FoG:Renaissance Early Turkish Expansion 1494-1566 in The Southern League Oxford round in 2013
Hungarian vs Ottoman Turkish 1494
Only 2 weeks before Usk, the enthusiasm of the UK FoGR community knows no bounds with a new series of one-day tournaments sprouting up like mushrooms all across Southern England. This first round was held in Oxford, and featured three 2 hour 40 minute games with preset terrain (relevant to the period). The only tweak this causes to the rules is that the player who wins initiative chooses a table edge, with the side with the other player moving first - or can chose to move first and offer the other player the choice of table edge.
The lists for the Hungarian and Ottoman Turkish 1494 from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at The Southern League Oxford round can be seen here in the FoGR Wiki.
The period for this competition was the Early Turkish Expansion 1494-1566, so included armies were Early Ottoman Turkish, Hungarian, Early Venetian Colonial, Wallachian, Moldavian, Transylvanian, Mamluk, Desert Bedouin, Knights of St John, North African States, Early Austrian Imperial, Caroline Imperialist in Africa, Aviz Portuguese, Tuareg, Anatolian Emirates, Aq Qoyunlu Turcoman, Safavid Persian, Settled Arab States, Zanj, Horn of Africa, Ethiopian, Central Sudanese, Western Sudanese
I had opted to take an entirely mounted Hungarian army on the basis that there probably would be lots of enemy cavalry, and with games only lasting 2 hours 40 minutes it would need to get stuck in quickly to force a result. This of course meant throwing away all of the good work and steady improvement seen at Warfare as I didn't really look at what the other armies were going to be, and just relied on a massed lancer charge and some luck... although, with Hungarian the most popular army choice maybe I had managed to luck out ? Let's find out...
The first game was against The Don, who had attempted to play defensively against my set of three Kiels in Game 3 at Warfare, without much success. The terrain in this competition was pre-set, although in theory the tables were supposed to be appropriate for the armies available to choose from. The Hungarian steppes were notable in their absence in the first game, which saw a scattering of rough and difficult areas across the table - giving the Ottomans a fairly decent place to deploy some bowmen and guns. This, and a general cavalier attitude emboldened by bringing an all mounted army saw the Hungarians send some units on a flank march to the right, stuffing the Gendarmes down the throat of the Ottoman army (and its 4 guns) down the middle and going light on the left.
Two units of Gendarmes shrugged off ineffective Ottoman artillery as they advances, alongside a very relieved unit of Average Cavaliers who were simply glad not to be the most appealing artillery target on the table right now. The lance armed cavalry were playing a rather obvious rear support role at this early stage
Astonishing everyone, the lack of competence in the Ottoman artillery continued unabated, and as the two battle lines drew closer (or, more accurately, as the Hungarians rushed at full speed towards the stationary Ottomans) the Hungarian nobility were still fully intact. The Ottomans no doubt started to worry…
Navwar/Naismith figures, used as the Hungarian Gendarmes, the best mounted troops you can get in this period. Fully armoured - no-one can be more armoured than them so they will be a POA up in melee against everything that is not shot or othr Gendarmes - and equipped with Heavy Lances, giving them a +POA in impact against anything they might meet in this competition, they are of course superior as well. Their downsides are their points cost (of course), the inhernet vulnerability to artillery of any 4-strong mounted unit, and the fact that they fight one base deep means the enemy can end up rolling 8 or more dice against them if they expand fully out in combat, so they can suffer casulaties even when winning.
Suddenly the Hungarians were upon them - the Ottomans had not planned for this eventuality, and suddenly realised that their artillery park was now on the brink of being overrun by the Magyar hordes, which could cause a rather unfortunate loss of two - or probably three - units as the guns and the supporting Voynuks would be no match for any of the Hungarian units bearing down on them. The Ottoman commander gave pointed encouragement to his proper Sipahi cavalry to try and get involved..
The Voynucks, complete with their Janissary-style hats, stepped through their gunnes and faced up to the wall of Hungarian chivalry looming in the near distance - a massive rumble of hooves, and everyone was suddenly in combat! Cavaliers in the foreground, and then two units of Gendarmes are taking on Sipahi, Voynuks and some allied Gendarmes who were fighting for the Turk. That was quick - only 5 photos down and the decisive combat of the game has already started!
As the two walls of steel became fully committed, the flank march also arrived on the Hungarian right, adding extra units to the already potent sweeping maneuver being undertaken by three units of Szeckler (Lance Bow* Sword Kitchen Sink Swiss Army Knife Lead Piping in The Conservatory) cavalry who had also by then swing around the end of the Ottoman line. One unit of Sipahi looked on nervously…
The two decent Ottoman Sipahi units were now fully engaged (one of which, caught in column, was by now DISR), and the Voynuks were holding firm as the Hungarians started to spread out, with one base of cavaliers lost - and off to the right a textbook "we are both identical" Gendarme-on-Gendarme battle was underway.
