Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life; currently concentrating on a re-fight of the entire Peninsular War, but with the odd foray into ancient, medieval and WW2 battles.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Late C15 Clash

I played out one of the scenarios from 'Scenarios for All Ages' today, using my 6mm Wars of the Roses armies and the 'Pike and Shot' rules from Neil Thomas' Wargaming: An Introduction.  The forces were picked from the options in the French and Spanish army lists for the Italian Wars in the rules, named as 'Bretonnia' and 'Estalia' respectively for this imaginary battle.

The initial set-up: the 'Bretonnians' on the southern (near) side of the river, the 'Estalians' on the northern bank, both marching E to W.  It is a little hard to tell, but there are hillson both sides of the watercourse.

Closer in: the Bretonnians' order of march: 'Mounted Archers', Crossbowmen, Pikemen, Gendarmes, more Crossbowmen, Artillery, Pikemen, Crossbowmen.  The Estalians: Ginetes, Gendarmes, Arquebusiers, Halberdier x2, Artillery, Halberdiers, Arquebusiers.

The Bretonnian 'Mounted Archers' advance through the town, whilst the Main Guard is still to the South.  Pikemen and Crossbowmen prepare to ford the river.  Estalian cavalry is racing westwards to secure the westernmost crossing (left).


First blood: Estalian Arquebusiers and Artillery hit the Bretonnian 'Mounted Archers' (i.e. less well-arnoured cavalry).  For those who know the rules, a blue counter represents a 'hit', a red counter represents a lost base.  Bretonnian reserves are rushing up to support, however.

But not quickly enough!  A combination of shot and steel destroy the cavalrymen.  Both sides contine their deployment.


And battle joined in earnest - the Bretonnian gendarmes are causing havoc amongst the Estalian arquebusiers, who are hanging on grimly; just grimly enough to let Estalian infantry hit the gendarmes in the flank.  The Bretonnian crossbowmen do themselves great credit with the accuracy of their fire against the Estalian infantry,

Change of scene: Bretonnian infantry and artillery heading west meet Estalian cavalry who have already crossed the river.

The profusion of red counters reflects the profusion of blood spilled in the central melee: Pikemen support the gendarmes, but who are in turn engaged by Estalian infantry reserves.  Estalian arquebusiers, having been outshot by the crossbowmen, advance to come to grips.


Back west: that Estalian light cavalry is causing some damage to those Pikemen, who simpy can't deal with javelin-throwing light cavalry.

The beginning of the end for the Bretonnians in the East: the Pikemen are destroyed and they are now outnumbered 2:1...

Slightly closer-in.

The pikemen have suffered greatly, but the Estalian gendarmes have been shot-up badly and haven't inflicted enough damage to quickly see-off those Bretonnian crossbowmen.

The pikemen crash into the gendarmes' flank and destroy them in short order.  More Bretonnian crossbowmen make life difficult - indeed, in some cases, impossible

The coup de grace on the Bretonnian right!

Victorious Estalians march through the town and capture the bridge!

The Bretonnian infantry have seen off the Estalian cavalry, who retire over the river.

There was quite a long period of manoeuvre, where the Estalians marched up through the village then re-deployed to meet the remaining Bretonnians.  Their efforts to counter the Estalian mover were badly hindered by skirmishing Ginetes to their rear.

It is about to be all over...only exceptional shooting can save the Bretonnians now...

|Another view.

But not to be! The Bretonnian artillery is captured and more crossbowmen are routed...it is all over.

A close-up.
Game Notes: A thoroughly enjoyable solo game using Neil Thomas' 'Pike and Shot' rules with only a couple of scenario-specific rules.  The main one was that artillery could moves as infantry on the roads and in the open until it fired, where it had to remain static for the rest of the game.  The rules worked fine and the game was quick: it took about an hour and a quarter, spread over three short sessions.  Every time I play them I remember how much I like them!  They give a very pure game, as the rules are so simple.  I didn't use any additional rules for solitaire play, just asked myself what I thought the best move was.  Obviously this rules out surprise, but it introduces a more chess-like challenge which is just as engaging in its way.  I am familiar with the rules generally, as I have played many games with this or similar of his rulesets, but my lack of familiarity with the rules led me to make several questionable decisions!! The scenario used was 'Scenario 25: Chance Encounters', as two sides encounter each other suddenly after the lifiting of a mist on their way to secure three river crossings.

I hope to write a proper book review for these rules in the near future .

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