Yesterday saw the table in The Burrow transformed into early 17th Poland, as Steve brought his gorgeous Swedish army down to take on my Poles. The armies were equally matched points wise (we used Pike and Shotte and had about 2000 point each) and after freshly baked croissants (thanks Steve) and bacon we began. Paul and Nigel wanted to be Swedes along with Steve so Conrad and I happily took the Poles. We decided to put all of our cavalry on the right wing under my command, what little infantry we had (a mixture of native Polish units and 'German' mercenaries) and the artillery in the centre, and refuse the left wing. The Swedes were deployed with 'German' cavalry on the left, supported by a brigade of foot, several brigades of foot in the centre and Swedish and Finnish cavalry with commanded shot and a supporting brigade of foot on the right, led by the man himself (Gustavus).
|The Swedes trying not to look at several thousand Polish and German cavalrymen lumbered towards them. A unit of Tartars cleverly placed themselves in the front of the Swedish heavy battery, thus preventing them from taking pot shots at my horsemen.|
|The centre of the Swedish line with those pesky Tartars annoying the gunners. Steve's centre was to be dogged by rotten command rolls and lots of Polish musketeers throwing sixes which left him disordered almost every turn.|
|The Polish centre; several units of Haiduk infantry.|
|One of the 'German' regiments on the Swedish left.|
|Swedes and Finns charging towards the Polish centre. The King is in there somewhere|
|A Scots brigade facing the advancing Polish horsemen.|
|The entire Swedish left wing stood rooted to the spot. Not through choice though but due to some unfortunate command rolls.|
|HUSSARIA!!! Seven squadrons of Winged Hussars led by the CinC, supported by Pancerni and Cossack medium cavalry.|
|In what turned out to be the last turn I was able to charge the Scots hedgehog both in the flank and the front, which was finally enough to see it off.|
I think by now the Swedes had decided to go and invade Germany instead. Both their flanks were broken/shaken so the game was declared a Polish victory. It was a very enjoyable game with some tense moments, like Nigel's wild charge to try and roll up our centre which very nearly worked, and the inability of Steve to get his infantry moving due to successive disordering hits from Conrad. I have to say that we had a plan and managed to stick to it. It could have all gone pear shaped quite easily, which it nearly did in the centre. But it didn't.
Things to ponder:
1. I have always quite liked Pike and Shotte but the army lists in P&S and the TYW supplement are, in our considered and jointly held opinion, a load of b******s. Troop classifications, missing troop types, you name it. But we adjusted things to match our understanding of things.
2. Steve's Swedes were organised in brigades made up of three regiments. When brigaded together on the defensive they were very tough but slow. Steve is keen to use his Swedes as they were used historically so a great deal of rule tweaking has been/will be called for. This is excellent news to me as one of my mantras is 'Play the period, not the rules!"
3. The Winged Hussars are pretty much unstoppable and invincible. How much of this is down to Polish propaganda I don't know. Ten dice in melee is a real killer. Had we remembered the 'stubborn' rule (which I don't like anyway, preferring to give an extra stamina point) and the effect facing lance-armed troops has on saving rolls the Swedish left wing would no doubt have collapsed far earlier. Maybe after their first charge they need tuning down a bit?
Enthused by this game I am in danger of getting distracted by painting up some more Polish infantry, Cossacks and even a few hussars, but I need to focus on the French Revolution for a little while yet.
Thanks again to Steve for bringing his enormous army down for the game, and to Paul, Conrad and Nigel as well. Steve's freshly baked croissants were gorgeous, and thanks to Paul for the Stollen cake and Conrad for the 'Mocktails'.
Having a few days away next week in Holland and Belgium, including a visit to the Crisis 2018 show in Antwerp on 3 November.