|Battle of Tulzen - the Imperialists facing north
A few weeks ago, reading up on someone's pike and shot postings on facebook or blog, I bethought myself to my long neglected Thirty Yaers' War (30YW) armies of Sweden and the Hapsburg Empire - or, as I sometimes prefer, between the warring realms of Severeia and Austereia. I wanted to try out the "Portable Thirty Years ... War Wargame" - Antoine Bourguilleau - from the Portable Pike and Shot book. It became fairly clear early on that I would be shoehorning the system onto my hex table (so why didn't I use my square grid table instead? I don't know...).
|The Grabbenfloss stream east of the
Command: Feldmarschall Lennart Blixtensson (4SP)
3 x 'Swedish' Cavalry @ 3SP = 9SP
2 x Battalia @ 4SP = 8SP (Elite)
2 x Battalia @ 4SP = 8SP
1 x Artillery = 2SP
Totals: 8 units plus general; 31SP
Except where stated, all units are average.
Command: Count Albrecht Eusebius von Steinwald (4SP)
2 x Cuirassier horse @ 4SP = 8SP (Elite)
2 x 'Dutch' Cavalry @ 3SP = 6SP
3 x Tercio foot @ 6SP = 18SP
Totals: 7 units plus general; 36SP
'Swedish' cavalry were 'get tore in' types - no faffing around popping pistols, but stuck in with sword and anything else sharp or heavy. They get some benefit in close combat. These I hade 2 x 3-horse elements strong, the bases being place side by side across the middle of the hex.
|Swedish cavalry, guns and battalia.
The pikes seem to be over- represented, but the
formation looks OK. All figures and gun Revell;
the limber and team ... not sure...
'Dutch' cavalry relied more on firepower. These I made into columns, a single element wide and 3 deep. I gather Graf zu Pappenheim, the famous Imperial cavalry commander, favoured deep columns of horse.
|Cuirassiers flanked by 'Dutch' pistoleer cavalry
Cuirassiers. In the pictures I have shown them also in 3 deep columns, but later I removed one element. I would have liked to have represented them in a 2x2 array, but that really does stretch the capacity of my 10cm hexes. probably I ought to have retained the 3-deep columns for these.
Battalia, I have represented by a 2-elementline of shot, with a single pike element in front and another behind in a sort of lozenge formation. That seems to be the convention for this type of war game, with armies built in this fashion.
Tercios, as I have organised them, really do push the boundaries of my hex grid. After some deliberation, I decided they would cover two hexes in depth, 4 ranks, with 2 shot elements in first and fourth ranks, single pikes in second and third. The depth of this formation, and possibly the 'Dutch' cavalry as well, would have some implications when the fight got to close quarters.
(a) - the foot had won the initiative, and the turn passes to the enemy. Are the units still in close combat, or may the enemy simply shoot in its turn?
(b) - the horse had won the initiative; the foot's reply was to bring on a close combat; and now we have reached another initiative roll. If the foot wins, they will probably continue the close combat. But if the horse wins, may they break of the close combat to resume their short-ranged shooting?
Parlous as the situation was for Red Brigade, the flanking cavalry came charging up to strike the Imperial pistoleers in the flank. The whole irruption was a frost. The pistoleers shrugged off the enemy attack (the '5' was good enough for a SP loss to the Swedes; the 2 far too low to concern the Imperialists).
|Final moments of the battle, as the Imperialists begin
to roll up the Swedish line.
All attacking impetus had gone out of the Swedish Army. At once Marschall Blixtensson sounded the retreat, and the army began to pull out. I admit, I could have played on with the Swedes trying to get off with their embattled units, and the Imperialists in pursuit, but the result was already clear cut. The Swedish Army lost 11SP - and reached its exhaustion point.
The Imperialists had been very fortunate, losing just 6SP, two-thirds of them from one tercio.
I think on this table I'd be inclined to ad one grid area to movement, and to increase the gun range to 6 hexes, apart from battalion guns, which would have 1 Strength point only, and have a range of 3 SPs. For the rest - maybe another play test is in order.
Finally, I promised someone I would add a 'me' pic. This one is from 3 years ago - I'm not sure I have one more recent. Even on a day as grey as this, my photochromatic lenses kick in.
|Outdoors action - 'Unquiet Flows the Mius'
A fairly mild day for April, shortly after the
COVID shut down.