Monday, August 10, 2015

Saxon-Irish Blood Feud (Song of Arthur Campaign Finale)

Part 3 of our Saxon-Irish campaign, in which the Irish have been savagely owned thus far. BUT I thought I had a strategy (finally).  I'd do my darnedest to bumrush one of his flanks with everything I had and see if I can break his line and trigger some morale checks.

There's a somewhat complex rule that says that if you have surrounded your enemy in such a way that if they are making a "flee" move and they always come within one 'S' move of your figures, then that enemy figure is removed (think of them as surrendering or being cut down).  Oh, and the enemy figure has to flee towards the closest available edge, as well. So they have to be surrounded but not really surrounded. More like "loosely corralled," like this sorta…
                  O              X
           X   X

I was thinking I needed to just send my Riders on a long flank move, and get them behind the flank I want to attack.  Then I'd charge that flank with my foot Warriors and Champion, and if they can trigger some flee moves, those will turn into 'kills' by virtue of the 'surrounded' mechanic. 

So the actual game was a "kill the other leader" since this was supposed to be the big finale.  My strategy was doing *okay*, but a lot of the attack's inertia was wasted wiping out some Saxon slingers.

Then the grind started and thing started going poorly with the Irish warriors steadily getting cut down or fleeing.



Finally it was just the Irish warlord (on horseback) by himself, but he was totally going out METAL style, rolling a lot of 5s ans 6s while Kyle kept thowing 1s and such for his Saxons.

THEN Kyle let his warlord wade into it, and mine just split his skull. Morale check, and game over. With extra VP for me killing warlord, I squeaked out the win 11 to 10!!! METAL!

Overall campaign defeat for the Irish raiders, but it was nice to get the dramatic implausible win for the finale.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Charge! Battle of Market Chipping

Army Red and Army Black clash in full force near the suburbs of Market Chipping.  Dispositions were as follows:

Four infantry battalions of 12 figs each.
Two cavalry squadrons of 6 figs each.
Army Black had two guns and Red just one.
Various and assorted officers and staff.

Astute observers may notice that one Army Red battalion has traded in its scarlet coats and hats for olive green.  Both sides are contemplating changes in dress. 

Army Red deployed with its gun in the middle, flanked on each side by two infantry battalions and one squadron of hussars on each far flank.

Army Black deployed somewhat obliquely, with two infantry battalions to advance up through the suburbs of nearby Market Chipping, and the entirety of its cavalry deployed to its right flank in force.

While Army Black's infantry made its slow flank through the streets of town, Red's blue-jacketed hussars changed tack and instead of hitting Black's infantry in the messy confines of town, attempted to charge across the field and attack Black's center.

The result was the Blue Hussars were totally destroyed by artillery and musket fire.  However, as seen below, Black was emerging from the Market Chipping suburbs into the face of well disposed Red infantry and artillery. On Red's left, the Green Hussars had been beaten back by the combined cavalry of Black, but Black's cavalry was about to receive a volley from a nearly full strength Red infantry unit at point blank!

Red's infantry completely bungled the volley, however and the massed cavalry charged home to great success, leaving Red's left flank decimated.

Red tried in its last move to try and force a tie via some musket volleys on the right flank but all of those went pear-shaped as well and Army Black carried the field.  A satisfying game and Charge! proves itself to be a great match with 54mm figures!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Royalists Triumphant!

Another round of Pike & Shotte with both of us applying lessons learned (sort of).

 Both royalist and parliament forces deployed in fairly dense lines, which follows historical practice.  After two games of this is has become clear that you cannot rely on commanders to execute plans of any complexity or subtlety, much less any 'grand strategies.'  Your best bet is to line 'em up and do your best to corral the whole lot forward a bit.  Even with this mind,  however, I could not resist deploying the Royalist cavalry on my left to attempt a flanking maneuver through the woods.  I anchored the right flank against the river which I felt would protect it enough from the opposite numerous Parliament cavalry.

Things chugged along. My flanking maneuver, to the surprise of no one, was unbelievably slow. We finally remembered to use the first fire rule (add one dice to shooting total).  Gabe wasted no time having Parliament infantry blast away at the Royalists once in range.  I had the Royalists hold their fire, hoping to concentrate multiple first volleys at a single target for devastating effect, which did not pay dividends.   

As with the prior game, Parliament was able to send a sleeve of shot on the Royalist right running almost immediately.  Fortunately the looming presence of the Royalist cavalry, finally making their way around the Parliament flank, prevented Gabe from pushing his advantage.  Some of the Royalist cavalry even succeeded in overrunning the Parliament artillery, but then chanced a reckless charge into a Parliament pike block and was destroyed.

Back in the center and Royalist left, the Parliament cavalry began to advance as both sides exchanged musketry.  Both sides were near the breaking point, but a Parliament cavalry squadron was caught out alone in front its own lines, and the Royalists delivered a truly "withering volley" (the first time I have seen such a thing represented on a tabletop) which broke the Parliament cavalry battalion and subsequently sent the whole army into retreat. Victory at last for the Royalist cause!