FoGR Age of the Sun King in Godendag 2013
Later Louis XIV French vs League of Augsburg Anglo-Dutch
So, game 4 and the French are in the mixer for a podium finish - sat pretty on Table 2, against an opponent who's raison d'etre is "sitting pretty" - Lurkio's brand new Nine Year's War figures, in a League of Augsburg Anglo-Dutch army painted and led by Mr Lurkio himself.
The LoA-AD army was one that was almost bound to feature throughout the weekend, and probably consisted of loads of Superior 6-musket units with massive firepower. With that in mind we anticipated an army that would be rather smaller than ours, and that there would be a decent number of shot-only units which would potentially be vulnerable to mounted charges - so the decision was made to not do another flank march. We also would need to rely on our artillery to do some damage to the enemy before they closed to shooting distances.
When the armies deployed however, the LoA-AD appeared to be larger, and to have a lot more 5+1 Pike and Shotte units than we had anticipated, almost all with Regimental Gunnes as well. Nasty.. The onus was on the French artillery park right from the off..
The French were in theory moving first here, but the movement consisted of loading the artillery and loosing off a barrage at long range towards the distant Dutch and English troops, who's banners were fluttering in a well painted manner in the distance..
The Lurkio Nine Year's War range is suitable for all of the main nations, specifically Bavarians and Anglo-Dutch. They are sold in FoG battle groups (either all-shot, 5+1 or 4+2's) and also in "single base" packs as well as some army pack sizes. The guys are Essex-sized but a bit chubbier and with lots of variety in each pack. The Ancients Cavalry are sometimes cast in 2 pieces with a split at the waist, but I'm not sure about these chaps
Unfortunately it appeared that the range did not include any crew for the Regimental Gunnes, but the Anglo-Dutch were obviously uncaring about this omission and were determined to count the additional shooting and Impact Phase dice anyway.
Meanwhile the French, having been used to being at least at eeven POA's in the world of painting quality, cowered embarrassedly at the back as the collective prayers of thousands of Frenchmen all converged on the 5 elements of Medium Gunnes and prayed for them to find their mark against the massed ranks of Superior musketry of the Anglo-Dutch infantry advancing towards them.
Whats actually happening now?
The Anglo-Dutch are advancing carefully, and in a solid line with extra weighting on their right where their greater numbers of Dragoons and shotte-only infantry will have the advantage in any fighting in the terrain on which the French have chosen to anchor themselves. The Anglo-Dutch are holding back with some of their second-string units on thelr left and will end u pforming a broad arc, which will come to blows with the French on the French left
The French meanwhile have largely delegated responsibility for winning the battle to their artillery dice and are content to remain in a static position as the Anglo-Dutch advance
Finally, the French actually did something other than roll 4 dice for artillery each turn. Seeing that the Anglo-Dutch might expose a flank on their left as they advanced, the French pushed a couple of units forward against them. The Anglo-Dutch had only Average units here, and the French had at least one which was Superior, and some units of Horse, so in theory an advance by the French might force the Anglo-Dutch to turn units to face them, thinning out the main advance in the process as well. Meanwhile the French Dragoons, realising they had been deployed on totally the wrong flank, were making a double-time march across the whole width of the table over to the far flank.
With the Franco-German shotte-only unit anchoring the French line in a vineyard, the Anglo-Dutch had pushed a bucketful of Dragoons forwards to try and start picking them off - this was why the French Dragoons were so urgently needed, as their presence could potentially tip the balance back against the Anglo-Dutch Dragoons and maybe even force them into a retreat.
The French Dragoons quickly deployed, led by a spare French General (well, with the rest of the army not actually moving as yet, there was nothing better for him to do). Both French units dug into the vineyard ready for a long period of trench warfare as the two units of Anglo-Dutch Dragoons milled around in the distance.
The Anglo-Dutch foote were making stately progress across the table, and were as yet almost entirely unperturbed by the repeated barrages of ineffective French artillery fire - only one base had been lost. Time was running out for the French Gunnnes to have any effect whatsoever.
