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Sunday, 25 January 2015

Brittany spears... meet the Vikings!

Today, we did a Dark ages skirmish game..or two! We were using my own 'Sword and Dagger' rules and the forces were Phil's and my Normans against Lawrence, Ian and Rod with Vikings.

The game allowed me to get my little stone house out!
The battlefield, Vikings to the left, Normans and their Breton allies to the right. 
 Phils Bretons were all dismounted...
Mine, to their right, were a mix of Norman types. 
We started screened from the Vikings ahead. 
 Only a small force, so where were the rest of the raiders?
..Obviously, lurking behind a large wooded hill! 
 The Normans began their advance...
 ...The Brittany spearmen in the lead.
Seeing their advance, a small body of bow and spearmen stepped forward from the Viking line. 
 The rest of the Vikings now appeared from their wood, would they swing on the Norman flank?
 The Normans deployed behind the Bretons.
...who were steadily advancing on the Vikings.
The Viking archers got sight of my Knights - though their arrows had no effect.
The small Viking force on the hill looked likely to be swept away...
...The Vikings in the wood emerged, would they attack the Norman flank?
However, the small Viking force on the hill decided they were too far away and withdrew from the battle!
The Norman/Bretons had won an almost bloodless victory! - the problem with the Vikings was apparently due to a misunderstanding between the players, who were not sure who was supposed to be supporting who!
Fog of war.....?

We decided to have another game, as we would probably have time!

The Norman/Bretons deployed again in a concentrated force...
....opposite a now concentrated Viking force!
To me, it seemed likely the Vikings planned to defend a line between the farmhouse and the wood...
...our deployment was designed to threaten the flank of that deployment. The fact Phil had not chosen some archers in his force, preferring to go for spearmen,meant we could only attack.
We therefore attacked!
The Vikings advanced also...
...and began long range shooting.
The heavily armoured Bretons were not impressed!
We continued to advance, I deployed my archers in the wood to support our advance.
My Knights followed some Bretons on a wide outflanking move.
The Vikings began to pivot round the hill to face them.
The Breton first line, supported by my Norman spearmen, moved to attack the Viking left.
Having less armoured men, the Bretons bravely took the Viking shooting, which continued to bounce harmlessly off their mail!
My archers finally got into position to engage the Viking right at long range.
The Vikings were still trying to shoot the Bretons, who were closer!
Our flank attack was now nearly in position.

The Viking archers changed target, and caused a light wound on one of my spearmen!
The Vikings decided to withdraw their left more, to protect their flank.
My archers began to get the range.
My Knights hurried to support....
...the impending spear clash!
Not surprisingly, a Viking archer, at this short range, finally slew a Breton.
...then wounded another.
The brave Bretons nonetheless attacked and drove into the Viking line.
The Vikings charged another Breton unit with Berserkir.
Despite the other defenders of the hill being beaten by the Bretons.
Another of my unarmoured spearmen was, meanwhile, wounded by an arrow from the Viking right.
My spearmen now charged in to support the Bretons.
All that was needed was the dismounted Breton knights and my mounted Knights to charge and victory would be ours!
But at this junction, we ran out of time! I am sure the Vikings felt they could have still won, but we will never know!

The Vikings retreating to avoid the Norman attack meant we hadn't the time to finish the game, rather disappointing for sure, but we still had fun!

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Sailing to Glory

Today, we tried another couple of games of Sails of Glory, using my 'Powder Monkey' solo rules to run the french fleet.

We chose a 1st rate, the HMS Ville de Paris (Phil) HMS Vanguard, a 74 (me), and finally, Lawrence ran HMS Terpsichore, a frigate.We started in line ahead.

The British squadron.
 We started upwind of the French, sailing beam on to it.
 The French 1st rate Commerce de Marseilles led the french 74 Le Berwick and the frigate Courageuse.
 In fear of shunting Ville de Paris, my 74 turned out of line.
The French, with good spacing between ships, continued upwind. 
HMS Terpsichore followed my lead and turned to starboard. 
By now, the french were getting close enough to 'smell the garlic!' 
 My plan to sandwich Commerce de Marseilles between Ville de Paris and Vanguard now looked unlikely to work.
 Commerce and VPD exchanged close range fire, my 74 fired at long range.
 Terpsichore now turned to rejoin the battle.
In the first volley, Commerce took light damage only from our fire.
 Ville de Paris took serious damage.
The squadrons passed, but Ville de Paris attempted to board Courageuse. 
His marines were, however, driven off by French musketry.
My 74 meanwhile, unable to reply, was shredded by the combined fire of Commerce de Marseilles and Le Berwick.2 fires and 2 leaks meant my crew would be fighting to save the ship rather than fighting the French! 
 Ville de Paris had an ineffective parting volley as she passed Courageuse.
With the French virtually untouched,and two of our ships crippled, it was decided we would withdraw. Another victory for the solo system!

Having time, we then decided on a refight, the French were as before.
We reversed our order, Terpsichore in the lead, followed by Vanguard and Ville de Paris, we were able to start close together as the fastest ships were in front!
Once again, we started upwind of the French, beam on to the wind.
The French continued on moving close to the wind.
Surprisingly, the frigate Terpsichore remained in front, instead of moving round the French?
A frigate v frigate action was her best option, I thought...

The French turned as we closed, poor Terpsichore took a lot of French fire.
My Vanguard failed to get in range to assist her against Le Berwick, Terpsichore was ablaze, her crew struggling to effect repairs.
At the rear, HMS Ville de Paris fired on Le Berwick.
All the ships now started turning to try and get a good broadside off.
HMS Vanguard nearly got caught by Le Berwick!
Ville de Paris turned on the pursuing Courageuse, Vanguard turned out of range of Commerce de Marseilles to chase Berwick.
Commerce was distracted by the retreating Terpsichore, however, her broadside caused almost no damage! 
I, meanwhile had tacked Vanguard upwind to get a stern raking shot on the Berwick!
3 leaks!- with this damage on top of her previous damage, she foundered!
Vanguard then turned on Commerce de Marseilles, who was now bracketed with HMS Ville de Paris to her front (Courageuse had struck),so she decided to withdraw, despite only being lightly damaged.
(She had no real chance against our 1st and 3rd rate ships of the line)
A British victory! - and a prize frigate to boot!

This was the first time we have beaten the solo rules!!!!