Wednesday, 16 March 2016

... And saved the sum of things for pay.

After the ACW bash-up I just blogged about, the next week saw Martin L and I playing Pike & Shotte with our Thirty-Years War armies - French vs. Swedes. In the real world, the French bank-rolled the Swedes late in the TYW, but we like our armies too much to be held back by reality.

I had two brigades of infantry, one native Swedes, guards and veterans all, and a second of German/Scots mercenaries. I made sure I had plenty of artillery, lots of light guns to back the infantry. Two cavalry brigades rounded out the force - cuirassiers, harquibusiers, Swedish light horse (stripped down cuirassiers in reality) and Finnish Hackapelli. Martin fielded a similar force but most of his horse were heavier than mine and his infantry was a match for mine with salvo fire and fielded as large units.

Martin's French and mercenary cavalry

My Hackapells, light horse, and cuirassiers.
The command is designated by round bases; makes it easier to pick them out when deploying from the box.

The Swedish brigade - Yellow Guards followed by the Green and Blue regiments

Scots and German mercenaries with harquibusiers in the background

More French cavalry... a hateful bunch all around.

Martin's Croats serving as true light cavalry

Martin's French and mercenary infantry.

Swedish battalion guns

Almost "at push of pike"
The Yellow Guards, filled out with some red-coated Scots pike, lead the way.

The Hackapells do what they do best - "Hack 'em down!"

Some of Martin's infantry turned my flank and attacked the light artillery.
Wonder of Wonders! The gunners beat the musketeers in hand-to-hand combat and the second gun's blast
of hail-shot sent them running! I've never seen the like... nor had Martin!

All sorts of cavalry have at it on the Swedish right flank. The French got the worst of it this time.

Another view of the Swedish infantry advance.
I was advised to be more aggressive with my infantry, so I tried,

Hackapells and Cuirassiers take on the French heavy horse.
If I recall correctly, I came out alright.

French light guns and Dragoons
The Green regiments has moved through the Yellow Guards who had suffered badly
from French musketry and artillery.

The Scots and Germans have lost a sleeve of musketeers but the rest stood firm.
As mercenaries, they all had to take a break test when one unit ran... and they all passed!
"These, in the day when heaven was falling,
The hour when earth’s foundations fled,
Followed their mercenary calling
And took their wages and are dead.

Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
They stood, and earth’s foundations stay;
What God abandoned, these defended,
And saved the sum of things for pay."
- Epitaph for and Army of Mercenaries --- A.E. Houseman

the grand mix-up in the battle's centre
At the end of things, Martin actually conceded the field. Being a gentleman, I permitted him the honours of war and let him march off with flags flying.

Two weeks of winning! I'm not sure I can deal with this. Of course, the next week, I had the stomach flu. Go figure.

Gustav Adolph, the winner of the day!

Another view of the Swedish Brigade
At another table, Wayne and Kevin were play-testing a game for the up-coming Hot Lead convention.

The Canadians advance toward the German trenches.

There's a lot of barbed wire our there!

Canadian grenadiers prepare to throw.

An interesting day all around.


  1. Hope you are feeling better and able for the rigours of Holy Week.

    1. Thank you! I am feeling better and my strength is building, just in time to be depleted by Holy Week!