The French gunnes barked out again, and a second base was taken away from one of the Anglo-Dutch units right in the middle of their line. If that unit could be broken the Anglo-Dutch line would be a lot thinner, as their reserve infantry would be needed to plug the gap - putting both a shot-only unit into the front line and also depriving a large swathe of the Anglo-Dutch line of rear support
The French continued firing, but the Lurkio figures were proving to be incredibly resilient to artillery fire…
Whats actually happening now?
The Anglo-Dutch advance is continuing with the French artillery proving ineffectual. The Anglo-Dutch have also started to use their Dragoons to harass the extreme left end of the French line, softening up the French units anchoring their line before the arrival of the main Anglo-Dutch infantry.
The French have pushed forward on their right, in a double attempt both to force a combat against some of the weaker Anglo-Dutch units and to try and draw some of the more powerful Anglo-Dutch units away from their steady and measured frontal attack to respond to the flank threat, hopefully weakening the main Anglo-Dutch thrust in the process.
Meanwhile on the Anglo-Dutch left, a couple of units, together with a pair of light gunnes (who could afford their own crew) were simply sitting pretty as the rest of their army charged forwards on the other side of the table and converged on the French lines
The Anglo-Dutch were massing a huge number of infantry units on the left flank of the French army - the Dutch and English soldiers struggled to find room to load their muskets as they crowded together in the approaches to the vineyard, and the French soldiers facing them braced themselves as best they could for a lot of incoming fire..
The French had pushed their Horse through a gap in the line and were faced up against a brown-clad Shotte-only unit in the middle of the Anglo-Dutch line. Beyond them butted up against the vineyard, 2 units of Anglo-Dutch infantry were cautiously moving up into range to fire at the red-coated French Swiss Guards. The rest of the French infantry had moved through their gunnes and started to trade shots with the depleted Anglo-Dutch infantry in the middle, but so far the French had been coming off worse and losing bases along the line, whilst no further bases had been whittled away from the pivotal Anglo-Dutch unit anchoring their centre.
The Anglo-Dutch stepped forward into close range, and the English and Dutch commanders consulted.
"Shall we give them the volley?"
As both sides furiously reloaded and fired, the red-coated Anglo-Dutch still continued to shrug off the French musketry and steadfastly refused to lose their third base whist pouring telling amounts of musket balls into the French lines…
Close range was no place for the French to be trading shots with an army like the Anglo-Dutch - the whole French line, Horse and Foote, charged home in a wild tide of Impact Foote, claiming their hopefully vital POA at impact against the enemy line.
Still the Anglo-Dutch Foote stood firm, this time not only repulsing the French attack with no further casualties themselves, but also actually inflicting a series of defeats on the by-now rather thinned out French infantry units facing them. The best chance of the French had now gone, and the skies over Paris were showing signs of gathering storm clouds
Similar bad things were happening in the vineyard, as the Franco-German infantry were engaging Anglo-Dutch infantry to their front and found themselves unable to help out the French Dragoons - who, vastly outnumbered, had lost 2 bases in quick succession and were now routing, leaving the French left flank entirely at the mercy of the Anglo-Dutch combined arms assault.
Whats actually happening now?
The Anglo-Dutch are about to smash through the middle of the French lines as their higher quality troops prove more than a match for the better impact combat capability of the French foote. The French have no reserves, and all of their cards have been played in the preceeding impact phase. The Anglo-Dutch Dragoons are now free to harass the extreme left end of the French line, making a French collapse their inevitable as well.
Even on the French right little seems to be happening as the French Horse and foote combination struggles to find any gaps in the solid line of good quality Anglo-Dutch foote that seemingly covers the entire table.
The centre of the French army collapsed, and the Anglo-Dutch unit which had been the target of the French artillery for the entire game jubilantly swept forward and captured the offending gunnes - one combat which had effectively lost the French three units to add to the Dragoons who had gone the turn before. The game was up now for France, and there seemed little chance of a Game Two Ottoman-style recovery this time around!
Defending the Artillery in The Great Northern War (bit late, but hey..)
