Sunday, 23 June 2013

Impetus - Berbers WIP vs WotRs Lancastrians

Hadn't had a game of Impetus for ages and as I had promised Marco a game a while ago we had arranged to have a game this week.

I pulled out my trusty (but up to date, unsuccessful Impetus-wise) Berbers, using the new army lists for the army from Extra Impetus 5 for the first time. Marco fielded his War of the Roses Lancastrian's, which he has started working on (having retired his Romans recently).

I was a bit apprehensive at the beginning of the game, mainly due to Marco fielding a reasonable number of Longbow A troops due with a bit of successful terrain placement I hoped to delay the inevitable by having some screening hills to prevent early shooting casualties to my likely advancing Berber Spear.

Early advances, with luck on the Berber Left flank
going their way
The game opened up with a general advance by the Berbers and Marco's light cavalry coming out to play on the Berber left flank but the Berbers avoided his charge with ease and retaliated and with meaty dice throwing quickly destroyed them.

Marco next managed to inflict a smattering of casualties on a couple of units but the Berber throws were successful in preventing losses and only received some disorder markers. The one success here was from the Light artillery shooting at my Black Guard which was home to my general and a six on their cohesion test and subsequent casualty roll meant death for my general, but a trusty 'Dice of Destiny' remembered (as I invariably forget about them) saved his bacon.

The next round or so saw my Light Cavalry, Mercenary Knights and Skirmish Javelinmen advancing on the right flank and with a successful tag-team result charged home and took out his Heavy Cavalry unit on his left flank and then quickly followed by destroying a unit of billmen on the pursuit.

At this point I would like to point out that my dice throwing for the game were particularly un-characteristic and were generally pretty good for the whole game. Marco on the other hand had some of the most appalling dice I've seen in a very long time.

To prove the point Marco managed to get a charge in into one of my annoying light Cavalry on his right flank, and into the flank of the unit and despite throwing a whopping twelve dice failed to score even a single hit and in fact my Light cavalry actually won two rounds of combat against his Knights before finally succumbing.

Stewart does the lucky dice dance to try and improve
Marco's chances
Things then went from bad to terrible for Marco as my victorious Right wing proceeded to begin to roll up his army from the side with his Artillery and a unit of Archers being the first to bite the dust.

The Berbers advance and destroy the Lancastrian left flank
and begin to roll up the enemy
With the noose tightening around his army and the Berber Infantry now charging into his surrounded troops and even getting the worse of these encounters, and the light cavalry and skirmishers moving in from the flank and rear we agreed it was really all over.

The end near's - surrounded and diminishing numbers
say's it all!
A victory to the Berbers, their first using the Impetus rules and a pretty decisive one, though a distinct lack of any good dice luck on Marco's part certainly added to this, though Marco relying very much on his archers to do damaged proved to add to his downfall too, as many of his units really played no part in the battle, whereas the Berber units all saw action and the numbers certainly told in the end.

Marco explains what he thought of his dice throwing
 to Kev and Stewart
The new army lists for the Berbers has definitely improved the army, even though there's a couple of slightly unusual omissions from the lists, like no Hasham Guard Cavalry, but generally a big improvement over the Beta lists as you would guess.

I'm now looking forward to some more games with the Berbers soon (and getting some more of the units painted up as a reward for success) and trying them out using the War & Conquest rules.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Garde Ecossaise - In the Reign of Charles VIII

Bernard Stewart d'Aubigny
During the reign of Charles VIII, the Garde Ecossaise played a prominent part in the monarch's political and military dealings and were constantly in the forefront of the French army, distinguishing themselves in the many actions of the early Italian Wars.

One of the first acts of his reign, Charles VIII sent Bernard Stewart (Captain of his Guard) to Scotland to announce his accession to the French throne and agree a treaty renewing the alliance between Scotland and France.

Around the same time the Earl of Richmond (the future Henry VII of England) had fled to France and asked for aid. In 1485, Bernard Stewart, with a detachment of troops largely made up of Scots, was sent to England and were present at the Battle of Bosworth, fighting on Henry's behalf.

