Sunday 23 July 2023

Irregular Wars AAR Ambush at the Ford

For our second outing with Irregular Wars Chris put on the game and designed an ambush at a ford. An English force of 2 Lords, the Main guard and rear guard of a column, are caught in column either side of a ford by the wily Irish.

The Irish also have two Lords with separate commands on either side of the track, I have one command and Steve the other whilst Chris tried to cope with two commands both being attacked from both sides.

Given Chris started in the middle of the table rather than the edge, the Irish on both sides were probably a little bit closer than we might otherwise have planned; with horse being in charge range from the go giving Chris very little chance to re-act to our deployment.

As we roll to see if units actually start where the players have put them Chris sees a unit of light horse and another of Bills dash forward to attack the Irish whilst another from the main guard falls back across the ford next to the rear guard.
Chris has given the Irish a plus 3 to their initiative roll given they are ambushing an un-prepared English force. The Force with the initiative will always have the option to move and fire first so leaving the side without it always re-acting, a massive advantage but realistic in the scenario designed. 

Chris deploys with his troops facing both directions and his gun right next to the ford and away from the nearest woods and thus away from the nearest Irish. Our first use of artillery in the game so would prove interesting.
The Irish very quickly get forward at all points and Chris is immediately under pressure, the Unit of Billmen that pushed forward is quickly enveloped by my Kern at the front.

Both units of Irish light horse are at the rear and charge the rear unit of Border horse from both sides. Little else is able to immediately close to combat but we are firing at close range from the get go.
Just as I close with the exposed Billmen with the Kern Chris pushes a unit of calivers onto my flank to support, as I am in cover their fire is ineffective..

I have attached my lord (A spare Border horseman) to a unit of shotte as they are pretty poor in combat, this proves a poor use of him and the bonus he adds, need to add him to a combat group next time.
The unit of Spanish targeteers (Played by English gentlemen with swords for now) charge a unit of English Bills but dont quite reach them leaving the units spitting curses at each other from a couple of yards away. I am likely to add some Spanish Rodoleros when I can, probably Redoubt figures.

I may also do a unit of English Sword and Buckler men, whilst the army list doesnt cover them they were certainly used, often as a forlorn hope, so I can pinch the stats for the Spanish if needed.
The Border Horse charged both front and rear lose a point of resolve immediately for the rear charge and are then overwhelmed in the melee, the musketeers next to them immediately lose a resolve for witnessing the destruction of their fellows. Steve controls his horse and pounces straight onto the Shotte leaving them no time to fire at him whilst my horse fail and pursue the broken Border Horse for a move.
In the centre my Kern close with English Shotte and force them back.

While Steves light horse charge straight into the next unit in line another unit of Shotte.
The game is already starting to desolve into multiple small fights across the length of the battlefield.

My Kern on the left and the Border horse are both out of command range and a test sees both decide to stay where they are, my other unit of Kern eye up the horse wondering if they can take them before they decide to charge,

I put a unit of Gallowglass into another unit of shotte and Chris responds by charging his pike into my flanks, this automatically reduces my resolve by one., meanwhile the gun is causing long range casualties on Steves kern in the wood and stopping him from joining the fray in that quarter.
As the Gallowglass battle it out to my left my Bonnaught charge the gun crew who are quickly driven off.
My Light Horse are back from chasing the Border Horse and studying where they can add most value from the hill.
In the rear Steve charges his Gallowglass at another unit of English Shotte, my Gallowglass charge their rear, immediately reducing their resolve by 1. The outcome here is a forgone conclusion and the English break pursued, again, by my Gallowglass.
My Loose shotte finally get going and have a target firing into the flank of the Demi-lancers from the middle guard of the English.
Getting the initiative again proves its worth as the last of the Border horse gathers to charge the Kern, the Kern charge in first. The result is a bloody draw with both sides losing a resolve.
Chris's reargaurd Lord with his personal company of Demi-Lancers charges Steves Lord with a unit of Kern. With a plus 4 for charging the Demi-lancers should break the Kern but some deft dice and they hold.
My light horse splash over the brook to find a flank in the large melee in the middle.
On my left the second unit of Kern charge the flank of the border horse and between them they break the light horsemen.
My light horse charge into the flank of the Pike in the big central melee, all units here have already taken casualties and the Pike take another resolve loss for being charged in the flank. Melees are resolved by the roll of a single dice even when multiple units are involved, as only the Light horse are charging this is the only modifier applied. The Irish win convincingly and the Pike break whilst the shotte are forced back.
As the English army desolves only one unit of Pike and Both Demi-lancers remain untouched as the victorious Irish close in on them.

