Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pike & Shotte: Montrose v. Covernanters

Mike's Covernanters v. Steve's Scots Royalists

The Covernanters are on the left in the pics.   2 P&S plus 2 dragoons on the right, 2 P&S plus artillery in centre, 4 cavalry in front of the centre.

Montrose's army has Highlanders on the rough hill in the foreground, 2 Scots & 1 Irish P&S in the centre and 2 Gordon horse plus commanded musketeers on the far right.

Montrose started forward with the Gordon horse on the right, but when they moved slowly and the Covernanters moved P&S that way he changed his mind & brought them back behind his centre.

The Covernanters advanced their horse in the centre & the opposing foot formed a row of hedgehogs.  But their infantry & guns lagged behind.  Montrose counterattacked the horse with the Gordon horse and his foot.  The Gordons lost a unit, but the Covernanters lost 2.  Both sides withdrew their cavalry.

In the foreground, the highlanders on the hill got pounded by musket fire when they came over the crest.  They retired and the Covernanters followed up.  The hill disordered the pikes, but the musketeers were doing the work so it didn't matter.  More musket fire broke the highlanders.

In the centre,  Montrose's foot counterattacked the Covernanter foot and broke it.

Now both sides had a division broken & 1 verging on it.  The Covernanters disengaged their right and moved it to the centre.  Montrose advanced his right towards the Covernanter horse.

The Covernanter artillery had been hurting the Irish, but were outflanked and taken out by musketeers.

Finally the Gordon horse charged the Covernanter horse with musketeers in support.  Both side fell back shaken, but the Covernanters had to test army morale first and couldn't rally - so Montrose won a close run thing.

The battle was enjoyed by all (including the umpire).  We sorted out quite a few misconceptions we had carried over from Hail,Caesar in previous P&S games.  The game plays quite differently to Hail Caesar despite having the same basic system.

The only issue I'm not really happy with is Broken divisions rules - they hang around able to shoot & tend to prevent a clean finish.  HC has divisions harder to break, but pretty useless when they do.  In P&S divisions are easier to break, but can still be a pain to the enemy.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pike & Shotte at Barrie's

Barrie & Steve's Covernanters v. Leigh's New Model Army

Both armies were about 770 points in 3 divisions.  Leigh deployed the New Model with 3 Ironsides & 2 cavaly on his left, 2 pike & shotte in the centre and 1 pike 7 shotte plus 1 cavalry on his right.  The Covenanters put their 4 highlander and 4lancer units on their left, their 2 pike & shootte in the centre with 2 dragoons in open order in front and 2 cavalry plus 4 light guns on their left.

The Covernanters advanced their left and sent their skirmishers forward in the centre.  The New Model just pulled their right back while they sorted out their blundering cavalry on the left.

The Covenanter's left did well, overwhelming the horse and all but surrounding the foot which broke after putting up a brave fight.

The Ironsides were got back under control and were advanced towards the Scot's centre.  The Scots answered by advancing their centre to support the dragoons and moving their right flank cavalry behind the infantry.

The Ironsides charged at the Scots foot.  One unit rode down the dragoons and charged on to try to help out the New Model's right.  They took out some highlanders, but were counterattacked & destroyed by lancers.  The Scots pike & shotte succeeded in forming hedgehog & the rest of the Ironsides stopped short and caracolled.  But this left them right in front of the Scot's artillery.  One Ironside unit charged the Scots horse between the hedgehogs and destroyed it, but the combination of artillery fire and musket fire from the hedgehogs whittled the New Model horse away and eventually they broke.  With both flank divisions broken, the New Model Army broke.

The game showed up a few more areas of difference with Hail Caesar we hadn't noticed before, some of which we found hard to understand from the text during the heat of battle.  In particular to do with flank attacks, what happens after a combat and the traversing shots rule.  I need to have a good look at the book while not under pressure.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Pike & Shotte

Jim's Scots Covernanters v. Mark's Royalists

Mark had the same Royalist army that Steve & coy used last week...2 cavalry divs of 4 and 2 infantry divs of 2 pike & 4 shotte.  Following last week's disaster, the Scots army was changed to 2 infantry divs of 2 pike & 4 shotte & 1 cavalry div of 6.  They also had 2 highlander & a large commanded musket unit attached to 1 inf div.

