Sunday, 23 August 2015

Beaten by the Swiss - Again!

Yesterday, Russ and I played a game of PoW Renaissance.  A grudge match between a reconstituted French Army and the Swiss.  My optional 4 points were spent on the 2x Stradiot and 2x Mounted Crossbow Italian mercenaries.  Russ stuck with his Milanese option.  Russ opted for mountainous terrain but the rolls generated a fairly benign rolling battlefield.
Goddammit, surely hitting you in the flank counts for something!

The game turned out to be gritty and I think every unit was involved.  Russ was able to order his right flank to advance across the front of my army, their 6" move whipping past my artillery salvoes and support his left flank that had crashed into my right flank.  My left flank had orders to attack his right flank but was intercepted by his centre command.  After 10 turns both our armies had dropped to "Hold" orders but my CinC who commanded my right flank was killed forcing the French to retire and leaving the Swiss masters of the field.

I had hoped that the light cavalry would pin and delay his pike, pulling off individual units from his main phalanx and allowing the Gensdarmes to smash in and overwhelm the remaining pike blocks. To some degree this worked and Russ was annoyed by my skirmishers to start with.   However, the Swiss are fast and upon you before you get much of a chance to organise a battle line.  The charge of the Gensdarmes and Retainers is powerful but the Swiss are strong enough to withstand it and then wear down the knights in successive combats.  The pike get +2 when facing mounted and this was a big bonus even when charged in the flank.  Of course the Dice worship Russ, and my D20 rolled very low for him all day!

It is worth reflecting on the rule amendments I blogged on 16th March and the comments Russ added to it.  Yesterday, both armies required a 3 to accept orders and it made a big difference.  Russ did well to get an early order change for both his flanks which gave him an edge.  My right flank (or Van) is commanded by the CinC which means he was a distance away from the rest of his army.  The only army we could see that was disciplined enough to change orders with a 2 is the early Imperial.

The only thing we did do wrong was that when I charged the Swiss light cavalry I have an option to punch through with my Gensdarmes as you can ignore class 1 troops.

Ultimately it was a great game and Russ played the Swiss well.  Somehow, I need to slow him down with my lights, shoot him to pieces with my heavy guns and crossbows and then sweep him away with my heavy cavalry; it's a challenge that I am enjoying trying to work out!


  1. It was a great battle and even though I left the field victorious I had a bleeding headache all last night from all the concentration!

    Each time I have used my Swiss I have followed the same strategy - make a plan and stick to it.

    Yesterday I was defending so this threw some new obstacles in my way. I had to get my order changes in on turn 1 after seeing your army arrive en masse. To be honest after I wrote my orders I was sorely tempted to change them but I thought the pike would look after themselves so put the ball in motion.

    There were some very hard fought battles on both flanks. The class 5 pike and your Gendermes added extra spice to the game and overall I thought you could of possibly shifted the result in your favour if you had managed to utilise your heavy artillery better but luckily for me this never happened!

    Yes the dice gods were merciful to me all day even though I rolled 5 20''s!

    I guess it evened out after I rolled my sixth 1!

    You were unlucky on a lot of your rolls but that's war-gaming. Unfortunately we all have to roll the dice and suffer the same consequences.

    My Swiss are 4-0 now so I am even more interested to see what happens next time they take to the field.....

  2. They will be beaten....... One day