Saturday, 10 July 2021

Battle of the Golden Spurs 11th July 1302 - in 54mm

the 11th of July is the Flemish national day. In the recent Wargames Illustrated (WI403), there is an article about the battle.In the previous edition(WI402), an article about the Flemish town militias. It was one of the first battles where town militia defeated and destoyed a knights army. And not any kights army: the army of France, seen at the time as the best in the world. 

 Slightly improvised but successful game. Steven and Adrien on the Flemish side. Patrick and me took the French.

The battle started with, skimishing on both sides.  On the Flemish left flank, irritated by the French archers, Steven advanced his the East Flemish militias, stretching the center and creating a weakened  only one unit deep line.

Patrick, who controlled the French center and right launched every knight unit forward.

Due to lack of space for a full charge the kinghts didn't couldn't brak any infantry unit in a first round of fighting.  But the knights in the center kept on puching the infantry back and some units broke. The Flemish center giving way

It took some time before Patrick could restore order in his knight units but from that moment, the Flemish left was doomed, receving attcks in the flank. The knights on foot Flemish reserve started to move to late to restore the line.
The French left had fewer units, weren't able to get a foothold over the brook and lost a number of units, closing breaking point.

The only thing the Flemish knights on foot could do was create a second line, But now the French knights had the space to launch full scale  impact charges to victory. The battle was over.
The game on the French left was much closer to what happend in the real battle. In reality due to the brooks, the French couldn't perform an impact charge and after making contact whit the militia were driven back to the brooks where their were slaughtered  or drowned . In the center, where the town militia was further away from the brooks, the French knights had room for their impact charge, and they had driven back the town militias, but the Flemish knights on foot stabilized the situation  and the French commander, Artois was killed, the remaining of the French army turning to flee. The impossible had happend. The best army of nobility in Western Europe defeated by commoners on foot.

Sunday, 13 June 2021

Hollywood History: Major Dundee's Battle at the River

 The 1965 film Major Dundee is popular with my club members, most of whom are aging Baby Boomers, like myself. I had long wanted to play the climactic last action in the film where Dundee and his command have to fight overwhelming numbers of French cavalry in order to cross the border back into the United States. In the film, the the French cavalry are lancers, who never actually served in Mexico, so I substituted Del Prado Chasseurs d'Afrique and DSG mounted Foreign Legion figures. The Americans are a mixture of Britains Deetail and other ACW cavalry. I provided dismounted figures for each of the mounted Americans, but as it turned out, only the artillery group dismounted to fire. For rules I used the "Bigger Battles" rules based on A Fistful of Lead. Initiative is still card driven, but the cards control units, not single figures. Since the French are unable to use their firearms, I allowed them to be recycled to a total of twelve units, vs the American's four. This proved to be a little too overwhelming and, in future I will only allow a total of three French units to be recycled. On turn six, a following force of French infantry appeared behind the Americans to make sure they leave the Mexican side. The game began with the American mountain gun doing real damage to the French stationed across the river and, as the French began to advance into the river (at half speed) they began to take casualties from the American rifle fire. When the American counter charged into the river the greater number of French swordsmen began to take their toll and the Americans never made it more than halfway across the river, losing their cannon and supply mules as well. It was still a fun game for all involved in this fictional battle. Note: I had to cobble together two different miniature rivers to make the meter wide river I needed. Next time I'll have a better looking river.

Monday, 19 April 2021

Culloden Using A Gentleman's War Rules

 I ran a Culloden game at my club (outdoors and all wearing masks) last Saturday. It was one day off from the 275th anniversary of battle. I was in a quandary as to which rules to use as, in the real battle, the odds were strongly stacked against the Jacobites. So I decided to try Howard Whitehouse's A Gentleman's War (AGW) because the card activation mechanic makes for greater uncertainty, which can be infuriating at times if one is used to more predictable game progression. As it turned out, between the card draws and very poor dice rolling by one of the Government players, the day was won by the Jacobites.

I wish to thank PMCD Mobilisatie, whose Culloden game video inspired me to paint 60 tartans and Dirk who sent me encouragement and spare parts.

2nd remote game on 2021 April 12th: scenario : Athenian expedition to support a Greek rebelious city in Asia Minor

Again making use of dots instead of hexes (dot being the center of a hex). No need to mesure destances. A greek city in Asia minor has rebelled. Athens sends a military expedition to support the rebels. The local satrap has mustered Persian infantry and cavalry, and also hoplites from loyal Greek cities in Asia Minor. He has send his army with two generals in command Steven and geert are the commanders. Geert is leading the left flank. He has 3 units of light cavalry and one medium cavalry. Also 3 units of medium infantry, one being veteran. Steven has command over 3 units of skirmish infantry, 3 units of medium infantry and 2 hoplite (hevy infantry) units. Oposite to them are also 2 forces the Athenians on the Greek right: 3 units of hoplites, 1 skirmish unit and one medium infantry unit; All these units are veterans. The commander is Patrick. On the left are the units of the rebelious town: 4 units of hoplites (heavy infantry) one unit of skirmish infantry, one unit of medium infantry. Siegfried is the chief. To limit units being able to do many maneuvers , the generals have 2 command dice, except Geert, has one extra command die for the cavalry. The Greek start, but only siegfried has thrown ussefull commands, and moves forward. The Persians wait and use their skirmishers. Also in the second round, the Athenians do not move, due to lack of orders. The first row of siegfrieds hoplites close in to the Persian skirmishers. Most of them run to the rear, one has to fight but with little damage. Steven moved his medium infantry forward. Close combat had started. Still the Athenians stayed immobile. Geert decided to charge with his light horse in open formation. The two units that came in contact did not last long. Finally the Athenians started their advance. Geert's medium infantry suffered from the Athenian archers and were then charge by the hoplites. Also, the hoplites that had defeated the light horse moved towards the medium cavalry. On the other side, what seemed at first a walk over for the Greek hoplites, was turning against them. The Greek medium infantry was destroyed, their hoplite units had suffered losses and now the Persian allied hoplites closed in. The Persian light infantry also made casualties among the hoplites. Two Greek hoplite units were destroyed, the breaking point of the Greek left wing was imminent. On the other side the Athenians had broken two Persian medium infantry units, the third, being veteran was much tougher, stading ground against the hoplites. The persian left wing was also on breaking point due to the medium cavalry loosing their attached general. Both sides were at one loss away from defeat. It were the Athenians that prevailed over the Persian cavalry, making a very close victory.