Tally Ho!

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Strike Fast ECW campaing - week 2

Following last week's victory in Dumfries, Cromwell choose to press his advantage against the Royalist and continue up the west coast into their territory around Ayrshire.

For this game there were low hills on one end of the table, a small village in the Scottish centre, and a fortified farm within reach of the English. With the hills an obvious feature both sides deployed all their horse on that flank (the English right) and refused the other (the English left). Once again the Scottish had their aggressive Highlanders to the fore, with the Irish and Royalist foot in support.         

Long-shot from the English left, with the farm in the foreground

Long-shot from the English right showing the massed Horse

Scottish Horse ready to attack

Scottish centre with Highlanders in the lead

Scottish right that would soon attack the fortified farm

The English refused flank

Veteran New Model Army foot in the English centre

The first move saw both sides quickly grabbing the built-up areas within their half. The Scottish pushing several units of Highlanders into the village, whilst the English Dragoons and Storming Party seized the fortified farm.    

Hairy-arsed Highlanders - scary

English Storming Party takes up residence

With the English well ensconced in the farm the Scottish made the first of several attempts to capture this strongpoint and turn the English left. The first assault by a Highland regiment was easily beaten  back by the English Storming Party.    

Scots attack is thrown back
The village safely in Scottish hands

On the English right the MOA cavalry battles commenced as both sides pushed forwards. The luck was with Cromwell though as he gained the initiative and most of the Scottish Horse failed to counter-charge, placing them at a disadvantage in the ensuing melee.  

English Horse advancing across the rolling hills

The cavalry clash.

Caught at the halt by the Veteran English troopers most of the Scottish Horse were quickly routed from the table with the Ironsides in hot pursuit. One unit of lancers faired better though, catching some English off guard and pushing them back.

The English put the Scots to flight.

Cromwell clears the flank and pushes the Irish into pike stand

Seeing that the cavalry melee was not favouring the Scottish they launched an immediate infantry attack across the line in the hopes of breaking through the English. In the centre the Highlanders met with some success, mostly winning their tussles with the NMA foot and pushing them back in disorder. On the English left the Storming Party held-firm in the walled gardens. The Drogoons came under pressure but were relived by some English foot who pushed the attacking Highlanders back.

The fearsome highland charge throws back the English 

The farm proves a tough nut 

Now came the crucial phase of the game. As infantry casualties grew for the Scottish, Cromwell was able to regain control of his Horse. They mopped-up the remaining Scottish lancers and forced some Irish foot intro pike stand right in front of Cromwell's commanded shot.

Scottish left in big trouble

Despite the good progress made by the Highlanders the loss of all the Scottish Horse and several infantry pushed them to breaking, as the English Dragoons managed to steal an unguarded victory objective. So a 12-4 win for the English.

Highlanders still pressing the English

A dreadful shoving match

Scottish lancers handle roughly in the rear

Dragoons snipe a victory marker to win the game

So an interesting game, where the terrain led both sides to load the same wing with all their Horse. The English plan was to win the cavalry battle and then threaten the flanks. The Scottish hoped to force a stall-mate on the flank while their Highlanders won the day.

This nearly worked and they proved effective against the Veteran English foot. Two factors worked against them though - firstly their Horses failure to charge led to a more rapid collapse then they hoped and secondly the stubborn resistance in the farm  stopped them turning the English left.

Sunday, 4 February 2018

28mm first crusade - the first batch

Over Christmas I was busy painting ECW figures for the 1650 Scottish campaign, but I've now returned to my current long-term project - the first crusades. The Muslim force were completed months ago and have been doing duty as fantasy Arabians for Kings of War.

The crusaders are mostly Norman figures from Conquest Miniatures and the first two units are now completed - one infantry and one knights. Assembly and painting were pretty simple but the shield transfers proved a little tricky. They are of the type that must have a thin plastic sheet peeled-off and then stuck down. The sheet is more or less impossible to get off an individual shield so I ended-up doing larger sheets then cutting-out the stick shields - fiddly but it worked.

All are based for Aramti / DBx.

Crusader Infantry

Crusader Knights

Knights close up

Infantry close up

Friday, 2 February 2018

Strike Fast ECW campaign - week 1

Our campaign opened with Cromwell launching an attack into Dumfries & Galloway to confront the Royalist forces holding that region. For this campaign the Royalist armies have a small force of loyalist English exiles, but are mostly Irish troops and Highlanders.

The terrain was mostly flat with a few low hills. The Royalists had a good defensive position on their right as a village and wood sealed-off the flank. Both sides placed victory markers in the enemy half, that counted towards the win. The Parliamentary forces deployed theirs wide on the flanks whilst the Royalists placed theirs centrally.

