First of all, apologies for the delay in getting this battle report written up! Isn’t it awful when ‘real life’ impacts on your wargaming activities?!? Anyhow, here – finally – is the report-back on the ‘Take The High Ground’ scenario (see previous post for full details) and how it panned out in practice. The only change that I needed to make after some initial testing was to amend the rule whereby a D10 is thrown at the end of Turn 12 to determine how much longer the scenario lasts; given how slowly the infantry move, I changed this to throwing a D10 at the end of Turn 20 – this gives the attacker a reasonable chance of taking out the defenders before time is up.
As I mentioned in the original post, I decided to play out this game using my 15mm Italian Wars figures. Above, you can see the view from the Spanish troops defending the hill line towards their French attackers. You can click on this (and the other photos) for a bigger image. Bear in mind that the Spanish are ‘run’ by an NPG (non-player general), while I control the French. Below is a closer view of the French lines (apologies for the mediocre picture quality, I’ll be investing in a better camera sometime soon):
My attack on the Spanish position began with an assault on the enemy right – flanked but not entirely covered by marshy ground – by my detachments of Light Horse:
I diced for the enemy reaction, and found that the Spanish general with his knights moved up to support the shot and swordsmen on that flank, and that they in turn would re-position themselves to repel the attack – which they did all too successfully! After some heavy fighting I decided to pull my Light Horse back and move up some Gendarmes (Knights) to support them before trying again. Meanwhile my main line advanced towards the high ground and the main body of the Spanish defenders, pike and shot in front and Gendarmes in rear to repel any Spanish reinforcements that might appear.
As my infantry engaged the Spanish centre, enemy reinforcements appeared in force on the eastern edge of the battlefield – four detachments of Light Horse and four of Spanish knights:
As they made for my right flank and rear, I turned the main body of my Gendarmes to face them, and began to pull a couple of infantry units back from the hill in support:
After fierce fighting (and some lucky dice throws for my lads!), the Spanish reinforcements were finally beaten off:
Meanwhile on the hill itself my infantry in the centre, combined with my Light Horse and Gendarmes on the flank, were gradually penetrating and then rolling up the Spanish position – but progress was slow, and time was running out. If a single Spanish unit was left on the high ground at the end of the game, scenario rules meant that I would have lost! It actually came down to the last turn – I had to destroy a unit of swordsmen on the Spanish right, and the Knight General on the Spanish left, in order to win the battle. The dice were kind to me, and my French won the day…but it was a close thing!
All in all this scenario produced a very enjoyable battle with much scope for further development. The chance elements – if and when reinforcements will arrive, what they will consist of, where they will appear, and what their orders will be – along with the variable scenario length, meant that the final result was in doubt right up to the end. With better dice the Spanish ‘general’ would have been victorious…and I would have been left with an ignominious defeat to report back on!