Monday, November 23, 2015

AAR" An Old Friend and New Enemies Pt1

Last Friday night Curt hosted and I GMed a miniatures games featuring an old friend and new enemies.  The old friend was a scenario that has been likely fought more often than almost any other (the scenario in the original Featherstone's Wargames likely exceeds it).  It was the Battle of Sawmill Village (OK Chance Encounter) from the first CS Grant Scenario Book.

The new foes were my early Italian Wars French and Northern Italian (Milanese on the night) armies circa 1496 using 28mm Perry figures.  The scenario calls for two equal points value advanced guards arriving from the North West (Milanese) and South East (French corners).  OK that's backwards Geographically but fits the layout of the book's map and our table.  We can rotate the orientation 180 degrees or assume that the French are on their pox-ravaged way back from Naples.

Curt's Milanese fielded the following units (the rules used were Warlord's Pike and Shotte)

  • 1 unit of Gendarmes
  • 1 unit of Mounted Crossbowmen
  • 2 units of Arquebusiers
  • 2 units of Swordsmen
  • 1 unit of Swiss Halberdiers.
The Milanese advance.  Curt's Bernese Halberdiers on round bases, my units on square bases.

To face them, Sylvain's French fielded

  • 1 unit of Gendarmes
  • 1 unit of "Archers" (really heavy cavalry, just not as heavy as the Gendarmes, but with bows)
  • 2 units of Pikemen
  • 2 units of Crossbowmen (on foot)
  • 1 Medium Gun with limber

French "Archers" gallop behind infantry on the march.  In the background the gun lumbers forward.

From the starting gun the two players had different plans.  Curt put his three foot with melee weapons in one Battalia and his mounted and shot troops in the other.  He also went straight for the village without deploying and allowing gaps to appear between units.  Sylvain put his units into two similar Battalia, each with a pike, bow and cavalry unit.  The first Battalia in his column had the Archers and gun, while the second had the Gendarmes.  Sylvain also chose to move south of the village and deploy fully before adding.  Even then his infantry were cautious (partly due to poor command rolls) and he seemed to favour using his firepower before closing on the Milanese.

Curt ponders the French slow and steady deployment.

Meanwhile the Milanese ride hell bent for the village!

This was our first time using Pike & Shotte and I have to say that they worked well.  The variable move system (it's like Marmite) worked very well IMHO, as each side had moments when they seemed to be ahead in the race only to have the opponents catch up.  Also, it drove one the pros and cons of moving at the slowest speed to keep a line intact vs moving at one's best speed and having gaps appear.
The Milanese Condottiere himself looking very dapper as he surveys his forces.  Mrs Admiral thinks that he needs cufflinks to complete the look.

The view from above the village (laser cut by Curt's pal Byron).  


  1. Something old and something new.

    I trust there was something borrowed and something blue?

    Seems like a nice compact little game. How long did it take?

    1. Well the Swiss and the terrain were Curt's so that is borrowed covered. And the were "blue" units of arquebusiers, pikes and crossbows if that counts.

      I arrived at Curt's at 7:30 and back home before 11. That's three hours including laying out terrain, waiting in case another player showed up and pack up time. And with a new set of tikes I count that as a success.


  2. Wonderful minis and Curt seems to grow a little more "Walter White-like" with each passing day

    1. Thanks Miles. Good point on Curt, I'll keep an eye out for hazmat suits.
      Cheers, PD

    2. Please, call me 'Heisenberg'....

  3. Given that this scenario first appeared as a Table Top Teaser in MM and remained current with SFW, it probably has surpassed Don's sample games in times played. Can't remember ever having a duff outing for it.

    This one looks good so far!

    1. It is a classic. Gives each player basic choices up front, and several ways that lead to victory. I thought Sylvain had it but.....
      Cheers, PD

  4. Good to see Curt enjoying the luxury of free time, before the demands of the painting challenge have him shackled to his work station.

  5. It was a very fun game, though perhaps more for me than Sylvain, but more on that with Part II I assume. All that I'll say is that Gendarmes, in open country, are the Tiger tanks of the Renaissance...

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.