The Scots (on left in pics) deployed to the left of centre with their cavalry on their right and the Musketeers and highlanders on their left.  The Royalists put all their cavalry on their right.  Both sides had their lefts overlapped by enemy cavalry.

The Scots sent their Highlanders & musketeers on a death or glory mission to delay the Royalist horse while the rest of the army advanced as fats as possible - which was not that fast for some of them (the right hand infantry & the cavalry only advanced at all because of our house rule that allows 1 move on fail if the order was dead straight ahead).

The highlanders & musketeers bought a bit of time, but were inevitably overwhelmed by the cavaliers.  The pike & shot near the hamlet gave up on outflanking the foot and fell back to form a hedgehog to protect the army's left from the cavaliers.  the rest of the division traded shotte with their opposite numbers.

The Scots cavalry charged the musketeers.  The foot failed to get into hedgehog and the 2 musketeers units were ridden down.  The Scotts horse were prevented from going on round the flank by the proximity rule as the reamining fott formed hedgehog.  The cavalry lined up to caracole the 2 hedgehogs while waiting for infantry support to arrive.  In the centre, the royalist foot counterattacked hoping to break through before the 2nd Scots infantry div arrived.

The left hand Scots infantry div did break, but the hedgehog, being unshaken remained an obstacle to the cavaliers which made a wide detour around it.  The right hand Scots infantry division may have been slow to arrive, but when they did, they were decisive.  The quickly broke a hedgehog.  This freed half the Scots cavalry to sweep into the rear of the enemy foot.  With the infantry on their flank.  The royalist musketeers were ridden down and both infantry divisions broke.  The Scots had one division of 3 broken, the Royalists now had 2 of 4.  The army morale rule in P&S are half divs broken = army broken, so the royalists were defeated.

It was a most enjoyable game.  The defining aspects of the period - the interplay of pike & shotte and of cavalry v. infantry both seemed to work very well.  The only house rule we used was our 1 move on failed order to go straight ahead - it probably saved the Scots bacon as their left would hardly have moved otherwise.  But to not have it and have half the army do nothing until the game was lost would not have been as good a game.        


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hail Caesar: Rome v. Britons

Mike & Jim's Britons
Steve's Romans

The Romans are on the right in the pics.  Their cavalry is at the far end, with 3 infantry divisions - all advancing but at varying speeds.

The Britons have both cavalry divisions on the far flank, then 2 infantry divisions in the centre overlapped by the Romans.

The Britons redeployed to their right so they wouldn't be outflanked and charged the Roman left.

On the far flank the Roman cavalry got hot command dice and swept away much of the Briton skirmish line.

The infantry battle turned into a chaotic mess both sides won some and lost some.

On the far flank the Roman advance was flanked by the Briton's chariots.  Only a prodigious set of dice rolls saved the Roman horse from destruction (like 3 sixes to hit from 8 dice for 2 kills, then saving all of 10 hits on 4+).  But save them they did and then it was all downhill for the Brits.  It seemed that every time the Brits looked like winning the Romans would pull out some hot dice to save themselves.

All the Roman divisions were on the point of breaking, but none did.  Following the example of the cavalry, both Brit infantry divisions just failed to break their opponents then broke themselves.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Saga at Barrie's

With 4 players we fought two battles side by side.  We did the clash of warlords scenario in both battles, except without a time limit - we fought to a finish.

Mark's Anglo-Danes v. Barrie's Vikings

Mark's Anglo-Danes (in foreground of pic) did well initially, but Barrie's Vikings regrouped and fought back with the levy archers proving decisive.  Must have caused a great loss of face in Valhalla with the warriors upstaged by the bow wielding scum.

Leigh's Anglo-Danes v. Jim's Welsh

The Welsh special rules give them combat & manoeuvre advantages in rough ground, but their cavalry and archers are best suited to open ground.  The battlefield being divided by woods and a steep hill across the centre made for some particular tactical problems.

