Field of Glory Renaissance in Devizes 2011
Devizes - a competitive return to the West Country for the first time since 2009, and the first ever trip to play any of the Field of Glory family of rules. An early start the day after a transatlantic flight meant a simple battle plan and lots of excitement would be needed if I was to stay awake. This was Doubles, and for the first time in history a team formed up of me and my school era fellow Renaissance gamer Mr Van Tol turned out, complete with a brand new army, of Louis XIV Frenchies from the Duty and Glory army lists. The army was aggressive but brittle, with lots of mad horsemen in big floppy hats, and some "not quite as good as the Swedes" Impact Foot with Bayonets
The army we faced up first was Early Danish. In the absence of a FoG Renaissance Wiki (just yet anyway) the lists can be seen here. (Any videos in these reports are all pretty short - well under a minute)
Game 1 saw us facing the acknowledged Master of Horse of the FoG:R world - Alasdair Harley and his trusty sidekick Paddy. By taking a wild stab in the dark we guessed they might he using an army with some foot lurking at the back as padding, and a load of really maneuverable horse who would whizz around and try and gang up on part of our army. With this in mind, the table setup pointed towards the army being weighted heavily to our right, and so in a bold move (or, admitting that our opponents were better than us so we'd need to do something unhinged to win) we decided to flank march 2 units of cavalry, to try and overwhelm the enemy mounted wing before it got out of the blocks.
Just as we had guessed, there were bucket loads of curly haired cuirassiers all stacked up on the enemy left flank. They had deployed really far back, so were slow to rush out of the potential range of our flank march - a vey rare occurrence in Renaissance gaming to date and one which they were broadly unfamiliar with.
In a stroke of genius generalship, van Tol started the game with a flank-march-arriving roll of 10 - a first turn arrival!
As our army moved across the table, the Danes right flank of horsemen were skittering across the middle to try and delay our wall of foot.
Confident that the flank march was soon to arrive, our own Determined Horse determined that the best course of action was to rush forwards - supported by artillery fire as well. The Danish horse were cauight between a rock, a hard place and some rather impressive collections of lace sleeves and cuffs.
The artillery fire from the French guns took a base off one of the Danish horse units, leaving them in even more trouble. The Danes threw generals at their mounted wing, as they knew their next move - the last before the flank march actually arrived - would need to make hundreds of moves to get their cavalry to safety.
In a swirl of movement the Danes rushed around and reformed, almost managing to get to safety, but certainly not managing a coherent formation with which to respond to the imminently arriving Frenchies
The French artillery continued to rake the Danish Horse, disrupting another unit
A line of French Nobility swept onto the table - 4 Line Cavalry and 2 Maison du Roi Elite guards. Meanwhile the rest of the Line Cavalry rushed onwards - the Danes were going to be on the back foot from the next time the French got to charge.
The Danes could do little more than turn about and brace themselves for impact
The French flank march charged home - with a POA advantage at impact and with a general attaching himself to the Line unit to make all 6 bases effectively Elite, the French charged in - and achieved a fantastic result, disrupting both Danish units - although the grey-coated Line Cavalry were unlucky to lose a base from a winning position
The French continued to push back the Danes - winning again, but this time losing yet another base of Line Cavalry in the process
The situation of the Danes is now apparent - their horse are hemmed in and unable to maneuver as the French press forward - allowing the French Infantry an unimpeded path to advance towards them, closing the door on a fearsome trap. The Danes only real potent force is their 6 artillery, 4 of which are firing from a prominent hill into the French Line Horse
The second unit of French Horse charged a unit of skirmishers - then, as their target evaded, they rolled a fortunate "long" pursuit to clatter into the Danes a turn or two earlier than the Danes had expected and hoped for
The French Horse were now seemingly only a short gallop from the Danish Guns - once they hacked their way through the Danish Cuirassiers.
The French foot were advancing unimpeded acrss the field, zeroing in on the Danish army pinned in it's corner. The action on the mounted wing was so intense it was hard to remember that we were still in the first few moves
The Danes are running out of options, and attempt to run down a lone French infantry unit.
