28mm Renaissance at The Worlds, Derby 2015
TYW German Catholic vs TYW French
Derby - centre of the universe, industrial powerhouse, heaving hub of commerce, industry and global travel connections. And also what appears to be a "converted" agricultural building at the end of the runway of East Midlands Airport. (That's "converted" in the sense that someone had shoo'ed all of the cows out of it a day or so before the event opened).
The lists for the TYW German Catholic and TYW French from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at The Worlds Derby can be seen here in the FoG:R Wiki.
The Central London Dream Team had been somewhat disrupted by the swift exit of our Dutch comrade, and he had been replaced by Simon Lurkio - making us a team of two Simons (and me). The themes were TYW in 28mm, an Asian Stuff theme and a 15mm slightly post-TYW theme - and I took the chance to wheel out the big toys yet again, with a classic "my troops have those flags" TYW German Catholic army.
As well as the flags, there was some logic to the choice - three Superior units all with Regimental Gunnes formed the core of the army. The list also came with an option to field its artillery as cheaper light artillery, and as we were in a 28mm competition using 40mm move distances this would probably only result in 1 or 2 rounds of them not shooting, making the points saving something worth having. The competition-specific rule was that heavy and Medium artillery could not be deployed in such a way that they could shoot into the flank sector - but this did not apply to lights, so again another advantage for free!
The first game was against my nemesis from earlier in the year, Bob Medcraft
Bob was using a TYW French army - and as an Oxfordian it was textbook Ben, with a solid unbroken line of shooters and little guns, the two-packs of dragoons and some somewhat irrelevant Horse. Knowing that the enemy would have more at long range shooters, but also would want to close to combat in order to take advantage of their Impact Foot characteristics I cunningly deployed some Cuirassiers in the middle of my line, making charging rather a dicey business for the French.
My line of large men inched (or 40mm'ed) forwards to form their own coherent line - my three superior units were all deployed in the centre, with the spare Cuirassier unit out on my right flank.
Thirty Years French Reviewed
The French had no variety and even less imagination - it was infantry all the way, and on my right they started the game by marching proudly into the flank sector confident in the knowledge that the only opponents they might be shooting against would be Horse.
On the left the "they really should be hiding at the back, this will all end in tears I tell ye laddie.." Carbine armed German Reiter unit were tempted into joining the German Dragoons and some of the Average infantry to start having a bit of a pop at pushing back the rather exposed French dragoons who had boldly rushed forwards onto a plantation-covered hill. The French were looking a little strung out on this side, and were spreading infantry units a little thinly as they sought to cover the gaps between terrain
The Germans, resplendent in their blue Bavarian uniforms (no, I have no idea eitherÖ ) advanced proudly towards the end of the French line of battle.
The Secret Weapon - the Cuirassiers, in the middle of my line - were poised and ready to take on the slowly advancing Frenchies when they slow creep forwards inevitably turned into a headlong rush.
Three Minutes, One War
With a resounding clunk the Average (ie brown uniformed) German infantry locked onto the rear of the two light guns, adding their muskets to the shooting of the not particularly Grand battery.
One of Warlord Games finest personality figures, Count Tilly, waved his Bible and urged the Germans on, whilst still secretly hoping that the more civilized form of Tercio warfare would somehow make a mid-game comebackÖ.
With the French creeping forwards, the Germans were now teeing themselves up for receiving the charge - the main line of Superior infantry units in their Red, Green and Blue (all separate - please!) coats had stepped forwards along with some of the regular infantry, leaving the artillery safely out of stepping-forward range for any cheeky French charges. The Cuirassiers were also nicely placed too - including the unit which had started over on the right flank - faced by a wall of pike and shotte it had redeployed behind the main German line and was now reaching the centre.
The French were coming off worst in the shooting exchanges - the German artillery having some telling additions to their infantry's musketry - and now some of the Average French units were starting to look rather unwell.
Using a 2-unit sledgehammer to crack a 2-dragoon nut might well be overkill, but it had also cleared the terrain on the left and now the "too many to fit" German units faced the dilemma of whether or not to advance through the terrain onto the flank of the French line.
The German baggage was nervous, and some might even say they were bricking it (see what I did there?) conscious that the often-seen sackings of baggage in other reports was even more likely given how dammed huge 28mm baggage bases are, and therefore how much closer to the enemy they were deployed in this gameÖ
Give More Cash To McNeill!
Both the forces of smelly runny cheese and the forces of plastic-ey meat-flavoured cheese were simply advancing unimaginatively towards each other in the middle of the board, but the Germans were secure in the knowledge that their units were in coherently coloured tunics, and were therefore Superior. Would this give them an advantage in the combat, or had I forgotten which f the French units were also Superior by the time I got round to writing up this report Ö? Only time and subsequent photos would tellÖ
The whole "form a coherent line" thing was starting to unravel as the Germans bravely pushed their Superior units forwards, and the French prepared to respond in kind. By now the German Cuirassiers had managed to redeploy out of the flank zone and both units were tee'ed up nicely behind and amongst the German lines.