In 1494, Charles launched his forces into Italy and marched triumphantly to Naples. It is documented that on his entry into Florence on the 15th September the king rode into the city, 'lance on thigh, at the head of his troops, surrounded by his Scots Guards'. It is here that one of the few descriptions of the Garde Ecossaise is encountered, describing them thus;

"Nearest the king march 25 Scots archers, denominated lifeguardsmen, arrayed in white jerkins embroidered with gold from top to bottom, bearing a crown on the breast. Now the above mentioned archers are under the orders of my Lord Stewart d'Aubigny, and are quartered nearest the king's chamber. My Lord Stewart d'Aubigny has under his orders all the other Scots guardsmen, as well as 100 men-at-arms not entered on the Guard Muster Roll; and the aforesaid Scots, as soon as it is dark, and when the officer in command has retired with his archers, mount guard, while the captain of the 100 Guardsmen [not the officer in command of the 25 lifeguardsmen] goes to fetch the keys."

French under Charles VIII enter Florence

The Guard present were described as real giants, the shortest nine hands high, all on foot and armed with halberds. The ones described above are obviously the 'Garde de la Manche' who throughout the Garde's existence are described to be wearing white.

Companie d'Ordannance - Charles VIII
The other interesting item of note is the mention of a further 100 men-at-arms over and above the Garde Ecossaise. Whether these are the still existent body of Scots gentlemen formed during the founding of the Ordinances or were a part of Bernard Stewart d'Aubigny's own retinue is not clear however.

The French march to Naples was generally uneventful, but fearing that his lines of communication were under threat, Charles left Naples a few days after arriving leaving Gilbert de Montpensier in command of 11,000 troops in Naples, with Bernard Stewart as his lieutenant.

Now, the thing of note here in regards to the Garde Ecossaise is that on the return journey to France, the French army under Charles reaching the pass of Pontremoli was forced to give battle to the Venetian proveditori at the Battle of Fornovo. I'll not go into the details of the Guards actions in the battle here (as I intend to explore this in more depth another time) but it is well documented that the Garde Ecossaise fought in this action (particularly in the well known Memoirs of Phil. de Commines) and lost nine of their number in the battle. However, Bernard Stewart, in command of the French forces also fought, this time against the Spanish-Neapolitan forces under The Great Captain Gonsalvo de Cordova, at the First Battle of Seminara where Stewart led the French forces to victory. The point here is that Stewart d'Aubigny had with him in Calabria, a number (likely to be a hundred) of the Scots Guards, though these may be the 100 Men-at-Arms '..not entered on the muster roll..'.

That he had Guards with him in southern Italy is proven by the fact that once he returned to France in August following his expulsion from Italy following an extended guerilla style struggle, it can be noted that twenty two of their number had fallen in Italy with him as he is recorded in ordering new uniforms to re-equip the Scots Guards but is only charged for the embroidery of seventy eight uniforms.

Obviously the same troops cannot be in two places at once, but the troops present at Fornovo are described by de Commines as being 'cranniquinier' and the troops in southern Italy appear to be men-at-arms (the Garde de la Manche would presumably be with the king as part of his household during the battle though they are not explicitly named).

This observation strengthens the belief that the Garde encompassed a far greater number than just those of the Garde de la Manche and the 100 Archers (or men-at-arms) as previously discussed.

On his death bed, Charles' father Louis XI had entrusted the care of Charles into the hands of the Scots Guards. On the death of Charles (only after a short reign of eight years) an archer and a butler died of sorrow showing the great affection that the Guard had for their king.

Charles' successor Louis XII was to continue the conflicts in Italy and the Garde Ecossaise were also to continue in their devotion to duty and were in the fore front of many of the actions of the French army in the coming campaigns.

Friday, 7 June 2013

Descent on the Westfold - LotR Skirmish

This week's club game was a bit of an impromptu game of LotR SBG as the planned LotR Impetus game had to be abandoned due to tooth ache (it's a long story ;-) ). Enough to say that to avoid disappointment we (Kev, Ian anf myself) decided to have a quick favourite scenario fix - Descent on the Westfold, Rohan defends three buildings with a random re-enforcement roll and are being attacked by an initially outnumbering Isenguard force of Uruk and Dunlendings. Victory to the bad-guys if they torch all three buildings.

