Saturday, 18 June 2011

The world is grown so bad, that wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch".

Impetus is fast becoming the rule  set of choice for nearly all our games recently.  I think this is because it lends itself so well to different scales and periods.  The Baroque supplement is excellent for ECW/TYW games and the Basic set is ideal for a quick game if time is of the essence.

So it was using the Basic Rules that Rob (B) had devised a scenario for a re-fight of the Battle of Bosworth Field.

Being for Impetus Basic the armies were kept to about 12 stands aside.  I chose to be Richard as I do have a bit of a soft spot for him.  Mick and Rob (B) played Henry and John (S) was the Stanley.

Stanley deployed on my extreme right but his loyalty, as we know was questionable.  The rule was that he would come off the fence and fight for the side that destroyed an enemy stand.

Both side deployed with a line of longbow men in front of their dismounted men-at-arms and bill men (the rules allow for these units to interpenetrate without penalty.)  In addition each side has a stand of impetuous heavy cavalry.

Both armies began to rumble towards each other in to bow range and in typical Richard style he outstripped his foot troops with his cavalry and isolating himself.  I had a unit off Staves (light horse) which charged some Tudor skirmishers on the right but following a disastrous roll (see below) I failed to cause a casualty and was then disposed of clinically by these light troops.  This meant that first blood had gone to Henry and I found myself with Stanley to my rear and throwing his lot in with the enemy!

Things looked quite bad for me at this point.  Richard's cavalry looked doomed as they were isolated and I could not withdraw them due to their impetuous nature and I had a unit off bow and a I unit of bill men to my rear.  However I did outnumber Henry in the Centre.  What I needed to do was smash through hear and go for the points win before I got surrounded.

I had a unit of Irish heavy infantry that I had kept behind the battle line as a reserve and I turned them to face Stanley.  I was in bow range and so started to exchange volleys with the enemy.  Things went well for me here.  I softened up the bow, Mick then decided to commit his melee troops and marched through his bow units ready to charge my bowmen.   I had judged the distance here quite well for once and managed to disorder most of his melee troops before charging through my bowmen in to contact with them.  I had the advantage of fresh troops who were not disordered and it told.  I caused a lot of damage to his centre.

However Richard and his Heavy cavalry had been destroyed which gave Mick and Rob (B) a bunch of victory points.

Rob (B)'s Lancastrian heavy cavalry had been disordered and lost a casualty so were lacking their impetus bonus.  They were forced to charge a unit of fresh bill men.  This looked like it would be decisive.  If I could have finished this unit off it would have given me a points win.

Unfortunately things did not go exactly according to plan.  Rob (B) had manouvred his skirmishes and a unit of mercenary crossbow on to my right flank however they were blocked by Henry and his knights.  I had the Tudor pretender on the ropes put they managed to break off.  Because they had lost half their strenght they were not forced to charge again and this opened up my left to the Rob (B)'s flanking troops and their volleys was enough to finish off some weakened bowmen.  John has seen off my Irish foot and was marching in to my rear.  The Lancastrians now had enough points for a win unless I could force a draw by destroying one more unit of the enemy heavy foot.  

Unfortunately I didn't managed it and the game ended with a win for Henry Tudor.

A fun game with lots of discussion about the actual battle and a historical result.  A great little scenario for a club night and the special rule for Stanley did provide some extra depth.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

"You were good that day at Aldearn when you leapt among the pikes!"

A game of Impetous Baroque played between Andrew and Mick.

This was a scenario I was using from English Civil War Gaming Scenario's Volume 2 by Robert Giglio, an excellent supplement if you play this period. I adapted it for Impetus Baroque.

Unfortunately I have very few 15mm Scottish for the period and so used by English Civil War figures.

It was an attack versus defence game. The attacker has superior numbers but the Defender in a strong position and with reinforcements coming on to the field.  

