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Sunday, 1 March 2015

Lily banners, lacking support?

Today, we did a further try out of Beneath the Lily Banners, following an explanation from the author, Barry Hilton of his 'Support' rule. We decided to try the support rule as he suggested....

...Once again, we used 8 battalions and 8 squadrons each side.

I used 3 Bavarian Kuirassier squadrons and the Hartischer life guard.
I had a field gun, and 4 battalions of French.
Today I had Lawrence's English infantry on my left (There obviously was a Catholic monarch instead of Queen Anne on the throne!)
Behind a hill on our left, Lawrence deployed his French cavalry.
Opposite Lawrence, Ian deployed his Austrian Kuirassiers.
These were flanked by Austrian and Danish infantry. 
Danish Guard cavalry and Kuirassiers guarded his left.
In the first turn, my Bavarians advanced on their Danish opponents.
My French infantry, began to re-align to face the Danish infantry brigade opposite.
The English also advanced, on the Austrian foot.
Lawrence wisely kept his French cavalry behind the hill, and safe from the Austrian field gun opposite their position.
The Austrian cavalry also advanced.
...supported by the Austrian infantry brigade.
The Danes, however, stayed out of range of my artillery, and didn't move.
Next turn, once again, I diced for order allowance, and got another 'everything moves' roll.
My forces continued to advance, covered by my field gun.
The English had advanced too, to prevent the Austrian gun from turning to shoot them, before they engaged the Austrian foot.
The French cavalry remained behind the hill, biding their time!
The Austrian cavalry continued shaking their line out as they advanced.
The Austrian infantry continued to advance on the English.
The Danes remained quiescent.
At this point, it was clear the Bavarians would be the first to contact the enemy!
The English now realised they would have to expand their front to match the advancing Austrians.They began to manoeuvre.
The French cavalry decided to wait for the infantry to engage before attacking themselves... 
...the Austrian cavalry was not yet close enough.
The Austrian infantry advanced to try to catch the English before they managed to redeploy.
The Danish began to advance, and came within range of my gun....!
...which misfired! - Phut!
My Bavarian horse now launched their attack on their Danish opponents.
The English manoeuvred as quickly as they could as the Austrians advanced.
The French cavalry, too, moved to occupy the hill in front of them.
A fierce fight seemed likely.
My first 2 Bavarian squadrons met the Danish Guard cavalry head on...
The other 2 Bavarian squadrons moved to support them and protect their flank.
The battle lines in the centre were nearly close enough to fire.
The French horse breasted the hill and formed line.
Even my Bavarian field gun got a shot...but missed!
The bavarian horse, despite having a slight advantage in the melee...
Only managed 3 hits out of 7 (Still better than the last game though!)

A morale chuck of 2 saw first one of the Bavarian squadrons break...
...A lower roll of 1 saw the second unit break too!- another disaster!
Despite counting 'Isolated' - the Hartischier guards and the last Kuirassier squadron charged the Danish guards, who had not pursued, and a Danish Kuirassier squadron, which counter-charged.
The Bavarian guards wiped out the Danish guards...

...and the Bavarian Kuirassiers routed their opposite number.

The English now, having failed to finish their deployment were forced to fight the Austrian infantry slightly disadvantageously...
... but started to win with their vaunted 'platoon firing'.

The French horse and the Austrians lined up to charge.
Meanwhile, the Austrian gun still had no targets, so the crew settled down for a drink and smoke!!!
Back on my flank, the Hartischier guards were in turn wiped out by a fierce Danish kuirassier charge while they attempted to rally.
The first 2 squadrons I lost were now half way to Bayern!!!
My French infantry now halted to receive the Danish foot.
The Danes withheld their fire, and my French hit them with a good volley!
The French horse charged downhill and into the Austrians, one of whose squadrons received at the halt!
The battle was brief..but bloody, as 2 Austrian squadrons broke, as against 1 French!, this left the Austrian survivors, and the French who were now disordered, all 'Isolated' by the current 'Support' rules!
Things looked bleak on the Austrian infantry side too, as the third English battalion moved to reinforce their line. The Austrian battalions were at nearly half strength, so their battalions would not count towards support, and would most likely break after the next volley from the English!
At this point, the Austro-Danes decided to cede the battle...
...not because they had lost very badly, but because the 'Support rule' made standing impractical. Instead of +1 to morale, it was all too easy to end up as a -1. This doesn't sound too bad, but within the morale test it produces some savage results.
For example, even my elite Bavarian cavalry units would only survive on a D6 of '6' if they even lost slightly, and Ian's Austrian cavalry automatically broke (as did the French squadron) if they lost.

Silly.

We have decided to scrap Barry's support rule for the next game, and simply say;

If you have 2 (non routing/retreating) units from your own brigade within 6" (9" for horse)- you are supported, no if's or buts!

If you only have 1 friendly unit (as above), or even one from a neighbouring brigade you are neither Supported or Isolated.

If you have no other unit (as above) within distance, you are isolated.

This is what we mistakenly did when we first played BTLB2, and it seemed to play very well.
Next game should be a good one, methinks!


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