FoG Renaissance Early Renaissance - Last Charge of the Gendarmes at Roll Call 2012
Early Ottoman Turkish vs Caroline Imperialist
So, Ottomans. An army chosen for two key strategic reasons - new figures and a desire to see how something a little different to the usual pike and shot combo might work in a themed competition where there would not be too many clever armies, everything being limited to the era of the Gendarmes. Unfortunately whilst the painting had ben succesfully completed, the "practice with the Ottomans and find an army composition that works through trial and error" part of the theory hadn't had a proper run out, and so after only 2 games with the army a rather half-assed Ottoman army took to the field, complete with a nagging sense of concern that it was neither fish nor foul and had too little mounted and too many not very good foot to be truly competitive. But it did look pretty,
The lists for the Early Ottoman Turkish and Caroline Imperialist from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Roll_Call can be seen here in the FoGR Wiki.
Review of the Caroline Imperialist list by Madaxeman.com's two resident experts, Fernando and Philip
Game 1 - following a Google Maps based GPS confusion which saw me directed to a place almost a mile from the actual venue - was aganst a Caroline Imperialist army. It appeared to be drawn from one of the army list books I had not brought with me, but its contents were relatively straightforward. Tercios, Keils and some other stuff. The terrain was a textbook European style battlefield, with some enclosed fields, and a wood nattowing the table. The big bonus was that some uneven and rough terrain was plonked firmly in my forward zone, allowing me to drop some units of MF gunners and Janissaries into places where the enemy might well have to take them on. The wall of Peasants also had a good chance to be a target for the attacking Imperialists
Caroline's men had deployed some artillery in front of their army, which looked like a tempting target for the Balkan lancers to try and run down in turn 1. The Imperialists were rather congested in their deployment zone by some terrain, and so struggled to move their army forwards coherently to support the guns - the prospect of early points on the board hove into view
The Wall of Peasants were generally quite pleased by the slow start the Imperialists were making out of the blocks, as they were squarely in the firing line for 2 Keils of pikemen. Probabbly not a fair matchup, even allowing for the benefit the temporary fortifications might create
The Balkan horse swept into a gap in the Imperialist line and capture the gunnes - early points on the board for the Turks, although the guns remained spiked rather than captured
Gunnes captured by foote change sides and and can shoot at their former owners troops - but those captured by horse are not able to fire. They do remain as an almost impassable obstacle though, in one of the few parts of the rules to be generally acknowledged as being a bit poorly thought through
The Ottomans, revelling in their mounted superiority, swept a couple of units of Sipahi round the back of a wood defending the right flank of the Imperialist army - the Carolinians had barely moved by this stage, yet already the strategic mobility of the Ottomans was starting to dictate the tactics of the Imperialists who would surely be forced to allocate some HOrse to defend the flanking move
The Ottomans move forward behind a screen of skirmish-capable light horse on the other flank as well - the plan is already obvious as they seek to envelop any Imperialist advance. And waiting is not really an option for the Imperialists, as the Ottoman guns are already firing away merrily
Janissaries and Azab arquebusiers rush forward to try and claim a piece of uneven ground in the very front of the Imperialist army - once in it the theory is that they will be more than a match for any of the close formation foote in the Austrian army
The Ottoman left hook - complete with a General - is upon the Imperialist flank already, and only a sole light horse unit is there to stop them. The initial Ottoman salvo's of arrows do litttle damage but they are closinig in fast and the Imperialist horse will have to fall back carefully to avoid being caught
The Ottomans have a mix of unarmoured (nearest the camera) and armoured Sipahis - but with the Imperialists having harquebus armed horse facing them the difference is relatively unimportant. More telling is a 3:2 advantage in units in favour of the Ottomans, and a 2:1 advantage in non-skirmishers. The Ottoman mounted is piling on the pressure already.... and doing some quick math, they have already worked out that the Imperialist army almost breaks with the loss of all of the non-Tercio and Keil units... but one Keil or Tercio needs to be knocked over too
The Ottoman foot are practically into the uneven rocky ground (rocks I think by Peter Pig) and they will slow the Keils and Tercio's considerably even if they fight and lose. The Austrians look set to try and go straight over the top of the rough terrain, trusting to their Superiority and in some cases Eliteness to trump their disorder
The Ottoman Heavy Gunners (Donnington figures, and an ornate ECW gun from Naismith) have found a nice hill from which to conduct overhead firing - an almost perfect position undone only by their relatively poor dice rolling and lack of telling hits on the enemy so far
The Ottoman helicopter has a stunning overview of the battlefield, as one can clearly see the Imprialist infantry moving inexorably forwards towards a decisive clash with the Ottomans who are generally cowring in terrain, somewhat unsure if they are competent enough to put up too much of a resistance to the onrushing pikemen
Yes! The Tercio has been tempted into the rocky ground to take on the Azab gunners and Janissary bowmen. If nothing else this will delay on of the most powerful units on the table, and there is a chance of a result if the Janissaries can get thir swordsman capability into play against the disordered enemy infantry as well.