The Scenario was that Mungo Campbell after receiving reinforcements has turned on Montrose who had been pursuing him.  Campbell had hoped to catch the rebel royalist unawares and launch as surprise attack against him.  Unfortunately one of his regiments cleared their muskets on the approach and gave Montrose a heads up that something was a foot.  The Montrose player has to hold on with limited forces long enough for his reinforcements to arrive.  The Campbell player has to cause as many casualties as possible to the enemy before Montrose can concentrate the rest of his army.


Montrose had one unit on Castle Hill, two units on Garlic Hill and the village was occupied by musketeers. Normally in Impetus units can not fire out of a Built up Area, however; historically as small amount of MacColla’s troops managed to fire at a very high rate from the buildings they occupied which did affect the battle so I allowed the Montrose player (Mick) to be able to nominate the village as a command and fire at any single target in range per turn.

I allowed for the Campbell player to deploy across the western edge of the table rather than on the narrower front in the original scenario.  This was simply to try and speed things up.  You will note from the map that the terrain is horrible for the attacker.   All the hills caused disorder troops moving across them as did the marsh, the Aldearn village hill and Castle Hill all slowed movement to half-speed.

The game started and Andrew (playing Campbell and the Covenanters) opted for a steady advance and to try and disorder and damage the enemy troops on the hills before closing with his larger pike-heavy units.
He had deployed his weak cavalry units on the right and to attempt to charge the unit on Garlic Hill in the flank.
Things went well for Andrew initially as his superior numbers started to cause damage to the enemy with their well aimed musketry.
As he lumbered up hill, Mick decided that there was no point standing and taking all this punishment so in true Macdonald fashion, hoisted up his kilt and charged down the hill in to the massed Covenanter regiments.

This turned out to be a good move as Andrew’s melee dice turned out not to be as fortuitous as his shooting.  His large pike units were whittled down and though they eventually beat Mick’s much smaller force they had suffered significant damage.  
Mick was now down to a single unit of MacColla’s life guard which though they were good quality troops were a very small unit so their VBU was not particularly high.
Mick was now starting to role for reinforcements.  He had two units of Cavalry and a Foot regiment if he could get them on the table.

The Covenanter cavalry which had been manoeuvring around the flank of the troops on Garlic Hill were now in range.  This was a poor qualify cavalry unit but nevertheless Andrew decided to “have a pop” with their pistols which are classed as “various weapons” on the Impetus firing table.   Thanks to some outstanding dice rolling by Andrew and some disastrous dice rolling by Mick it appeared that the cavalry’s “various weapons” included automatic firearms with laser targeting as they managed to utterly destroy the remains of MacColla’s life guard!

Meanwhile Andrew's left had been advancing on to Castle Hill.  Mick really needed his reinforcements now.  Gordon’s Horse unit arrive but from the opposite side of the table to where it was needed.  There was still no sign of Aboyne or the Strathbogie regiment.  Predictably Mick’s unit on Castle hill could not hold on its own and that objective was then taken by Andrew.

As it stood, Andrew now controlled Garlic Hill and Castle Hill but he now had to reform and move across the valley and assault Aldearn.  This was going to be slow going and all the time under fire from the musketeers in the village.
He had taken the objectives but had taken longer than planned and he ran out of time to take the primary objective.
Saying that he had done considerable damage to the enemy and holding both Garlic Hill and Castle Hill meant that he got a points victory by a single VP.
Historically Andrew did better than Campbell who ended up getting what can only be described as a " right pasting" by Montrose.  To be fair, Montrose was luckier than Mick in that his reinforcements arrived much sooner.

I also realised at the end that my table had been laid out slightly wrong.  Castle Hill really should have been closer to Garlic Hill and Aldearn in that we know that regiment provided a lot of flanking fire on to the Covenanters attacking up those slopes.  The way I had laid the table out meant that this was not really possible.

Saying that I think it was an interesting scenario though credit must go to Mr Giglio.