English Civil War in Oxford 2017
Later Royalist vs Later Royalist
The lists for the Later Royalist and Later Royalist from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Oxford can be seen here in the FoG:R Wiki.
On a bare and seemingly snow-covered Northern moorland, no doubt benefitting from three rounds of people moving one terrain piece each game to the extremities of the board, two Royalist armies faced each other in a battle for kingly supremacy. My men had the advantage in Horse, and the usurper's troops had opted to run much of their foote in a shotte-only configuration, making them in theory even more vulnerable to our Cavalier-like charges.
The massive cavalry battle this game would be on the left, and this too was where the still-to-arrive flank march had been despatched in this game also - a third attempt to play with 4 generals and all of my points.
Neither side had bothered with Cavaliers on the right, as solid anchors existed for both armies on dragoon-friendly terrain. The Loyalist Firelocks provided support for my men as the Usurper's forces utilized some cheap nags and mounted carbines in the same role.
With a long line of Shotte mostly but not entirely unencumbered by pikemen facing me, the clear stratagem was to redeploy some of the Cavaliers to seek a decisive charge against the unprotected enemy infantry, and indeed much of the early phase of the game was devoted to teeing up exactly such an opportunity
Rule Changes: Lots of mounted troops are cheaper than they were before. Hopefully it encourages more non-Cuirassiers to appear.
With so much musketry on table, neither side was keen on the lottery-like prospect of a prolonged firefight and instead preferred the lottery of combat. Almost immediately battle was joined at close quarters in the centre of the field, as Horse and Foote slammed together like rutting rhinos seeking lucrative contracts on the pro MMA circuit
On the far right the Loyalist Royalist Horse had been quietly flicking their way through the rulebook and had concluded that the rarely-seen pre-set terrain feature of 'uneven ground' in which the Usurper had placed a unit of Firelocks in fact provided almost no protection for the enemy infantry, and much to their surprise had launched a fierce charge into and across the terrain against the shocked enemy foote.
In the centre the initial blood and thunder of the clash of lines had been replaced by a prolonged struggle as men huffed and puffed eyeball to eyeball at very close quarters seeking the advantage that would see their side swing the tide of battle.
More and more units were being sucked into the growing combat as the Loyalists redirected yet more Cavaliers into the centre seeking to overrun the pike-less enemy foote. The left flank was witnessing a cautious Cavalier face-off, with the Loyalists fervently praying to their papist god for the flank march to at last arrive and provide a decisive signal for them to launch an attack.
The Cavaliers charge into terrain had not quite gone as well as hoped, and they were now locked in a desperate struggle against the enemy as Usurper Horsemen moved up into a potentially devastating flanking position. The fight would need to be won quickly and the pursuit would need to be lengthy for them to survive
Rule Changes: Artillery now hit all mounted on a 5, the same as for Foote. Stops artillery being used as an anti-Horse sniping tool.
Finally the two lines of Horse on the left had also both blinked (or the Usurpers men had gotten bored of being picked off slowly by the Commanded Shotte of the Loyalist troopers), and they too piled into one another in a thunder of hooves and a blare of battle trumpets!
This was the Royalist drones-eye view, the Presbytarians dismissing such tecvhnology as foolish and frivolous, and showed a near-solid line of combat stretching from the left flank to the centre of the field. The first breakthrough had come for the Usurpers forces however, with a Pike and Shotte unit breaking in the very centre of my line.
FINALLY! The flank march arrived, sweeping the Usurpers dragoons out of the broken ground they had been hitherto confidently occupying and storming towards the end of the line of mounted melee action. The Old Glory figures were glad to be on table again, and their fellow Loyalists were equally glad to see them...!
But the sight of the arriving flank march had broken the will to fight of the Usurpers Horse - to a man they turned tail and fled, not wanting to wait for the flank march to do bad things unto them. The Loyalist Cavaliers pursued in abandon as the flank march looked on in stunned surprise!
On the snow-blasted moorland the flight was long, fast and the pursuit was hard and relentless. The Loyalists, blood lust colouring their vision refused to stop and rejoin the fight whilst plunder and looting were beckoning on the horizon.
The stunning success of the Loyalist Horse was sadly not being mirrored on the opposite flank, where the simple mathematics of a 3:2 disadvantage in shooters was starting to tell on the Loyalist foote. Unit after unit was crumbling to naught as the relentless firepower of the Usurpers men was brought to bear on the advancing Loyalists.
The whole line was crumbling and even the great Generals of the Loyalist force could do nothing to steady the nerves of their battered men
The snowy ground was again visible as the Loyalists removed bases by the bucketful in their headlong retreat.
Soon the once-impressive ranks of carefully arrayed Loyalist infantry regiments were reduced to isolated bastions of small bands of desperate men, hanging on for dear life against the remorseless advance of the Usurpers gunnery teams.
The Usurpers rebellion was by now nearly complete, with the Loyalist Horse still over the hills and far away from the battle as the Usurpers Foote homed in on the last standing Loyalist infantry regiment - the Firelocks.
The last base was shot away and the unit - and with it the army - broke and fled.
And with that we were into the biscuits, where there was great attention to detail from the organisers with theme-appropriate biscuits in Oxford for the ECW era FoGR event
Post Match Summary from the Later Royalist Commander
Ping-pong was invented on the dining tables of England in the 15th century, and it was called Wiff-waff! And there, I think, you have the difference between us and the rest of the world - other nations, the French, looked at a dining table and saw an opportunity to have dinner; we looked at it an saw an opportunity to play Wiff-waff, and now, also, to use those same tables to play FoGR V2.0
Despite this game ending in a close defeat, I must admit that the overall look and feel of the battle was pretty much unchanged - I still blundered forward with a big slug of Horse, and exchanged musket fire when we saw the white's of their eyes. Having cheaper Horse did however mean that I could afford more of them, and in fact enough such that they had a chance to try and be a decisive wing in their own right rather than something which you use in support of infantry and try hard not to lose before the main battle is resolved. Not having to worry about them being decimated by artillery was also greatly rewarding and encouraging, as was the more coherent marker-style format for Commanded Shotte - I heartily approve!
The huge victory I recorded in round 2 still meant that a trophy ended up in my sweaty mitts, and a Chimu DBA army fro Lurkio is a nice gift. Tempted as I am to build it up into a full L'Art de la Guerre army the thought of buying another £200 of poorly equipped infantry to achieve the required numbers is not of my liking and so perhaps it will be a paint-to-ebay project instead?
The end result is that these tweaks to the rules are not dramatic, but all of them move the bar in the right direction towards a more realistic-feeling and balanced game. My concerns are the great discounts of horse, allowing huge numbers to take the field but perhaps that is solvedby playing at 700-750 points instead of 800? Often the easiest solutions are the best...
Hannibal's Post Match AnalysisYou driggle-draggle snout-dragon, what idiocy speews forth from your mouth in claiming that a defeat was a good thing. In this war the loser tends to lose their head along with the battle, and so there is little scope for a post-game defeat to result in another chance to play
Here surely the lesson was one of the supremacy of shooting against the Pike & Shotte formations you deployed? And with an unimaginative deployment of your horse, with no reserves and a wasted flank march depriving you of horseflesh and command and control you could not quite do enough to put pressure on the unprotected infantry who made up the bulk of this army you today faced.
I look forward to more outings of this most uncivil warfare, and to see some of the great armies of the past return to prominence as the Swedes, the Louis XIV French and others make it out of the box and onto the tabletop
The shame in each case is that they will all be under your hapless command - so their return to the table will be short and painful.
That's the end - so why not go back to the Match Reports Index and read some more reports?