The Welsh pushed infantry through the wood on their left and held back their cavalry & half their archers on the right. The Anglo-Danes attacked the wood armed with lots of special rules that trumped the Welsh one.  The Welsh conceded the wood and fell back to a new line.

The Anglo-Danes took their time reorganising, then advanced over the hill & through the wood and attacked.

The Anglo-Danish warlord lead his hearthguard against the mounted Welsh warriors.  Both side threw in all the special rules they could muster and the result was mutual destruction - both the hearthguard and the Welsh warriors all slain.  This left the Anglo-Danish warlord on his own.

But the Welsh warlord was lurking behind his warriors with the last of his hearthguard.  Now it was the Welsh turn, they attacked the lone warlord with a fresh load of dice on their battleboard while the Anglo-Dane had none left on his.   The warlord died giving the Welsh victory.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pike & Shotte

Scots Covernanters (Jim, Mike & Mark)
Royalists (Steve, Tony & Rob)

Both sides had 4 divisions.
The Royalists had 2 divs of 4 horse, 2 divs of 2 pike + 6 shotte.
The Covernanters had 1 div of 4 lancers, 1 of 4 horse, 1 of 2 pike & 4 shotte & 1 of 4 highlanders.  They also had 2 medium guns & 2 dragoons attached to the pike & shotte.

The Covernanters deployed all their cavalry on their right, pike & shotte on their left & highlanders in the centre.  They hoped the enemy would split their horde allowing them to overwhelm the half on their right.

Unfortunately for the Scots the Royalists deployed all their horse on their left and all their infantry in the centre.

The Scots held their cavalry back while they advanced the highlanders to the left of the central farm, and moved their pike & shotte to the right of it.  Their dragoons moved up into the farm  and began peppering away at the Royalist foot.

The Royalist horse galloped forward briskly against the Scots cavalry.  The second rate Scots cavalry didn't stand much of a chance & were soon defeated.

In the centre both sides had poor command rolls and failed to come to grips.

On the far flank the Highlanders made a brave charge, but failed to broke through and were then crushed by superior numbers.  The Scots then failed army morale and broke.  

The Scots were pretty well beaten on the deployment, then their cross over manoeuvre with the infantry was probably not the right response.  As a result they were well beaten.  But it was fast and fun battle enjoyed by all.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hail Caesar: Rome v. Pontics

Jim's Romans v. Byron's Ponts

Both armies 500 points in 4 divisions. Romans made a map of their deployment, Ponts deployed, then Romans to the map.  Army break test: Fail if 3 divs broken.  Losing camp counts as a div broken.  Romans also lose if both infantry divs are broken.

Roman OOB: 2 divs of 3 legionaries, 1 med bow, 1 skirmisher, 2 divs of 1 med cav, 1 light cav, 1 med spear, 1 med bow.  3 light balistae attached to one inf. (LHS in pics).

Pontic OOB: 1) 2 cats, 2 horse archer.  2) 4 warbands 2 skirms.  3) 4 warbands, 1 double handed thracian, 2 skirms. 4) 2 heavy cav, 2 light cav.

The Romans deployed conventionally, infantry in the centre, cavalry on the wings.  The Ponts also deployed that way, but bunched up to their right leaving the Roman right with no opponents.

The Ponts advanced in echelon right leading.  The Romans tried the revolving door, pulling back their left and swinging their right forward & left.

At first things all right for the Romans.  Their left flank mixed division was better handled than the Pontic cavalry and the Ponic horse archers were quickly destroyed.  The first clash of warbands v. legionaries also went the Roman's way.

One Pontic cat unit rode down the spearmen, but the other one was overcome by a combined attack by light & medium cavalry and the division broke.

In the centre things suddenly turned bad for Rome.  The second wave of warbands smashed through, breaking the LH infantry division.  One warband charged on to pillage the camp, leaving the Romans one broken division away from defeat.

