Sunday, 14 July 2019

Great Northern War AAR Swedes and Danes

Steve invited Mark and I for a game at his place, he would design the game and asked us to bring our Great Northern War collections along with my earthworks.

He had designed a slightly larger game that would test the rules we had developed from Black Powder fairly thoroughly.
The table was 9 by 6 and the Danish army occupied a hill with a fortified village at its base, the Swedish left flank was also covered by a wood giving only a small gap between the wood and the fortifications.
The Allies would be commanded by Mark and Steve, 18 battalions of foot, 12 Danish, 3 Norwegian and 3 Prussian supported by 3 guns and 7 regiments of horse. Divided in 4 brigades of 4 foot and two brigades of horse.

Most of the Allies were average quality but one of the foot was Veteran and two were poor.

One Brigade was thrown forward into the village with a supporting gun whilst the rest occupied the heights in a crescent formation.
The Swedes would initially be attacking with just 8 regiments of average foot (for Swedes) and 6 regiments of horse supported by 2 guns.

A guards brigade of foot would arrive on turn 4.
The Danes, Norwegians and Prussians are all Marks figures as are the guns. 4 of the horse are also Marks with the other three being my Saxons and Russians.

All of the Swedes were from my collection.

All of the Swedish commanders were good and all of the Allied commanders were Average.

Move one had the Swedes storm forward on the right flank charging the earthworks in the fortified village. The closing fire from the Prussians is good but not good enough and the Swede's win the ensuing melee pushing back the Prussians and occupying the inside of the works.
Things go less well on the left with the foot only moving once, luckily remaining just out of musketry range whilst the horse make heavy weather of closing with their allied counterparts.

Fire from the village and the hill dis-ordered 3 out of 4 of the right hand brigade and 2 of the left hand brigade too. Key to this then being that the second rank of battalion on the left could pass through but not charge the earthworks buying the village another turn with the Swedes not able to close.
On the left flank the horse from both sides now clashed, the Swedes had the better of the first engagement driving two units of Danes back and destroying another. However two Swedish units were shaken and the Swedes needed to regroup before taking on the rest of the Allied horse.
Wit the dis-orders off the Swedes charged the Prussian unit on the right that had been forced out of the earthworks and closed on the flank of the retreating gun. This time the Prussians luck does not hold and they break. However the swedes are unable to close with the gun this turn.
On the left the Swedes are finally able to charge, however as yet another unit is dis-ordered only one battalion is able to charge and is held by the Norwegian battalion to its front.
The Swedish cavalry sort themselves out and charge the next block of Allied horse and are again successful in pushing one back and breaking another, but again one of the Swedish horse is taken to shaken and unable to pursue combat
In the allied turn Mark then charges the shaken Swedish horse who are unable to counter charge and receive non of their bonuses. Fortunately his dice throwing deserts him at this point and the Swedes survive the initial onslaught.

Things are looking grim for the Swedes held up by 4 battalions in the village and 12 allied foot still entirely uncommitted, but at this point the Guards Brigade marches on table. If they can get there in time they may yet swing the battle in favour of the Swedes.
On the right the Swedes charge and destroy the gun and begin to march up the hill to take on the Danish main force, however the rear battalion is shot again and taken to both shaken and is-ordered, their luck runs out and poor dice sees them fail their break test miserably and leave the table.
The Swedish cavalry sort themselves out again and begin to push forward on the remaining Danes, another push on the village sees one battalion held but the other breaks into the defences and forces the Norwegians to retreat. One unit of horse scrambles over the earthworks and the Guard close in on the gap. The Allies swing their far right brigade around to give flanking fire into the exposed right hand Swedish brigade and things look grim indeed for the isolated three battalions facing 9 Danish battalions.
The Danish Cavalry take advantage of the shaken Swedes to charge again but are driven back, A lucky rally roll sees two Swedish cavalry units shrug off a casualty to put them back in action and the Swedes charge again. Two more units of Danish horse are lost forcing a break test and Marks dice a miserable on this occasion, the Allied horse have now left the building. Fortunately for the Danes Mark had foreseen this and deployed two battalions to refuse his flank 
The village is now largely untenable, there are two damaged battalions holding it but they are surrounded by 4 battalions of Swedes and two guns.  The Swedish Guard are about to storm over the now empty earthworks on the extreme left where the Norwegians have retreated and the Swedish Cavalry have no opposition and capable of putting 6 reasonably untouched units of horse into the flank of the Danish forces.
The badly damaged brigade on the Swedish right is in serious trouble with one unit gone another shaken and a third one casualty away from also being shaken, they are being fired on by 9 battalions and a gun and you have to wonder how much longer they can soak up the punishment.
But on the left it doesn't look good for the Allies at all, the joint effort of an untouched Guards Brigade and two brigades of cavalry seems set to give the Danes a real thrashing.

That said there is still loads to play for and we could carry on for another hour or two before getting a final result, however its after 10pm and the Allies don't think they can rescue the situation so we pack up for the night.
A bigger game tested the rule amends quite thoroughly and in particular we kept the better Swedish figures off table for most of the game and upgraded a couple of the Danish units to represent their veteran and guard units. It played really well, the fortified village in particular causing the Swedes some real headaches.

We are happy that the amends work and planning a much larger game in a couple of months as a final test of whether we have got it right or not.

For now though a fun nights game thank you Steve and Mark.

