FoGR Early Renaissance at Roll Call 2013
Early Danish vs Early Polish
Roll Call. One of the many themed competitions across the UK calendar, and one which crept up on me with unexpected alacrity nestled as it is at the beginning of June, hard after a particularly busy period at work. The theme was one in which Gendarmes were supposed to have a good chance, as no melee or impact Pistol armed cavalry were allowed, and so being hurried into a decision on army without chance to practice (erm, like I ever didÖ) I plumped for a tweaked version of the army that I'd taken to Warfare the previous November - The Danes.
The lists for the Early Danish and Early Polish from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Roll Call can be seen here in the FoGR Wiki.
Army OverviewThe army contained the Kiel+sleeves of shot formations which I was actually quite keen on, and because the theme was Gendarmes, I also stacked up on Gendarmes, working on the not unfeasible basis that very few other people would actually choose them and that three units would cause problems to anyone. The supporting cast was an unusual 6-strong unit of Heavily Armoured horse with shooting pistol, 4 carbine armed heavy horse and 3 units of LF with arquebus, in theory there to pad out the army (assuming they could escape being killed) and perhaps steal enemy artillery parks. Unusual, but still a little familiar
Also familiar was my opponent in round 1- Alasdair Harley, the horse-meister-tastic uber player, with a near all mounted Early Polish army with the unusual mixed Lance and Crap mounted units. Not top of my opponent wish list to be sure, but my army was sort of geared towards taking him on and I would surely have to play him were I to win the event.
The terrain was not kind to my army, with nothing at all ending up on either flank or in the middle - instead a set of forests interdicted my baseline and not much at all was on his side of the table. At least my common sense was still intact, and instead of spreading my army thinly across the board I concentrated all the mounted on one wing, looking to race forward and crush half the Polish force whilst using the Kiels as slow moving linebackers to block the Polish reserves from interfering.
The plan started well - it had caught the Poles on the hop, and their army was the one strung out too wide as my armoured mounted troops steamed along the flank, screened by the Kiels.
A pretty solid wall of supported Gendarmerie was almost immediately closing in on the Polish forces, and with skirmishing arquebusiers in front the Danes were almost anticipating some positive result as the Poles were still struggling to bring sufficient force to bear
Much of the same as the Gendarmes pinned the Poles to the back of the table. Their backs were up against a very brick looking wall as the Danes closed the distance between the two lines of horse.
Polish reserves were starting to appear, but there simply were not enough Polish units to cover the frontage of heavy Danish metal galloping towards them. Dropping into single line to perhaps evade, the Poles started to realise their generals invulnerability may have been overstatedÖ
The Danes tidied themselves up for a charge
In the middle the 2 Kiels were having loads of fun, turning and expanding time after time to block any sneaky horsemen from getting round the back of the Danish mounted wing. The Polish horse were milling around somewhat aimlessly, the hedgehogs facing them seemingly having interrupted the usually decisive flow of focused attacking that they normally adopted under Mr Harleys command
The Polish reserves had started to arrive Ö
But the Danes had the advantage, and they then extended it significantly with some deadly shooting from the LF arquebusiers who were knocking bases off the Polski horse
By the time the two lines got to charging distance the Poles had added some weight of numbers, but had also lost some bases too, bringing rear rank figures into the fore
The first charge went home! Down bases, disrupted by arquebus fire the Poles of course got far the better of it and the solid Danish troops suffered dice based catastropheÖ
Almost instantly the Danes were broken, incomprehensibly they turned and fled through their uncomprehending colleagues..
The perfect attack, perfectly shot in by the LF, was now an utter shambles as unchecked Polish horsemen units rampaged through the rear and flanks of the Danish mounted wing, in scenes reminiscent of most other games played against Alasdair with other armies.
No matter where the Danes attacked, the Polish combat dice were unwavering in their promulgation of mounted supremacy for their part of the Baltic borders
FoGR hint - throwing much worse combat dice than your opponent is a certain recipe for defeat
Everywhere was a whirling melee with Poles not sure whether to charge in the flank, rear, front or all three of the devastated Danish units
And everywhere the Danes were not only losing combats, but losing bases at every possible opportunity. Every combat dice was against themÖ
Only one Gendarme unit had prevailed, and it was contemplating just pursuing off table as the Poles returned from the scene of the carnage and headed towards the Danish survivors
The Poles were soon sweeping up the LF - the plan of not losing them was now lostÖ
The Result is a crushing defeat, plucked from a very promising start.
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 the Early Danish Commander
Well, I thought for a long time that I had the Poles firmly on the grill, but at the most vital moment my troops seemed intent on jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire!
Quite what else we could have done in this situation - other than just hide in a corner - is unclear to me at this point in time
Perhaps being a slice of Bacon has fried my cognitive facilities, but I am pretty sure this was looking very good right up until the point I started rolling combat dice, after which it all went wrong so quickly I hardly had time to blink
I am sure I cannot be this unlucky again this weekend....
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
As they say in Denmark, "Alderdom beskytter ikke mod dŚrskab", and I can see here that it is true. You have aged, but you have become no wiser either in the use of the Danes, or the correct tactics against a wall of horsemen
Each time you consider the need to be cautious, sit in a corner - but again, although you did manage to only fill half the table, you still came forward. But this was not your mistake in this case.
Let's look against an opponent who can redeploy speedily at the pace at which this attack developed. It seems there are more photos of your troops preparing to get into combat than there are of them being beaten and routing from the field - which given the scale of the calamity which overcame you is hard indeed to believe.
What seems to happen is that you took far too long to begin to engage in equal-odds combats, allowing your opponent the opportunity to add enough numbers to overwhelm you by simply having more men. Not edifying. And the inevitable result. Lets hope the next game is more obliging
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