Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Pike & Shotte Battle Report

A short battle report on a pitched battle between the forces of Parliament (Aidan and a new recruit Pav presiding), against a combination of Swedish and Royalist troops (Michael and myself).  In terms of forces Michaels army has certainly grown since last years campaign, and is surely now the biggest and most powerful, with the Swedish troops the best equipped and trained.  They balanced Aidans numbers, and I split my army between the 2 sides to even it up.  I took Michaels side and the right flank with two brigades; one foote and one horse, facing Pav in his first game who had two foote brigades.  Aidan and Michael, or Essex and Gustavus respectively, controlled the centre and other flank. 

The battlefield unfortunately was quite boxed in, with a village on one flank and a farm with plenty of hedgerows on the other.  This meant that the bulk of the cavalry forces were deployed centrally, with infantry slogging through the buildings/hedgerows on the flanks.  The Swedish left flank, crushed inwards by the village, saw some light fighting as the buildings were contested by musketeers, while Parlimentarian foote managed to outflank the village to the far left before the end, although the Swedes had pulled back.  The right flank saw bitter fighting between groups of musketeers amongst the hedgerows and around the farm buildings.  My troops, the Royalists, were first into the farm, but consistent command failings meant that they were unsupported while Pav’s troops were more numerous.  They took surprisingly little time to oust the Royalists from the buildings (lessons learned in house-to-house fighting for sure!) and lined the hedgerows, catching a number of the Royalist musketeer groups in a nasty crossfire.  It wasn’t until the final turn when my command rolls came good that I was able to throw more troops in to balance the situation and it ended very even.

In the centre the battle was decided as Aidan (or Essex and Cromwell!) lead their horse brigades, and in Essex’s case his personal bodyguard of cuirassiers, into the attack on the Swedish foote.  This proved, however, foolish, and first one brigade, and then a bigger second bounced off the Swedes, in the second case almost an entire brigade vanished in a rash of breaktests as the power of the Swedes hedgehog formation came to the fore!  Some infantry clashes to the right of this main fight couldn’t disguise the loss of two cavalry brigades, and with time up a Swedish/Royalist victory was declared on the basis of these losses.

Initial setup

Early clashes on the right.

Royalist re-enforcements on the right.

The great Parlimentarian charge in the centre. 
Blurred fighting by the village.

This time round we learnt that buildings are not impossible to assault, far from it.  That horsemen cannot reliable break a hedgehog, regardless of their numbers.  That neither me or Pav can pass command rolls.  That Aidan, having committed the same shocking error of putting a village/massive obstacle on each flank AGAIN should not be allowed to define where the scenery should be.  Finally the suggestion that in pitched battles we have a gentlemans agreement to deploy foote and artillery in the centre, and horse on the flanks, because horse vs foote is no contest!

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