Field of Glory Renaissance in Usk 2012
After a leisurely meal at Canta Napoli, the Central London posse headed off for the glorious metropolis of Usk, nestling quietly in the gentle Monmouthshire hills, just along the lazy banks of the River Usk. The town of Usk is steeped in history, from the ruins of a Norman castle to the seventeenth century buildings that adorn the cobbled streets. Walking around the town, you can find antique shops and clothing boutiques with a splash of local flavour, making Usk the perfect destination in Wales, for a day trip, a weekend, or even a holiday. Unfortunately the only curry house in the town is a bit rubbish, and having been to Godendingdangdag many times before I've grown bored with the handful of surviving local pubs, so we continued our experiment of trying to find somewhere nearby that was better by driving to the nearby metropolis of Cwmbran and staying in a Premier Inn. Google Maps decided to take us to this palace of luxury via an interesting route between Usk and Cwmbran....
We had taken Huguenot, as it had a good mix of tough (Swiss) foot), Cuirassiers who would outclass most horse in period, separate units of arquebusiers to occupy terrain and some units of commanded shotte to allow our own Reiters to stand up against better quality enemy Horse, giving us an option to have a defensive wing if needed too. The lists from this and all the other games at Usk can be seen here on the FoG:R wiki.
Our opponents had Later Imperial Austrian, which is analysed here
The next day, with the reverse trip safely navigated we found ourselves sat opposite a Later Imperial Austrian army in this "pre-musket" competition commanded by Don Avis, a former opponent from Warfare 2011.
As seems to be common in FoG:R both sides had some cute looking terrain they wanted to deploy, irrespective of the tactical situation or army matchups, and the end result was a series of fields and orchards strung out across the front of our deployment area. This gave me and my co-general Simone Leroy-Mohito an interesting choice - defend the gaps, or pile forward and try and force the pace? Guess which one we chose....
Our army was built around 2 Swiss Kiels, with a Landesquechenecht Kiel and a full set of Cuirassiers. The Swiss and Germans were ideally suited to go through the gaps as they do not count as being hit in the flanks, as well as being as hard as nails. With no real open terrain for our mounted wing (and as we had just allocated all three Cuirassier units to the command of an allied General after our opponents had pointed out that RBS had failed to spot the mistake in our list in which we had not chosen an ally) we sent them on a flank march hoping that the shock of the Kiels and the arrival of the flank march would knock our opponents off balance and allow us to rack up the attrition points needed for a victory.
The Swiss infantry gunned their engines, as nearby some of the units of arquebusiers smugly looked into the enclosed fields in front of them expecting a day of being safe from enemy action
Rules hint - A Kiel cannot be hit in the flank by enemy charges - well, it can, but they don't count as flank atacks. This meant our Kiels could advance pretty confidently through the gaps in the terrain and into the open space beyond, situations which for other troops would present open flanks to enemy mounted
The Austrians immediately initiated a defensive apprach, fearful of the Swiss Kiels, and sent some light horse forward in an attempt to delay the inevitable Swiss assault
Throwing all our attacking weight onto our right meant we had a rather defensive approach to the left as a result. A small village anchored our flank, and the sole unit of pistol-armed Reiters in our army waited, supported by two units of commanded shotte, to try and block up the gaps in the terrain. Artillery - who had no other real field of fire elsewhere on the table - and some arquebusiers made up the battle troops, whilst some Enfants Perdus made a rush for the village hoping to prevent a unit of Austrian light horse from sneaking round our flank. The Austrians had committed a general to the flanking maneuver, which on balance we were quite happy with.
The Austrians were waiting with a couple of Later Tercios, as the Swiss and Landesquenetechenethchts started to push tentatively forward. The Austrian horse were massed on their left, and would hopefully be easy meat for our flank march ....when it arrived.
The only place the Austrians could see to attack was on our left, and as they pushed Reiters and Cuirassiers forwards our gunners teams started to fire - getting the range immediately and knocking a Reiter unit down to 3 bases
Rules hint - Deploying gunnes to hit enemy mounted is the most popular place for them. They can as a result sometimes be outmaneuvered (whereas if they stay in the middle they can chip away at enemy foote almost every turn, guaranteed), but their effect is more deadly on Horse and on 4-strong mounted units they cause serious damage at even one base loss.
