Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Turks V Hungarians A Pike and Shotte Game

Had an interesting game at Bob’s with his Hungarians which I hadn’t seen before.

The scenario involved a Turkish raiding force meets an Hungarian force sent by King Mattias Corvinus.  The Hungarians are led by mounted knights and heavy cavalry, backed by heavy infantry with 2-handed cutting weapons.  There was also a unit of crossbows.  Since the game is set in the late 1450s the Hungarians also had a "brigade" of Hussite mercenaries - 2 units of handgunners and 1 of flailmen - actually flail 'women' as Bob ordered the wrong figures.  Not that it helped the Turks as you will see later.  2 units of Pechenegs served as Cumans for the Hungarians.

The Turks for their part as well as the usual suspects: levy infantry and Janissaries, they also had a unit of Wallachs and another of early Turkish amoured swordsmen.

Bob commanded the Turks who outnumbered the Hungarians.

I took control of the Hungarians who although fewer in number, in their Knights were a ‘tank force’.

The Hungarians took the initiative with all except the Hobilars on the left flank moving forwards to the Turkish lines

The ‘Cumans’ moved forward and started to move and fire along the front of the Turkish levy causing some disorder.  Basically paralysing Bob’s left wing

The Bob moved his right wing towards the village on the right in an attempt to outflank the Hungarians taking advantage of his numerical superiority.

Again the Cumans rode forward to pepper the Ottoman left.  However this time they found themselves facing a large force of archers who hit back disordering one unit of Cumans.  Despite shaking one of the large units of levy infantry it managed to pass its break test.

In the centre, Bob launched his heavy cavalry in a charge against the Hungarian knights. 

In the ensuing melee one unit of Muslim knights was forced to retire whilst the other held its ground surviving a break test but things looked grim for the next round.

Bob’s horse archers swept across the front of my troops firing as they went ending in the village.

After 2 rounds of doing nothing, my Hobilars got going and blocked the exits to the village on the left.  The archers found themselves trapped and were broken in a one sided melee.  Meanwhile, with all this happening around them a fearless (hapless) knight is getting his ‘do’s and don’ts’ campaign orders from his wife.

Things were going well for me with my heavy infantry with their two handed cutting weapons following up on the Hungarian knights.  That was until they got a blunter test.  Fortunately, it only resulted in a move to the left but still left Bob pleased with my inconvenience.

All the while my unit of crossbowmen had been doing excellent work supporting the Knights and hitting the supporting Turkish cavalry units.

Amazingly the Turkish levy infantry continued to pass break test after break test.  Whilst seemingly a good result this infantry which was supposed to absorb some hits and run stood preventing the best Turkish infantry getting into the game.  Eventually it was one test too many and the levy broke and the large body of archers were forced to retire. The Janissaries were finally free to advance.

On Bob’s right the village was proving to be a bottleneck

The Hobilars saw off the first of Bob’s levy units and still the list of ‘do’s and don'ts’ was being given out.

On the right my infantry had been moving taking advantage of Bob's inability to deploy his troops because of the levy infantry blocking them for so many moves.  My hand gunners and Flailmen (women) flanking them.  Finally the failwomen launched a charge taking on some Hungarian mercenaries and roundly beating and breaking them.

The final unit of Turkish heavy cavalry was thrown in in a vain attempt to swing the game.  They failed and bounced off the Hungarian knights, but enough damage was down to force one of the units of knights to retire.

One of my units of heavy infantry with two handed cutting weapons took on one of Bob’s Janissary units whilst it held was the final writing on the wall.

The Sultan final ordered a general retreat

It was a good game, the Hungarian Knights were just too powerful for the opposing Turkish Heavy cavalry and with a stamina of 6 they just kept on going.  There were some lovely looking units on both sides which I hadn’t seen before.  The Wallachs, although they never got into the game, looked superb in their resplendent red uniforms.  More learning of the rules as we went along and a realisation after the event that we got things wrong, but not enough to spoil an enjoyable time.

The bulk of the figures are Lancashire Games 100 year War French, with a few Old Glory knights. The Hussites and Pechenegs are from Kingmaker with a unit of Irregular Miniature handgunners.

The large blocks of Turks are Lancashire Games, the rest are an assortment of makes including Essex, Kingmaker and Irregular miniatures.  The unit of Wallachs are from Warlord Miniatures.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

15mm Russian v Ottoman and Persians – A Black Powder game

 As you can see from some earlier posts, I have built up both Ottoman and Persian forces.  I have also added both irregular infantry and cavalry to both ‘nations’.  After much mulling through the BP rules I came up with some troop classifications and values and wanted to try them out.  So they took on my Russian forces.  I also thought they looked pretty so this is a  bit of a fashion parade as well as a game!  We used BP at 66% movement rates.

The combined Ottoman and Persian forces have broken through the heavily farmed and wooded areas and have now reached the open ground which allows their cavalry to exploit both their movement and numbers.  There objective to get one unit next to the Holy Church on the hill the Russians aim is simple, don’t allow it and inflict maximum damage on the combined forces.

Bob commanded the Ottomans and Persians.
The Ottomans made up the centre and left flanks whilst the Persians where on the right.  The ‘army’ consisted of 25 units of Infantry; 20 units of cavalry and 11 units of artillery.

