Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Skirmish Wargames Weekend Pt. 1

I travelled up to Derbyshire to stay with Mike and be joined by a number of other skirmish gamers for a weekend of 54mm gaming. Friday afternoon saw myself, Mike, Ted and Alan G gathering at Mike's to play a Pavia game hosted by Ted with a mix of old Britains, some newer ones and some figures from the various Russian collectible ranges, including some of the most beautiful pavises I have ever seen. The detail was amazing.

The rules were the Foundry Conditorri rules and as I had seen nothing of them other than a fairly neutral review when they were first released I was interested in seeing how they worked. They are not really true skirmish rules, rather a small unit actions, we used half sized units, so foot were 8-12 and cavalry in groups of 5. The playsheet with the rules has masses of missing information, but Ted made up a much better additional set that included everything you needed to know.

I was the defender, with Alan and Mike attacking, while Ted umpired. All the units were laid out and I got to pick which ones I would use, and the attackers go the rest. I decided to go with the big pike block, with crossbowman and aquebusiers to flank them, a medium gun and a light gun. I added a unit of knights to this and a unit of mounted crossbow, which I made my veteran unit, with excellent shots.

As the attackers moved through the gap in the wall and advanced towards me, I rushed my mounted crossbow forward to one flank and began to borrow bolts into the advancing units, much to Mikes consternation, while Alan advanced up the opposite flank with the majority of the enemy foot.

Then things took a turn for worst. Conditorri uses random event cards, and Mike drew and played 'Fog'. Very accurate for Pavia, but the massive reduction in shooting range really hurt me. I committed my knights against the remains of Mikes foot that had been shot by the mounted crossbow, who had to redeploy as they found a swamp in front of them (another random event card). I ran this unit down, and the heavy gun behind them, but then Mike committed his own knights, who were the attackers elite unit and gradually got the upper hand in the combat.

Back on the ridge another random event card affect my crossbow men, who decided this wasn't looking too good and almost all of them fled from the table (although we maybe should have tweaked this card to allow for the smaller starting size of units)! By now Alan had remorselessly closed on my defenders and although the Pike was holding, the handgonners were being decimated. I committed the mounted crossbowmen to the rear of the melee against the pikemen to swing it in mu favour, but my pike block was then hit in the flank and the aquebesiers collapsed completely, while the mounted troops got charged in turn and a massed melee ensured in which I was at a serious disadvantage now my pike was not fighting just to the front and I was eventually defeated, although the casualties I had inflicted on the enemy were much higher than they expected, and that was with the fog hampering my firing.

The only thing I might have changed was the cards we used for wounding. Ted had a lovely set of period cards, which added a great flavour, but I kept getting confused as to what the suits corresponded to in the rules!

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