Saturday, June 18, 2016

Piquet Field Of Battle - The Battle Of The Boyne

Battle of the Boyne re-fought today at Chateaux Le Duc using the ever excellent Piquet Field Of Battle rules.

Game was planned as group get together but in the end due to other commitments it ended with Le Duc our convivial host and Stephen B and mineownweeself.

Being Stephens first visit to Le Ducs gaming room we started late (made absolutely no matter as you shall see !!) as he inspected the treasure trove of figures, books etc (although I think I fell asleep once or twice whilst they drooled over various D&D type stuff).

After waking me we then diced for sides and I drew the Jacobite force and Stephen the Williamite.

Le Duc had made a couple of scenario specific tweaks which I am sure he will explain fully on his Blog but essentially units with Pike could adopt a 'Pikes Forward' formation which gave them Up 1 against Mounted but losing ability to move.
Other tweaks were mainly terrain specific and to deck composition.
For instance the Jacobites had 1 or 2 (?) Uncontrolled Advance cards included and possibly more Melee cards than standard.
Williamites had Advance cards and increased Lull cards and their various Brigades only activated as each fresh Move Card appeared for them, they had only the Dutch Guards across the river at game start.
Le Duc had made Boyne specific boards for the game which looked excellent especially the river complemented fully by his super 25mm troops.

FOB is easy to tweak this way for a scenario without much effort.

Game started with Jacobites getting jump on the Williamites allowing me to advance more Infantry into the village of Oldbridge and bring my two Cavalry Brigades abreast of each other although I was reluctant to advance too close to river as there was a battery of guns covering from a small hill and I was aware of the Uncontrolled Charge cards possibly getting me into trouble.
This initial success as such was high water mark of Jacobite effort !!

Le Duc was then witness to the power of Stephens luck not only with dice rolls but with card draws !!
He managed to draw Move cards in succession and rolled even and sufficiently higher than me to allow 3 Infantry Brigades (Huguenots, Brits and North Irish) to cross the river.
The first two across opposite my mounted wing were very impressive as they managed to cross (restricted to column formation) and then deploy into line facing my Horse (which were pretty good).
Of course when I charged this meant they had full firepower and damaged and pushed back my mounted charges.
Stephen then managed to draw Firepower cards in succession getting further hits on the cavalry before them.
I only managed to repel one unit into the river but it soon returned and Rallied its hits.
In the village his Dutch Guards weathered the ineffectual fire of Jacobites or Rallied off damage (one unit managed to remove 2 hits in one roll !!) and contested occupancy as North Irish arrive to the rear.

Of course to add woes to my woes one Brigade of Cavalry refused to move on two opportunities meaning their erstwhile mates were left dangling, even when a fleeting opportunity arose to hit Infantry who had just dropped out of 'Pike Forward' formation.
Then I lost 2 of my 4 Commanders (yes 2) to death rolls (only by 1 on a D12) putting their troops Out Of Command and susceptible to the Uncontrolled Charge possibility (you just know what is coming...........)

I lost a Lull card exchange and lucky legs pulled another opportune Leadership card to Rally of hits and then immediately I 'won' a Lull to pull the inevitable Uncontrolled Charge card which saw of course my damaged Horse charge to their complete doom !!

By now my Army Morale was exhausted and I was giving Morale to the Williamites.

Just as Le Duc activated a Brigade of Danish Foot (which failed to move as he does not have demonic dicing spell) I of course pulled Army Morale and promptly failed and the Jacobites fled the field.

Despite the one-sided battle it was a hugely enjoyable game with all those events and exchanges that only the PK family of rules can generate.
I dont know of any other system (possibly Die Fighting or Blackpowder ?) that would allow the Williamite Foot to ford the Boyne and deploy without interference as most other systems have set sequences of  phases which allow players to predict exactly how far and exactly when units will move or arrive.
I just love the narrative style game FOB produces which makes it a joy to play even in abject defeat.
Events just occur in a plausible fashion that makes the games seem like a historical account or novel.
This combined with the easy mechanics of the system is hard to better for large games and for me is Wargaming as it is meant to be.

I look forward to Le Ducs version of events.................................

Jacobite deployment

Williamites with river to cross (Dutch Guard across in foreground)

Overview of set up

Huegenots getting helping hands to ford the waterway

Dutch Guard approach village

Le Duc vainly awaits activation of his Danish Foot and Dutch Horse

Jacobite horse split

And move to support Foot

Impressive array of Williamite might

Williamite foot have teleported into Line in front of my stunned Horse units and already beaten off their initial charges (Note red UI loss markers and green Out Of Cmd)

These uncommitted Crown Forces not required

Gaping hole as one whole Jacobite Horse Brigade has evaporated !!

Jacobite Foot in difficulties in the village as North Irish push forward.

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