Renaissance at Roll Call 2014
Later Imperial Spanish vs TYW French
Next game, and Mr Allen. His army was TYW French, but what would the figures be?
The lists for the Later Imperial Spanish and TYW French from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Roll Call can be seen here in the FoGR Wiki.
The army was festooned with battalion guns and was deployed in a very tight corner - Would this be an advantage that negated my cavalry superiority, or would it simply give the Elite and Superior Spanish infantry a simple target to attack and overlap.
The Spanish were not intending messing about, and with a static opponent they had little apart from a handful of dragoons to delay them from doing what they wanted, and so they fell like Iberian wolves onto the waiting Frenchmen…
The dragoons lasted only moments - now there was nothing between the Spanish and the defensive Frenchmen.
The Spanish were struggling to fit all of their army into the narrow frontage of the waiting French army - cavalry and infantry were stacked up in a deep pile as they rolled towards the whiff of garlic..
The French were close to the edge of the world, and this gave the Iberian Cuirassiers hope - built on top of the success of the prior round's routing of pike and shotte - and they targeted the end of the line and prepared to charge home with tonnes of metal and slightly lighter (plastic) horseflesh racing towards the unit holding up the French flank. They would give the French a real inquisition
This one would be a simple plan and a simple battle - would the French shooting and Impact capabilities thin out the Spaniards sufficiently before the push and shove of hand to hand melee started, or would the tough and battle-hardened Tercios grind their French opponents down in nose-to-nose fighting ?
To be honest you've probably read enough of this "the two sides close on each other" verbiage by now, and you've almost certainly got the picture already. But still, aren't 28mm figures nice ?
What's Going on Here Then?
Well, the French are sitting there whilst the Spanish advance towards their prepared positions. But the French have more shooting so its a bit messy for Spain right now
The left end of the Spanish line was where the French had their considerable artillery park, and that had been finding its range consistently throughout the slow advance of the Iberian Tercios - the end result was a very thin Tercio was now all that was left to approach the still-fully-intact French line. This looked iffy already for Spain
The French stepped forwards and opened up on the Tercio infantry with regimental guns, dragoons and their Grand Battery. Three bases down and the Spanish would now struggle even to get into contact
But, shrugging off another volley, the Spanish charged at the French dragoons, scaring them off and buying themselves a little more time. Everyone in the Spanish army was now devoted to ensuring the Tercio at least saw some close combat action, including a rather miffed unit of Light Horse, who found themselves tasked with absorbing some French shooting ..
Yeah, the other lines getting closer… we know..
The Tercio on the left, at least having charged but not actually fought, was obliterated by French fire. The only upside was that all of the Spanish casualties had been concentrated on one unit, but the downside was that one of the handful of good quality Spanish units was now gone - and there were only 2 more left.
A rather small Tercio
They are in!! At last a different narrative structure was possible as the two lines of troops did what they had been threatening to do for most of the match report so far, and got to grips with each other. The Spanish foot were confident, hammering into a French unit that had already taken several casualties from their shooting and that of their gunnery team back towards their baseline, and the Cuirassiers were confident too, mainly because they were Cuirassiers, and if you are a posh bloke in full armour on a dirty great horse armed with two pistols, a big sword and a massive hammer why wouldn't you be confident?
In an outcome which pretty much defined "mixed fortunes" the Spanish infantry blew away their opponents and the Cuirassiers took a horrible beating losing 3 bases and dropping t Fragged and DISR in the process. Fortunately they were able to break off from their entirely unharmed and unaffected opponents, who's confidence was dented by the realisation that a rather tougher opponent was now on their right flank.
Elsewhere French firepower was thinning Spanish ranks at a terrifying rate and as the Iberians moved forwards they were getting closer and closer to being removed from play. This was not looking good
The Spanish girded their loins for one last hurrah - the French were by no means an entirely solid formation but the Spanish were barely a formation at all as base losses had thinned their ranks to an alarming degree. They would need luck on the death dice to carry the fight on much longer here.
Recovering cohesion for the Cuirassiers and taking deep breaths along the line everyone charged home. Lots of 28mm men gazed at each other from nasal hair appreciation distances
The Tercio at the heart of the Spanish line was the first to crack, broken by base losses it turns and flees
What's Going on Here Then?
