Wednesday 27 September 2023

AAR War of three Kingdoms/ ECW 25

 We had another pike and shot game at the club, we chose a scenario where the  victory conditions were occupation of the two river crossings at the end of eight turns. Each force had a pike block and two shot units, a light gun and two units of commaned shot, split in to two battalias, the Royalists (John's) were early Royalists taken from the To kill a king supplement while my force was based on Essex's from the same source as per the last game.

I rolled high and went first and  managed to grab both crossings, John's pike and shot regiment resolutely failed to activate, unfortunately beyond my shot range. On the other flank he skillfully exploited the terrain to take out my light gun and eventually the whole force, meanwhile his pike and shot unit advanced to yhe other crossing and it all looked bleak as his shot were in cover while mine were exposed, I charged his pike unit with mine and destroyed one of his shot units, John's force on the other crossing stalled, both pike units fought themselves to a standstill then broke but there was no longer time for John to try and take the other crossing so we called it a draw, as there was still a fair amount of time we set to with a straighr up melee from the one hour wargame scenario with two pike and shot units each , two cavalry and a medium gun , I was lucky enough to activate my infantry forward but held my cavalry back.

One of John's pike blocks got stuck near the start point and never really moved, failing activation and at other times being disordered so unable to follow orders, my cavalry moved off the hill to take shelter from John's artillery fire in the hedgrows, meanwhile John couldn't get his cavalry to move. The fighting in the hedgerows started to reduce the Royalist force and a charge by my pikemen eventually broke John's pike. Meanwhile John's Cavalier cavalry finally activated charged my cavalry, which being caracole cavalry meaning they take a closing fire shot instead of counter charging , were defeated , withdrew and were hit again in a sweeping advance, they lost again so I  had to roll a break test which with an eleven each( on two dice) meant that surprisingly they survived even if they had to withdraw from the table, I  continued mangling the Royalist foot, John declared a charge on my artillery piece but wasn't able to fulfill it and we had to call the game as we had run out of time, another draw. I thought it worked out rather well, the Parliamentarian foot is marginally better than the Royalist and the Royalist cavalry is superior to the Parliamentarians at this point, if John's cavalry had gone off to attack a  baggage train it would have mirrored a number of civil war battles! We're going to keep at it for pike and shot for a while so expect more of these chaps!

Framlingham Castle in Suffolk was often the start of our family summer holidays in the east coast and is a good eleventh century ( I think?)  Castle with some lovely Tudor chimneys, we walked the dog around it the other day, captured by king John in the thirteenth century it was where Queen Mary rode out from to start her counter coup to depose Lady Jane Grey with the support of Suffolk. 

Next up ? Definitely Napoleonics, all painted just need to take some photos after the holiday, went past James's headquarters during the second Anglo-Dutch war in Southwold today as that conflict seems to be in the air!

All the best


Tuesday 19 September 2023

AAR battle of Brentford War of three Kingdoms/ ECW 24

 We had planned on playing the battle of Brentford at the first game of the autumn season at the club, from the Warlord To kill a King supplement, using Pike and Shot, we were a little rusty as we hadn't really played since the spring. 

We set up as per the scenario although I realised we were short on light artillery by some way, medium guns and heavy guns being forced to stand in.  The two guns either side of the bridge were medium, otherwise all other guns were light guns( whatever they might look like?!)

So if you carry on past the church you will get to a McDonald's drive through, although not in 1642 , we have Brentford with three lots of barricades, each with it's defending units and come turn four( if the Parliamentarians are still there) further reinforcements.  In historical terms Rupert and his Royalist force smashed through, breaking units and taking prisoners, however the defence of Brentford had not been in vain, having bought valuable time for the main Parliamentarian force to coalesce at Tutnham Green where they intimidated the Royalists and forced them to retreat back to Oxford. 

In our game I took the Parliamentarians, defending the first barricade against Rupert's battalia until further reinforcements could be rolled for in turn three. Things didn't go well for the Royalists from the first go, I won the initiative and started shooting, John repeatedly failed his activation rolls ( difficult with a command rating of 9+) I just kept shooting behind cover, ultimately I managed to break/destroy both artillery units a cavalry unit and commanded shot unit by the time the reinforcements arrived which meant the battalia had over  half its units destroyed/ broken so it was a broken battalia, one of the two last units being disordered and being less than 12" from the enemy they were forced to retire off the table and once they were off the table and part of a broken battalia they were not able to return, a third of the Royalist army had been wiped out including of course the newly painted Royalist cuirassier unit standing in as Rupert's horse!

The Parliamentarian reinforcements turned up and made their way to the riverbank. 

We carried on with some shooting at the first barricade, the two lower Royalist reinforcement regiments tried to charge the one  Parliamentarian pike and shot regiment in spite of having a unit each disordered, they formed hedgehog successfully and the Royalist threw in the towel, not having yet destroyed a single unit of the Parliamentarian force but having already lost a third of their army and the time was running out at the club.

Fun game, for me anyway John threw some of the worst dice I've ever seen while I was consistently lucky . We both agreed there should have been a timescale for the game, Rupert needing to take the bridge in a certain number of turns or if the Parliamentarians were still on the other side of the bridge by a certain turn it was at least a draw? An under prepared scenario we felt, going back to one hour wargames to generate our next pike and shot battle! Still nice to get the toys and terrain on the table.

Castell y Bere near Aberdovey in mid Wales, a ruined Welsh castle built by a Welsh king Llywelyn the Great to protect Gwynedd’s southern border  and control the valley and more importantly the pastureland for cattle. In 1221 and in use till the end of that century. On holiday in Wales, thought this might be of interest, now I want to paint up some more cattle and play a dark age cattle raiding game!

Next up, more Napoleonics? Some more war of three Kingdoms light artillery after I was five short for the artillerys first outing!? More terrain?  Cattle?Not sure!

All the best