Played my first proper game of Warlord’s new release ‘Pike and Shotte’, something myself and the group at the RGMB have been waiting for a while for. My previous involvement was restricted to two regiments on the flanks of another game, so this was the big test. No blow by blow account here, just a few bits and thoughts.
With Red and Aidan out of commission, and Lukes troops confined to the loft it was left to my Royalists to face Michaels Swedes in a straight fight across a 6ft by 5ft table.
With Sir Chris of Fazey commanding my horse Battalia (3 regiments of horse and 1 of dragoons – a temporary fix) on the right, I took the infantry Battalia; my 4 regiments of foote (each with 1 pike block and 2 musket sleeves) down the centre deployed in the Dutch style (sleeves etc). Earl Michael de Blondeville commanded actual Swedish troops (a mistake in hindsight) lead by Gustavus Adolphus - King Of Sweden (another mistake by the Royalist CO). He fielded around 5 regiments of foote, with the musket sleeves out in front to cause the damage and pike blocks backing up behind. Two regiments of horse supported each flank. Both sides deployed some artillery, but after this mention they won’t appear again.
The Royalists infantry started the ball rolling with a slow advance, while the Royalist horse ignored every command shouted at them for the first 3-4 turns. The Swedes happily ambled forwards and began an exchange of musketry. The discovery that the Swedes morale saves are better than the Royalists cause me to throw my pike blocks in as soon as possible to limit the damage from musketry, but to little effect. On my left Hopton’s regiment was inside the small hamlet, and was forced into hedgehog by the Swedes horse, who were thankfully less effective than the foot who now closed in on the hapless Hopton.
The Swedish infantry, pushed on by Gustavus Adolphus (who was able to give orders to anyone from anywhere – what a set of lungs the man has!), applied pressure, and the King’s Lifeguard pike cracked and fled, leaving a covering screen of musketeers while I pushed the rest of my pike into the fighting around the hamlet. Plenty of push of pike was going on in that area!
Sir Fazeys horse finally decided to move, although initially not very far, and firstly forced the Swedish infantry in the centre into hedgehog, before clashing with the Swedes horse on the right, with mixed results and nobody being able to claim the upper hand. With time very much upon us, and both armies (but particularly the Royalist one) looking battered we called it a day, and a Swedish victory.
In hindsight the Swedes had more troops, more guns and better morale saves, not to mention a bloke with a command value of 10, so perhaps a change in their status, or a more bias scenario would have evened up the scores, but regardless it was my fault for setting the game up like it was.
On my right Chris suffered frustration as his horse refused to move, and then fought an inconclusive few rounds against the enemy horse. On my left the Swedish horse forced a foot regiment into hedgehog where it was vulnerable to the infantry following up, but were then powerless against it. The centre saw more push of pike contests than the previous 5-6 games I think, with plenty of contests. Even the more broken up image of the line due to the pike and shot units being separated out due to the new rules managed to look right. All in all a decent first outing, needed a better scenario, bigger table and more troops next time!
|Starting positions, just after the Royalist foot have surged a mighty 6" forward. Swedes on the right.|
|The Royalist pike gets stuck in, but comes off worst.|
|A view from the Swedish side of the table, with the Swedes starting to put pressure on the hamlet (top) and the horse clashes happening on their left.|
|Hamlet fighting, the Swedish horse being out of sight behind the buildings. Stradlings pike would attack the Swedish pike soon after this to relieve Hoptons trapped men.|