Field of Glory Renaissance in Oxford 2010
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Nearly done - and an out of period game...
The Sunday afternoon saw me facing off against an Italian Wars era army - an interesting test of the rules..... In the absence of a FoG Renaissance Wiki (just yet anyway) the list can be seen here
This time all the terrain fell on the other side of the table, and some Italian Wars French were going to race out of the forests at my army as it arrayed itself in a long line awaiting a no-doubt Swiss-heavy onslaught.
The French had committed a huge amount of points to 3 Swiss Kiels, almsot certainly meaning that one of their generals would be called Tony but the rest of the army was a bit thin on the ground....
|Deep pike formations or Kiels are a bit like Tercios, they don't suffer a disadvantage if attacked from the flank or rear.|
The French sent out a few light infantry and arquebusiers to hide in the rounds of an all too familiar Manor House.
With threat of an Ottoman invasion from the adjacent table ever in their minds, some classic Mikes Miniatures Stradiots widened the French flank.
The left side of the field saw the French send out yet more arquebusiers, but this time they were safely hidden in a couple of enclosed fields (despite the cheap gamer expedient of not actually providing walls..)
The Catholics had deployed almost all our horse on this wing, hoping to envelop the advancing French in the center - but on reflection they soon realised tha there were just too many to do anything useful...
The proper meat of the Catholic line was a solid swathe of Pike and Shotte infantry, plus a decent (at last!!) battery of guns, all intending to try and shoot the advancing Swiss to a standstill - or at least severely damage them as they came forwards..
|Swiss - and some other infantry - move a rather speedy 4" per move. That's a lot more than the usual 3"...|
The right wing moved forwards to set up a field of fire as the Kiels hove into view behind a skirmish screen .
A Swiss guy, looking for directions, pulls up at a bus stop where two
Englishmen are waiting.
"Entschuldigung, können Sie Deutsch sprechen?" He asks.
The two Englishmen just stare at him.
"Excusez-moi, parlez-vous français?"
The two continue to stare.
"Parlate italiano?" No response.
"Hablan Ustedes espagnol?" Still nothing.
The Swiss guy drives off, extremely disgusted.
The overwhelming cavalry wing decided to concentrate its efforts on one unit of enemy crossbow armed skirmishers, whilst the Harquebusiers milled around wondering if it was worth their while closing to shoot the enemy arquebusiers hiding behind the none existent walls, in the vain hope their added letter "H" would offset the effects of cover.
The wall of Swiss advanced swiftly covering ground at a fearsome pace under the able leadership of General Tony....
The skirmish screen allowed them to move double time for several turns.
On the left however there was nothing stopping my cavalry from rampaging through - except the invulnerability of the Kiels to flank attacks...
By now the three Kiels had all separated to pick their individual targets - giving the Catholics hope that they could do as planned and concentrate their fire to good effect. But so far only minor damage had been inflicted... Time was running out as the Swiss ate up the distance between them and hand to hand combat...
|Guns can ignore skirmishers and shoot at units behind them, but musketeers can't|
As the Swiss closed, their Infants Perdu's retired behind the set of Kiels and the Catholics braced for impact (in English with Polish subtitles)..
Back on the left the Harquebusiers were doing no damage at all...
One particularly bold Kiel decided to take on 6 Pike and Shotte, a regimental gun and the full tercio - all on it's own - as in the distance yet more anachronistic troops, in the shape of 2 units of Gendarmes lined up to see what happened when they charged home against some Cuirassiers...
The two Kiels on the right had both lost casualties, but still were at least 4 ranks deep giving them the added combat factors that could prove decisive.
|Swiss pike units have a rear rank of halberdiers... but they count as Pikemen for determining rank bonuses at impact and in combat. They have other cute benefits however more of that later...|
The French LH escaped by the skin of their teeth as the two sets of top quality cavalry prepared to go for it...
But as the Swiss closed, they suffered more casualties - this Kiel was down to 3 & 4 ranks deep - maybe the Catholics now had a chance...? Time for General Tony to fire up his men by making them a cup of strong coffee..