The ‘Allied Forces’

The Russians had 17 units of Infantry; 15 units of cavalry and 8 field guns and 3 batteries of horse artillery.
Holy Church is just visiable at the back of the picture 

Unsurprisingly, the ‘allied’ forces took the initiative with the irregular light cavalry on both wings moving forwards at a pace.  The Janissary Brigade moved forward in the centre.  The Persian artillery suffered a hiatus and stayed put.

Assuming it was a bit of a doodle because of all the ‘dross’ cavalry I had added to the allied forces, I moved forward 2 batteries of horse artillery and a unit of Cossacks to ‘see them off’.  As always Bob doesn’t seem to understand the rules and attacked my guns and Cossacks!  The Cossacks were routed and the guns just failed to perform and were overrun by the Caucasian lancers in a very brief engagement!

In the centre some decent artillery fire and a Break Test saw the largest group of Ottoman irregular infantry turn tail and run.  I did wonder at this stage whether I had wasted both time and money creating these large irregular units.

To see off the large bodies of screening light cavalry the Guard Lancers and Guard Cossacks both charged.  Amazingly, both proved to be useless.  The irregular cavalry large unit plus 2 in combat proved to be a decider and both units were forced to Retire.  I had to spend 3 ‘Rally to Me ‘ command turns to get them back fit again!

My Don Cossacks and a unit of Hussars tackled a large body of Tartar ‘lancers’, eventually breaking them but not before the Don Cossacks fled the scene.

On my left with my artillery and Cossacks gone I threw in my light cavalry lancers and hussars and a regiment of dragoons to stem the allied cavalry advance.

In the centre the Janissaries engaged the Russian Infantry

Bob threw in his Ottoman Fanatics, the Russian infantry passed their Command test and stood to take on the fanatical charge and managed to hold them.

Elsewhere in the centre a fire fight developed with the Janissary brigade, preventing me from reinforcing my infantry defending the Church.

Bob launched the European trained Persian Brigade in a concentrated attack on the Russian infantry defending the Holy Church.

At this stage things were looking tight. My light cavalry on the right was in a bad way although I had my 3 regiment strong Guard Cuirassier brigade in tack, the Ottomans could still muster 7 units which hadn’t been engaged to face them.   However, my last horse artillery battery did sterling work stopping one heavy cavalry unit which in turn blocked a following unit.

On the left my cavalry were being held or pushed back leaving me with one brigade of 2 regiments of Dragoons to support the infantry near the church.  A notable exception being the destruction of one of the two Persian regular lancer regiments.

The only saving factor was that the irregular cavalry had a stamina of 2 which many of them had reached and not enough commanders to rally them back into the game.

The allied high water mark came with the breaking of one of the Russian Infantry regiments and the destruction of 2 batteries of artillery by one of the Janissary regiments.

However, this victory was short lived.  The fanatics were broken and fled and a combination of infantry and artillery fire saw two Janissary regiments who had given their all in hand to hand combat defeated.

When the Guard Janissaries threw a double 1 in a break test it was all over and the Janissary brigade was broken and left the field.

However things were far from over. Bob still had a lot of fresh cavalry on the left and in the important centre were the Holy Church stood the mass of European trained Ottoman and Persian infantry were advancing steadily.

The Russian lines in front of the Church looked thin and my attempt to move supports from the relieved left flank to the centre failed.  In fact, we both realised later that a unit of Tartar horse archers could have won the game by flanking my dragoons on the right flank and reaching the church, which was the object of the game.  Instead, they used their 3 moves to ride up and along the front of the Russian infantry firing their bows and then getting out of range.

More and more allied infantry were now entering the fight but they struggled to take advantage of their numbers as the Russian Infantry and guns took their toll and just managed to hang on.

The first Persian Infantry regiment broke, them another

Soon followed by a regiment from the Nizam-i-Jedid brigade and the Derbants on their right

I also threw in my remaining Dragoons on the left to prevent any flanking attacks forcing 2 Persian regiments to form square.  Whilst my other unit took on and blocked the remaining Persian lancer regiment.

With all the pressure from the infantry on my right gone my guns were able to strike at some of Bob’s fresh cavalry units forcing one to flee.  The ‘rally to me commands’ having brought my two units of light guard cavalry back to a serviceable level I was able to launch the Guard Cuirassiers to devastating effect. With unit after unit of Ottoman cavalry being crushed under hoof.

We played this game over two days as at the end of day one it wasn’t clear what the outcome would be.  The key factors that swung it in the Russians favour in the end was the lack of artillery fire from the Ottomans and Persians.  They started out of range for field artillery and could not get Command throws to move.  When they finally did manage to drag themselves within range their targets were blocked.  Whereas, the Russians had a free hand to pick off units at will even if they didn’t hit anything at times.  Given that the Ottomans didn’t move their guns about in the way we were trying to do I think I should have classified their guns as siege artillery and given Bob the extra range.  Still not brilliant but better than nothing.  The lack of Ottoman and Persian commanders also meant that Bob couldn’t really afford to try ‘Rally to Me’ commands to get the various Irregular Cavalry and regular infantry back into the game.  On the one occasion he tried, it failed stopping his entire left wing cavalry and infantry units at an important part of the game.
The large irregular cavalry units did work with the pluses proving crucial and effective in combat and the +1 on the large bodies of horse archers making them worthwhile and a nuisance.

The bulk of the Russians are Warrior 15mm, with some Minifigs. The Ottomans are mostly Minifigs with some Irregular Miniatures, almost all the Irregular Cavalry and infantry are from Lancashire Games and the Persians are from Irregular Miniatures.