Sunday, 3 July 2016

Long time... no see.

I haven't "blogged" in a while. There's been a lot going on - from my health to family members' health to busy-ness in my ministry to reenacting to just plain being close to exhausted. With all that on my plate, I haven't taken the time to blog.

Now I will.

On Saturday, Martin and I played a game of Pike & Shotte , Warlord Games' set of rule for the "pike and shot" period of European history. We both like the period and have played this before. Derek joined Martin on the French side and Kevin joined my Swedish side. Andy, Bear, Ralph, and Matt all played a game of "Ronin" on the other table.

Martin and I set up and then Derek and I rolled for initiative. In an amazing display, we each rolled a D6... and matched each other for 5 rolls. We both rolled that same number as the other for 5 casts! I finally won the sixth one and got the first move.

Martin's photo of my battle line and awful "pitcher-takin' '' face.

This is actually the clean-up phase of the game.
The centre and left of Martin's battle line, including his four heavy field pieces
aka "Murderers' Row"

The centre and right of Martin's French army.
Are ALL of his cavalry cuirassiers... except for the Croats?

The Swedish line with a "guest" in the centre. (See below)
My right wing cavalry haven't been deployed yet.

Playmobil's "Little Luther" - a toy I purchased at my Synod Convention.
It was done up for the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
He stood at the centre of my line in front of Gustav Adolf until the first roll of the dice.
I won the first move and got the infantry advancing as well as the left flank cavalry. The right flank cavalry froze up with the exception of some light skirmishing horse. Martin's cavalry came out to meet me, but his infantry - French guards, German mercenaries, and assorted lower grade scum - did not move. (This should've been a clue.) My infantry - Swedish guards, German and Scots veterans, and mercenaries of various nationalities - moved forward quickly, or as quick as you can in Pike & Shotte. Martin's main artillery were heavy guns while mine were medium guns. Both of us had plenty of light, battalion guns to accompany our infantry.

The Swedish High Command - King Gustav Adolph, standard bearer, trumpeter, and a foot sergeant

Visiting from England - the Bishop and his wife.
I wish I could remember what company made these figures.

Martin's heavy guns face off my medium guns.
On my left, the Finnish Hakipelli charged a French Cuirassier unit... and beat them! I was amazed. They went on to beat another unit of harquibusiers (lighter cavalry but just barely) The third unit took the Finns down. The rest of my cavalry - harquibusiers and Swedish light horse (a similar type but gallopers) - did okay. One of Martin's cuirassiers charged a small unit of commanded shot (musketeers detatched from any pike unit) who actually survived, although it was very close. One of my Swedish horse regiments traded punches with the French and set them back, but it wasn't enough to shore up the flank totally.

My incredibly lucky commanded shot ran from the French heavy horse. They took casualties but survived.

Swedish light horse to the rescue!
The Swedes were lightened cuirassiers, appearing very much like ECW standard cavalry.

The Hakapelli lead the way supported by another Swedish light horse unit.
Mercenary cavalry come up behind.
On Kevin's flank, the two Swedish/Livonian cuirassier unit finally got going. The skirmishing horse hemmed in Martin's dragoons  who were trying to "dry gulch" Kevin's one infantry unit and its battalion guns. The other cavalry he had were not heavy enough to contain the French (who must sound like a junk man's wagon when the move) and were thrown back twice.

Martin's Croat skirmishers demonstrate against Kevin's far right.
They usually do well, but were run off quickly in this battle.

Kevin's light horse skirmishers attempt to slow down the French troops.
They fell back in the face of weight of cavalry and numbers but returned to screen the mercenary brigade's advance.

Meanwhile, both of our infantry brigades advanced and were torn up by the French heavy guns, light guns, and light guns. Derek's French guards were "elite" which permitted them to recover from disorder rather quickly. Their musketry took a toll on the Swedish Yellow Regiment and the advanced stalled. The Blue Regiment advanced through the Yellow Regiment and the Scots Regiments moved up quickly. In the end, the weight of the French muskets and artillery were too much. A French charge let us know that it was time to leave. We were graciously given the "Honours of War" as we retreated and left the French in possession of the field and with a minor victory.

The power of the Swedish army is in its tough and nasty infantry. I've been trying to get them into butt-kicking range as quick as I could in the past few games. In response, Martin has been holding back to "draw me into 20mm range", as my old games group used to say. It's time for some Fredrickian or Napoleonic stuff to come into play - oblique advance, refusal of a flank, gas warfare,  orbital bombardment - normal stuff like that.

Some day I'd like to field my army of O'Neill's Irish, but I'd bet that most games would run ring around them... unless I get the proverbial bogs and rough terrain. I don't know anyone who wants to meet a unit of Galoglaich in close quarters,

My Swedish/German-Scots veteran brigade

Kevin's mercenary infantry brigade... mostly made up of units with suspiciously Irish flags.
Owen Roe O'Neill would be so proud.

Gustav Adolph offers helpful tips to the artillery.

My Swedish dragoons line the small forest a the rear of my left flank.
These, the commanded shot, and a unit of Swedish light horse scared off some French cuirssiers.
There's a few reenacting events in the offing soon and a first aid course offered through St. John's Ambulance. There will be some gaming, but not a huge amount until September. When I take my holiday in August, I hope to game during the week. There is also a SAGA "tournament" being planned in August that will cast a wide net over a few groups in South-western Ontario. (To my son, Rob: unlimber the Vikings and get ready. I'll send you for information shortly.)

Well, as they say... I'm back.

Look, Mom! A cute kitty!


  1. Good to see you back in the swing of things Rev.

    1. Thanks. It felt good to do this again.

  2. Cool looking game John, are they old Donnington figures???

    1. Good eye, Ray. Some are. The rest of the army is a mix of Minifig, Freikorp 15, Dixon, Old Glory 15, and a few unknowns. I get my figs were I can and I've been collecting this lot for about 20 years.