One last push and the rearguard Demi-lancers break the Kern and are able to flee the field, the other Demi-lancers will almost certainly escape too but the Pike company are in trouble, surrounded by vengeful Irish.
In the centre one stubborn unit of English Shotte continues the fight but is finally overwhelmed by the Axe wielding Gallowglass.
As we start to run out of time the game has been a comprehensive win for the Irish. Only two units of Mauled Demi Lancers with both Lords and a single unit of Pike remain on table for the English.

The key decider was the plus 3 to initiative rolls meaning the English never recovered from being on the back foot, entirely realistic but too much hard work for the beleagured English troops.

A great game, very realistic reminding me of the Ford of biscuits or particularly Yellow Ford. The English were always going to struggle, they would need either more troops, more room or the Irish less initiative to balance things, but then it wasn't really meant to be balanced and proved a rigorous test of the rules.

Well done Chris, many thanks, I can now start looking to base specifically for these rules. 

So chuffed I bought even more Irish and some Spanish!

Splendid stuff, thanks for dropping by.

Thursday 20 July 2023

Review of Elizabethan Ireland Progres

Chum Chris is putting on a game wanted to know what I had available. As they are currently based singly I needed to get them out and sort them into units to check so I thought why not share some Pictures.


The English are very nearly complete, currently just a unit of 8 billmen to do, although I may invest in a unit of longbows from Darlo figures too.
Completed we now have for the foot, 5 shotte, 3 pike and 2 Bills. The last unit of bills got their command figures whilst I was taking the pictures.
For horse I have 2 units of Demi Lancers and 4 of light horse, border horse to you and me.
A mix of figures, lots of Foundry swashbucklers fleshed out with Assault group Dutch and Hoka Hey border reivers.
With 13 Gentlemen with swords I can choose to flesh out units, create another unit of pike by adding more officers into the other 3 and swapping out pikemen or creating a unit of Spanish targeteers. Food for thought.
The dismounted border reivers are going to mostly be surplus to requirements, will need to give some thought to their future uses.
Just one longbowman, the start of a potential full unit I think.
Some left over command will flesh out the remaining billman unit that needs finishing. The mounted officer will be a Lord for the army on his own base.
Lastly the Darlo command figures I was still varnishing when I started taking pictures. Quite nice these.

The Irish are more varied and have at least 3 or more units or so to complete.
Foot so far we have 5 Gallowglass, 2 Kern sharpshooters, 2 Bonnaught and 3 kern.
For horse just 2 units of light horse currently. All Redoubt figures with head swaps.
 A massive mix of figures, the Gallowglass are mainly Antideluvian and Perry but also include Steve Barber and Flags of War figures.
The Kern and Bonnaught are even more diverse, with some Wargames Atlantic Dark Age Irish and some Crusader Medieval Kern fleshing out Perry and Antideluvian.
The shotte include some basic conversions, adding muskets to hands and a few head swaps to tie them into the Elizabethan era.
Used this Gallowglass Captain as my lord but I have a couple of mounted figures to paint for leaders, along with a unit of Bonnaught, Kern and Light horse.
So plenty for a game and more on the way.

Whilst I am reviewing this, our latest game has decided me that Irregular Wars are the way forward. That does mean I need to make a decision about basing.

The bases need to be Square for game mechanics ideally, I am currently working on 80mm which feels about right, however calculations and measurements in MM do my head in. At 75mm the command radio of an English Lord at 7U's (Unit frontages) goes from 525mm to 21 inches which makes much more sense to my addled brain.

So does it look right?
Formations were typically deeper during this period so on 3 inch square base a "virtual" third rank is achievable (Followers of my Great Northern War armies will be familiar with this)  it just creates the illusion of deeper units.
8 man units may even be a little too crowded, 7 may be better, so moving the below to two ranks of 3 with a command figure at the back.
I am pretty much decided on this and the large base gives some scope for making them pretty.
Horse in threes looks perfect for me, fair bit of work to remove all the old bases and start again but worth while I feel.
The Kern will be scattered in an irregular fashion, 7 below looks a little crowded to me so maybe 5's and 6's, certainly the Kern Marksmen who are classed as "Loose" 5 per base with plenty of cover will look right I think.
The Kern potentially could be in 6's as below, randomly placed.
For Gallowglass closer formations with 7 or 8 but not in formal ranks perhaps is best.

No doubt I will update you with pictures of the first companies as they are based and finalised.

Thanks for dropping by.