Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Quest to find my inner Catweazle!

... I 'm in for something completely different! – Happy Easter!

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Catholic Renaissance

This time under the catholic motto of shame! Presented by your repentant sinner clad in rags and ashes:

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure to join a battle with Bart‘s 15mm forces of the late Polish Renaissance using the rules Fire & Sword. The set up was Polish Parliamentarians against Royalists, but there my political understanding of the period ends. The same goes with my understanding of the rules, and that‘s why Bart gave me the "German" infantry mercenaries in the centre of the stormy battle, I had to stand still and watch the giants battle!

Angus, Bart and me were on the freedom loving parliamentarian side, while Peter, Sandy and Paul (to my infinite shame, I forgot the name of that particular club mate) played the Polish Royalists.

To the right Angus got some sort of (Light) Cavalry but just to stand still, (pleading as well rule ignorance - guilty!) and to "take the onslaught of the enemy on the chin", as a denied flank somehow, but more in denial, I guess.

Well and the rest of the glorious Parlamentarian Winged Hussars were charging on the left (Bart‘s) flank in a classic Frederizian (is that a word?) move, Huzzah! It looked glorious, but was in vain. Somehow they managed to beat us, and I don't even know how, as I didn't payed shamefully not enough attention. The little I managed to work out was, the the rules are worth exploring, which makes it even more shameful.

Then as Angus showed a book about Marginano (an Italian one), I discovered that the Duke of Milano‘s coat of arms was depicted with a solid blue snake, and true to my evening form, I boasted that this was nonsense, as it should be green, because I had painted my command figure with a green snake on the shirt – just to find out the shameful truth, later at home in the internetz, that I was wrong!! Ahh, again shame, Oh Shame, how deep can I fall! I went straight to work and corrected my command stand.

As a repentance I have attached more Work-In-Progress of my Renaissance 28mm...

Please forgive me.

Angus flank gets an counter attack!
...and he counter-counter attacked
while on Bart's side the pennants are flying!
Angus force a the start of the battle 
again counter attack!
... but more enemies are coming!!!
.. while Bart‘s attack get stuck somehow, what a shame!!!
The picture of the start of the battle, shamefully placed in the middle!
Sandy gets reinforcements after his infamous "Wuertemberger" complaining ...
... but didn't achieved anything, what a shame!!!
The Holy Trinity of my gaming Landsknechts! 
and another French Gendarmes d‘Ordonnance
... to fill up the French 2 units, I got.
another generic French gendarme
... and another one ...
aaand introducing the Duke of Milan in blue now ...
... manhandled a bit by a Swiss
and at last some more westernised Stradioti!

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Cerignola 28th April 1503

I‘ll give you Cerignola, Ladies and Gentlemen! And that Lady heavy-handed doesn't take it lightly, as the French found out to their demise! 

I have to apologise upfront, that forseeing the true spirit of my club mates, if they can't charge immediately, they'll do it piecemeal, ...  it was cruel of me, to offer them this For-the-French-not so-legere-scenario in Pike and Shotte (with some of my useful rules amended).

Bart and Campbell were happy behind the ditch and playing the Spanish under Cordoba, the Gran Capitan! While Angus, as we all know, jumped at the occasion to play Louis d‘Armegnac the French CinC. Donald opted for the right flank as Yves d‘Agres and Peter got the centre with the very big Swiss pike block. Funnily enough our Club Frenchman, who first wanted to join in, opted out as he came to know that here was just a place free on the French side.

Now Cerignola was the first battle were the Arquebusiers really did decide the day, so I gave them (and the Crossbows) a penetrating bonus (-1 on saves for hits under half range) as they really hit hard at short distances, but without exaggerating their fire capacity (still same number of dice) – but no one really did make use of it ...

As the French dithered, the Swiss stayed in the Centre and d‘Armegnac limbered slowly forward to get the guns, which in hindsight, he probably shouldn't have done, as the guns just arrived so see the last round without firing a shot. Donald on the other hand and flank, did came forth and withered the Arquebusiers slowly away with the crossbows - out of firearms range of the Spanish - very safe, but less impactful. Then he advanced with his 2 gendarmes and Argulets crossed the river and had a wee cavalry skirmish with the Spanish under Campbell de Cordoba, but they just retreated behind the safety of the walls. At a last instance Donald led a truly gallant attack of the remaining Gendarmes deep into the fortifications of the Spanish. But without support into the heart of Cordobas Spanish gendarmes, a truly desperate and doomed act of chivalry. They hurt the Spanish, but got beaten and lost the test and got disordered just to be on the plate for the Spanish gendarmes - and they swiped them away.

