Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Cavalry Battle in the East

Last week we got together at the club to play a game celebrating the imminent release of the Pikeman's Lament rules.
If you've read this blog before, it will probably not come as a huge surprise that it was part of our ongoing club campaign set in the Swedish-Polish War in the 1620s.

This time, we were a total of 6 players with 3 on the Swedish side and 3 on the Polish side. This game was intended as a cavalry battle, so only mounted troops and commanded shot units were allowed. Each player could use 12 army points. This meant that each player had 2 or 3 units to run.
The Tatars arrive.
As usual I fielded my Pikeman's Lament officer, Henrik the Hammer. This time he was at the head of a unit of Aggressive Elite Gallopers. I also used a unit of cuirassiers (Trotters in game terms) and a unit of commanded shot.
The other two commands on the Swedish side each consisted of 3 units of Aggressive Gallopers. One of Swedes and one of Scots mercenaries.

The Swedish cavalry and commanded shot advance.
The Polish force consisted of a Flemish mercenary command with two Cuirassiers (Elite Trotters) and two commands of tatars with a mix of Trotters and skirmishing light cavalry (Dragoons in game terms)
In this game the victory conditions involved controlling as many of 3 objectives as possible for as long as possible. On the Swedish right flank, there was an objective in a village, while the centre had an objective on a hill.On the left there was a bridge that was also an objective.

The Scots cavalry rush forward
As the Swedish force consisted almost entirely of Aggressive Gallopers who will automatically attempt to charge the enemy if these are in range, our tactics were simple: Rush the enemy at the first opportunity and hope that superior close combat ability will be enough to win the day.

The Tatars skirmish against charging Swedish cavalry supported by commanded shot
On the Polish side the Tatar light horse skirmished in an attempt to wear down the Swedish cavalry while avoiding close combat, while their Trotters (Flemish Cuirassiers and Tatar heavy horse) relied on pistol fire  to do the same.
In this the Flemish and Tatars were largely successful.
The Swedes quickly won control of the objective in the village, while the Flemish took the bridge. That left the central hill objective, and the fighting was most intense there.

Swedes and Tatars contest the central hill
The Flemish and Tatars managed to use their firepower and skirmishing to weaken the Swedish cavalry before the Swedes could get into close combat.

The notorious Flemish Mercenaries approach the bridge.
Repeated Swedish charges all along the line did weaken the Tatars, but the Swedish cavalry suffered even worse and gradually lost several units.

The initial Swedish charge inflicts some losses on the Tatars, but is eventually repulsed with even greater losses to the Swedes. Darn....
The Swedish cavalry then made a concerted charge at the centre hill, but was eventually forced off it with heavy losses.
Swedish Cuirassiers face their Flemish counterparts across the river.
Eventually, the Swedish cavalry only had a couple of units still at reasonable strength. In a desperate final attempt to retrieve the situation Henrik charged the hill at the head of his personal unit of elite cavalry.
The climax of the battle. The Tatars have secured the hill, but the Swedish cavalry prepares a final charge
In a fine display of great bravery (if not terribly good thinking) Henrik's wild charge managed to wipe out one of the Tatar units on the hill, and then continued straight into another Tatar foe. Taking him ever deeper into the enemy ranks....
Henrik the Hammer charges the Tatars. it is the last attempt to turn the tide...
Courageously, Henrik's Västgöta cavalry smashed this second Tatar unit as well. Unfortunately this had depleted this last combat-worthy Swedish unit severely and left it stranded among a great number of enemy.
Amazingly, it managed to survive some Tatar shooting, but the last survivors fell when the wily Tatars lured them into some bad going.
So this was indeed a Swedish defeat, although Henrik claims that it was a moral victory for him personally....
And yes, Henrik did survive, although he was wounded. He will recover in time for the next battle, though......

As ever, this was another fun game of Pikeman's Lament.


  1. Yes, excellent AAR! Did you find any difficulty (say with activations?) with more than one player per side?

    1. Thanks.
      In this game, each player ran his own separate Company (so 3 each side), which simplified things a lot.The only thing was for the players on each side to discuss and decide on the order in which we wanted to activate our units if, for example units from two different players wanted to charge the same unit.
      No problem as long as you're playing with reasonable people.

  2. What a great report!! more please!

    1. Thanks. We'll see what we can do. We hope to get another game next week.

  3. The great and impressive report
    Thanks for sharing
    I would also see more...