The 2 blocks of Swiss charged home - winning both combats, and causing base losses and in one case, disruption. After Impact the embedded halberdiers streamed out to start chopping up the flanks of the Catholic formation.
|In FoG:R you only ever get to count 1 base fighting as an overlap - but halberdiers always count as being at ++ when overlapping, so they are the best overlap you can get! It neatly simulates the effect of the Swiss mixed units.|
At last the Gendarmes and Cuirassier clashed, and it turned out that Cuirassiers were much better in impact!
|Gendarmes will have POA advantages against lighter lancers at impact, but will be POA's down against Horse with Pistol at Impact - so, that's why they died out|
The Swiss were relentless - they ripped through both Catholic units as if they were mere speedbumps on the road out of Lucerne - leaving the surviving Pike & Shotte unit in the middle reeling in shock at the fearsome carnage...
The third Kiel didn't fare quite so well, but it was fighting against 20 bases with just seven...
Another Pike & Shotte formation had decided to take on some arquebusiers, but had not been mindful of the light infantry handgunners on their flank. When closing to close range, the Catholics had found out that lead shot was equally dangerous whether fired from a musket or an arquebus - their advantage at long range was more than cancelled out by a bit of bad luck and the way they were being shot at by 10 bases and were shooting with just 4...
The Gendarmes were swept away....
But elsewhere nothing happened..
A ridiculous amount of infantry were needed to halt the third Kiel, but they continued to throw bodies into the breach to try and halt the Swiss advance...
With the entire right flank of the Catholic army destroyed by Swiss and arquebus fire, the Kiel on the French left finished massacring the routers, halted and then turned about and headed back to continue the carnage...
But finally one Kiel broke - overwhelmed by both the Tercio and some Pike and Shotte, it had been fought to a standstill.... and the Spanish Demi Cuirassiers decided to pursue it to ensure it had no chance of recovering from rout!
The middle Kiel had continued its pursuit straight through the Catholic artillery park, capturing the guns, and after instructing the newly installed gunners to open fire on the rear of the Catholic infantry now in front of them, carried on towards the Catholic baggage!
The other Kiel had made its was back, hitting a surviving Pike and Shotte unit who felt the need to commit a general to even stand a chance ...
The baggage was captured in short order... putting up only marginally less resistance than the rest of the enemies the Swiss had fought that day.
Swinging back over to the right, an unsurprising combat result was developing as the Swiss returned from pursuit and promptly chewed their way through another formation - although the general leading the Catholic block was managing to shore up the line somewhat ...
The Catholics obviously had recovered from the original shock of being battered by the Swiss, and were hanging on grimly. The Catholic infantry, led by their vaguely ECW flag waving officer, fought off the Swiss onslaught, and then managed to steel themselves, rallying from Disruption.... But right at the moment things were starting to even out, the Arquebusiers delivered an almost unneeded coup de grace by charging the flank of the mixed unit, just as it rallied from disruption against the Swiss!
After destroying that Pike and Shotte unit in a flash, the ever victorious Swiss swept onwards, bearing down on the last surviving Pike and Shotte formation, which was by now reeling in shock and despair at the carnage surrounding it that the two rampant Kiels had wreaked...
In a long forgotten part of the field, a lone Cuirassier unit chased down the Stradiots... who were unable to evade far enough, and after this photo was taken, were caught!
As the Swiss wrapped up their day by dispatching yet another infantry unit, the Catholic Spanish Demi Cuirassiers charged home into the rather startled and no not so over confident arquebusiers!
The Guns were becoming a bone of some considerable contention, as the Spanish Catholic Tercio re-captured them from the French, saving the Catholic army from defeat - but the returning Swiss Kiel, full of bonhomie and cheese captured in the Catholic baggage, was by now steaming back into the fray...
This looked like 2 separate battles - surely the arquebusiers would be trampled underfoot by the Demi Cuirassiers, but there was little hope for a Fragmented pike block hit by a Kiel !