Then as the last hour came nearer, the Swiss pushed on ... but were shot down and beaten up badly by the Pikes, Arquebusiers and Rodeleros. In the end the Swiss broke! Due to a very bad morale break test ... but such is Fortuna, this day clearly not with the French.

On the other flank the Gendarmes dithered too long got coaught up in light gun fire and came too late to play  a role ... Donald's gendarmes didn't lived long enough to tell that they entered the walls and the rest died or dithered on the outside.

In the end, just like you would put a broken animal out of its misery, I declared the Spanish victorious.

It seems to me that you have to really think hard how to co-ordinate different arms together to a successful attack – and if all plays well together then, and just maybe then, you get the chance to wipe the opponent away. The Renaissance warfare, truly a league for kings.

Figures: Donald, Angus and me.
Scenario: blatantly stolen out of the "Internetz" and beefed up by myself a little
Terrain: by Angus, SESWC and me

Initial set up

The Spanish Centre safe behind ditch and wall

Four fearsome French Gendarmes  d‘Ordonnance
The plan

The French set-up

The Spanish Set-up

the fierce Swiss and their double-handed weaponry

errm... some Reiter agreed to jump in as Gendarmes

... still quiet in the centre ...

... while Navarro pounds away at the French

... the French crossbows encircle the Spanish ...

The famous gallant Death-ride of the d‘Algres

Swiss ante potras ...

.. finally the other gendarmes ... perhaps a little too late???

the Swiss are coming!!!

The Swiss get broken

.. and the other gendarmes shot away ...

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Yasassin in the Sudan!

Somewhere in Africa between Cairo and the spring of the Nile, I guess, was this Black Powder scenario located in the 19th Century in the time of Queen Victoria.

Bart and Peter played the British forces and me, Hugh and Bill played the believers. Scenario and umpire was Campbell, figures were sponsored by Bill, Campbell and Bart.

The British and their Egyptian fellows, allocated themselves on the other side of the table, as we the Ansars and Bejas, under the Mad Mullah, hid in a large wadi (that‘s one of the main features of a Sudan game) the followers of said Mad Mullah are always "hidden" in a dry river bed. It gives them some fig leaf of guerrilla warfare, which evaporates in the 1st turn as they always have to get close to their enemies and in turn have to give up this advantage, poor savages!

The British scenario objective was to reach ,with three units, our side of the table. Another main feature of Sudan games, or any colonial for that matter, is the mandatory objective, as otherwise the said "sauvages" wouldn't stand a chance in old fashion linear warfare, wouldn't it, Sir? Aye, piece of cake, Sir!

As we duly advanced out of our obligatory hide-away into visibility to attack our adversaries who, having read the rules, formed into brigade squares which are hard to break as it gives a +3 combat resolutions "no matter what"... Even in the event of 70ies- historical-B-movie-all-out-and-surround-attack of Zulus (oh pardon me, same continent – wrong colony) one alway has the time to help your friend next to you. Ah, I can hear you say: It doesn‘t have to be historical, just that feeling has to be right, you know? Of course, that said movies, shiny red tunic, moustaches in techni-color ...

So, my Ansars (or was it Bejas?) attacked the gatling gun straight on and the other Ansars charged the Egyptians, but alas Fortuna was not on my side at all. What I diced successfully, Peter, who played the Egypt square, bested in better saves and sent me back. Still, my Ansars persisted and attacked once more, but then Peter was given a small contingent of Dragoons that appeared in my flank and attacked one of my war bands.

Only equipped with 4 "savage" infantry to attack a colonial army square with a cavalry unit in my flank, that was, with all dicing, good or bad, just plain murder. Now this was when my fighting morale was completely broken and I ordered my rabble to retreat.  Hell, the Brits had to get their units over the wadi, not me.

Hugh then finally reaped the fruits of our effort and broke the Egyptian square. Bart had an almost German moment when he announced a draw as we just broke the "lesser" square, haha. And given, he was right, without the objective, we would have had to pack our things and go back into the desert. Which is one of my main critique on these games, as the troops are so hopelessly miss-balanced, you always need a neurotic scenario that limps to strive for a balance that isn't or wasn't there. And don't get me on the other issue, the scandalously repetitive descriptive of the best troops of the world, be it BEF or Britons, usually found only in British war game rules – obnoxious!

I still enjoyed the game, but hope for the day some "Almighty" will sent the right scenario along that is more in tune with the fighting style of the non-colonials. Hope always dies last.

The turks

Bart British supreme quality troops

My four warbands ... just infantry ...

The Desert ghosts attack the fearful Egyptians

In the best angle and the gun is jammed!!!

Bill is in for the kill on Barts square

The height of my attack 

Bill had some serious action going on this side of the British square

Morally defeated I let my Ansars retreat

Last ditch attempt to break the f§$%&/ing square

Hugh finally breaks the square