FoG:R Renaissance in Britcon 2012
Thirty Years' War French, German and Dutch vs Thirty Years' War French
Having had a rather relaxing day in a surprisingly sunny Manchester, and after a practice game in the afternoon that meant I had at least deployed my army on table once, the Britcon draw saw a French Civil War - probably much to the joy of the British Olympic Cycling team if not anyone else
The lists for the Thirty Years' War French, German and Dutch and Thirty Years' War French from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Britcon can be seen here in the FoGR Wiki.
The Army - My TYW French was geared around surprising opponents with far more Cuirassiers than they would have been expecting, through the insanity of taking both a Dutch and Weimarian alliied contingent.
The table was more cluttered with terrain than almost anything I had ever seen - masses of large bits of rough going and forests closing down both flanks and also the middle. This was a disaster for the Cuirassier-rich strategy of my army, as there was no obvious place for them to be deployed. It did however mean the Version II list with commanded out shot was going to come into play
Rukes Hint - You can take 2 versions of any list - one where some Pike and Shot units have been reorganised to create all shot and all pike units.
The Commanded out shot unit raced towards the area of rough ground on the enemy side of the table - but as soon as they got into range of the enemy artillery they started to incur casulaties - the enemy artillery were finding their range instantly and hotting every time they fired..
The cluttered table had left lots of challenges for my army - but with not much space, I had taken the unusual step of sending a Pike and Shot unit from the Dutch Ally round the edge of the table - that would block off any possible enemy mounted assault as my Cuirassiers moved into the centre of the field
The Commanded shot had taken 2 hits and lost two bases. Both players flicked through the rules to see what the break point for an average quality 8 strong unit was ...
Rukes Hint - they break on 4 losses.
The enemy plan was pretty obvious. Close down the table with terrain, and sit and wait for the enemy with a solid line of shot and miniguns
The Commanded shot unit were the key to our attack on the right - they could not afford to incur more losses. The German Dragoons bravely offered to stand in the way of the deadly enemy guns - and took a DISR marker for their troubles. The enemy guns had fired 3 times and killed 2 bases and inflicted a DISR...
Still believing that this flank was the key to the game, my army pushed forward with a mixed line of German Dragoons and Cuirassiers and French Impact Foot shot to try and absorb the enemy shooting and get into combat - which would be more decisive in our favour...
The enemy guns barked out again and again - 5 shots, 2 base losses, 3 cohesion drops... a unit of German Dragoons was routing in the third turn of the game
On the other flank the cautious enemy foot were allowing the Dutch Cuirassiers to move into the middle of my army unopposed. It looked for all the world like an utter shambles - but there was some sort of plan and logic behind my apparent madness..
The German's were losing bases or cohesion literally every time the enemy shot at them. By now - moments after the Dragoons had routed - the other Dragoons were DISR and the Cuirassiers had suffered 2 bases losses. The "attack" might not even get into contact..
The enemy had tidied their lines, whilst my Dutch Cuirassiers were still ambling around incompetently as my line struggled to look anything like a proper formation
More shooting, more base losses, more markers - the Cuirassiers have been simply blown away through a series of rubbish death rolls, and now the attack is barely struggling to be classed as a liability
The Commanded shot take their 4th round of shooting - lose their 4th base and instantly rout. It is an utter shambles
The German Dragoons follow almost instantly. The entire flank where the attack was being pressed home has just evaporated.
The two lines start to dress for comtact - although mine is rather shorter than it was just a couple of turns ago...
The enemy now have many more units than I have - and they are all tooled up with barallion guns as well so they can sit back and outshoot me if they wish. The only hope is to press home a fierce attack and take chances with the surviving Cuirassiers and pray... or just to try and skulk away and not lose too badly.
Speaking of skulking away, the only remaining German unit decides it needs to not try and stand up to the enemy who have just comprehensively shredded their colleagues, and turns tail and starts to fall back
5 enemy Pike and Shot units against 3 of mine and 2 lots of Cuirassiers. A lot depends on whether the enemy suffer any DISR results from the next few rounds of shooting - if they do they become vulnerable to he Dutch Cuirassiers, but if they stand firm it will be weight of numbers and quality on the enemy side...
Finally, shooting starts to swing in my favour - especially in the middle of the enemy line where a key unit has lost two bases and has gone DISR, and another goes FRAGGED. That suddenly looks very vulnerable... and my Guard Infantry tak heart. They may even record some points before the inevitable defeat engulfs them
The enemy are in trouble, and are forced to react rather than sit and wait. They move some of the less damaged units forward so that my Guards cannot step forward to contact with the FRAGGED unit. But that reduces their shooting, and plays into my hands - a difficult choice..