The French are still sitting there, but the Spanish advance has rather run into the sand. This is because the French have more shooting so its all gotten a bit messy for Spain right now
All three units of Cuirassiers were not enjoying much success against the French pike and shot formations - this one had not started the game as a 2-pack…
The weakest point of the French line was still where the Spanish had concentrated their attack - right at the end. A DISR French unit received a combined Cuirassier and Tercio attack and tried to stand firm led by their general as Iberian dragoons sought to sneak round the back
Unnoticed by anyone before now, French dragoons were skulking through the woodlands towards the Spanish baggage…
The French line of infantry was still depressingly solid all across the line in the centre, as the Spanish started to run out of decent quality units to face off against them - but on the flank they were dangerosuly brittle still
BOOM!! The end of the French line collapsed, and a whole unit was obliterated as the Tercio and two units of Cuirassiers wiped them out and then pursued furiously into the rear echelon unit who found themselves assailed from all sides by the jubilant Spanish! Could the Kingdom of Spain exploit this blitzkrieg-like opportunity to ratchet up some quick points and claw their way back into the game? The rear of the French army lay open..
The second line French unit too was simply blown away as the Spanish vented their fury at being denied for so long, and continued their vicious pursuit.
Suddenly the French were in disarray - half their army had been removed from the table in barely a turn and a bit, and troops who had been confidently advancing in the centre of their army secure in the knowledge that their flank were well held were now anxiously gazing to their left as the Spanish, now more a howling furious mob than a coherent army, bore down on them with battle cries and move distances that still seemed a little odd when set against their base sizes.
Frenchmen scratched their heads in puzzlement as the Spanish camp servants attempted to explain to them that the hard, yellow substances they were working on were in fact cheese, despite not dribbling over the sides of the plate and not stinking of decay.
But one French unit had acquired some backbone, and was steadfastly holding up the Iberian Cuirassiers as their own French cavalry hove into view on the flank. This was the last standing Spanish unit which could tip the army to defeat…
In melee they lost receiving 4 casualties…but rolled a rather spectacular 5-6/6 to survive! There would be another turn…
That turn saw them reduced to one base and broken. Oops, game over for the Spanish army…
The Result is a 19-6 loss.
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
Well, another partial success... we came close through appolication of a clever and simple plan of attacking the weakest link in the enemy line with all of my best troops, but in the end the Fren ch dice were just too good and their army failed to give up and run away at the approriate time so without that contribution from my northern neighbours it is difficult to see how we could have done more.
Losing men from shooting is always dissapointing and somewhat unmanly, but it does happen from time to time and those arre the games you need to not worry to much about. I personally am already moving on to the next gme in my mind, and am confident that having seen Cuirassiers ride down Pike and Shotte once in the first game, and then help a Tercio do so in this one that my mounted-heavy army is about due a decisive win as well as the gods of dice must smile on me soon.
In the gap between games I will however write to my chief armourer and see if he can have a look at adding some of these cute little gunnes to my infantry as they seem to be fairly effective and I could imagine my men being happier with them as well.
Shame about the cheese being stolen by those dragoons, especially as I spent a lot of time and money on the baggage camp, but I guess with a small army it's hard to avoid really. Onwards and upwards.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Idiot! Poltroon! And you have the temerity to claim that you had a plan as well! I always think that my capacity to be staggered and dissapointed by your incompetence cannot be bested in each game I have the misfortune to review but each one plumbs new depths. To plumb deeper depths than this would require a spade, 3 weeks and a starting point in a camels latrine after a particularly long siege in a hot climate, but that is how I feel having just read this report, never mind how your men must feel having participated in it.
What a hopeless tactic is charging Pike and Shotte with Cuirassiers when they are supported and led by a General. Edge of the World my pimple-ridden horse-blanket-saddle-sored ass! You achieved a breakthroough yes, but at the cost of committing 3 of your most expensive units, and in so doing denuded the entire rest of your battle line of anything of competence at all!
The art of Blitzkrieg is to push THROUGH the enemy line in one spot with overwhelming force, and pin the rest of the line without losing too much - you did nothing like that here. Instead you undercommitted at the point of breakthrough, and then matched up poorly all along the rest of the line which meant that you actually lost a war of attrittion on 80% of the battlefield and drew a slogging match by committing your best troops against some of the enemys most average. That's not really a recipe to conquer France, is it?
The onlt similarity to Blitzkrieg here is that the French managed to sneak through a wooded area that you had not defended at all, and in doing so they were able to strike a vital blow against your supply train which crippled your ability to fight on. And if I remember my future history correctly that wasn't really part of Guderians plan, was it... Lets see if the next game can bring any respite from this stupidity?
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