The Great Rebellions in Oxford 2019
80YW Dutch vs Huguenot
Game 2 saw the Dutch taking on yet another Huguenot army, but this time on an even smaller board as the Waterway, and hence also The Ship had made it onto the tabletop!
The lists for the 80YW Dutch and Huguenot from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Oxford can be seen here in the FoG:R Wiki.
With fields over on the left flank again the deployment of the Dutch was broadly similar to the first battle, albeit with the Reiters interspersed in between the Kiels to provide an even broader frontage to take on the enemy infantry.
One unit of Reiters were racing along the waters' edge, confident in the ability of the defensive umbrella provided by ship-borne artillery to protect them from a reserve of French Gendarme types lurking behind their Kiel on this flank.
What's Going on Here Then?
With a waterway and some defensive terrain on my base line I have been able to set up a more coherent defensive position - vital against an enemy army which is clearly based around outmaneuvering the Dutch with massed units of Gendarmes.
The waterway also provides a theoretically free space for one of the Dutch Reiter units to operate in under the protective umbrella of the ship-borne artillery. At the very least it will put the enemy off balance and force them into keeping units in reserve to counter this threat rather than committing them to the front line.
The French were planning to outflank the Dutch army on the Dutch left with another one of their many units of Gendarmes
Having played this game before the Dutch Reiters were unkeen to match up against the lancers
Instead they chose a rapid strategic retreat up a conveniently placed hill where they could wait with the aim of delaying combat for as long as possible and then losing in a spot far away from the rest of the battle
With flanks quivering in fear of the Privateer menace the French mercenary Kiel tried to shrug off incoming cannon fire and work out how it might deal with a unit of Reiters in the flank as the Dutch moved aggressively forwards.
The 80 Years War - short version
The ship-borne cannons barked out as the French finally admitted that they needed to enter the interdicted zone to support their Keil. Immediately the artillerymen made their mark, harassing the Gendarmes with their first ever shot in this tournament and chipping off a base to boot!
FoGR hint - Ships shoot as 3 artillery at any single target from any point on the coast - the model is just a representation. They do not get the benefits of enfilading fire. Usually their main effect is to keep enemy forces more than 6" away from a coastline, narrowing the table 6" for a cost of 30 points.
The two armies both had 2 Landsnecht Kiels and even at this early stage they were all teed up for combat - the French had suffered a little attrition from Dutch artillery along the way so the Dutch held a slight advantage in theory, but nothing too decisive.
Shipborne and close-range carbine shooting pounded into the French gendarmes as the Dutch worked furiously to neutralise some of the best mounted units in the enemy army as the Kiel battle approached.
By now the Dutch had halted, concentrating all their efforts on shooting their less well artillery-equipped foes to eke out any possible advantages before battle was joined at close quarters. Stick that in your bong and smoke it!
Frische Teutsche Liedlein V
The two sets of Kiels charged one another simultaneously in an almighty collision of men, pikes and arquebuses! Rear ranks pressed forward, eager to gain the advantage of momentum and impetus in the vital first round clash.
What's Going on Here Then?
At this point I'm starting to wonder if I have advanced too far with my line of combat - my reason for advancing is that in theory the Kiel on Kiel battles should take much longer to resolve than the Reiter on Gendarme ones, which would - assuming the Reiters go with form and lose - would see enemy Gendarmes overrunning my artillery parks and ratcheting up the VPs very quickly indeed as my Kiels are bogged down in a slog.
It's a theory, but in pushing forward away from the gun line I have also brought forward the moment of combat, losing potentially as many as 4-6 rounds of extra artillery fire against the enemy Kiels in the process.
In the nearby fields bands of arquebusiers also got serious at close quarters - neither side enjoying numerical superiority but the French enjoying the advantage of dice as they claimed a first round DISR result on the Dutchmen, who were starting to wonder if in this game they had bought a cat in a bag.
Holy Heiniken Batman! Pikemen and horsemen clashed all along the line as practically every French unit (in what was a rather small army) was now engaged against the Dutch formations.
