FoG:R Thirty Years War in Oxford 2012
Later Imperial Spanish vs TYW French
Thirty Years War French, commanded by the dastardly "No, my name isn't short for Benjamin" Ben. My opponent was already twirling his imaginary moustache in a particularly caddish fashion as the Spanish army deployed, secure in the knowledge that he would have tricks up his sleeve, mostly built on the rather unsporting foundations of having actually played a lot more games and also knowing more about what he was supposed to be doing than the Spaniards.
The lists for the Later Imperial Spanish and TYW French from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Oxford can be seen here in the FoGR Wiki.
Deployment was a blur - clearly the Spanish had the initiative as that Church was one of theirs, and its mere presence upped the Catholicity of the battlefield considerably. All that was needed now was a dose of self guilt and a Friday night fish supper and the whole world would be Papist. But aside from that the table was now exceedingly narrow, which hopefully would channel the Frenchies down a killing zone raked by hopefully competently deployed Spanish guns
The overall Spanish plan basically revolved around a very defensive position, with the Dragoons and Hussars tasked with delaying an almost unstoppable and inevitable attack down through the villages and woodlands to the right long enough for the decisive battle in the middle to take place, hopefully between intact Spanish infantry and artillery-battered Frenchmen
Q: What do women who are snipers in the French military use as camouflage?
A: Their armpits..
The French had deployed those odd twosomes of Dragoons which had worked so ineffectually for me at Britcon - but even so they were still too scary for the Hussars, who immediately turned and started to fall back through some rather horse-unfriendly terrain.
The French were struggling to fit everybody into the middle of the table, and the Spanish guns were in what looked so far like a good position, raking the French lines with the fall of some pretty substantial shot at this early stage in the proceedings.
As the French advanced cautiously (I had seen at Britcon that this "advancing" thing didn't really feature too highly in the French playbook, as the "stand in a line and wait for some idiot to try and attack our fantastically well constructed position" was more their style) they were taking a massive pasting from the Spanish cannons. This was going down well at home on the Spanish TV news
The French were starting to look pretty ragged in the centre, however their advance had now sort of stopped as a result - and they were also now pushing through the village and woodlands on the right at an alarming rate.. a potentially successful tactic, but clearly not one they would go on to write down and pass onto their ancestors prior to the building of the Maginot line. Rather than waiting to be rolled up from the right (and presumably having already read Panzer Leader (from the Penguin World War II Collection), the memoir of Heinz Guderein, this moment prompted the Spanish General to order a general advance, hoping to crush the already artillery-weakened French middle before the French flank attack arrived
France has neither winter nor summer nor morals. Apart from these drawbacks it is a fine country Mark Twain
As the Spanish advanced on the battered Frenchmen one of those little known FoGR rules came into effect - any unit which looks on the point of destruction will survive its next 6 death rolls - and the Frenchmen started to dish out some terrible punishment to the Spaniards. With both units now very close to breaking from losses alone the clash looked less of a sure thing for the Spanish, and more of a Lotto
The Elite Spanish unit had a General, a cool flag, rear support, its own general Eliteness and help in shooting from a couple of Guns - but still its morale would not survive the onslaught from the couple of French shooting bases… the Spanish had not drawn the winning ticket here for sure..