The Germans plan of getting into a shooting match where their superior firepower would have a telling influence on the battle appeared to be somewhat flawed, as the French comprehensively outshot them as the two lines drew closer on the left. Good job the German units were Superior, or they would by now be routing Ö but the prospect of surviving the combat phase was not a good one..
The French crashed forwards, to be met by a countercharge of the German Cuirassiers - this sort of gave the Germans at least half a chance, as the French were fighting 2 units rather than inflicting all of their dice on the German foote. The Germans also committed a General to combat, as was my plan all along with 4 TCs in the army. This was pretty spicy stuffÖ
The French also charged home in the middle, again against a Superior unit with a General in command.
Whilst the metaphorical big guns (and the literal, little ones) were being committed in the centre, out on the extreme right weight of numbers and a lack of caring about one unit of Average Pike and Shotte was seeing the German infantry battered by double their weight in Frenchmen. This was not a salveagable situation, but the French were rather out of reach of the main part of the battlefield now and so it might be tough for the unwieldy large 28mm units to wheel round and rejoin the battlefield after presumably crushing my shaken infantry unit with yet more telling fire.
The German Blue Superior regiment had by now simply been blown away in an equal-shooting matchup, much to the surprise of everyone on both sides of the tableÖ the French were upbeat, but the Germans were uphill and now fast closing in on their flank with another Average unit which was battling its way through the undergrowth on the hill, having cleared away the French Dragoons. The French would be forced to respond to thisÖ
But they did not get the chance! The Germans were technically behind the flank of the French unit, allowing them to execute a downhill flank charge into the rather irritated and now not quite so confident Frenchmen. Two units of identical figures clashed in the bushesÖ
This attack transformed the battlefield (well, allowed me to take a photo from a different angle). With the Red Regiment still holding firm in the middle, and the Green Regiment having outshot its opponents and now advancing on the soft underbelly of the French mounted reserve Carabiniers the centre was now looking very pro-German indeed. On the far side the two victorious French units were so far away they were almost out of the game, and the remaining German Cuirassiers and infantry were fast closing in on the now-exposed left hand end of the French flank. Weight of Teutonic numbers was being brought to bear in penny packets on the now beleaguered Frenchmen !
Kickin' Ass, Takin' Names in the TYW!
The Green Regiment having despatched their opposition were now racing forwards into the soft French underbelly - the classic Carbine-armed rear support troops were next in their path
Over on the left the vice was also slowly tightening on the French, as their two units slowly inched towards a mutually messed-up rout phase of some significance
The Germans were in many cases on their last legs, with units close to breaking almost everywhere on the field - this was not a moment for faint hearts however, and even Wallenstein himself was urging the peasantry forward, and at the same time encouraging his Cuirassiers to take down the enemy artillery park
Everyone was fully committed, but the French blue lines were now a lot thinner... a base or two more and their units would break and flee
The French Generals tried everything they could, but in the end the greater efficiency of the German shooting and combat had told - a large win for the Catholic Germans!
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 TYW German Catholic Commander
Was zur HŲlle?! Ein Wonderbar Victory Mein Freinds, und because it ist der Frenchies who ist now in der "inkorrectermunden- stickendposition" das is uber good indeed !
Den Superior Musketeerundpikephalanxintegratedunit manschaft mit littlegunnes vast tremendous und der architekuralists auf de Victory! Koeinig Spielers !
Und, achieving ein flanksupereffektiveattack mit der Comapnie through der schartzwald - I say, Jesus, Maria und Josef!
Die Catholicarmee is winning!
Holla, die Waldfee!
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
What is this ridiculous farago of pretend language which you so wantonly rent asunder in a linguistic apocalypse of military foolishness? They only serve to obscure the poor planning and hapless execution of what sad maneuverings passed for you plan in this most narrow of undeserved victories.
Your men - those that survived this battle, few as they are, all speak most ill of your leadership. The complaints I have heard of you I do not all believe; but 'tis my fault and my slowness that I do not, for I know full well you do not lack the folly to commit them and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours and yours alone
Here you did maught of importance except do the unexpected, in forcing the infantry over that wooded hill - but I saw this not so much as a stroke of brilliance more an error of deployment which your options to rectify were too poor to select amongst!
You sire have been fortunate indeed that an enemy better skilled at combat and better equipped with little gunnes for distant shooting somehow failed to carve your army apart. I am sure that fortune will not favour your Catholic ass quite so much in the next game
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition