Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hold the Line in Pike & Shotte

Tony's Royalists v. Steve's Covernanters

1000 pts each in 4 divisions, two infantry & 2 cavalry.
The scenario was baesed on FOW's Hold the Line Mission.  The Royalists had their 2 infantry divisions defending the village in the centre of the table with their cavalry to come on their rear table edge using FOW's reserves rule.  The Covenanters had all their forces deployed on the table at the start 18" back from the Royalist front line.  
Victory conditions.
1) Either side win if they break more than half the enemy's divisions.
2) Covernanters win if they take the whole village (4 houses).
3) Royalists win if they hold out until 11.30.

The pics are taken from behind the Royalist's left. The Covernanters deployed with cavalry on both wings.  The Royalists deployed their foot in an arrowhead in and to each side of the village.
The Covernanter right galloped forward at a great rate, but their left got to the river and got stuck there.  Their centre plodded forward opening up on the village with artillery and musketry as the impi enveloped the forward part of it.

The Royalist reserves arrived fairly promptly.  The first division was sent down the left to meet the Scots right.  The second one was sent to the right, but made slow work of it.

The cavalry clashed head on on the Royalist left.  The fight was short and sharp with both sides getting mixed fortune and both divisions breaking...1 all.

In the centre the Scots were finding out how hard it can be to take a village - particularly if you rush at it.

And on the far flank they still hadn't got over the river.

The Scots left finally crossed the river and the Royalist right formed hedgehog while waiting for their cavalry to come up (both sides getting bad command dice on this flank).

The Royalist left got distracted finishing off the Scots left, but was now moving forward to counterattack.

In the village, Scots persistence finally paid off with 2 houses falling to them.
At long last the troops on the far flank got to grips.  Steve's greater experience told as he used his mix of cavalry, musketeers & dragoons to good effect.  The hedgehog was pinned down by the horse, then shot up by musketeers.

But when the cavaliers finally arrived things looked bad for the Scots horse.  But a few good dice and some critical support by the dragoons stopped the cavaliers.  The Scots held on and it was the cavaliers that broke.

On the near flank, the Scots infantry broke when the Royalist left advanced on them.  But their artillery was unshaken and the Royalist left broke under the artillery fire.  

This was 3 divisons broken out of 4 for the Royalists and although they still held half the village, they had to concede the battle and withdraw.

It made for a good game having another victory condition apart from the army break test - even though it was the break test that decided that battle in the end.  We set the test at more than half rather than half or more so the battle couldn't be decided by a dice off of the two cavalry wings and to ensure that we got a serious fight in the village.  Steve found taking the village very hard work, but he was on a learning curve.  we treated each house and wall complex as a single piece of terrain that could hold 1 unit.  The main issue we found with the house fighting rules was that +2 morale for defenders gave the pikes a 2+ save, thus too invincable.  Considering that the pike is hardly the perfect weapon for village fighting, it seems too much advantage relative to musketeers (who have a 3+ save there).  Making the save 3+ for all in buildings - so the pike & musket have the same save seems more logical to us.

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