Sunday 23 February 2020

The War of the Waldensian Succession - 1669 in Piedmont-Savoy.

The War of the What? Well, its a fictitious conflict based on a small uprising of Protestants living within the borders of the Duchy of Savoy in the late 1660's. In reality it was crushed with ease but in my version of events the Waldensians were supported by Louis XIV of France, not because of any religious common ground but as a means of retarding the growth of the Duchy of Savoy on his southern border.    For an account of an earlier game set in this reality click here.

So, I had almost a full house on Saturday. John the Red, Conrad and Paul S were joined by  Roger from Bradford and Paul from Grimsby

Paul, John and Roger took the French, tasked with driving off the covering Savoyard force which would lead to the fall of the fictional (?) city of Citta Santa Menen-Disimulata before the Savoyards could be reinforced by Spanish who were marching to their aid from the East. Conrad and Paul were the Savoyards. I was the Spanish, who would arrive on the throw of a D10. I threw an eight so it was to be turn eight before they appeared on the Eastern table edge, which for reference when looking at the photos is the 'kitchen door' end of the room.

We used my own doctored version of Pike and Shotte, as the rules as they stand don't really work for the late 17th C.

The Savoyards deployed with all their horse on their left wing, with the three infantry brigades covering the centre and the front of the city. The French had the advantage of numbers and deployed all their horse facing the Savoyard and Allied cavalry. Their dragoons were on the left, initially tasked with crossing the river which they thought was fordable (it wasn't), which led to a costly but successful assault across the bridge.

The end result was a surprising (for me anyway) resounding victory for the French, but I will let the photos below tell the story.

The Savoyard left flank.

Both armies deployed for battle.

French Gens d'Armes clash with Imperial cuirassiers in the service of Savoy. The former were eventually to prevail.
After finding out that the river was not fordable (the report from the French scouts was  wrong)  Roger  sent one of his dragoon regiments over the bridge. In the face of heavy fire from the Savoyard outwork they were forced to pull back, but on the Western side of the river.
Paul R pushed his foot forwards to engage Roger's French, all the while under heavy fire from the French artillery.
Savoyard artillery on the city walls.
The main French battery caused significant losses on the enemy.
A massive cavalry scrum was developing on the Savoyard left, one that despite a few local successes they were loosing.
French Cheveau-Legere covering their right flank, and facing annoying fire from the  dragoons in the  olive grove. An attempt to drive the dragoons off was initially successful but ultimately the cavalry were unable to exploit their advantage and the dragoons re-occupied the olive grove.

The scrum continues......
Conrad throws in the Savoyard Guardia del Corpo to stem the tide of French horsemen.

The cavalry scrum is STILL going on, but the Savoyards and their allies are weakening. By now one brigade is broken and  another is forced to pull back. 
French horse clear the dragoons from the olive grove but only temporarily.
The French centre
Roger's dragoons have destroyed the Savoyard battery in the outwork across the river.

D'Artagnon observing the battle.
Turn eight and the Spanish arrive, but then hold their ground observing from the wings.
Only the Spanish cavalry and dragoons move forward.

Back in the centre the Savoyard centre is crumbling after an heroic battle against the French
One last charge just isn't enough!
Paul's infantry are holding their own but are under heavy artillery fire. The Gardia regiment are shaken and will shortly break under the pressure.
The French have driven the Savoyard and their Allied cavalry almost off the field but many of their squadrons are almost spent.
The Spanish cavalry make short work of a rallying squadron of French cheveau-leger, breaking them. The Spanish however are not going to gain anything as their cavalry are sill badly outnumbered by the remaining French.

The French left under Roger begins to advance on the wavering Savoyard infantry before them. 

Well, that was actually quite tense. The Savoyards, especially their horse, performed well, but it was the loss of the massive cavalry melee in the centre that was the key factor in securing a French victory over them. The Savoyard cavalry were unlucky but many squadrons were newly raised, as indeed were many infantry battalions. The French too had quite a number of newly raised battalions but they were not really engaged.

Hopefully everyone enjoyed the game and for Roger and Paul R especially, their visit to The Burrow, but also Conrad who's command got well and truly minced. They did however get minced in style and the French cavalry ended the day with 30 per cent casualties (i.e. adding up the hits held by units at the end). Pike and Shot, or as I call the amended set, Black Shotte, are ok as like with Black Powder everyone knows the basic concepts, but they lack something when playing the mid-late 17thC. I'm sure I can come up with an alternative in the.

Probably be a couple weeks before I have another game here but I will be I hope back at the Durham club this coming Thursday where we shall be finishing the 28mm Napoleonic game we've been playing for the past two weeks.

I will also be able to reveal a little secret in a day or two......hehehehehehehe!


  1. Another lovely looking game. Looking forward to the secret being revealed.

  2. Very pretty looking game in a conflict I've never heard of.

  3. It was a great game Colin. But as a Savoyard I would claim victory in that we achieved our aim of holding the road and bridge long enough for us to evacuate as per the victory conditions given!

    1. You did well to hang on as long as you did so a victory of sorts, but your army is shattered.

  4. Fantastic looking armies- well done- a great looking game.

  5. A fantastic looking game Colin...

    All the best. Aly