The entire battle with the Austrians pushing forward in the foreground and the big blocks of Huguenot infantry grinding forward in the distance
The Austrians push Cuirassiers forward in the foreground as the Huguenot Reiters and supporting shotte wait eagerly. Elsewhere the Austrians are pulling back, allowing the Huguenot infantry to move forward unhindered.
The Tercios were waiting...
The Austrians had stacked up their toughest troops to force a way through the gap, although if the plan went wrong there was a real risk that the Austrian Cuirassiers would rout through their own Tercio - so, lots at stake for both sides already
The Enfants Perdus were working on maximising the benefits of being in cover in the village, but the Austrians were massing their firepower. Fron our point of view, this was probably better than if their LH had continued on the outflanking maneuver although the risk to the Enfants was something that might need one of our three on-table generals to fix if it were to go wrong
The Enfants suffered a DISR result and were forced to retreat - but a unit of tougher Commanded Shotte were on their way to hold the line in the village
The Huguenot Arquebus and Reiter combination did its worst and knocked off a base from the Austrian Cuirassiers. That would make it a lot harder for them - and it was hard enough to start anyway...
Nothing else for it - the Cuirassiers charge home, and immediately DISR the Huguenot Arquebusiers... but as a 2-base unit they would suffer no ill effects or dice losses from the DISR result. So not that bad really....
On the far side of the field the Austrian mounted wing was threatening to make a dash for it through some uneven ground - but the Huguenot dragoons were holding them up, and with 2 Kiels hoving into view the Austrian horse needed to be mindful of what their actual job was in the game - threaten and delay the Kiels or go on a jaunt looking for baggage?
One of the Swiss Kiels was a touch more aggressive than the other, and had by now stuck its nose firmly out of the terrain and was starting to sniff the air for local targets.
The Landeschenchtynechts inched towards the Austrian horse, allowing their shot wings to open up on the mounted enemy - suddenly they had a lot to think about!
Some of the Austrians turned tail and retreated - the tactical situation here was in the balance with the invulnerable Kiel against the maneuverable Horse. The stage was all set for the arrival of the flank march !!
The Kiel wheeled and started to pin the Austrians. Nasty....
The speedy Swiss Kiel was now homing in on an enemy Later Tercio. The second unit of Enfants Perdus ducked out of the way of their colleagues and threatened the Austrian artillery park, as the Austrians moved up Horse units to help out their by-now very worried Kiel
Things were now looking grim for Austrian Cuirassiers, as Huguenot arquebusiers moved up to threaten their flanks - the Later Tercio behind was starting to shuffle around to allow the Cuirassiers to rout safely past !
Down to two bases - an inevitable defeat is now close for the Austrian Cuirassiers...
CRUNCH!! The Swiss pile in, super-deep and ready to expand out into combat
The Austrian "aggressive" flank is now confused - do they peel off trooops to help the Tercio, and what will happen when the Cuirassiers break? Is the attacking flank now becoming a defensive one? One unit of Cuirassiers has already been despatched back to the middle of the park to help the embattled Tercio ... but quite what the Cuirassiers are supposed to do to a Swiss Kiel is anyone's guess.
Elsewhere, the Swiss Kiel finally sees a way through the logjam and starts to sprint towards a target which will have the decency to stand there and be hit. The Landequechentechys however are marshalling Horse towards the point of arrival of the as yet non arriving flank march.
The first Swiss Kile starts its grinding process on the unfortunate Tercio as the battered Enfants Perdus fall back from their abortive attempt to capture the Austrian artillery park
As the Swiss continue to force their way into the Austrian formation, the Enfants Perdus, a base down and DISR from shooting, run like cowardly dogs to the rear
The Cuirassiers are gone!! And the idiotic over confident Huguenot Reiters pursue enthusiastically into the waiting Tercio (which has managed to get out of the way of the rout) and reach down the gulley of success and snatch imminent defeat from the very oesophagus of victory !
