Field of Glory Renaissance in Usk 2012
Game 4 - another surreal carbohydrate packed lunch which insulted the honour of all Italians by claiming to be Lasagne - served with chips - and we were into the home straight. Our opponents were using Early Imperial Spanish, a hesft beast of an army without the Germanic of Swiss influences, and with instead the geographically-sized lanscape features known as full-strength Early Tercios
The lists from this and all the other games at Usk can be seen here on the FoG:R wiki.
It is also reviewed here by Phil and Fernando
The Spanish army was essentially 2 Early Tercios, of a Superior nature, and some other bits and pieces. It was our first tussle with proper Gendarmes of the weekend, and as well there were some rather folorn looking Light Lancer Horse who started the game furiously consulting the POA chart to see if there were any opponents they could outclass... The terrain had all fallen in our deployment area, which made finding space for the 3 Kiels rather tricky. This led to us being stretched across the board whilst the Spanish were clearly planning on fighting with the 2 Tercios on their left
Rules hint - Light Lance appears to get a POA against unsteady foot, shot-only foote (without bayonet) and Impact mounted. However put my mom on a donkey and she could probably ride down unsteady and shot-only foote. And Impact mounted are not exactly ten a penny in the early Renaissance period either.
The Spanish Tercios were a wonder to behold, with some additional basing spacers going on around their borders and mounted on a big bit of magnetic stuff, an idea so brilliant in thought and execution that it was almost impossible to not immediately file it away and decide to copy it myself
The Spanish opened the batting with the traditional folorn hope of light foot rushing forward to block our Swiss advance. Behind them many Spanish owned moving parts reconfigured themselves as horse and foote dithered this way and that to match up our somewhat haphazardly deployed army
We had Horse and arquebusiers facing what appeared to be a gaping open flank, and they gaped at it as the Spanish skirmish screen minced around before their eyes
Immediately Simon Leonary-Nimoy noticed that we had more skirmishers than the Spanish, and instigates a charge with both units of Enfants Perdus - whilst the rest of the army struggled to emerge from the fields of a small scale Ambridge in which it had clearly been bivouacing
Replete with the after effects of a hearty lunch and an unfortunate camera angle, the enemy General (having grown a Spanish-speaking beard especially for the occassion) carefully considered his options. He could push the Tercios forward to fight anything else on table and they would almost certainly win, or he could do something else that would probably be less effective. A tough call...
The Spanish were a dense target, but the Huguenot gunners were still undecided - the small Spanish skirmish screen was a major irritant in our attempts to get the Swiss out into open space.. should they be the target instead?
Finally the Huguenots start to make some headway, as isolated columns of Horse make haste towards the open enemy flank (away from the Tercios). Everything is lumbering into action at the same time... and once they all clear the bad terrain there may be no stopping them (hopefully)
One Kiel of Swiss starts to look beyond the skirmish battle and spies a juicy target - a non Tercio foot unit perhaps? Time to get motoring!
As a small diversion, here is what happens when you are Alastair Harley using a silly all-mounted army and you play someone who wins the initiative roll and has Hilly in their terrain choices. Ho Ho Ho.... not so clever now eh??
The well-pre-promoted skirmisher on skirmisher battle was starting to really hot up, with both sides losing bases and picking up markers. The Huguenots were however satisfied that their classy "dead soldier" markers gave them the edge over the Spanish at this early stage of the proceedings
Far more impressive though was a further 2 base losses (seen here in mid-removal) which meant the Spanish screen was swept away - Lost Children to the Front !!