The captured French gunnes opened up on the rear of the French infantry, who's morale was tumbling faster than a Frenchman's appetite when presented with a plate of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.
The Swiss Guards were also taking an inevitable pasting, as good a sthey were, they were no real match for twice their number of Superior Anglo-Dutch troops. The French Horse were also struggling to make much headway against the bayonet-armed Anglo-Dutch troopers. This was looking like a very early bath indeed.
As Anglo-Dutch troops poured forwards, the French were resorting to desperate measures to try and string the game out long enough to record at least one or two points. One unit even formed column in a vain attempt to avoid being charged by Anglo-Dutch Horse…
The Anglo Dutch were winning through better quality and better number all across a wide frontage of the battle, and the French line was thinning visibly - bowing to the inevitable in slow motion.
More French units continued to evaporate - another infantry unit exploded and was eliminated and now the French had lost 5 units. French Horse moved up to plug an unpluggable gap - or perhaps to recapture the French gunnes and buy a little more time for their nearly shattered army
On the right, the French were at least putting up some resistance, as although the Anglo-Dutch unsurprisingly continued to have by far the better of the shooting at least now the French were occasionally pulling out some remarkable cohesion and death test results to enable the punishment to carry on for a little longer.
The battle ended shortly after one small victory for the French, as with only one Anglo-Dutch unit broken the French army collapsed to a massive defeat.
The Result is utter and total defeat.
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 Later Louis XIV French Commander
Well, even I must admit that this game didn't really work out quite in the way that I had hoped, or indeed planned.
My expectation was that the high-priced Anglo-Dutch army would be a lot narrower than it actually was, and I also was unpleasantly surprised by the amount of 5+1 Pike and Shotte units that were in it - as were my Horse, who were hoping to have loads of Shot-only targets to ride down and straight over, much as they did with the Ottomans yesterday.
The army that faced us however seemed to be both better and larger than our own - and this left out Horse as mere spectators combing their luxuriant pommaded hairpieces as the low-class Dutch just played the odds and rolled the shooting dice in a gameplan with almost no flair, but regrettably a great deal of effectiveness
It is a shame that glory, glamour, flair and elan have faltered in the face of the working class pedestrian yeomen of the split Kingdon, but yet again this has proved to be a tournament in which the fates have conspired against me in the very last round
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Thou art truly a scurvy, old, filthy, scurry lord - I cannot imagine what were you thinking? Line up and let a larger army, with more superior troops advance towards you, with ample reserves, to start the fight at its own choosing - to allow them to 'give you the volley' - which is it must be said, a beautiful phrase. If the enemy had said 'give you a volley, meh, but 'the volley', oh well done sire!..
OK, I must admit with grudging pain in my voice that you got unlucky at the pivotal point, however small curs are not regarded when they grin and like them you were going to get unlucky somewhere and you had no reserves - but thine opponents did, so you were always going to lose..... and to claim that this game did not work out as you had planned is surely the basest lie of all, as I can see no evidence of any sort of plan whatsoever.
You had designed the whole army so you could flank march - why did you not do so here? You did not flank march, and then to compound the incompetence you go on to deploy 2 units of horse to wander around in front of their line doing chuff all - Snakes, in my heart blood warmed, that sting my heart!
Or stick all your Horse in the flank area where his shot woulds't not want to come and put pressure on that flank whilst pressuring the front with you Superior troops?
In fact, just to try to do anything at all, anything better than 'let his massive amount of really good foot advance towards you and hope your 4 guns get really, really lucky - and if that does not work hope to get really lucky with your foot'. Muppets.
Its all a learning experience but you really should have seen that one coming you foul spoken coward, that thund'rest with thy tongue, and with thy weapon nothing dares perform.
What you lacked in that game (other than 'a competent plan') was any concentration of force, or an attempt to achieve one. This tournament is gone, so sweep on, you fat and greasy citizen, and go back to your foul smelling Kingdom of France - where your subjects will look upon you and ask themselves perchance do they think you Fit to govern? No, not to live!
That's the end - so why not go back to the Match Reports Index and read some more reports?
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