was and was an easy/pleasant Sunday morning start.

Britcon Game 4 – Later Imperial Spanish

Game 4 – Later Imperial Spanish – Richard B S

I had originally planned to miss the Saturday night game as it is a bit of a killer. However, it seemed that most people were playing all 6 games, so with a bit of reconsideration I decided to play.

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The draw wasn’t great Spanish, the good (ex)Dr’s list had maximised the good quality foot, and he had 7 superior Tercios (4&2), with 4 heavy guns and only 2 units of cavalry.

The Scots won the PBI (in fact I went on to win it all six times over the weekend), so stuck to woodland. Again dense woodland bisected the tables roughly into 2 halves.

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RBS set up his Spanish in the clear corner. The Scots deployed in the wood. It seemed likely that we would face a uneventful game as he wasn’t coming in and crossing the plains into the guns wouldn’t be beneficial to my health, so we agreed a draw.

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To pass the time we played it out and the Scots marched over the table to attack the Spanish positions.

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After setting up a rather daunting ‘Picketts charge’ type deployment my decision to agree a draw was vindicated as the Scots were wiped out to a man for no loss to the Spanish.  Charging toward 4 heavy guns and 28 superior muskets is only going to end one way!

10-10 draw

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Britcon Game 3 – Later Royalists

Britcon Game 3 – Later Royalists, Martin V – T

Oh well, it had to happen. Looking at the list the compulsory 16 bases of cavalry gave me that sinking feeling. I hadn’t played Martin since the beta testing. I won the PBI and again picked woodland. Again it gave me a point on which to anchor. But I couldn’t really afford to be static as Martin could just pick his point and mount his best charge with the Cavaliers.

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Fortunately Martin was afraid of my army as I was of his!  His army only had 16 bases of mounted , of which 4 were average. They were nasty pistol /pistols types. I looked forward to – – POA in the impact and  – POA in the melee :-( The rest of this army was the usual 4 and 2s and some superior shot types (6 musket)

The game was cagey as neither side wanted to over commit, and the armies both rotated anticlockwise to turn the game sideways.

The pivotal event that made the game come alive was on the right flanks. 4 dragoons had tried to pin back the Lochiel skirmishers.  Fortune had seen the Scots cause 2 hits and the dragoons fail the test.  In the subsequent Scottish turn the LF closed and exchanged fire at close range. Again 2 hits… the dragoons then fragmented. Martin then tried to get them out of the soup, and retired them past a BG of Cavalry. However, the Scots again hit twice in a fortuitous series of dice rolls.  Not only that the Cavalry next to them took a hit – and rolled the ubiquitous 1!  This seemed to unlock this flank. The cavalry were only average and therefore only 1 base from destruction. The dragoons were broken. There was another cavalry BG, which was floating about (superior Pistols :-/) but there was only 1 BG and could possibly gang up with 2-3 Bgs of highlanders.

On the Scottish left flanks the Royalists had committed to a long march around the edge of the table to try and put pressure on that flank.

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The centres closed the Scots again got the upper hand at the shooting. The Royalist centre started to collapse, a highland charge and 2 pike and shot units were off. However, the broken dragoons then rallied.  The game bogged down a little. The P&S units that were broken in the centre also rallied, but the Average Cavalier BG had been shot to death. Their superior compatriots had mounted a charge into some better quality highlanders , but had bogged.

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In a final desperate action I committed highlanders to fights they couldn’t win to avoid interception of charge where they could! The crowning moment was Dundee dragoons (Superior pistol/pistol) with general got a charge of against some unprotected musketeers in the open.  On a ++ POA they needed threes, re-rolling 1 & 2s  … they managed to get 1 hit. The musketeers threw 4 5’s and with the death roll on a 1 the Scottish cavalry ‘popped’

The game then timed out. It ended up at a 9-11  against , so a close draw. Given another hour I could see the Jacobites routing though!

 

 

Britcon Game 2 – Later Savoyard

Britcon Game 2 – Later Savoyard, Simon L- M

Saturday morning heralded a much better draw. Savoyard was just the sort of draw I was hoping for, lots of infantry where I could stuck into. I won the PBI ,again, and stuck to the plan – woodland. Large woods scattered across the table and gave me what I hoped would be a safe route across the table.game2_2

It was looking favourable. Simon’s army was mini-maxed on the foot. Minimum horse (1 BG of AVG), and about 10 BGs of foot, mostly 5&1s with a couple of ‘superior’ and German types (with bayonet). Even his artillery was light so would have no effect on the game.

