Saturday, 28 December 2013

Banja Luca - Battle Report (totally unbiased and fair): Part 1

Fecking dice!  We wuz robbed.  And other epithets.

Anyway, apart from us rolling a record number of 20's for morale and 1's for pips (and Jono having a 6 fest with his mortars) and the fact that dice never affect the outcome of a battle it ended up (somehow) to be an honourable draw.  To be fair though, Mark was robbed by time - if we'd carried on after 24 turns it would be likely that the Turks would eventually have broken the forces at the pontoon.

So down to the battle proper.  From the Imperial point of view we could have attacked the walls where the melee troops were based.  However, this meant taking cannister fire from both sides as we went in at least twice (once while trying to scale the walls.  With 12 strength troops this would have meant that a couple of bad rolls would mean a collapse of our strongest force and the pontoon would never have been held by a d4 commander.

Similarly at the breach, our troops would be fighting more troops who were in better cover and could shoot back.  The damage done going in would have been more than offset by the damage coming back.  Not only that but had we got our forces into the town, the pontoon force on its own would have been unable to hold back the Turkish tide, and then could have fed troops into the town unhindered.

Attacking the town was therefore off the agenda.  But we wanted to keep a threat there so maintained the force with the mortars and siege guns.  If we could have seen off the cannon (which survived innumerable hits and a 20 roll) then we might have been tempted but it required a combination of us rolling 6's (which happened once all battle), the Turks not rolling 6's for their mortars (which didn't happen) and some poor morale rolls (which didn't happen).  Indeed, the Turks at the breach had barely been scratched after 20+ turns of firing, which tells its own story.

So our plan was to stop the relief force.  This required getting the main force close to the pontoon bridge to allow them to cover both sides of the river (should Mark's force have pulled off a sneaky manouvre).  Again with hindsight we should have either got the cavalry over straight away OR had the main force right next to the pontoon on Turn 1.  This meant we could ferry the troops over piecemeal as required, left the cavalry where it was to screen the flanks and definitely got the cannon away from the town's cannon and in a position to hammer anything.  Indeed, there is a thought that putting the cannon in the pontoon defence force and just leaving them in square would have made them pretty invulnerable.

So the main force ended up behind the hill and we awaited developments.  The siege troops we moved further back to stay out of harms way while our guns were expected to inflict pain on the Turks.  Which they proved over 24 turns to be incapable of.  Ho hum.

Banja Luca - what a great set up by Ian

Little church on the Prairie

Close up of the main gate (and mosque)

yes - its 6mm!

Bastion from ground level

And from above - 45 degrees from every face = deathtrap

Mountains in the background

No way are we assaulting THAT!

The besieging troops 

From ground level the background looks superb


Pontoon defence force

Russ's 2 which doomed him to being on the Imperial side

Pontoon defence before being bolstered with Grenadiers

And from ground level

I had completed the second part of this - saved it and tried to publish it but it neither published nor (despite saying that it had) saved either.  2 hours work down the pan!  I will aim to get the report re-written soon.


  1. Brilliant pictures Phil. However, I think the Ottomans won as the Imperials had two commands reduced to below 50% and thus their aggression level was a maximum of Hold. I would have liked to have seen an assault on the town or a sortie by the garrison but I think you are right, this would have been very risky. Next time we play it I think that if the garrison commander rolls a 6 he must go on attack orders! It was a very well played game as this is a tricky scenario for both sides.