|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!