Both sides deployed most of their infantry centrally, but chose to load their Horse onto their own left flanks.      

Battlefield from the English left 

Battlefield from the English right

Irish foot in the Royalist centre 

The game opened with the English pushing a Storming Party into the village and ousting a small force of Royalist dragoons holding the position.

Parliament storms the village and ousts the Royalist dragoons

Cromwell moved quickly on his left to attack the enemy cavalry with his veteran Ironside troopers supported by commanded shot. The attack progressed well with the Royalists thrown back and leaving the Irish infantry holding the victory marker isolated.  

Ironsides attack on the left

Ironsides push back their opponents

Ironsides win the day - Irish troops are isolated on the flank

On the Royalist left, after some initial delays, they too launched their own attack but met with more mixed results. They managed to rout half the outnumbered Parliamentary Horse but were themselves halted by the other half.

Royalists attack on their own left

Highlanders are thrown-back at the village 

With the battle about half done the cavalry battles on the flanks were becoming settled. On their left the English had destroyed the Royalist Horse, turned the flank, and were threatening the main infantry line. On the English right the Royalists had an edge but were not able to threaten the main infantry line in the same way.  

The struggle continues on the Royalist left 

Sensing they were in trouble the Royalists began a general infantry advance led by the Highlanders. It was clear though that this attack was at grave danger from the flanking Parliamentary Horse and so the advance was halted.

English stand-too as the Highlanders advance 

Out numbered highlanders run into trouble

So the battle was declared a Parliamentary win as the Royalists felt they were bound to be broken before they could inflict sufficient damage on the enemy. Our post-match analysis was that perhaps the Royalists got trapped between partly attacking and partly defending, so lacked a clear plan of action. They could also have defended their right flank as the terrain was very advantageous for this.

Week 1 map

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Kings of War - assualting the river

This weekend we played the fifth game in our ongoing Kings of War campaign featuring my fantasy Persians against my brothers Dark Elves (Kin). In this game both sides had to carry as many victory markers as possible over the half way line (marked by a stream) with one additional marker in the centre. Both sides started with 3 markers, which must be assigned to a specific unit.

Thinking through the scenario in advance it occurred to me that as the Dark Elves have several cheap units of flyers (Gargoyles) they may well give the markers to these and try to "snipe" a win by hiding these at the back then suddenly rush them over the half way line in the last 2 moves. To counter this I selected 4 small units of cavalry (Scouts and Sergeants) to act as a mobile backline to sweep-up these.

When deployment began it was clear I was wrong though - the Dark Elves assigned the markers to the heavy infantry and massed most of their troops on their right. I in turn had massed my best troops and the victory markers (Kings Guard infantry and Knights) opposite the ford on my own right, where they would be least hindered by the stream. So I abandoned my backline and instead deployed the cavalry to try and delay the Dark Elves advance.
The field from my left

Field from the Elves left with their lancers in the foreground

the mighty Mamakil

Elves main attack
So given our deployments this was going to be race in two parts, Firstly which of us could advance our right flank quickest to get our markers over the line then threaten the enemy. Secondly who could seize the 7th (central) marker which might be the tie breaker.

My own advance was swift and largely unimpeded as the Dark Elves only had a unit of skirmishers opposing them who were quickly brushed aside. Over on my left my small cavalry units succeeded in slowing the advance of the Dark Elves, aided by some spoiling attacks from my infantry and Jinn.

Persian Knights advance

The delaying action

In the centre the Dark Elves lancers pushed forward crushing my Mamakil and unit of archers before capturing the all important 7th victory marker.

Nasty lancers roll me up

Still delaying

Elves turn to face my flank attack

As my own right flank advanced in a wide arc into the enemy centre I was able to continue delaying the Elves own advance with my small cavalry force and some well timed fireballs from my wizard. In the centre the Elves lancers fond themselves isolated and were attacked by two units of my heavy infantry. who succeeded in retaking the 7th objective.

Lancers are isolated

Still delaying!

Persian Knights sweep away the Elves flank

As we entered turn 6 my flanking manoeuvre finally arrived and the Knights were able to attack and rout one of the Elfish infantry units carrying a victory marker. So in the end my Persians held the objectives 5 - 2. The score perhaps did nt reflect the full action as my casualties were about double the Elves.

lovely Gargoyles

Victories Knights

So an interesting game and not quite the one I'd expected. In hindsight had the Elves sought to contain the Persians then use flyers to get their objectives  over the line at the end I may have really struggled to move rapidly enough.

For the elfish version check here http://fishpondswargames.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/artefacts-of-kyron-campaign-battle-5.html