As the Huguenots had attempted to outflank the Spanish, the Spanish in turn had been drawn into extending their lines to match, and their compact Tercio-led deployment now featured lots of interesting weak points all along the line - which the Huguenots were maneuvering to attack. The only place the Huguenot army was holding back was when it came to the Swiss Keil opposite both Tercios, hich was uncharacteristically tardy - although this was a cultural anathema to the hyper-confident Switzers, it was clearly tactically appropriate given the massive overwhelming forces arrayed against them
Here the battlefield can be seen even more clearly - with two deep Kiels in the middle of the Huguenot line making all haste towards the Spanish mercenares whilst the Spanish Tercios are now inexorably committed to advancing across much of the table to take on the other lump of Swiss. Much of the Huguenot horse has now redeployed over to the near side of the table where it is facing a badly-over-extended Spanish line, so thinly stretched that Light Lancers are now occupying front line positions.
The Germans and Swiss, working in perfect harmony for once, bravely charge down the Spanish Guns (in Andalucia..?)
A somewhat less eager Kiel stands alone against the oncoming double-juggernaut of Spanish Terciodom
As the Swiss advance the Huguenot artillery park has been causing incalculable damage (about 2 bases worth) on the enemy Pike and Shotte formation, which is now thinned to the point at which the Swiss may merely now need to say "BOOOO" to make them flee in rout
Despite their clever posturing, and arrogant post battle writeup style the Huguenots appear to have ended up with Horse against Pike and Shotte - never a good plan. Clearly no Harley genes in this part of France....
Actually, as more Huguenot troops move up the odds swing back in their favour - the pistol-shooting Reiters now face off against enemy skirmishers, supported by Dragoons whilst Cuirassiers face Light Lancers. The Pike and Shotte Spanish are looking down the barrels of a shotte-only unit. Better odds all round..
The Spanish push up to try and trap the Huguenot horse against the Pike and Shotte unit, but don't quite get close enough to prevent them moving cleverly
A highly risky sequence of complex moves sees the Huguenots realign in better matchups
In the middle the Germans and Swiss are almost at pointy-stick-poking range of the enemy...
And suddenly, a Clash of the Titans is in prospect too - with one Kiel occupied (sort of) by a Cuirassier unit the other homes in on the rather static Swiss. Using a 2-unit-equivalent Swiss Kiel as a sacrificial unit to keep 2 enemy units out of the game may appear excessive, but when they are both 16-base Tercios the odds make a little more sense
The Spanish are in all sorts of trouble, with their soft centre (Lancers and Gendarmes coming under fire from pesky skirmishers, and now being faced down by the technologically superior Cuirassiers of the Huguenots
Crunch! as the Swiss go into combat against an enemy already weakend by artillery
Elsewhere, other Swiss wish for such a favourable matchup....
The Cuirassiers demonstrate the French for Vorsprung durch Technic to the Spanish light Lancers, who flee the field still unclear what their actual tactical role is supposed to be. This also disconcerts the nearby Gendarmes, who pick up a small marker.
Back to the flank, and Pike and Shotte against Shotte only starts to go in a way not really predicted by those who reckon that Duty and Glory armies are far better than those from earlier books as the Huguenot foote lose bases and cohesion
The Swiss vs Tercio battle is on, as the two enormous units lock together into mortal combat...
That's gotta hurt!
But the first to wobble are the Spanish as the Swiss record an unlikley DISR result on the southern Europeans. That's the effect of European fiscal union writ large on the wargames table...
The Shotte-only unit are now kinda lost as they occupy a gap between two enormous combats, but are realistically unable to join or influence either
Back to the flank, and the Spanish are falling back in the face of Huguenot shooting - this is the very end of the Spanish line, which now stretches almost 4 & 1/2 feet across the table
The Spanish Pike and Shotte are holding up their end of the bargain very well, but elsewhere every time the Spanish Horse face Huguenot mounted troops, a few decades of evolution are destroying the Spanish hopes in a bonfire of discarded lances
A huge hole opens at the end of the Spanish line as Cuirassiers pursue a broken unit of light lancers almost to the table edge... the Spanish Light Horse are also now hiding a suspiciously large counter which probably signals FRAG
As the Spanish Tercio's become increasingly frustrated with their marginal place in the game, the possibility of losing one to a much smaller Swiss Kiel is suddenly too much to take. In a move which has come to define the word "overkill" in Spanish military circles even to this day, the outermost Tercio conducts a formation change and tees itself up for a charge on the Swiss flank ... which is now actually a flank too!
