Early Renaissance at Warfare 2015
Early Danish vs Tatar
Warfare, scene of a great and unexpected last-minute victory in 2014, had come around again. Normally a nice 50 minute jaunt up a fairly quiet early moring M4, this year I had decided to try and make the journey a little more challenging for myself, and has begun the trip in Bangkok shortly after midnight on the preceeding day. This not only opened up a world of complications in terms of planning and packing the army, but also gave me the potential opportunity to have three consecutive breakfasts (on the plane, in the airport arrivals lounge and then at the Gorge cafe in Reading)
What's not to like!
I had chosen to take the same Early Danish army that had done so well in the previous year, although revised date restrictions meant there were a number of enfocced changes. Most notably the Gendarmes from the previous era were now no longer allowed, and rather than adopting the single unit of Cuirassiers and with it losing a host of other interesting options I had gone with a unit of Heavily Armoured Horse as Gendarmes, and 2 6-pack units of Average Heavily armoured shooters (one with carbine, one with pistol) to try and face down the near-mandatory 50% mix of enemy Average mounted that the period restrictions imposed. The only onther slight tweak was the widening of the mixed halberd/crossbow units to 5 bases each instead of 4 - again hopefully a problem for anyone trying to outflank the army, which I had calculated could comfortably cover almost 3/4 of the table with stuff.
The lists for the Early Danish and Tatar from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Warfare can be seen here in the Field of Glory Renaissance Wiki.
Review of a different Danish army to this one
After several years of avoiding each other, the first game turned out as yet another Warfare matchup with Kevin and a highly mobile Tatar army... well, theoretically highly mobile, although the terrain cluttering both flanks sough to put a stop to that straight away! Suspecting that the Tatars would squirt away to the flanks, I had deployed a Reiter unit between both large Kiels, with the wide yet thin mixed crossbow units on both flanks and the rest of my mounted wing on the left.
The Tatars were using dragoons, and with no enclosed fields for them to hide in they were soon rushing merrily through the forests on the flanks. The 10-base-strong Levy unit wheeled gingerly towards then, conscious that if they got too far forwards too quickly that they could themselves be outflanked and have to watch as enemy dragoons pillaged my baggage,
The Tatars had an enormous mounted force on the far left of my line, although a village (bereft of houses sadly, as I had forgotten to pack them) meant that they only had a small channel to squeeze them through. The mock-Gendarmes of the Danish army left the defence of the flank to the Reiters, and themselves looked to move up through the middle.
This rather sadly put them up against the allied Janissaries who had found the perfect spot, in some rough terrain and facing off against the mounted lancers. The Danish levy were quickly flicking through the rulebook to work out if they stood a chance in rough terrain against massed bowmen whilst the proper Danish artillery pounded the Turks as well.
The right flank was starting to attract ever-greater numbers of Tatar units as the Danes slowly advanced with their Landsnecht Kiel and slid the line of levy over to the right. There were some alarming gaps appearing between the widely spaced Danish units and the Tatars no doubt fancied greasing themselves up and sliding between the bacon-flavoured pedestrians blocking their path..
The levy were not exactly the best shooters in the world, but then again a unit of three dragoons is not exactly the most robust target and a hail of crossbow bolts soon found their mark and conjured up some cohesion wobbles on the Tatar foot. Both sides were probably content that this sideshow was occupying one of the oppositions generals whilst more interesting stuff took place elsewhere
Only the Landsnechts...
Danish gunnery was working wonders against the rather surprised Janissaries, who had been brought up to believe that only their enemies would be surprised and battered by an artillery park worth of Napoleon himself. Green markers were followed by yellow ones as the Turks morale crumbled..
The houseless village was proving a magnet for units who were undecided about how it might benefit or hinder their poorly thought out plans as the second Janissary formation advanced and found itself facing a wall of halberdiers. Everyone was looking for a flank attack, and the collapsing morale of the furthermost Janissaries emboldened the Gendarmes to such an extent that they felt confident enough to wheel into a column and threaten the unit that had pushed forwards.
This was not a day for Turkish confidence, as assaulted by a paltry shower of crossbow bolts the second Janissary unit started to falter.
Led by the rather camp Foundry dismounted cuirassier general the Levy - of course - were the first Danish unit to see action as they charged the wavering Turks!
The combat started to go well for the Levy as they expanded out into combat with their halberds and better armour - the Gendarmes were now not needed to help, but they were needed to stop yet more pesky 3-packs of dragoons infiltrating out of the village and into backfield of the Danish army. Not really a great job for the crème of the Danish army, but needs must...
