It had to happen some time and that time was today!
Ian's French army clinched a rather strange victory against my Swiss POWR army.
It was a rather subtle and strange victory which came about as a result of me losing my baggage which dropped my army aggression to "engage" and some wichery that seemed to come from no where!
We rolled terrain for the mountains of Italy and I lost the initiative so would arrange the terrain pieces to suit. Not sure I did a sterling job but it was what it was and Ian took what was the best defensive side of the table.
My baggage was left out in the middle of the table so had "come and get me" written all over it.
Ian rolled a 20 x3 so his baggage was 60" in from the right and placed conveniently in the corner snug away in some high mountain terrain.
I had to deploy first and in all honesty I struggled to come up with a workable plan. The terrain was such it hindered my strategy so I decided to go with the standard Swiss army and left my normal "Milanese option" in the box.
With 12 pike units and 4 at 16 strength I knew I had plenty of punch. Ian deployed what was to be his main attack on the left using Gendermes and light crossbow / melee troops.
He was on me pretty quick and I had to send new orders out to react in time.
I think he took my baggage by turn 3!
I could live with that and knew that I just had to crush him on the field of battle.
Over on the right the French guns deployed perfectly and played a role in softening up some of my pike.
Ian also used his mounted crossbow very well and we both thought that these units had been most effective against the pike!
His impetuous cavalry burst through his own lines and charged my pike - the result was not good for the French. I think in the first round it was 7-1 in casualties followed by a repeat in round 2.
In one round I inflicted 10-0 and was on the 145 table. Yes the Swiss are that good!
By lunch time the french had lost 4 units out of one command and it was looking like a depressing repeat of the last 5 Swiss victories.
However as per the norm in POW the game never seems to be over even when you think it truly is.....
Ian had a unit of retainers which he slammed into one of my flanks that was already shaken.
A trick he has used many times before but with stronger Gendermes to little effect.
This time I rolled bad and routed!
Another pike unit failed it's morale as a result of the first rout and ran off.
All of a sudden I was 2 pike units down out of one command and due to the loss of my baggage dropped to On hold.
The finale blow was dealt (Ian had managed to wound 2 of my commanders with lucky * results) on turn 9 when I charged Ian's super unit of retainers in the rear with one pike and in the front with 2 and whopped 9 casualties leaving Ian with 1 strength.
Needless to say he routed but miraculously he rolled another star result and then went on to roll a 6 to kill the Swiss C in C.
Victory had been won and the Swiss although hardly touched retired from the battlefield.
The French had won the day by taking the Swiss baggage and killing the C in C.
You will take your wins however they come!
I can't say I felt cheated because Ian gambled big time by sending in a single command against all 3 of my Pike commands and did pay the price but managed to get a cheeky win, fair play!
If it had not gone this way I think the French army would of been on the receiving end of a drubbing
as there was not a great deal of stuff that could of took care of what Pike I had left.
A splendid result for the French and well earned.
As usual the rules gave us a great game and I am looking forward to another one soon!
Back to Switzerland to sharpen those pikes,.........