Going the bad guys as usual, I split the troops into three even groups and went for it. Ian opted to try and take out the Dunlending contingent to the south first and had a greater number defending there.

Uruk advance to the village as the day dawns
The first round was uneventul as the bad-guys advanced towards the village and there was an exchange of fire each side losing one of their number.

The second round and of course the re-enforcement's appeared immediately in the form of a Mounted Captain, Banner Bearer and three Outriders who went to join their companions to the south as the Dunlending's charged into contact and took out two or three of the defenders in quick succession.

The game pretty much went talong these lines, with the the other defenders to the west and north going down in a couple of rounds and the buildings being quickly put to the torch.

The Isenguard forces had pretty good luck (not my usual state of dice rolling, so all the better for that) and the Rohan defenders went down very quickly, even the Cavalry on the charge failed to make much of a dent and with the Dunlendings holding up things to the south side, the Uruks put the village on fire till at the end with one building gone, one more all but gone and the last well ablaze and the solitary Rohan Captain about to be swamped by a horde of dark skinned reiver's the game was declared for the baddies.

A fun game and one which saw an unprecedented success to the raiders, this being the first time in playing the scenario that the raider's had managed to burn the village and get the win.

I do think I've used up all my six roll's for about two year's though.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Wappinshaw '13

Last saturday I attended the Glasgow wargame's show 'Wappinshaw '13' held in the Kelvin Hall in the west end of the city.

The show has moved location again and this is only a temporary home too as the hall used this year is being re-decorated, so it will be a move again next year. A pity since the move to this location was a good one since the hall was very spacious and at a comfortable temperature with a good deal of space to grow into for the show, but alas it is not to be.

The show did not appear to be busy but it was a big space to fill, but there were a good number of traders (some completely new to me) but a bit of a lack of games on view.

Personal favourite game of the show -
GDWC's Battle of Glasgow Green'

Picked up a couple of bits and bobs; some highlanders for a long way away project to put together the Appin Regiment and some resin bits from Ainsty for my Future Wars project.

A bit annoyed as several of the traders didn't seem to have much stock with them, particularly Warlord who surprisingly had almost nothing of their new releases with them.

The weather was very nice and enjoyed the day out in the west end of the city since I hadn't been there for quite a while and yonks since I'd been in the Kelvin Hall.

It will be interesting to see where Wappinshaw appears next year, a bit like hunt the tardis, but hopefully they can find a permanent home to build on.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Mordheim 'Season 2' - The Midden Marches March

Another 'Season 2' Mordheim game, the third episode in fact, and this time the action moved out doors on to the moors and wilds of Reikland and the Midden Marches.

Initial deployments
The scenario is that somewhere around the old and generally empty graves and burial mounds  scattered over the old burial grounds on the Midden Marches is an ancient amulet that needs to be recovered to aid in the final confrontation with  the dread enemy in his lair; the Amulet of Allex.

This is buried somewhere in the area so a round needs to be spent at one of the many (12 markers on the table) ancient grave sites to excavate and see if the site holds the amulet. Unfortunately there are two amulets (and ten blanks) only one of which is the actual amulet.

The bands meet on the moors to do battle and race to see who can find the amulet, but the area is perpetually bathed in fog. Every turn four dice are rolled and that is how far that can be seen in inches for that turn (or charged/shot/etc).

The bands contending on the day were;

My Kislevite's
Kevs Beastmen
Dave's Kislevite's
Ian's Reiklander's
Andy's Sisters of Sigmar

The engagement almost immediately broke into two battles, with the Reiklanders quickly moving into striking range of Dave's Reiklanders who formed up like the regulars they were and prepared to meet the onslaught. Unbeknownst to Ian, the Beastmen moved throught the fog, creeping from bush to tree towards his rear.

