Thursday, January 30, 2014

Game Night: War of the Spanish Succession

Fun night with the Ambler Gamers last night. We did an ahistorical battle from the War of Spanish Succession: French vs. Austrians and British.  There's a big gap in my wargaming experience. I don't think I've played a serious historical wargame in any period between the mid 15th century and the American War of Independence (pace, pirates. I said "serious" historical wargame).  Pikes and shots and tricorns do not capture my imagination the way that other periods do.  But Joe's collection of colorful Front Rank figures arrayed on the tabletop, standards flying, made a good case for the age of Louis XIV.  I teamed up with Scott  to play the French, facing off against the other Mark and the Steves (Turn and Pilch).

Mark and Steve Turn respond to our opening moves. As you can see, the center of the French line barely moved. That would become a theme of the evening.

Steve Pilch has a flashback to our last Napoleonics battle, where my cavalry vaulted forward on the first turn to overwhelm him.  This time he played it perfectly, denying me any easy targets and hitting back hard when the opportunity presented itself. The woods offered him protection against my cavalry wind, and he kept back half of his cavalry for insurance.

Lord, these guys are pretty.  This photo is in better focus than the others because, as mentioned, the French center barely moved over the course of the game.

While my cavalry was engaged on the French right, Scott's colorful cavalry crashed into the Austrian horse.  The two sides came close to wiping each other out, but in the end Steve's horsemen held the field and would threaten Scott's flank for the rest of the game.

Steve Pilch pulls off a well-organized withdrawal in the face of my cavalry horde while Joe looks for some creative ways to apply our house rules.

Bereft of his cavalry, Scott ponders the oncoming Austrian foot.

On our flank, both Steve and I were trying to keep lanes of artillery fire open while we maneuvered our infantry. This led to a surprisongly cramped fight int he center of the table as we each tried to bring as much infantry to bear as possible.  In addition to luring me into unfavorable ground, Steve's British infantry was shooting holes in me as I tried to charge with my cavalry and maneuver around the church with my infantry.

My cavalry finally makes contact and delivers a devastating charge. However, it is too little, too late as the spent horsemen are easy pickings for Steve's reserve.

The Allies on the march.

My infantry finally starts to creep forward, but the battle has been decided before they even enter musket range.

The scene at the end.  The miniatures in the foreground are our dead pile.

Steve does a victory dance, apparently crediting the Longhorns for his win.

Tough loss. Not a total rout, but the outcome was rarely in question.  Nice minis though!

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