Taking advantage of yet another interesting part of the rules, the Tercio engaged the Kiel, over the confused and much captured guns!
|By standing just behind a line of guns you can defend them - you fight a combat as if the guns were not there. This allows infantry to support guns without any obtuse interpenetration rules...|
The reckless Swiss simply charged in in column, confident of their invincibility - and in many ways, quite rightly on the basis of the evidence of the day so far...
As the Spanish Demi-Cuirassiers attacked them the Arquebusiers phoned for help. And Tony and the Swiss answered that phonecall....
The Tercio shuffled up into contact - both sides had committed generals, as both armies were right on the brink of total defeat!
As the Spanish tercio fought on, the Spanish Demi Cuirassiers broke and then destroyed the hapless arquebusiers, and then converted their pursuit into a unit of handgunners - neatly evading the potential flank threat of the Kiel in the process...
As the handgunners stood and took their medicine from the Spanish Horse, a unit of proper Cuirassiers came and joined in, pouring a bit more down their throats !
It was a desparate struggle between the Swiss and the Spanish - only the loss of rear ranks of Swiss was making it even though..
But, finally, the handgunners succumbed, and with them the French army collapsed to utter defeat, with the Catholics having teetered dangerously close to the brink themselves for many, many turns. With 2 Kiels still alive, the Swiss were still dangerous but with their paymasters in rout, their game was now also over....
Post Match Summary
Swiss Tony's Viewpoint
Leading a Swiss Army is very much like making love to a beautiful woman.
You need to not get overly distracted by all the frilly bits of loose fitting clothing, make sure you have enough shot in your bag, hang on tight to your pole, take a good long deep breath and then simply poke like mad at anything and everything placed in front of you, all the while hoping that nothing goes "bang" during your final approach that could spoil your day by making you seeing stars too early, and prevent you finding an appropriate hole to insert your pikestaff into.
Oh, and then at the end, a large amount of money changes hands.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Aaaarggh, 'tis a wonder of the firmament whenst the sun shineth upon the balding pate of a General so poor as ye, and yet, aghast, its batheth youn crown in the glorious light of heavenly Victory twice 'ere the darkening of the evening.
The Pope, high up 'ere the Catholic Church's heart, wilst looke mightily upon ye with great favour and blessings. And so shall all who play this truly excellent sette of Rules of Warfayre as well.
Thous struggle-est like a lilly livered lady boy agin' the manly hirsute Switzers, and although they dids't falter, thou were'st well set a'throwin' t'them a steady stream of pith-weak units, arriving piecemeal upon the sod of brave Englande to stand up one a'er one, and then layest down face down in the dirt in the same way.
But, didst thou not knoweth of the plan 'o success? 'Course - as thou dids't execute it with great heart and fortitute (and fortune no doubt) wi' one Kiel juddering to a halt mere inches from thine pikes, battered to a standstill by the fyre o' a hun'red muskste of the men of Spain and the Men of Catholic upbringing? Concentration - both of the mind, and of the barrelles of thine muskets and gonnes is the way to stoppeth the Switzer - and mark my wordes, that were thy plan to achieve a win here my hale well met fellow.
Forsooth, for thine future, I do hold greate hopes. A sette of Rules appeareth to be borne, abeit from a blagguard and a poltroon of a Charlatan of Medicine and papers, an' his evil cabal of halfwitted slavish ne'erdowell fellowes and followers, yet, from such base materiel hath sprung an achievement of great bounty and hope. I forsee a day when the Clash of armies in the beginnings of the Age of Reason achieveth notoriety and fame that far suppaseth the fables of the Ancients - e'en as their demise is re-tolde by poltroons and nomad horsemen for many a'year.
Two Victories, two damn sound thrashings, and a great time had by all.
I salute you - but only because my new best friend Captain Flashheart has told me that such an attitude impresses your serving wench, and I plan to have at her with my own red hot poker next time I darken your door!
FoG Renaissance is now out
It looks to have most of the buggy bits from FoG Ancients ironed out, and with less skirmishers and more people shooting in the Renaissance era, it is a lot more about beating your opponent by removing bases rather than making them fail reaction tests!
Order on Amazon UK here
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FoG Reports Pageloads to date.