Rules hint - a Kiel does not count as charged in the flank... as long as it is a Kiel. This Swiss unit has only got one file left which is still 4 bases deep, so a flank charge will be an actual real painful flank charge ...ouch!
The Spanish record a unit kill, as the most Spanish-looking unit in the Huguenot army finally succumbs to cohesion losses and breaks
After a bit of messing around, the Cuirassier unit in the centre has managed to force the Spanish Gendarmes into a fight - already a base down, and DISR from Huguenot shooting and/or the loss of the light lancers the Gendarmes are not having a happy time
As the Gendarmes break, so does the second Huguenot infantry unit - this time a tiny isolated commanded shotte unit loses a base and evaporates..
Rules hint - You know this already probably, but even when down to one base routing units only evaporate at the end of the JAP phase. Therefore this one-base-left unit runs away a bit before being removed.
The Landesquechnechts capture the Spanish artillery park !
The Swiss general looks around and notices the trouble he is clearly now in. Being charged in the flank by 16 bases of armoured superior Spaniards may not be that easy to take...
But, IT IS!!! The Swiss drop to DISR, then shrug off the actual fighting with some heroic cohesion test rolls ...
Eleswhere, faced with far less enterprising opposition the other Swiss unit together with the Landesnechtynechts both record stunning victories - and with that the game if over
The Result is a massive victory for the Huguenots, propelling them into 5th place overall!
Post Match Summary
What a wonderful advert for the beautiful game that is war in the age of enlightenment (or is that slightly later maybe?). Anyways, I'm delighted with 5th place as its better than at least 19 other places in this competition, and Cwmbran is certainly on that list as well.
The beauty of this battle was that I felt I actually had something of a plan, and I also managed to follow it for a goodly patr of the time allotted. This principally meant that my best move was not to commit one of my best units, the Swiss, until quite late in the day. The fact they then failed to get beaten is a major bonus.
The other highlight was the brave performance put up by my mounted wing. Every time they were required to step up to the plate they did so with aplomb, or actually with two pistols and a bit of close quarters hard riding to be more accurate.
I am happy overall with the result, and even more happy that I managed to learn how to hold two pistols rather than those really unfashionable lance thingies. Although I do sort of miss the pretty horse barging a bit .... especially the embroidery
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Whilst victory may smell sweet now, remeberest that thou liveth in the rank sweat of an enseamed bed, strewed in corruption, honeying and making love over a nasty sty - and that will be your fate once this good fortuned matchup is replaced with an opponent more versed in the ways of Cuirassier-loving warfare than these Spanish ingrates
Truly you were favoured by an enemy deployment which placed their best units safe from harms way on the table-edge flank. What dids't they espect to fight? Cuirassiers perchance? Anyway, by acting in a cowardly manner you drew success out of ineptitude with the Swiss - but the risk you took was enormous, and had you not been lucky with the last CT you would have been 2 more units down, and a few places lower in the pecking order to boot. You could have avoided combat entirely by delaying even more - those Tercio's were never going to get into combat deployed on a flank, so why did you let them do so at all?
Really if timing was your strong point, you would have wrapped up this game in shorter order, pushing even more troops to your left, and rolling up the entire army with a wave of better-initially-deployed horseflesh without breaking sweat... or losing 2 units of foote gunners to an uneven fight
At least there is some semblance of learning happening here - even if the lessons are best learnt in defeat than in victory. And I do also finally agree, Cwmbran is well and truly off the lodging list for my baggage train from now on
- Back to the Match Reports Index
- Game 1 vs Later Imperial Austrians
- Game 2 vs Muslim Indian
- Game 3 vs Early Danish
- Game 4 vs Early Imperial Spanish
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