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The game couldn’t have started better , both sides closed. I’d echeloned back on my left wing and Savoyards marching by division to close that gap. Again the shooting at long range wasn’t as effective as my opponent would like. With a Regimental gun each BG was only putting out 3 shots. Giving that there were ‘gaps’ between each regiment they were receiving either 3 or 4 in return.

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In the vanguard of the Savoyard attack was some Superior guards (6 with a bayonet). They took a pummelling and lose 2 bases. Then, in trying to redress his ranks by contracting, to allow some more troops through, he strayed just to within 4” of some highlanders. On that very turn the shooting resulted in a test that caused him to drop. The Highlanders charged, it wasn’t a great match up as they were only average, but the charge allowed them to set forward into an average pike and shot behind. The impact was splendid and the guards dropped, as did the average boys behind. In the melee both Savoyards lost causing the guards to break. This break cascades to the average troops behind , who also broke. During the rout , as troops were queued up behind they too were burst through, including the Savoyard cavalry. In the following Savoyard turn the cavalry lost impact against pursuing highlanders and lost a base. They then too quickly broke. The whole of the Savoyard left flanks was falling apart as a result of one charge. game2_4

More troops go involved and soon the Scots had taken 10 out of the required 13~ attrition points to win the game, for no loss.

However, to use the adage ‘game of two halves’. The tide was turning the Savoyards where starting to overwhelm the Scottish left where they had a numerical advantage. The breakthrough in the centre had stalled somewhat with the key unit fragmenting (it had just become too isolated, in its ‘warrior’ pursuit). The Scottish attrition points started to mount up.

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An hour later the Scots broke, unable to get the last few points needed! I was genuinely surprised at that result. The first hour couldn’t get any better and I was assuming that all that all that would be need would be a mop up exercise. But the Savoyard held on. The excess of spare units had started to tell, and the small BG count of the Scots would be telling.

I think both my opponent and I were surprised when the Scottish army broke.

The final result was 9-16, so we had taken 90% of the Savoyards in a very bloody battle. After the event this ‘glorious charge’ was definitely my favourite of the weekend, a pity it didn’t result in a win!

 

Britcon Game 1 – Early Swedish

Britcon Game 1 – Early Swedish, Keith S

It was late, and it was a nightmare draw!  Luckily we’d eaten which had fortified me from all the pints we’d drunk at lunchtime :-) I won the PBI roll off and selected woodland. The plan was to cramp the table and cut down on the space that the cavalry could operate in. The terrain did fall favourably , in that it gave me difficult terrain on both flanks. But, by the same token it meant that I couldn’t really advance past that point.

Keith’s army was a higher BG count, but smaller. It was all quality stuff, padded only by 2 average Swedish brigades in the centre. His deployment was ‘standard’ infantry centre with 2 small cavalry wings. He did deploy with ‘gaps’ to facilitate divisional moves. As started he rush forward to give the Scots some rough handling – why would you not!  It didn’t look good. I’d be down on impact and most likely even on melee (having probably taken a miserable COH test from losing the impact).

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The Scots were compact. A solid line. I’d made the decision not to advance past the forests and maybe that would give me some possibility of flanking , or at least making it difficult for the Swedes. The format of the game was that it could run up until midnight, so starting at 8 meant that it could be 4 hours of ‘shuffling’. Luckily the Swede  fancied their chances and though it was not the day to die in Scotland.

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The armies closed. I think that Keith was little surprised how much firepower the Scots could put out.  At long range with a solid line each Swedish brigade was taking 4 shots, while only giving out 3 (even with a regimental gun). A couple of unlucky death rolls and the Swedes had lost a couple of bases.

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Once the firing had started they wasn’t much for it, the Scots were giving as good as they got, and the Swedes could be attrited. The charge was ineffective, more luck than judgement. Then because they tried to match the frontage and did not close the gaps between the regiments as they closed (to allow the commanded shot to shoot through) then the Scots had the advantage of overlaps. The game ground down as neither side could break off as both sides were shock.

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Then there was a freak set of results. As everyone was committed to fighting most of the general were fighting also. Over the next turn or 2 , of the 6 generals on table 5 were killed (most on  double six!) . The only general on table was bonny Dundee, who being ‘great’ was wise to be at the back bolstering the men.

A wave of disruption overcame the Swedes, which meant that the Scots could break into their formations and the let the swords do the work (+POA in melee).  As there was no surviving Swedish Generals then that situation was never going to get any better. SO, as strange as it seemed over the next couple of turns the Swedes started to lose. The ‘average’ brigades broke, and it steadily got worse as commanded shot were getting caught in the rout.

The Swedes broke. 20-5 to the Scots. A straight up game, where some freakish dice really helped the Scottich cause. So easily could have gone the other way!