This was now incredibly dicey - the Spanish Tercio had recovered to DISR, but had lost another base. Both units stared at each other in a mixture of hope and fear, but generally the Spanish now felt they had the upper hand as they closed in on the increasingly depleted French across the plain of battle
The Frenchmen were pressing on as well with their considerably less exuberant flags now fluttering towards the Spanish lines - and somehow the Spanish had contrived to lead with one of their non-Spanish non-Superior units as well. Ooops! The German Mercenaries stepped in front of their own guns to try and keep the Frenchmen at bay
Q: What is the Guillotine? l
A: A French chopping centre
The theory of stepping forward failed to work particularly well, as the German mercenaries dropped to Fragged at impact. The Spanish right flank was now staring total collapse in the face whilst the supposedly better troops in the middle were still making heavy weather of the artillery-ravaged French formations - at least the sun was now shining down on the battlefield however
Everywhere the Superior Spanish were locked in deathly hand to hand struggles with their opponents, and having survived the French impact were hoping to drag the Gallic infantry down in a series of small and isolated wars of attrition
At least the Elite formation had recaptured its mojo, and had climbed all the way back up the cohesion latter to "Steady" as it rained mighty blows down on the French, who were still somewhat unsportingly refusing to lose that last base needed to break them
Finally justice was served, with a side measure of abject disappointment as the French broke and routed, bursting through and instantly DISR-ing the infantry who supported them from behind. The Elite Tercio abjectly failed to take advantage of this fabulous opportunity by rolling short in their pursuit move, leaving them a good distance from the rather shellshocked reserve unit who now had an opportunity to shoot at them and also recover cohesion as well
And shoot they did, recording a failed death roll on the Elite unit and breaking it before it had chance to cause further trouble..
The Germans who had in theory been defending the Guns chose the same moment to collapse and break, leaving the artillery park open to attack from the French
The massive French attack on the right had now emerged into the daylight after their long sojurn in the woods and forests - although to be fair, the Spanish army didn't really have its own Maginot Line (from the Osprey Campaign Series), as they had been outflanking a piece of open ground. Anyways, the French had numbers, and the Spanish had no chance - their reporters on the ground with Channel 9 were reporting on the fight…
Elsewhere the Spanish were getting close to knocking over another unit but their Cuirassiers were being battered by long range artillery and the once powerful force in the middle was looking rather over-weakened and unlikely to do much more than simply hang on rather that storm to victory
The sheer numbers of Frenchmen wading through the rough terrain were staggering to behold - they had no interest in engaging the Spanish in polite conversation either
Spanish Dragoons were losing the option to fall back as French Horse appeared behind them
The Spaniards were now practically defending their own base edge. In a shocking display of cowardice and rack lack of ambition, the once mighty globe-spanning (oops - that bit is technically still to come) Spanish Empire is now reduced to a small enclave of Catholicism akin in size to a postage stamp on the outskirts of Oxford!
As the guns yet again fall to an enemy advance, the Spanish LH carefully pick their way through the battlefield debris and devastation in an attempt to avoid adding themselves to an ever-growing list of casualties racking up on the Spanish side.
Even the Dragoons cannot sum up the basic competence to hang on until the end of the game - which must surely now be imminent one might hope…?
Yes, It is! Time is called and the Result is a substantial, but not fatal loss for Spain.
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 Later Imperial Spanish Commander
Whiskers fullameatygoodness ! Ganaeadores incredibalemeticos, proximo win, proximo defeat totale. Graba da bols!!
Nio dudupos, sminki pinki tenuros tomato...El tomateo squishi par el Frenchemen non lavendia par septimo dias, through the woods, situatione impossibalemente incredibilaments difficile, eh, Tony Cascarino!!
Points on the Board Senro, Con el dinero baila el perro mas el baila es totale nuevo defeate, bloody units of 2 Dragoons!
Impermeable infanteria Francesia mucho vexas el artillerianios Espagnole. Graba da bols!!
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
You foul smelling King Of Codpieces and Kitchen Malkin - what depths of incompetence can you plumb e'en whilst exercsing a plan which does not actually involve moving your figures at all throughout the entire game?
But even with this inability to make mistakes you still conspired to shoot yourself in the foote - and how ironic is that in a game where your artillery decided at the vital stage to stop shooting anyone in any part of their anatomy as well?
Make no bones about it, only the clock saved you here - and had time rushed onwards marginally faster your clock would have been well and truly cleaned - and given the Frenchmens well earned reputation, to be deemed worthy of cleaning by such foul smelling wretches would be shame indeed.
You escaped by the skin of your teeth. Next time your teeth will no doubt be pulled.
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