An interesting matchup is in prospect, with the terrain evening the odds considerably
The flanking force of Sipahis has now disrupted the skirmishing Imperialist light horse - but the bow-armed Ottomans have yet to take down a base of the enemy, and their two units are plit up, one being delayed by the rough terrain they are wading through. The Imperialist are struggling, but are still in the game... how long might this attack take? From the Ottoman perspective the answer is already way too long. Meanwhile in the foreground a unit of Imperialist harquebusiers have taken a damaging hit from the Ottoman artillery, which might make their impending clash with a unit of Sipahi's a lot more interesting ....
The Imperialist flags are in full effect as the wall of high quality infantry homes in on the defensive position of the Turkish troops. The Western Europeans are clearly fully prepared to wade into the fields and over the wall to get to grips with the Ottomans
The salient occupied by the other Janissary unit is looking more exposed as the Imperialists detail a Keil to swing around the back and support the Tercio wading through the field of rocks - this number of enemy units is not something the Ottomans have the numbers to deal with, and their confidence starts to evaporate as they realise they may need to face a flank attack in the open as well as a frontal one in thr terrain
The harquebusiers have recovered cohesion, and their first high tech volley more than decimates the Sipahis, causing them to pick up a Donnington cohesion marker as well. That could be an embarassing outcome for the Ottomans, as the Sipahi's are all that stands between the harquebusiers and some artillery and ultimately the Ottoman camp - could that be a 6-AP error of judgement to try and stand and fight?
The Imprialist light horse are still steadfastly refusing to die. The clever looking strategic situation the Ottomans have engineered is starting to unravel as the Imperialist units refuse to conform to the script
At least the right flank is proceeding as planned - this unit of harquebusiers are fragmmented, which is not an ideal state in which to receive a double charge from 2 units of Sipahis. The Imperialists left flank now consists of one unit of light horse... however quite what the Sipahis might do against the flank of an Elite Tercio once they have presumably wrapped up the remaining odds and sods is another matter entirely...
the second Tercio charges home, hitting Janissaries and the only vaguely combat-capable unit of foote in the Ottoman army, the Voynuk halberdiers ...who, crucially perhaps, will enjoy an overlap at ++. The cavaly melee has also begun, with the reduced general-less Sipahis facing some also disrupted Harquebusiers and their general. Disrupting the Harquebusiers is crucial, as it allows the Ottomans to count their sword capability in melee and giving them an edge... but the Imperialists have more dice. Thats pretty much the textbook definition of in the balance
This however is unlikley to be anywhere close to equilibrium - a shot-only MF unit hit in the open by a Superior Pike Keil.
The Janissaries are on fire, recording a massive 5 hits out of 6 on the Tercio, which fumbles its lines in response in spectacular fashion. A big loss for the Tercio...
The Ottoman infantry however perform exactly as expected and go to Fragmented immediately on losing the combat to the close formation shock troops wth pike...
