FoGR: The Louis XIV Years - The Oxford Doubles 2014
Buccaneer vs Later Danish
Well well well, Me Hearties! Oxford for the Doubles on a winters Saturday morning. I was playing in combination with Mr Allen - but no Tupi this time, it was a time for Pirates!
Thsi was the BHGS Doubles, and event where the Pirates always seem to be able to come out - they had done OK last year so why not bring them again? It also saved writing a new list... The troops were cracked out of the drawer like a bottle'o rum smashed on the floor of the bar of the Sypglass tavern, and the Buccaneers were in play again - Arrrrgggghh, the Scallywags!
Pictures of Pirates from our Photo Directory
Well, tie me to the mizzenmast! As we rocked up on Saturday morning, the opposition loomed in front of us - the Danish, a wall of good quality shooting plus a bit of Horse.
Review of the Pirate army on Madaxeman TV
Yo ho, yo ho! The Ship failed to get onto the table, as we lost the initiative - 35 points and the best part of £60 down the drain ...even though I had selected an army with a Great Commander to help win initiative.
FoGR Rules Hint - Opponents dice off for initiative at the beginning of the game. Having more horse, or having better CinC's both help you win this dice off, with the winner having the choice of terrain, and also some terrain options that the other player cannot chooseÖ including taking a river or a waterway.
Our`deployment was one which I suspected we would repeat in almost all of the games - a solid line o'Pirates across the table, with Mad Impact Foot and Superior Old Pirates interspersed in the middle supported by Boring Average Pirates with a couple of the skirmishy units racing out of the way of the advance (and the enemy shooting). Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats and so this deployment would also allow our Great Commander, with his 12' command radius to encourage almost all of our troops and make sure no unfortunate incidents happened before they got into combat.
FoGR Hint - with rear support and a Great Commander your troops are taking morale tests for enemy shooting on a +3, offset by a -1 for the most potent enemy shooting (or -2 if the shooting is from artillery). GC + Rear Support should therefore mean you rarely fail a test, as it would need a roll of 4 or less on two D6 to fail.
Thar she blows! The Warrior Impact foot were moving first, and with the enemy without any skirmishers they soon had made haste and were closing in on the currently ineffective artillery park with some speed.
On the left the skirmishing Indians were keen to get out of the way of the two converging lines of shooters, and they had seen a wood - so that's where they were headed at some speed !
On the right the Danes had very little - their army was also too narrow to cover the table, and with a very nicely placed enclosed field, their cavalry were faced with an obstacle which they had no intention of getting into even if it was the only way round the Pirates flank. This terrain allowed the rather vulnerable-to-mounted MF Pirates to put pressure on the enemy Dragoons as well, and set up a fairly coherent line to attack
Ahoy there Jim Lad! The Danish Horse had perhaps unwisely forayed out in front of their lines, seeking to threaten the flanks of our band o'Pirates as they lurched forward to close on the Canish artillery - but this only served to draw the Pirates forwards, ever closer towards a decisive clash of arms with the line nof Danes.
Suddenly the Danish artillery found their range, and the 8-strong band o'Pirates in the middle soaked up a lot of casualties and attracted some cohesion markers too.
Whats actually happening now?
The Danes have been caught out by the speed of the Pirate advance and are looking to try and do something before the Pirates crash into their artillery park. The Pirates are now however starting to suffer meaningful losses to the Danish artillery, and as the Danes maneuver the Pirates just trundle forwards ready to fight anything in their path. On the left the Pirate advance is more slow paced, with Superior Danish units and Superior Horse a more dangerous threat.
Here you can see the band o'Pirates who had pushed forward against the Danish artillery executing a near-suicidal charge... but with the alternative of being shot away by massed artillery and musketry, a suicidal charge was definately the best option - as well as the most Pirate-ey one too! They went in and took on two enemy units, as the unit of foote defending the guns stepped up to take the hit
The brave band o'Pirates barely lasted into melee as they turned and routed, but there was sufficient space for them to rout twice and so they evaporated into thin air before they reached the second line of Pirate attackers
But, the waves o'Pirates were starting to break with increasing regularity on the Danish beach - following hard on the heels of the Impact Foot was a Superior unit of wizened old Pirates - the Danes would be OK as long as they maintained cohesion which denied the Pirates use of their swords ... but if they lost cohesion it would be cutlasses at dawn for the Bacon-loving redcoats
This looked to be a key point in the battle - both sides committed generals to the fray to try and break through - but for now the Danes were holding firm
FoGR Rules Hint - Swordsmen don't count any advantage for their swords against "steady" enemy with Pike or Bayonet - but if they lose cohesion and their formation starts to get ragged, the Sword starts to count as an advantage
In the middle life was much more simple. Both armies best troops had formed opposing solid lines and waited for contact as the skirmishers withdrew on both sides
The Danes committed one of their usually irrelevant but in this game quite deadly units of Average Horse into the fray - rattling the pirates who lost cohsion. At least me band o'Pirates had managed to consolidate their formation so they had rear support and a General with them, but losing cohesion against enemy horse is never good.
When Pirates gather in great numbers, the shooting they can put out is truly immense - and the gun-happy Danes were finding this out as their lines were decimated by musketry.
Me band o'Pirates start to gain the upper hand in the pivotal central combat as cutlasses and blunderbusses fire and swing at close range ! Aaaarrrgghhhh!!
But the Danish horse are also in the ascendency and a big hole threatens to appear in the Pirate line.
It's a break! And the Danish Horse must also be Superior as well, as they seem to be down to 2 bases! Still enough to cause trouble...!
With enemy horse roaming around behind them the rest of the Pirate horde decides that winning combats quickly is the only solution - they charge home against everything they can reach .
A hole appears in the middle as the Pirate unit wins the long-standing combat. Across the table Danish morale plummets as the ctulass-weilding boys rush into the very heart of the Danish army!
Further out on the right wing some tremendous dice from Old and Average Pirates who have gotten into combat with the Danes foot and horse inflict some serious damage on the redcoats..
On the left the truimphant Danish Horse are back... can the Pirates win before they are taken roughly from behind ?!
The danes are being assaulted from everywhere - with their artillery park looking vulnerable some of the Danish foot have to step forwards to keep it out of pirate hands...
There's basically lots and lots of combat going on everywhere. The fight is finely poised - the enemy horse are dangerous but weakened, and the Pirates have the advantage of ++ overlaps in many places.
Aaarrhhh! The left wing o'me band o'Pirates is all but wiped out! The artillery prepare to be captured and the Pirate army lurches closer to defeat Ö
But the Danes also lose a wing in spectacular fashion - their left also implodes and suddenly Pirates are chasing the remnants of broken infantry and mounted formations across an increasingly open plain.
The battlefield is suddenly resolved in the Pirates favour, as the infantry defening the guns break and run after a sound drubbing from some angry Pirates urged on by the Great Commmander himself. The next phase will see many more Danish units captured, broken of losing cohesion.
The Pirates capture the enemy artillery park, and also hack down the last remnants of Danish Average Horse who are reminded that their role is of rear support not front line battle winners. A tricky position and the risk of imminent defeat has been transformed into a total victory by a dramatic couple of rounds of combat as me band o'Pirates just about dish out more damage than the Danes had managed to inflict in turn on me band o'Pirates.!
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 me band o'Pirates Commander
Dolloping doubloons, what a spectacular and pirate-like game that was! Everyone was fighting almost right from the off, and some cutlass-point bravery was what allowed us to sneak over the line against the dastardly Danes!
To see my brave boys win in a toe-to-toe matchup was heartening, and reflects well on the love and adoration they have for me their brave captain. And anyone who says otherwise will walk the plank!
My brave hearties manned up and gave better than they got here, although it must be said that the Danes shooting with their nasty little guns was less than effective - largely down to the speed of our warrior advances and relentless will just to get stuck in and fight whatever was put in front of us anywhere we go across the seven seas and five foamy oceans !
This is just the start we wanted - long may it continue.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
What a ridiculous analysis of this hard-won victory! How can anyone claim the credit for a battle in which you committed every unit to the mercies of the dice gods? There was barely a single flank charge, or any sort of maneuver other than a full-on frontal charge at anyone who you could see. This is not the mark of a master tactician, more of a blind train driver on a single track to despair!
You were lucky here, nothing more and nothing less - winning a battle of attrittion against an evenly matched foe by such a narrow margin that you yourself were only one and a half units away from being broken. Call yourself a Pirate? What a disgrace!
I think that if you regard this lack of a plan as being a succesfully executed plan we are in for a long and hard weekend ending in shame and crushing disappointment. It will not be the first, and I am sure it will not be the last.
You really do need to start thinking - but I fear with your lack of brains and your army's lack of variety that this task willl be some great distance beyond you..
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition
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