Monday, 8 July 2019

More Elizabethans off the workbench

The basing department has been up against it holdign down 4 jobs so no based units to share with you still, I have however had a flurry of activity with my Elizabethan Ireland project.

Very few Irish left to do but the English are far from finished.

Six pike first of all, the three at the back are the Graven Images figures, those at the front the Foundry Swashbucklers and Sea Dogs.
The Graven Images figures are fine chunky fellows clearly living well off the land, my avourite is the chapwith the statute cap. This si the last of the Graven Images apart from a couple of characters.
These next three Foundry figures are less beefy but fit reasonably well. I particularly like the chap on the right. About 10 more of these Foundry Pike to paint before I am anywhere near done.
The Calivermen are from TAG (The Assault Group) lovely figures, a bit small when compared to the other two ranges. Sold as Dutch Militia they are just fine for English skirmishers, although perhaps a little well dressed.
These last two are both Foundry, the drummer is a conquistador and the caliverman a Sea dog, For my purposes he is a raggedy English veteran stowing his shoes and socks in a sack of loot.  Thats pretty much it for the English shotte. When I get them all back I will perhaps do a  team photo.
Lastly a few more Irish. These are the last of the Foundry figures, only a batch of 4 Antideluvian Irish remain to be done, seperate post for this georgous batch later.
I went with green for the Cheiftain as the English had a lot of red so I htought it might work. Happy with the outcome. In both his case and the Gallowglass I went for very pale aketon suggesting a fairly new suite. The pipers saffron tunic is a bit darker than most, simply to add a little contrast. I do like these three chaps.
Gettign near to having enough for a game so watch this space.

Cheers for joining me for a little while. Great Northern War coming soon I promise!!

Friday, 5 July 2019

Another Sikh Sharp Practice

I was asked to put on a little Sharp Practice game at the club and agve Chris the option of period, he opted for Sikh ars which suits me as keepign them on table keeps me enthused painting them.

It would be a four hander with Chris Charlton, John Daybell and Dave Charles all playing it for the first time and Mark being the only player with any experience of the game, I would Umpire and interpret the rules.

I also managed to forget my ipad so the pictures being from Chris, cheers pal.

I gave the Company forces:

Level 2 CinC

Level 2 with two groups of British regulars
Level 2 with three groups of Sepoys
Level 1 with 6 native skirmishers
Level 1 with Native light cavalry
Light gun no commander

The Sikhs had:

Level 2 CinC

Level 2 with 2 groups Sikh regular foot
Level 2 with 2 groups Sikh regular foot
Level 1 with 2 groups of Matchlock men
Level 1 with 1 groups Sikhs with big choppers (moveable deployment point)
Level 1 with 2 group Sikh light cavalry
Gun no commander

The British regulars had a bit of quality but the Sikhs probably had the edge with larger numbers.

The secnario was simple, Each side had a deplyment point in opposing corners and the winner would eb the player holding the well at the centre at the end of the night.

In both cases the first cards out were the Commanders in Cheif who I allowed to activate the unit of their choice to get things going. Both sides went for the Cavalry to try and get to grips with each other quickly.

By the time the Tiffin card came out everyone was on except the irrgulars with Big Choppers and the British Regulars and folks were getting to grips with the basic movement mechanisms. Two actions each, thats two D6 if everyone is walking, the horse can move up from that to trot or gallop. Both sides used their flag cards to activate their guns and get them shifting on.

The photos have ended up out of order, sorry everyone, so they wont match the narrative entirely but you get the idea.
Next move sees both units of cavalry getting forward as fast as they can and the rest of the toops all marching on table and starting to get moving towards the village.

The ensuing cavalry meleesees the Company irregulars destoyed for the loss of half of a group of Khlsa Gorchurra (Thats Sikh irregular horse to you and me).

However with the field of fire cleared the Company horse gun has clear shot at the Sikh horse and is able to inflict a fair bit of shock that drives the battered front unit back.

With oly one uunit of horse left involved the Gurkha skirmishers join the fray and start adding some shock with pot shots of their own as the line infantry of both sides edges towards each other.

The Sikhs get the better movement and take a more direct route and it looks like they will be able to occupy the village beforethe company troops can get there.

The Sikh irregulrs take heavy casualties moving into the village but the British line has come to a stop in order to keep the pouring fire into them, within two moves they have gained the cover of the walland the Company advance has stalled.

The remaining Sikh cavalry is thrown forward at the British and mown down but again has succeeded in keeping the superior British troops at arms legnth from the Sikhs.

The front unit of irregulars has so much shock that it is driven back, but as the second unit replaces it in the cover of the wall the Sikh regulars begin to arrive to add their musketry to the defence.

The game has now developed into a firefight with neither side willing to cease fire in order toclose with the bayonet.Each side has a similar number of troops remaining but if the British wish to take the village they will have to storm it wiht cold steeland accept the casualties that come with that, the forces of the HEIC decide that they dont have the man power to do so and accept defeat.

Great getting my figures on the table again and the Sikh Wars worked well using Sharp Practice. I do need more commanders and skirmishers though.

All the new comers to the rules enjoyed them and Chris is considerign them for his Apaches vs Mexicans game.

Overall a sucessful and enjoyable nights gaming.

In a break from Sikhs the next post will be a decent sized Great Northern War clash hopefully. Watch this space.