French Wars of Religion
First contact was evenly matched as both sides just piled in with everything they had, but then in both Kiel battles the Dutch recorded narrow victories leaving the French morale in a hesitant state with both French mercenary Kiels dropping to DISR at first impact.
This gave heart to the Dutch, and they redoubled their efforts to press home this minor advantage as the French struggled to lay hands on spare generals with which to bolster all of their faltering troops.
The Kiels may have been doing well however this was not turning out to be a great afternoon for the Dutch arquebusiers who dropped to Fragged even with the encouragement of the largest General on the table urging them to stand firm.
What's Going on Here Then?
The Huguenot Kiels are wobbling as through simple luck the Dutch have managed to win both of these massive evenly matched combats.
The Frenchmen have committed their Generals to facilitate a series of blitzkreig-like breakthrough using their Gendarmes to quickly smash my Reiters, and as a result none are now available to come and bolster the morale of their infantry formations. The next round of infantry combats could be spectacular
Clog-tastic! The Dutchmen broke and fled, leaving the Dutch artillery park badly exposed yet again!
C 16 Fashion Icons
But the French centre was undergoing a catastrophic collapse of its' own, as both Kiels floundered in the melee phase against the resurgent Dutch Lanschnecht mercenaries - both French units lost and both responded with poor morale test dice, which the Average units had no answer to. Both Kiels had now broken inside a couple of rounds of fighting!
What's Going on Here Then?
The Huguenot Kiels loss dramatically eats into the overall strength of their army, as the 8 VPs these 2 oversize units represent is equivalent to 4 full units of Gendarmes!
My Reiters are starting to crumble too, but it seems that my plan to push the line of scrimmage way forward of my guns is proving to be the correct one.
Things were now getting as tasty as a strawberry and gouda cheese pancake as the French Gendarmes were starting to break through the centre of the Dutch line even as their massed blocks of infantry were starting to turn and flee around them - but over on the far flank the Gendarmes who had been suffering withering ship-borne artillery fire were going down against the Dutch Reiters. They dropped to Fragged, which with the double-counting Kiels also lost tipped the 9-stong French Huguenot army into a rapid and surprising defeat!
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 80YW Dutch Commander
A shuperb win in which my brave men shurmounted many obshtacles and shurvived a tide of mounted horsemen strong enough to be compared to the Zuider Zee's Great Flood in the Winter of 1596 ... yet schtill we triumphed through our manly approach to warfare, and of coursh, our schip!
To you an innocent obsherver this may have looked like we were jusht lucky in two key combatsh, but acshually this was a game of careful timing and planned aggreshion. Knowing the enemy had mobility, and also had our left flank I chose to throw everything we had into the two key combats as soon as possible in order to make the enemy shuffer sherious attrishion
Then, with a mutsch schmaller army than ours even a fair exshange of cashulaties would reshult in a schtunning win for the mighty Dutch!
Schoon we will beshtride the plainsh of Europe like Ajax in their golden yearsh beshtrode the European Cup!
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Why don't you sit in a tree you incoherent Dutch fool? This was sheer luck, nothing more and nothing less so why you have the temerity to claim otherwise is beyond me in the same way in which an appreciation of the skills involved in mountain climbing is beyond you and your flat-footed kin.
Looking at this table you had the worlds most secure flank, and yet your army managed to be almost overrun on its opposite flank due in no small part to the massively foolish and aggressive way you charged out of your secure fortress, negating the value of your artillery park at a stroke and piled headlong into the enemy on practically the half way line.
After that the game was in the lap of the dice gods - all of your Reiters were facing better equipped and armed opponents and your Kiels were in a literal lottery into which no skill could be inserted save for the committing of Generals - and looking back I see you struggled even with that small decision.
That this game was mercifully short is it's only saving grace - the luck you had, or the luck your opponent lacked, meant there was little of note to add to the library of Dutch military competence here. Perhaps there will be more to learn in the last game
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition