“One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.”
R.I.P Lou Reed
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!
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.
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
I was unusual having someone do to me what I had been doing to everyone else all weekend!
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
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!
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
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.
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.
The Scots advance echeloning back on the left.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To pass the time we played it out and the Scots marched over the table to attack the Spanish positions.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
All the new figures are now uploaded on the website
Normally I get my flags from the internet from various places. I’m not too fussy as I tend to paint over most of it anyway. Anyway, in this instance I spoke to Barry at LOA about resizing his LOA flags (for Killikrankie). He very kindly did this and here are the results.
In this case if definately the adage of you get what you pay for, and at the time i thought they were pricey. However, they are a premium product. Really matt solid finish and heavy duty paper. The results speak for themselves. Personally I like the cartoon shading – really eye-catching.
In this case I stuck them one , with pritt stick, rather than PVA, as I didn’t want to spoil the finish.
The others will have to wait til I get home. I’ve actually finished a week early, and have run out if things to paint on holiday