The Imperialist left flank is undone as the harquebus unit evaporates against 2 Sipahis and its rout is blocked by the Balkan Lancers. The Ottomans CinC is jubilant that at least he personally has been involved in some sort of victory
The Azab gunners are hanging on by their Azab fingernails against the Keil, as neither side is keen to expand in combat
The Ottomans start to mop up resistance on their right as the Tercio closes in on a decisive clash with the Janissaries in the rocky ground
Flipping back to the left, and the advantage enjoyed by the Imperialist Harquebusiers is gone iin a puff of smoke as the Ottomans roll a magical 11 to unseat the Austrian general and drag him from his horse. The upper hand is now with the Superior sipahi's
And further away on the same flank, the Imprialist LH are still, unbelievably, in play - joined by a general they have recovered cohesion and are now retreating past their own pile of dead troops, having delayed 2 units of Sipahis for all of the game so far.
The Tercio facing both the Voynuks and the Janissaries has a sudden and dramatic collapse in confidence, doing a double-drop on morale after rolling a 2/1 cohesion test and re-rolling the 1 as yet another 1. The enormous, superior unit suddenly breaks and flees much to the astonishment of the Turks and Balkan halberdiers. Not only is it a big hole in the Austrian attack, it is a massive 4 AP of losses for the relatively small Imperialist army
The game is now swinging decisively in favour of the Turks, and the Azab gunners now become a unit who the Turkish generals feel is worth investing effort in as they might perhaps survive to the end of the game rather than a sure-fire lost cause.
The Janissaries in the same spot are also still toughing it out against the Elite Keil - losing bases but not cohesion so far..
It is a desparate struggle, but an impassionate observer would still suspect that attrition will count against the Janissaries long before it does for the Tercio
The landsqunecht Keil is almost upon the Wall of Peasants.... their plan not to fight is looking rather difficult to implement right now
Oops - the two Ottoman units hanging onto the rocky area both suddenly implode, their morale collapsing like a deck of cards. The Tercio has proved it's mettle..
The Balkan Lancers charge against the skirmishing Imperialist harquebusiers on the Ottoman right, and the Austrians evade off table next right in the corner. That tips the Imperialist forces of Caroline over the edge and into an army level defeat.
The Result is a big win for the Turks, as the Wall of Peasants breathes a huge sigh of relief as they have avoided the need to actually fight!
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 Ottoman Turkish Commander
Hello, I am Al Shearer, Grand Sultan of the Ot-Toon-am Army and I must say that I am reet well happy with this outcome. The wing play was excellent, and it gave us a great platform for 'wor men to get reet into the box and mix it wi' the enemy troops and from then on we built a solid platform, picking up points at every opportunity and so when the spot o'luck came along wi' the collapse of the Tercio we were all set to gan aheed and claim a total victory.
Our initial attack by the Balkan light horse was as quick as if they had been ridin' on Kawasaki motorbikes instead of horses, and taking then enemy guns out of the game so soon actually played a great part as it allowed out horse to maneuver without fear. With so many average units it is always a risk of losing bases to artillery so we played free of fear from tha point onwards
Ma boys stood firm in defence, lining tha edge o'them thar fields and soon it wor all a' gannin areet,as the Carolinians had nay chanch as soon as they gotten their feet reet dirty in tha mud and muck and it were a reet omnishambles
I am reet pleased wi this ,and I cannae wait for the next match.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
I hope that was a lesson to you. The lesson being "this is what you normally do, and unsurprisingly it normally has the same outcome. When you try and attack an unassailable position, you will often find that your assault fails, and you lose the game elsewhere."
Other than do nothing, you really didn't have much of a plan here either did you? Because the guns were once again split up and this inevitably diminsihed their effectiveness so the wait and see approach meant the enemy could advance without actually taking much damage on the way in.
And what on gods earth were your two units of horse doing chasing - and failing to run down - one unit of javelin armed light horse round the back of that wood? If the boot was on the other foot I am sure anyone else would have caught your LH unit and minced them in short order. What on earth were you playing at?
And,now you have lots of points on the board. In fact, I bet you almost have as many as Alastair. What could possibly go wrong here....?
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition
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