The Swiss are pulling out every trick in the book as their halberdiers expand out into a ++ overlap position. Not a good day to be a tercio - defeat seems inevitable, however they are hanging on bravely so far
Rules hint - This is well cool - a Kiel can expand out a base of halberdiers of other similar blokes to overlap, and when there they count at ++ POA's. They can't do this if the halberiers are counting as one of the 4 ranks of pike used to create the "4 ranks of pike" + POA, so make your Kiels at least 5 deep inclusing halberdiers.... or lose a load of bases so they are no longer a Kiel :-)
It would be a fantastic time for the flank march to come on as the Landsnechte Kiel shepherds the Austrian Horse towards the flank...
Target Identified and locked on....
It's a bad start for the Reiters and the entire Huguenot flank, as the Reiters lose a base and going DISR, and nearby in the village the Enfants Perdu's have been hunted down and shot by the enemy skirmishers. This forces the other Commanded Shotte unit to step in to stop the Austrian skirmishers from flooding through the Huguenot flank.
Almost as soon as it starts the combat involving the Reiters ends - and ends badly for the Reiters who are eliminated
The Swiss, unable to easily break the Later Tercio now find themselves fighting off an attack from the flank from a unit of Cuirassiers. More people to fight, which is generally good news for a Swiss Kiel...
A unit of Reiters attempts to sneak past the Kiel.. but what's happened - where has the Kiel's general gone? He's been killed!! Oh well, they will have to fight on without him, never mind..
But the Later Tercio is now thinning out quite alarmingly. Will the flanking horse suddenly find themselves the only opponents of the Kiel?
A similar pattern is developing elsewhere, as the second Kiel, owner of the worlds biggest Swiss flag, starts to expand outhalberdiers to overlap the enemy Tercio
The first Kiel destroys the enemy Tercio facing it - now the Austrian Cuirassiers have a challenge on their hands!
Having quickly despatched the Huguenot Reiters, the Austrian Tercio starts to roll forward, breaking the Huguenot Arquebusiers and commanded shotte in short order. The Tercio has broken through where the Austrian horse had previously failed..
The second Kiel, mid-expansion, manages to DISR the Austrian Tercio. There is no way back from here for the pseudo-Germans...
The helicopter view, with the Huguenot left flank collapsing but both Swiss Kiels with the upper hand, and the Austrian mounted wing scattered to the 4 winds as they try to escape the Lanchechyt Keil. Oh, and the flank march still not here...
And with that the time runs out and the game is over as a loss, but not that big a one, for the Huguenots.
Post Match Summary
My army is very big. In fact, it's huge - you know?. Although with this rather terrible terrain I felt unable to press the attack as much as I would have liked, which undeniably accounted for my relative lack of victory-like outcomes at the end of the battle
For an army which had never really been deployed before I was relatively happy with the performance of our team. The Swiss did what they were supposed to, although maybe it would have been better if they had actually all won, and won more quickly.
If the idiot reiters had been rather more competent and not pursued the enemy into the front of a Tercio I think the outcome might have been much better, as that accounted for 3 or 4 of my units alone, and the margin of defeat was quite small ish.
This result does have the advantage that it might allow us to submarine up the table from hereon in. Which is nice, especially prior to the invention of the submarine.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Your command of military theory is as poor as your command of the intricacies of humour. Your poor "Huge You Know" joke is an apt metaphor for the disasterous strategy which fails even to raise a smile on the lips of the enemy.
So, what is this now? Flank marches in 5 games without a single one arriving? What made you think this would be different? I know you claim that there was no space on the table for them, but I think that three units of Cuirassiers and a General would have been rather handy on the left - that's the left where you lost remember? Or even on the right they could have ridden through the uneven ground and bullied their way out against inferior quality Horse.
So, you fell into the trap of over reliance on your own Swiss mercenaries. Once they got through the woodlands and fields, there was clearly only going to be time for them to take on and defeat one unit each - so why even commit anything else? All you achieved with your over-cocky "defensive" position on the left was to put some of your weaker units in the line of fire for the enemy. If you mean to defend, defend and don't try a "I got bored" lightweight underweight attack
At least the Swiss are tough and resilient enough to allow them to survive your worst efforts. Roll on the next game
There are more photos's of the game from the other side here
- Game 1 vs Later Imperial Austrians
- Game 2 vs Muslim Indian
- Game 3 vs Early Danish
- Game 4 vs Early Imperial Spanish
- Match Reports Index
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