On the other side of the moor my Kislevite's spread out and moved towards the Sigmarite Sisters who also spread out and more cautiously advanced forward.

The Reiklanders advance on the Kislevite's
 using the terrain for cover.
With the first advance, Ian's Reiklanders moving towards the Reiklanders, spread out slightly and quickly covered one of the graves and the first one dug up produced the amulet! or at least one very like it. No more digging for anyone, just barney-rubble!

The Kislevite's and Sisters battle-lines exchange short range fire,
 hindered by the fleeting fog.
The Sister's and Kislevite's exchanged long range fire to little effect as they advanced on each other, fog permitting, but the Sisters had hired themselves a mercenary Wood Elf Marksman who managed to take down one of the Kislevite number as they advanced.

Dave's outnumbered Kislevite's pretty quickly went down but provided a stiff resistance none the less and a brisk melee ensued which didn't go entirely Ian's way but numbers told and Dave was quickly forced to roll a break test which he made the first time but after a further round of combat and only one warband member on his feet, he failed the next and broke.

However, Dave's Kislevite's had produced enough of a resistance to provide Kev time to descend on the Reiklander rear and en masse charged into the Reiklanders.

One the other flank, the Kislevite's were losing the missile battle mainly due to the extended range of the Elf longbow but the Kislevite's did manage to put the Elf on his back a couple of times in the shooting but failed to take him out of action, really the only success of the extremely poor shooting that the Kislevite's produced.

With the poor showing of their shooting the Kislevite's closed the gap and advanced quickly to charge range hoping the reasonable close combat ability would stand their stead and weather the Sister's charge that was likely to come.

The Beastmens charge prooved to be devastating and with the Kislevite's breaking and the number of casualties or knock downs already received the Reiklanders quickly crumbled with Ian taking the better part of valour and trying to reduce his loses took a voluntary break.

On the other side the Kislevite's didn't fare well either with the initial charge of the Sisters taking down three of their number though they did manage a couple of take downs in reply with the Esaul cutting one of the Sister's in two with his DH Axe, but most of the Kislevite's didn't even get to swing a weapon with Andy's rolls being fairly decisive. Though one of the oungbloods did take out the Elf Mercenary with the sole well aimed shot of the Kislevite game.

The Kislevites made their first break test as did Andy's Sisters and we went for another round of combat (it being more fun to continue the melee).

It was then that the only one to lose their way in the fog was the Sister's Augur (blind but supposed to be able to 'see' my other ways) who promptly staggered straight into combat with one of the Kislevite Youngbloods and then proceeded to quickly take him out of action. The other combat went much the same way and a couple of parting shots from the other Kislevite's proved as inaccurate as the rest of their shooting, and with only three standing out of the original eleven, the Kislevites failed their break test and legged it.

The final Melee and the Sisters' Augur looses her way
 and staggers into combat!
The Sister's, victorious from their battle with the Kislevite's were still down more than half their number having lost six in the melee with the Kislevite's decided that battle with the untouched Beastmen unadvisable and took a voluntary rout, leaving the Beastmen in possession of the field. First victory to Kev's Beastmen who gathered up the amulet and the spoils of battle.

The Beastmen find no-one else to fight - Victory!
The post game rolling revealed the actual losses and gains for the battle with Dave's Kislevite's really becoming an unviable warband so he'll be looking to start a fresh with a new shiny Marienburger Warband. Ian lost his Captain so a sore one for him but no other major loses but a step back all the same. The Sisters did alright and only lost a henchman so easily replaced and my Kislevites also only lost a Warrior but only gained a couple of gold so saving up for the bear has been put back quite a bit, but Kev's Beastmen with no losses at all was able to get a pile of cash and added to his band equipment significantly.

For another view of the game Kev has now descended into the world of blogdom and has started his own blog Double Six Required. Check it out for another 'unbiased' view of the game.

A good blood and guts encounter and generally fun all round with four of the five bands getting a severe bloody nose. Skirmishing gaming at it's best.

Next time back to the smoke and another trawl through the urban jungle for the groups.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...