Shaken, the janissaries pluck a rule from the back of the book and break off against the Levy! They fall back a full move and open up the space for their own cavalry to join the fray
Only the Landsnechts...
On the far left the rest of the Tatar mounted wing has finally gotten around the edge of the town, where it is faced off by some average lancers and average carbine/sword Reiters. Powerful combination...
The rallying-back Janissaries were desperate to get out of arc of the Danish artillery, and their commander urged them into a very complicated and challenging formation change as they contracted into a column on the spot. This unfortunately however allowed the Levy crossbowmen to inflict the one-casulaty-per-3-bases (front 3 ranks only counting) needed to cause a test... which the Janissaries promptly failed - they were in rout!
The other flank was a bit of a slugfest, as the Levy had been tempted forward into the woods, and were now engaged in a spot of mutual ZOC'ing and irrelevant low intensity shooting with a bizarre combination of dragoons, bowmen and light horse. This quagmire had sucked in so many Tatar units that even the German Landsnechts were now intrigued, and the Kiel has executed a sharp 90-degree turn and was now making its stately progress towards the fray.
The Landesquenecht Bum Song
Remember the plan for the Reiters in the middle whilst the Tatars squirted away to the flanks? Well, with almost no opposition at least this part of the Danish plan was going well as the Tatar baggage looked set to be sent on a trip to form part of the next Christmas display at the Carleberg brewery in Copenhagen !
If Carlsberg did kickabouts...
The levy were now rocking and rolling... they pushed forwards and opened up on the Tatar cavalry, who had picked up the cohesion-test-failing trick from their Janissaries and wavered as they ran away.
Out on the flank the shootout between bows and carbines was coming out as a positive result for superior technology as the carbine horse wheeled out a succession of 5's on the dice and blasted the surprised Tatars with repeated close range volleys.
Only in America... mounted carbine horse, today.
The levy on the other flank had gotten bored of not achieving very much in a forest, and charged home against the rather hapless enemy bowmen. This seemed like a good time for the Dragoons to bug out...
The Carbine-armed horse were so confident of their better armour that they initiated a charge (arguably charging with Average Horse should require some sort of test, probably a sanity check on the owning player as they are generally pants, but against a Fragmented enemy with lesser armour this is almost veering on the half-sensible)
The Tatar horse stood firm and passed the being-charged test, but the Carbines were not messing around at all, and racked up 5 out of 6 hits at impact as well. This would be a big challenge for the Tatars...
With the levy on the other flank expanding out and getting many more bases into combat at ++ against the unarmed, unarmoured enemy bow the slogging match was quickly tipping towards a one-sided battering for the Tatar infantry even as the Kiel started to get close to joining in on the action too.
That squirt-to-the-corners prediction had by now largely come true with the Danes and Landsnechts pinning the Tatars in the corner of the board - the exact opposite of the game the previous year where everything had ended up in a 1-foot square in the middle of the board!
Tatars & Turks..
The other side of the table was a similar situation.. but with time running out the slippery Tatars escaped with enough intact units to not lose their whole army.. a narrow win for the Danes!
The Result is a narrow 13-7 win for the Danes.
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 Early Danish Commander
Sizzling Slices! How finely is victory and a draw separated in games such as this, where the enemy is as slippery as a slice of bacon on a skiff of butter riding on a hotplate!
The red ketchup was flowing, and the brown sausce was too as my brave yet unusual Reiters did their best to force a win in many areas of the park - but with an enemy unwilling to stand and be beaten by better troops such as mine, time itself ended up being my biggest enemy
The plan however seems to have stood up well in this situation, with the defanged mounted attack supported by Levy and Kiels making an effective and interesting combination for the opposition to conjure with.
I am sure that in subsequent games that victory will sit within my grasp, and the Carlsberg of Victory will be raised once again for Denmarks glory!
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Foul spoken coward, that thund'rest with thy tongue, and with thy weapon nothing dares perform ! There was no plan here by which you could win, save hoping that your opponent impaled himself upon thine spears and halberds out of the kindness of his heart in sympathy for one so foolish as you.
But one such as you, that are polluted with your lusts, stained with the guiltless blood of innocents, corrupt and tainted with a thousand vices, could ne'er hope for such fortune. Instead you almost frittered everything away by your stubborn reliance on Average Horse - they being the wayward tickle-brained moldywarpes of combat in this fine ruleset, but they surely are not a thing on which to build your plan!
Thou avoided a draw, or worse a defeat by the simple expedient of advancing - however I fear that thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit, and the result seen here will do t.
It is only the expectation of similar tedious incompetence that makes me look forward to the next game, thou warped guts-griping wagtail!
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition
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Field of Glory Renaissance Reports Pageloads to date.