Saturday, December 30, 2017

Boxing Day Game 2017

On boxing day, Curt hosted a game in honour of visit from his friend John Bertolli.  John had asked for an Italian Wars game, so I put together a scenario and off we went.  I used an old chestnut from C S Grant's Programmed War-game Scenarios, the Weak Flank.  

I am sure that this is based on the Battle of Flodden (1513) where an English Army pulled off a daring flank march and cut down the both the Scottish King and the flower of Scottish Chivalry.  
Basically, the defender sets up on a long ridge expecting a frontal assault, but leaving a small flank guard on his right.  The attacker then deploys his whole army on the right flank, having stolen a march overnight- however due to challenge of a night march divisions have the chance of delay or wandering off course.  For our game we had Curt's pike heavy Germans and Swiss on the ridge commanded by Curt and my daughter Katie (her first miniatures game), while John B and Stacy attacked with my Italian army which was short on pike but heavy on cavalry and missile troops.

After initial deployment.  Curt's flank guard is beyond the stream.  The attacker's right flank is delayed and has drifter to the right.
Poor picture, but the formidable array of pikes from the expected line of advance.

The key right flank.

Curt's centre

Curt's left flank.

The assault on the flank guard.  Things looked grim for the defenders at this point, but that was the point.

The assault bogged down as the flank guard held its ground.

Another poor shot, but it shows the defenders redeploying,  The fellow in the background is Curt's brother in law- who was an interested spectator.

Curt directs Katie's next move!

Katie and Curt discuss tactics

The defenders redeploy!

It seemed to take for ever to get one division over the stream.  Katie's Gendarmes (near the tape measure on the left) and about to go through John's troops at the stream edge.

Those big pike blocks take a while to redeploy - especially when your command dice are poor.

Mean while, the party in the rear goes on uninterrupted,

Gendarmes going through missile troops like a hot knife through butter.  However, fire from crossbows and a light gun caused disorder the next turn.

Situation at the end.  The defenders have redeployed but taken enough missile casualties to cause them to cede the field of battle.  On the right here, Stacy's Italian heavy cavalry halted a pike block but kept getting disordered by artillery fire.

It was an interesting game that was far more Shotte than Pike, unlike our other games.  Essentially the stream, poor command roles slowed the Italian advance.  There were times when they could have pushed the issue more but didn't want to advance an isolated division and get it caught out by Curt's huge pike blocks.  But good shooting and frequent disorder results meant that the defenders couldn't close either.  In the end, the Italians had more missile troops and their fire caused several of the defender's units to rout.  One of these was from a small division, meaning that the whole division was shot and at this point Curt conceded the field.

As always, actions lead to learning opportunities and I'll try and note my observations in a post later this week.  I had fund GMing it and I hope that the players enjoyed it too.  I've played the scenario several times in several periods and it tends to give a good challenging game for both sides.