The Cavaliers, being Average, soon lost a second base and broke, allowing a huge 6-base Sipahi unit to steam forwards, just in time to meet the rest of the Ottoman mounted who had just arrived virtually unopposed after riding through the empty left hand portion of the Hungarians deployment. The Average German lancers suddenly realised that they might have to do a little more than provide rear support today…
As the Germans turned to try and face up to the flank threat, the other unit of Sipahi broke against the concerted attack of the Hungarian Gendarmes, allowing them to turn their full attention on the Voynuks - who suddenly realised that they were now a 6-AP average unit fighting superior oppone nts and one POA down, as they were now all that was standing between the Gendarmes and two units of Ottoman artillery!
The flanking attack had already managed to run down a unit of Ottoman bowmen who had only just failed to get into an enclosed field, and it had also done significant damage with massed mounted bowfire to the Ottoman cavalry who had been tasked with holding them back. The Gendarme on Gendarme battle had also (typically) gotten down to 2 bases each, so next base to go loses… unless the outflanking Szeckler cavalry get there first and decide the combat with a flank charge into the Ottoman allies!
The German lancers were now rather outnumbered as a wall of mounted Ottoman bowfire rained down on them. They knew that they by all rights were doomed, however their only job was now to hang on long enough to allow the Gendarmes to win against the surprisingly obdurate Voynuks - who's loss may well decide the battle anyway.
The flank march and Szecklers swept forward, with a mounted bow unit making a mad dash for the Ottoman baggage camp and the Szecklers homing in on the flank of the Gendarme combat. The routing Ottoman bowmen were about to be removed, as their path to rout back to their base edge was now long gone..
The Ottoman's own allied Gendarmes decided that they preferred to lose on their own account rather than waiting for the Szecklers - they lost a base and fled! Simultaneously the massed archery of the mounted Hungarians knocked down the second and final base of the Average Sipahi defending the flank and they too broke and ran. The Ottomans were on the brink of defeat.
The average lancers were now engaged - losing at impact to Elite troops they dropped to DISR. Everything now depended on how soon the Gendarmes could been the Voynuks and capture the artillery park!
Hungarian Nobles, a rather brittle troop type of Average Light Lancer Swordsmen, but Armoured Cavaliers rather than the more usual Cavalry or Horse. These are Museum Miniatures 15mm WOTR figures - I think they are "MD24 Super Heavy Knight Plate Mail Horse and Rider Lance". Compared to normal horse, Cavaliers have more punch and a little bit more ability to slog it out in a fight as they fight 2 dice per base - so ideally they hit in a shallow formation to maximise their Lance at impact POA. Being Average however makes the concept of fighting on a wide frontage a bit of a two-edged sword, as they will often have the chance of losing bases even in combats they win. A real glass hammer of a troop type!
The Germans dropped to FRAGGED!
But then, after pretty much all of the game time fighting, the brave Voynuks bowed to the inevitable and themselves broke. The Hungarians rode triumphantly through the artillery part, scattering Ottoman gunners to the four winds, and claimed a historic victory!
The Result is a massive 22-3 win for the Hungarians.
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 Hungarian Commander
Ah, well, Indeed - a great victory my friends, and one in which I am pleased to say that I believe that we have now vanquished the scourge of Ottomanianism from Europe for generations to come!
My noble Gendarmes, brothers of mine in battle, and often in a quite literal sense as well provided that the definition of brother is extended to uncles, cousins, half cousins and people I went to jousting school, performed heroically and singlehandedly won the battle with their brave charge and strong smiting of the foe in close combat.
The barbarous Szecklers also played their part, and for that I must too be grateful to the chaps in the treasury who found the money to pay them to join our armies, and of course those among my loyal population of public-spirited peasants who's houses, property, daughters and all worldly goods and chattels the Szecklers took with them whilst foraging for supplies when the money from the Imperial treasury ran out temporarily.
I am filled with optimism for the future of this army under my brilliant command and I look forward with great joy and enthusiasm to smiting more Turks during the remainder of the day.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Go shake your ears you pompous and ignoble paltroon. You think youself a Great Captain after such a display? You are many things - false of heart, light of ear, bloody of hand, hog in sloth, fox in stealth, wolf in greediness, dog in madness, lion in prey - but a Great Captain you most surely are not.
Charging into the teeth of the enemy guns - I think many a battle has been lost and recorded in histories as yet unwritten by such stupidity, and you have only the early morning dew to thank for keeping the Ottoman powder damp, as otherwise your nobles would surely have been cut down like the corn in May and fetched up at the line of battle shorn of limbs, bodies and confidence - what then of your defence of Christendom my so far fortunate friend.
But fortune favours the brave - and youare not brave, more foolhardy, so tread forth for the further battles in the campaign in the knowledge that you good fortune has been concentrated, distilled and drunk in full already in this match.
The challenges you will face from now on will surely be greater, and you luck will surely be worse. Beware....
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition
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