FoGR Early Renaissance in the Southern League Southampton 2013
Italian Wars French vs Trasamanta Spanish
The Southern League continues to deliver excellent value and entertainment, with a variety of themes and a handy one-day format. This time the theme was the Early part of the Renaissance, so essentially Italian Wars, allowing me to field - I suspect for the first time ever in FoGR - some "proper" Swiss, real Determined Foote Superior Armoured types. I'd also brought 3 lots of Gendarmes in an attempt to out-Gendarme any Gendarme-rich opponents. A simple plan involving much attacking at high speed - should be ideal for me!
The lists for the Italian Wars French and Trasamanta Spanish from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games ain the Southern League at Southampton can be seen here in the FoGR Wiki.
The first round draw was done on the basis of issuing and accepting challenges on the Slitherine forum - meaning I played an opponent who I'd never actually played before (to the best of both our knowledge!). The enemy army was Trasamanta Spanish, which meant unusual formations in the shape of Colunela's
The terrain was pre-set , and sort of gave my Swiss (and Landsnechts) an obvious avenue of attack against the spot of open ground in the middle of the enemy army - they could then defend the flanks with rough terrain troops against which I really only had one unit of Arquebusiers to reply.
This left a plan of using the overpaid Gendarmes to threaten anyone thinking of coming out of the rough ground on the left, stuffing my 2 Kiels down the gap and pushing forward on the left with Arquebusiers and some more Horse.
The Swiss unsurprisingly advanced like greased lightning, whist a large Spanish screen of mounted and Foote skirmishers delayed the French mounted and foot to the left of the Swiss, who were simply ignoring enemy artillery fire along the way as they piled forwards.
Pretty soon the Swiss were right down the throats of the enemy, who has also been rather whittled away by French artillery fire, leaving a rather brittle unit of English billmen to defend the Spanish artillery park. Not great odds really…
On the right, two units of gendarmes were busily attempting to squash some irritating Spanish LH, as a Colunela waded painfully through the terrain to lend a hand…
On the left the French were maintaining a reasonably coherent advance, as a mounted wing consisting of Reiters and Gendarmes pushed back the Spanish LH, and a Landsnecht Kiel and French Arquebusier combo gently nudged the Spanish LF back towards their own lines as well. A rare display of cohesion and patience all round…
Then, the moment the world had been waiting for, as some probably 25+year-old Mikes Models Swiss actually got into combat for the first time in years (well, as Swiss anyway - they have been Germans, French, Danes….)
As the Swiss charged home the Gendarmes covering their left flank had gotten a little bored with chasing LH and were back to their main job of keeping archers in the rough going.
Whats Happening Here? The Spanish have adopted a defensive position, relying on their 4-gunne artillery park to damage the French infantry significantly before they hit their wall of Colunelas and English Allied billmen. This is not working particularly well, and instead of sitting back and capitalizing on their gunnery, the Spanish are a sitting target for a coherent advance by the French, led by the Swiss. A significant number of Spanish units which might ordinarily have threatened the flanks of the Swiss advance are instead being bottled up by the French Gendarmes. Overwhelming French mounted superiority on the left if also forcing the other Spanish wing backwards
The battle had nicely lined up into a solid line of potential and actual combat stretching the entire width of the Spanish lines, with the 2-unit combo of Gendarmes and Reiters successfully bullying the Spanish right flank to the point at which they had already decided that discretion was the better part of valour and had drifted backwards..
The Swiss were clearly ring-rusty and were making exceedingly heavy weather of beating a half-eroded unit of billmen, and were no down to only 3 bases deep across the whole formation. This might take longer than expected…
The Gendarmes boredom had now reached dangerous levels, and one of their leaders decided that if the mercenary pedestrians were not capable of deciding the game, it was down to the Nobility - piling into the terrain they stunned the archers who had considered themselves totally free of risk up until the point at which several tonnes of armoured horseflesh crashed into their front line..
Finally the Swiss managed to despatch the English, freeing them up to execute a sharp turn just as a unit of Spanish Gendarmes was attempting to exploit a gap in the French line… the rather embarrassed Gendarmes' brilliant plan now appeared to have left them pinned by the most potent anti-Gendarme force on the planet…
Learn French II
The Spanish line was now collapsing at a rapid pace, as the Gendarmes swept away the English archers, opening up the field for French crossbowmen to capture more Spanish gunnes and for the French mounted carabins to even risk getting in on the action as well
The French left hook was also in action, as the Spanish Gendarmes attempted another desperate holding action to prevent enemy Reiters and Gendarmes roaming freely in their rear area
Whats Happening Here? The Spanish line is in tatters, having been outmatched at key points and let down by the ineffective shooting of their gunnes. To add insult to injury, the French left wing is now swinging round to put even more pressure on the Spaniards
The only unit of unengaged French Gendarmes was still stoically doing their job of occupying the Spanish on the French right flank - although it was becoming more of a challenge as each bound went on..
Learn French III
By now the Swiss had despatched the sneaking Gendarmes and were in full effect, helping the Landsnechts to crush the hapless Colunelas in a deep pike formation vice as in the distance the rest of the French army closed on the beleaguered Spaniards too.
The coup de grace came from the French arquebusiers, raining a massive 8 dice of shooting down on an isolated Colunela and shredding it in short order.
The result was a crushing 25-0 victory for the French - a perfect start to the day's campaigning!
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 Italian Wars French Commander
Mange tout my friends, Mange Tout! What an incredible victory for the forces of gastronomy, the culture which birthed Asterix, and all those who believe EuroDisney to be a cultural Chernobyl on the face of Europe!
France will yet rise again after this great victory, and to those who might say that it has been won by the Swiss I must say oh contraire Rodney, oh contraire! The Gendarmes were the power in the land here, and it was their decisive actions to stove in both of the enemy flanks which won the game. Pas de Calais!
After this great victory, surely it is our time for oeuf sur la plat!? From here Franch can dominate all of Europe, and claim a victory in this competition which will propel us towards success in the entire competition across the year? Allemagne dix points!
Chasse de forme I say, chasse de forme!
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Fortune favours even the brain boiled unfortunate on some occasions, and today appears to have been your day. A good matchup, a terrain setup which substantially restricted your fool-born opportunities to do anything clever whatsoever, and the rub of the green on dice all worked in your favour, which is excellent news as you also managed to spend most of the game wasting 3 full fat units of Gendarmes, the most potent mounted troops in the game, as they chased LH and stared at bowmen.
Luckily for you, you baseless whelp the Swiss proved surprisingly immune to massed artillery fire as well, for which no training you had given them (as if) can be attributed - it was sheer luck in bad rolling by the enemy and good death rolls by yourself. If they had been suffering even half as many casualties as your meagre, maggot pie of an artillery park managed to dish out your axis of attack would have been severely blunted and without the Swiss doing their thing, your French troops supporting role would have been in supporting a dour draw rather than capitalising on a hard-won mercenary victory.
We have experienced the nosebleed heights before, have we not my hedge-born comrade in arms? Let us see what opponent is cast before you as a dogs butt in your face in the next game, and if they prove as supine in the dice department as the one this morning before we dare to pass further judgement
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition
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