The French infantry start to close in on the cavalry struggle - not a great development if you are on a Danish horse..
Nothing is working for the Danish mounted wing, as a mounted unit gets trapped and stuck in the middle of the board
Suddenly there are a series of breakthrough on the mounted wing - 2 units of Danes break and are run down, but the flank marching Line Unit also is eroded away to nothing after a series of poor death rolls whilst winning combats - so a unit of Danish Cuirassiers finds itself running away from the battle towards the table edge
The Danes rout through their own guns, and, unable to avoid them, also through a Kiel of Landschnechts - the whole Danish army is now disrupted or so it seems.
The Maison du Roi rush through and overrun the Danish guns!
More Danish horse break and flee, and the French horsemen are overunning guns at will.
Far far away, a unit of Danish horse attempts to sneak along the extreme far end of the table, planing to sat the French baggage. But French Dragoons are in the woods and prevent them marching - it is taking the full attention of a Danish General as well
The French horse find themselves in possession of a load of guns, and attempt to move out of the way as their own infantry push up to claim them as their own
The only Danish Horse unit to win has had second thoughts about helping its own infantry, and instead also thinks of sneaking down a table edge in a sneaky plan to get the French baggage.
The Danish mercenary foot are compelled to move forwards - reclaiming some of the guns - but as they advance, yet another unit of Danish horse has been beaten and flees in rout!
This time the French Infantry get to claim some of the limelight, and charge into a huge German Kiel
The Swiss Guard take the initiative !
It's an indecisive start, but the combat settles down to a slog, as on the right a similar combat is teed up with the second Kiel - but another infantry unit is heading for the flank of the Kiel too
But the last remaining Danish artillery piece barks out again, and a unit of French foot is broken by artillery fire before it can close to combat!
Kiel Number 2 wades in.
Everyone is now disrupted - but the Danes have less units to spare before thet break...
Both Keils are disrupted...
A huge round of combat from the French batters the left hand Kiel, which fragments
A similar result on the right, and the game is over - Victory for the French!
Post Match Summary
Well, Vive le Frickin' France me hearties !
A stunning victory against all the odds, and turning over the King of the Hill to boot - and so richly deserved as well. Nothing now can stop our race to the top of the table at lunchtime, other than someone else scoring more points than we did.
I believe that a flank march may be a guarantee for future success as no-one in this era of combat appears to have a Scooby what it is, and clearly none have the "les cojones" to undertake one eh?
I think we were even clear winners on the sartorial front too, with our beautiful uniforms blinding the dullard Danes with their munificence
Anyway, must dash - I have some cake to eat !
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
You are'est a base dunghill villain and a mechanical, I'll have thy head a'fore I admit that grey cloth and white flags represent anything other than the basest most vilene sartorial disaster
I beg that thou may have leave to hang thyself, for not recognising that it was'st purest luck that handed this victory to you on a platter, rather than any skill o'yourn
Base slave, thy words are blunt, and so art thou intellect. Your cavalry dids't go forward, and for just one pip on a cohesion test they woulds't have been choked with thy own ambition - taking on heavily armoured cuirassiers is such a gamble that thou needest to rely on Fate herself - the pox upon her green sickness - rather than any form of skill
Thou art a boil, a plague sore, an embossed carbuncle in my corrupted blood - to fail to add a General to the Line Horse unit you had on table, and then relied on it to close the door to form a trap for the flank march - they almost got away you egg, you fry of treachery
Your beards deserve not so honourable a grave as to stuff a botcher's cushion or to be entombed in as ass's pack saddle, and it is a poor reflection on you that even having battered the Danish horse to the ground, and captured the artillery park, you allowed the gunnes to be recaptured again by the Danes, and still had to rely on your foote to deliver the coupe de grace
Your peevish lack of humility is not worth a breakfast in the cheapest country - even though that country is Denmark, and Bacon is the Breakfast of Champions
Believe me, your heart is crammed with arrogancy, spleen and pride - an from this, there will come a fall
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