FoG:R hint - text goes in this block
Everyone is in, as all 5 of my units charge home...
And one breaks almost instantly - however it was already almost broken, and would surely have been destroyed by enemy shooting so there was little more they could do.
Bereft of support, the Dutch Cuirassiers take the decision to break off
But the two Guards units, supported by the Dutch Cuirassiers are absolutely caning their opponents - enemy Fragged markers sprout everywhere - and an enemy General is dragged from his horse as well, further damaging the enemy morale in a key area of the table
The enemy Guards collapse and are cut down by triumphant Cuirassiers and Guardsmen... there are points on the board at last !!
An unlikely salvation is starting to dare to be imagined. The Ducth unit that has spent hours marching round the wood on the right is now getting into range of the enemy. It is a pretty even matchup, but the Dutch General is still around but the enemy Generals are busy stemming the attacks elsewhere - so we have the edge in morale and with it, greater resilience from the shooting crapshoot. Interesting...
The middle of the board has developed into a bit of a mess - my Guardsmen turn to snipe at an average enemy unit, aided by the artillery. One more casualty and another enemy unit will be down.. and with the enemy guns in my sights the possibility of getting 7 enemy units needed to break their army is all of a sudden a very real possibility
The German general is leading his sole remaining unit bravely - but they are stuck in range of the French shredder that has already put paid to 4 units...
My Guards are pushing ooutwards from the scene of their triumph, and the enemy are suddenly sort of surrounded and on the back foot.
The German general is now on his own - his whole command has been shredded by enemy shooting
An almost unique event - I capture enemy guns with my infantry, whilst my guns are still in my own hands !!
The Dutch infantry are winning the shooting match... oooh, this is getting interesting !
But this looks ominous - the enemy Dragoons are closing in on my baggage, and there are now only 2 turns left for me to rack up some points before the game ends.
There is definately a unit to be had here.... more shooting casulaties caused by the Dutch push the enemy to the brink of being broken
The Dutch are one base away from breaking, but their opponents are FRAGGED. That's frightening....
The enemy break as they are charged by Dragoons ! An unlikely victory is almost within sight....
Desparate for a win, I throw a superior infantry unit into the enemy determined horse.... it is possible, but unlikley...., and the enemy will capture the baggage anyway soon
"Soon" meaning "in their next move" ...
A desparate struggle ensues as the Red Guardes and DISR Cuirassiers attempt to cut down a remarkably resilient unit of very Determined enemy French Horse...
But as is traditional, the baggage is finally captured by some of the enemy Dragoons who started the whole rot some 3 and a half hours ago with their deadly shooting on the left flank... and the Result is a 16-9 defeat .... 9 points that utterly define the phrase "clutched from the jaws of defeat".
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition, or read on for the post match summaries from the Generals involved, as well as another episode of legendary expert analysis from Hannibal
Post Match Summary from the Thirty Years' War French, German and Dutch Commander
What a fantastic result! Je suis tres bloody happy my old china, as I have plucked a fantastic result from "Les Jaws du Defeat" and this shows how brilliant I am as a commander
The game was so horrific to start that I seriously considered just chucking in le towel and having an early night - well a much longer night in Le Pub... but that stiff upper lip, stoicism in the face of adversity and sheer bloody mindedness that us French are so famous for came to the fore and I was able to grind my way back to almost parity
To be only a unit away from what would have been an astonishing victory was almost as good as could be imagined.
Surely my luck will change next time around and someone is due a right pasting from the dice - which will be nice when it happens
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
You incompetent paltroon! In what world is it possible to be proud of a defeat?
And to pluck this result "from the jaws of defeat" How is it possible to pluck defeat from the jaws of defeat? In my world you almost pulled off success, but then rammed your fist deep into the craw of defeat, offering not just defeat, but your arm up to the elbow to the jaws of defeat. And a loss is a loss. That does not change, and neither does the realisation that thou art a vain beef-witted pantaloon!
Admittedly even I can see that your were badly served by the gods of dice, but unlike the Ancients, we live in an age of enlightenment and we are Christian men - although that religion has dragged all of Europe into Thirty Years' of vicious and debilitaring genocidal war, so perhaps that is not such a strong recommendation for the one-god philosophies on reflection...
Anyways, you lost, and you threw away some decent advanages in the process. Verily, ye be a peevish crook-pated dogfish!
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition
That's the end - so why not go back to the Match Reports Index and read some more reports?
Order on Amazon here
FoG Reports Pageloads to date.