On their right, the 2nd legion pinned down the enemy cavalry while the Roman cavalry got up around the flank (although the right flank infantry showed no signs of urgency and lagged way out of the fight).

The end game went as follows - working from the far end:
The victorious Roman cavalry was still being rallied.
The victorious warbands wheeled left and charged towards the 2nd legion.
The 2nd legion charged the Pont cavalry as cavalry charged them from the flank.  Already shaken by javelin fire, the Pontic light cav broke allowing legionaries to hit the heavies in flank.  The Pontic cavalry broke quickly enough for the legionaries to reform to face the approaching warbands.
To cap it off for Rome, a unit of auxilary bowmen worked around the rear of the cavalry and stormed the Pontic camp causing the Ponts to fail army morale.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Pike & Shotte: Cropardy Bridge 1644

Steve & Tony's Parliamentary Army v. Jim's Royalists

We dived off the deep end into the new Pike & Shotte rules playing the Cropardy Bridge scenario from the book.  It used almost all of my ECW 15mm collection.  The scenario has the Royalists strung out on the road (LHS of pics marching towards the camera) with the parliamentarians coming on in 2 columns across two bridge/fords.

In the first pic the battle is already joined in the distance where the Parliamentary cavalry galloped forward with surprising speed, but the Royalist horse just had time to deploy out of road column and charge first.   In the foreground the Parliamentary advance guard has deployed with the columns moving up behind.  The Royalists have deployed into battle formation but not moved off the road.

The cavalry fight on the Royalist left had 4 Cavalier units v. 5 Roundheads.  The Cavaliers were better troops, but lacked control.  The Roundhead's caracole proved more effective than expected & the extra unit made the difference.  The cavalier division broke.

On the other flank the other cavalier division charged the Parliament's advance guard as their infantry followed up behind.

The parliamentary deployment of horse with foot behind paid off and the Cavaliers failed to break through & were broken.

The Parliamentary right was still a long way away, so the Royalists continued attacking on their right, hoping to pull off a win before they could arrive.   However, their attempt to outflank the Parliamentary foot by attacking through the farmyard petered out and the  musketeer division on their right was too slow to come up.  The main Royalist infantry division was holding their own, but when the Lifeguard cavalry's desperate attempt at a breakthough on their right failed it was all over for the King's men.

Despite the size of the battle and the need for frequent consultation of the rule book, the battle ripped along quickly.  It was all over in 2 hours.   We all enjoyed it very much.  The Pike & Shotte system is as you would expect  a mix of Black Powder & Hail Caesar, but it does succeed in bringing out a very credible English Civil War feel.  The similar systems make it easy to pick up P&S after learning HC, but it is a bit tricky remembering the subtle differences.  On balance though I like the principle of a common system tweaked for the different periods.

Our 15mm figures are based on 40mm x 30mm stands: Infantry in 2 ranks, cavalry in 1.
Standard units:  Musketeers & dragoons 3 stands in 1 rank.  Pike & cavalry 4 stands in 2 ranks.
We used these with the distances & ranges straight from the book on a 10'x8' table.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Kingston FOW Tournament 2012

With 21 players on 11 tables this is the biggest wargames tournament yet in Tasmania.  Camp Cromwell has 5 players (not counting Nick who was hi-jacked by the LGC).   There are 8 from Kingston,  5 from the Launceston Gaming Club, 2 from the Melbourne Monday Knights.  Nick Ridge's son Declan played the byes (& won most of them).

Results for Camp Cromwell players:

Jim (Hungarian Light Infantry):
1. Lost to Richard Taylor's Tankovy (KBR) - Counterattack Mission
2. Defeated Rob Holloway's US Rifles (LGC)  - Dust Up Mission
3. Defeated Patrick Oxborough's Strelkovy (LGC) -  Cauldron Mission.
4. Defeated Nick Ridge's Brit Inf (LGC) - No Retreat Mission.
5. Lost to Smithy's Strelkovy (KBR) - Free For All Mission.

