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London, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break. My current interests are Ancients, ACW, 30YW and SciFi gaming.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

AAR - 800pts FoG:R Game

Last night I acted as a practice opponent for Simon ahead of Britcon this weekend. He's taking Later 30YW German Catholics (pre 1635), so I decided to go for Early 30YW German Protestants. There's a good reason for going Early - your pike will be armoured (unless you take some low quality troops). Normally, you'd expect a good sized contingent of cuirassiers in any 30YW German army. However, I decided to go against convention by minimising the cavalry (just 2 BGs of average Reiters) and maxing out the foot (7 BGs of pike & shot; 2 BGs of musketeers) plus some dragoons and the maximum artillery* (5 field guns, 2 heavy guns).

*for Britcon, there is a tournament rule that you have to take 6 bases of battle-line foot for every base of artillery.

There was another reason for taking a mostly-foot army - several of Simon's opponents are late C17th armies which are mainly foot, so this would be a good practice for facing those.

Simon, of course, had taken as many cuirassiers as he could afford and had maxed out on superior pike & shot BGs.

Of course, with a foot army facing one with lots of cavalry, I really needed some good terrain for my foot to hide in. I'd selected 2 plantations, an enclosed field a gentle hill and a patch of broken ground. Simon had picked 3 enclosed fields and a gentle hill. We both ended up with enclosed fields in our halves, mine more usefully situated than his. The gentle hills both ended up on the side edges where they would have absolutely no effect. One of my plantations ended up in Simon's right flank zone; the other ended up on my baseline and I placed it to provide a secure anchor for one of my flanks - excellent. Well, it was excellent until Simon rolled a 6 and was able to remove it from the table. Rats and curses!

It ended up as a game of two wings with a long, slow advance in the centre by Simon's foot. It was also a game of massive swings of dice luck.

On my left wing, I had two 3-base BGs of average unarmoured dragoons making what should have been a suicidal attempt to delay Simon's two BGs of superior heavily-armoured cuirassiers. This was intended to give me time to manoeuvre a pair of pike & shot BGs into place to close up the exposed flank where the plantation had disappeared.

Against my right wing, Simon was sending two 4-base dragoon BGs and another two cuirassier BGs. That flank was slightly exposed, but I did have a BG of musketeers in an enclosed field just back from the end of the battle line where they'd be ideally placed to shoot up any marauding cavalry.

My main battle line in the centre was a pretty solid wall of pike & shot, with a BG of musketeers in the enclosed field in the middle. My big mistake, with hindsight, was how I had deployed my artillery - I should have placed it all across the centre to concentrate fire on his foot. My Reiters were deployed behind the line to provide rear support and plug any gaps.

Anyway, on with the photos and commentary.

My deployment
Simon's deployment - centre and left wing
Simon's deployment - right wing
 To ease identification, Simon's superior foot had flags, the average didn't.

Dragoons rush forward to get killed (or chased off the table) by cuirassiers;
the general who moved them up wisely returns to the main battle line.
My right wing goes "Gulp!"
"Weren't we the ones meant to be getting killed?"
"Don't worry - I'm sure we soon will be!"
That's the left wing shored up for when my dragoons are killed by the approaching cuirassiers 
"Point blank shooting at these tin cans on horses is good fun isn't it?"
"That's one Papist superior foot unit shot halfway to gone by the gunnes!"
"I think our right flank is looking a bit precarious, don't you?"
"Well, if it wasn't before, it certainly is now!"
"Oh, and now those dragoons have captured the gunnes. What idiot put them all the way at the end of an exposed flank?"
"Yes, it's definitely rather good fun!"
"Any chance we can sack the idiot general who set up this deployment before we all die?"
"He's the Duke's cousin and the Duke put him in charge. What do you think?"
"Three-fourths of the way to getting rid of that superior Papist foot unit"

"Well, that wasn't meant to happen, was it?"
"No. I was having fun. It's a pity those other tin cans on horses are so far away.
There's no chance of getting over there to kill them as well."
Scratch one "superior" Papist foot unit.
Four bases of superior, heavily armoured cuirassiers with a general in the front rank
vs
three bases of average, armoured Reiters who have been fragmented by shooting and the charge.
What else could possibly go wrong on this wing?
Well, I could move my other Reiters up next to them.
Where they can get shot down to fragmented.
By dragoons and artillery (2 rounds of 8 shooting dice).
And then the other Reiters can break in the melee.
And roll two 1s on my test for seeing the break.
Overview of the table after my right wing was pretty much gone.
"No cuirassiers, but there's the baggage - maybe they've got some brandy?"
My new right flank unit is looking decidedly exposed.
Will the unit marching in column to the flank arrive in time to protect or avenge them?
Simon's right wing is looking decidedly outnumbered...
"I hear they captured the gunnes on our right flank"
"Yup, we'd better protect these from those Papists."
We'd actually reached the time limit by this point. Simon had killed 5 of my BGs (out of the 16 I started with); I'd killed 3 of his 14. If we'd continued, it would have come down to a massive scrum in the centre ground, where I had the weight of numbers. Simon would probably take the weak unit on my right flank and my camp, but my dragoons would take his camp and guns.

It was definitely a good fun game, even if I did make mistakes in my deployment. If I'd trusted my dragoons to kill Simon's right flank cuirassiers, I could easily have redeployed the two foot units I'd moved to protect the left flank to close off the gap on the right flank instead. that would have allowed me to move the Reiters around to threaten the right flank and rear of his foot line.

However, as they say, hindsight is a wonderful thing but too late to make any difference.

9 comments:

  1. You gave him a good game and now Simon will be better prepared for the upcoming Con. Have a good week Tamsin!

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  2. I do like you FOG:R armies and reports. Every time I start asking myself should I get 2 armies and ponder which for the next few hours. Looking forward to my pondering now!

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  3. That was rip snorting read, and you snatched a much better result that I expected from reading the early commentary, great fun Tamsin.

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  4. Looks like you had lots of fun - I´d love to see some close-ups pf the minis, they appear to be lovely :) Cheers!

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  5. That was a good looking game and it could have swung either way

    Ian

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  6. Hi Tamsin,

    thanks for this excellent report!
    and good luck to Simon in Britcon.

    Cheers

    Gilles

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  7. Looks like an interesting game, is that a normal level of terrain for this system.

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  8. Wonderfully tense game and fun captions, Tamsin. Sounds like you were an excellent sparring partner for Simon. "Rush forward and get killed" - I would be leery of having that guy as a CO. Bad things would happen to him in camp on a dark night.

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  9. @ Anne - thanks! I hope it was good preparation for Simon :)

    @ Clint - cheers! It's good to know that people enjoy them :)

    @ Michael A - thanks, glad you enjoyed the read! I was expecting to go down in flames (or at least a cloud of black powder smoke), so the result was quite pleasing.

    @ RMacedo - I did have fun; Simon's a great opponent and we always have a laugh. if you look back through my blog (click on the "30YW" tag at the bottom of the post) there will be close-ups of my figures.

    @ Ian - thanks. It was a close game, but good fun :)

    @ Gilles - glad you enjoyed the AAR :)

    @ Adam - sometimes you get more terrain or larger pieces. Cavalry armies don't want much terrain which is why Simon went for small-ish pieces.

    @ Michael P - it wasn't tense when we were playing! :)
    Simon and I are regular opponents so we have got to know how each other plays which makes our games very competitive.
    As for that CO, well his loss to an in-camp accident might help to improve the aristocratic bloodlines by reducing inbreeding ;)

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