Thursday, 23 April 2015

No mercy for the Swiss (Pike & Shotte)

Grützi all mitternand! We are the Swiss, we advance, we attack, we – autsch!

Bart was playing the French and Swiss, while me and Paul (the Greek) played the German-Spanish imperialists (as we were testing my tuned Pike& Shotte rules). The deployment was straight and comfortable, some heavy guns, four pike blocks each and six horse units and some small units – with all I could possible carry, miniature wise. 

Test Question: How is it, with more blocks on the table?

Guns were placed behind some gabbions in the centre on each side, Cavalry on the flanks, the rest march on! First Bart didn't get to move a lot, both sides came closer, Paul was following his cunning plan with his Gendarmes on the German right flank to get famous. 

My Arquebusiers were getting punished and had to retreat, Bart started picking up my guns with his heavy guns, we had to act swiftly!

Then I rolled 4 or 5 successful orders and had my left flank re-grouped and advanced right in front of the Swiss in one turn, haha, that's tactical superior manoeuvrability for you philistines!

But then Bart's Swiss attacked – my Spanish swordsmen, which were trained in the pit fights of the streets of Granada, only for this purpose! I rolled good enough to sent them home, back to Bern!

And then just like in some eastern nuclear reactor, the two critical masses (Swiss and Landsknechte) were to close for comfort and clashed. What a Bad War! And no quarters were given! I have to apologize, it was getting that thrilling, that I forgot to take pictures. The Spanish swords were worth they weight in gold and also IF the Swiss and the Landsknechte do clash, the Swiss do have not automatically the upperhand. I can‘t blame my dice rolls, but we managed to clash back with both sides shaken. 

If we would have had more time, all our mercenary troops would need to be rallied and possibly faced the danger of going home. Even I killed one unit of French Gendarmes and a Swiss pike block against against one destroyed German Gendarme unit, so we called it a draw.

To answer the initial test question: Awsome! Truly Awsome!
The more units, the more complicated it gets to prevent to the battle sliding into a chain-reaction of clashes. And we also had a glimpse into the typical Renaissance, papers, scissors rock tactics.

Awsome! ...

The Landsknechte are gathering

The Stradioti before the Gendarme d'Ordonnance

The imperial left flank

The French Gendarme d'Ordonnance on the other flank

The French nobility advances

The Swiss centre

The German advance into the centre

The inevitable clash of the gendarmes

followed by an Swiss pike attack on the Spanish Swordsmen hmm..

... and loosing the fight

The shaken and disorientated French gendarmes get blasted by the Spanish small gun

in the centre bad war errupts between six blocks

Friday, 17 April 2015

Next Papers, Scissores, Rock!

As my holiday in Germany was not so effective regarding the finishing/ painting (AWI) Hessians (one in total, really), and the Western front seemed all so quite again, the only reasonable thing to do is to invade the Renaissance Italian states again. This time with the Pike & Shotte rulebook under my arm and some minor tweaks to the rules (of course).
While I actually got only miniatures for one decent sized army, I will regroup them in mini battalias, just to test for once the effects and issues of a bigger deployment, even if my pike blocks will be 16 men big, (apologise in advance to the true connoisseur, but my Landsknecht reinforcements just have to wait, and of course at 28mm its a transport issue as well).
To enhance the Papers-Scissors-Rock-effect, I will have all the arquebusiers, swordsmen and halbert units etc. as skirmishers, enhance the hedgehog rule, make pike blocks more vulnerable towards artillery and introduce an attempt to capture caracole a bit more diverse. 

Deployment wise it should be checkered otherwise just flat green grass.

The available Imperials

The  available French

Friday, 3 April 2015

The Tots (The 17th Dragoons)

After finishing my first platoon last Sunday, I thought I could fit in six riders of the Tots (Perry miniatures) which I need for the „White Plains“ and thereafter. In my adolescent naivety years ago,  I painted six in the SYW outfit with black cuffs, purely out of aesthetically reasons. Now, I added another six, this time in their 1768 warrant costumes. The horses I painted as Appaloosa mix, which could possibly the stock of the 17th at that time.

„...The 17th Light Dragoons can trace their formation back to General Wolfe‘s victory at Quebec in 1759. ...
The Light Dragoons main distinction from their heavier cousins was in the type of horse employed. Rather than use the big and burly heavy cart cobs the Light Dragoons preferred the use of smaller, leaner hunter horses. 
Originally, the Light Dragoons were not equipped with swords of any sort rather their main armament was a carbine that could have a bayonet fitted, pistols and an axe. They were trained to be able to fire from the saddle. Speed and agility (of rider and horse) were prized over strength and sturdiness. These attributes would prove to be valuable ones in the small scale actions common to colonial campaigns for a long time to come.
The evocative Death‘s Head emblem has been used time and again by desperadoes and tribes from time immemorial. Its first use as a regimental emblem seems to have been by a German unit of Hussars known as the ‚Totenkopf‘ Hussars. As many British units and soldiers had served in Germany at around this time as part of the Seven Years War (1756 - 1763). It is probable that they saw this emblem and revelled in its associations of piracy and plunder - perfect values to a Light Cavalry unit. Indeed, down to the present time the regiment is still commonly referred to as ‚The Tots‘. ...“

Other names would have been, „Death or Glory Boys“ or „The Horse Marines“.

Some of the old boys