After a brief dalliance with Mondays, the MNG was back to Tuesday this week as no one could make Monday. As it turned out, most people couldn't make Tuesday, either, so this week was just Tim and me. Which meant I did get a chance to push the plastic round.
For this game I wanted to have a go with the adjustments needed to add pikes to the core system, to make it "From Pike to Bayonet". The changes aren't enormous, the main one being adding a base of pikes to an infantry unit, and sticking in some factors.
The game was based loosely upon the Battle of Aughrim, fought in July 1691, between forces loyal to James II and those of William III. I say loosely. I had much reduced numbers on each side - I don't have enough pikemen painted yet - and I don't have a number of the troops that made it there. No Huguenot French, for example. And all my figures have the wrong hats.
Anyhow, it was a starting point.
I gave Tim the "Williamites", who are to the right, in red. They are attacking, so it gave him more to do. They have slightly better quality, and slightly more cavalry. They also have a flanking manoeuvre off table at the bottom of the screen. Next to them is a stack of chits, numbered 1-8. Tim turns over one of these per turn, and they arrive when the total reaches 10. I took the "Jacobites" to the left. Mostly they were being played by the French.
Tim started by firing his artillery. It missed. So he attacked. He has to defeat the Jacobites before the end of the evening, or I win.
Safe in my hedged enclosures, I opened fire, unusually for me, at long range, hoping to cause some disruption. I hit a couple of units and inflicted Disorder.
Tim then charged on his right, over by the village, which was standing in for Aughrim castle. My troop quality turned out to be less than ideal.
I lost the first round of combat, and failed a morale test, but held on. Just.
The next round of combat saw my lead unit broken. Tim then chose to pull back and reform, rather than barrel into my (reasonably fresh) reserve line.
Tim fired his artillery at my infantry, then closed all along the line. A firefight broke out.
On the left, the cavalry melee was re-joined. My reserves turned out to be Wavering too, and to round it all off their Brigadier got killed in the melee. I may have an issue on this flank.
Tim reaches 10 on the reserve count, by flipping over the 8.
Tim's boys are now on the table, trying to turn my right flank. Luckily, I have reserves guarding against that eventuality.
Although that may not do me any good as Tim breaks my last left flank cavalry unit.
His infantry assault in the centre also punches a hole in the middle of my line. On the right I'm doing much better, with Tim's infantry being held up with a lot of damage.
The centre then collapses completely.
Tim's cavalry on my left chase my routers off the board.
Just to get you oriented with how the end game is shaping up. Up the top my left flank is open, and Tim as two units of fresh cavalry to exploit it. My artillery in the centre has been overrun, and my cavalry I need to cover the right flank attack are a bit exposed. I need to get one of them over to my left to cover those cavalry of Tim's, but can't see how with all the mayhem behind them. In the right centre I'm doing okay, but the left hand end of my line is weakening.
Tim passes his cavalry round the rear of the enclosures, and then breaks in with his infantry. I'm one infantry battalion from being broken entirely. I don't think Tim has lost anything yet.
Tim then moves his Dragoons to the rear of the next enclosure, dismounts and opens up with his carbines.
Over on the right, my infantry open fire, in the hope they will keep the red coats at bay. I've moved my cavalry across to hold the end of this refused flank.
Tim charges home with everything.
The cavalry melee is a draw in which both commanders are killed.
The red-coated infantry on this flank, however, smash into my foot, whose defensive fire is ineffective. My chaps break, and it is game over.
A comprehensive win for Tim, which took about two hours. The game goes quicker with fewer players, and certainly moved on at a fair old pace. The pike rules worked fine, as did the new rules for army commanders (they can give extra command chips to subordinate generals).
So, progress is good. I realised that I need some British dismounted dragoons. Strelets make some Frenchies with early war caps, of which I have a box, but no British, nor any other dismounted chaps in tricorns with cavalry boots. Zvezda include some figures in their Great Northern War Dragoon boxes, so I may need to go for some of them only they don't seem to be available at the moment.
Anyway, onwards and upwards, as they say. Progress is being made.
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