Steve (Grenadiers):
1. Defeated Rob Holloway's US Rifles (LGC)
2. Defeated Richard Taylor's Tankovy (KBR)
3. Lost to Andrew Oates US Rifles (MK)
4. Lost to Smithy's Strelkovy (KBR)
5. Defeated Nick Ridge's Brit Rifles (LGC)

Mark (US Rifles):
1. Defeated Tristian's Panzergrenadiers (KBR)
2. Drew with Griggsy's Panzers (KBR)
3. Drew with Daniel Kosta's Panzergrenadiers (LGC)
4. Drew with Leigh
5. Defeated Patrick Oxborough's Strelkovy (KBR)

Leigh (Brit Rifles):
1. Lost to Griggsy's Panzers (KBR)
2. Drew with Carl Pearcey's  US Rifles
3. Drew with Rob Holloway's US Rifles (LGC)
4. Drew with Mark
5. Bye.

Byron (US Tank):
1. Lost to Daniel Kosta's Panzergrenadiers (LGC)
2. Drew with Patrick Oxborough's Strelkovy (KBR)
3. Lost to Ed's Panzers (MK)
4. Bye
5. Drew with Shane Madden  (LGC)

Tasmanian Club Trophy:  Kingston Bunker Rats.

1st Place:  Andrew Oates (aka Lord T of the Melbourne Monday Knights)
2nd Place: Andrew Smith (KBR).
3rd Place: Nick Bowler (LGC this time).

Da Vinci Award for best army: Steve Jendrich.

Full results table:

Andrew Oates 528 US Rifle Coy NA
Andrew Smith 425 Soviet Strelkovy Red Army EF
Nick Bowler 322 US Rifle Coy NA
Tristan Goodwin 321 Gep Panzergrenadier Coy NA
Garry Howell 319 Panzergrenadier Coy EF
Jim Gandy 317 Hungarian Motorised Infantry EF
Ed Corsar 218 Panther Coy EF
Miles Griggs 218 Panzerpioier Coy EF
Steve Jendrich 217 Grenadier Coy EF
Nick Ridge 216 British Rifle Coy Tunisia NA
Mark Oakford 216 US Rifle Coy NA
Carl Peacy 215 British Rifle Coy Tunisia NA
Richard Taylor 215 Soviet Tankovy EF
Daniel Kosta 214 Gep PanzerGrenadiers EF
Russell Malham 214 Aussie Rifle Coy NA
Byron Combes 114 US Tank Coy NA
Rob Holloway 113 US Rifle Coy NA
Shane Madden 113 Gep Panzerpionier Coy EF
Adrian Griffin 112 US Tank Coy NA
Leigh Watson 112 British Rifle Coy NA
Patrick Oxbrough 108 Soviet Strelkovy Guards EF

Although Camp Cromwell didn't do as well as usual in the results department and lost possession of the Sturmtiger trophy, a great time was had by all with lots of close interesting games.  Once again John Mumford did a terrific job organising the event.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Hail Caesar - Seleucids v the Ponts

Steve's Seleucids v. Jim's Ponts

Both armies were 500 points in 4 divisions, Ponts on the left in the pics.

The Ponts had a cavalry div on each flank with Imitation Romans & Galacians in the centre.

The Seleucids had cavalry on their right, elephants on their left and 2 infantry divs in the centre - both a mix of phalanx and medium infantry.

The Ponts sent light cav forward on their right to keep the enemy left busy while the Galacians & left flank cavalry charged forward with the Imitation Romans in reserve.

But the dice gods did not favour the ponts.  Once again the Samartan cataphracts were paper tigers and the Pontic left was quickly broken.  The Galacians won some & lost some, but the better drilled Seleucids could exploit their successes and the Galacians broke as well.

Meanwhile the Imitation Romans were still sitting on their hill refusing to do much.

The Ponts decided their left flank cavalry couldn't do much against elephants & phalanxes, so they moved their cavalry back then left to join the Imitation Romans in a  desperate effort to save the day.

But the Ponts were caught in a pincer where every loss tightened the noose and the odd win just wasn't enough.  The Imitations broke & that was game over.