Friday, February 3, 2012

Musket & Pike: Halmstad 1676

Yesterday I got another chance to play some musket & pike with my Nothing gained but glory -set. We played the battle of Halmstad, fought between the Danish and the Swedish. The Danish have been retreating from the Swedish but to their surprise are caught between a river and the Swedish army.

In our scenario, the Danish player had three options: Either he could carry on with the evacuation across the bridge and try to get as many of his troops off the field as possible, scoring him victory points, or he could stand and fight a defensive battle, or he could charge. He chose the third option and decided that attack was the best defense. Our game was quick, and is best summed up as a sequence of wing activations.

First turn:

- The Swedish center wing advances across a minor stream and stops to redress their line.
- The Danish Center advances towards the Swedish center.
- The Swedish right move in closer to the Danes but keep their distance
- The Danish right moves forward towards the stream the Swedish center stumbled on. The Swedish left cavalry does a couple of intercepts but loses one unit of cavalry and another is repulsed. The Danish quickly rally their troops and settle on the far bank of the stream.
- The Swedish left settles to reforming their troops.
- The Danish left wing advances cautiously.

The second turn:

- The Swedish start off by continuing to reform their center. They have been under rally orders last turn but now make the change to make ready as the Danish advance.
The situation after the first activation of the second turn.
- The Danish left cavalry wing advances into an awkward position at the bottom of the hill to support the infantry attack. They do not ascend the hill because they would suffer a formation hit and would become visible to Swedish interceptors.
- The Swedish left cavalry wing fails to order a charge and are left looking at the Danish across the stream.
- The Danish center orders an all out charge on the Swedish center. The Swedish use salvo fire across the line but fail to reduce the morale in all but one attacker. There are casualties in nearly every enemy group however, and some reduction in formation state. In close combat, the right side of the Swedish infantry repulse the chargers and hold their ground in disorder while the left side of the wing is forced to give ground. Morale broken results are suffered on both sides and formations are in a poor state.
- The Swedish right cavalry wing now has a sweet opportunity to charge the disordered Danish center, since the Danish cavalry wing cannot see them and interfere. The charge hits home and routs several of the Danish infantry units but also leaves the Swedish cavalry with their formation broken and pistols spent in true Musket & Pike fashion. This charge pretty much decides the game in the end.
- The Danish right cavalry wing scrambles to plug the gap in the center and set up to countercharge the Swedish.

The situation at the beginning of the third turn.

 The third turn:

-The Danish seize the initiative and prepare to charge the disordered Swedish cavalry but the Swedish left cavalry wing beyond the stream pre-empt them and charge their flank, only to fail miserably and be driven back.
-The Danish cavalry resumes their activation, changes their orders to charge and charge the Swedish cavalry and parts of the Swedish infantry line in order to turn back the tide of battle. This attack fails on all fronts, leaving the Danish in poor condition and in range of the Swedish infantry.

At this point we paused to analyze the situation. The Swedish line was suffering from a bad state of formation and lack of coherency, but they had suffered little in the way of casualties. The Danish had lost many units and were poised to lose many more. Even though they had one cavalry wing still intact and in the position to conduct a successful charge, the rest of the Danes had been shattered and we decided to call it a night, as there wasn't much left to do for the Swedes but mop up.

The situation at the end.
A brief, but enjoyable game. Were still getting to grips with the series rules but gameplay is getting more fluid. We still have some problems with what a unit can and cannot do under certain orders. I found myself undoing charges which we had already rolled on because I remembered my wing was under make ready orders and thus unable to charge the enemy. Also, I don't quite get the most out of my Army Commander as I forget to use his considerable mobility and rally abilities to the fullest.

My opponent lost but I suppose he enjoyed himself as he immediately went shopping for Under the Lily Banners after the game. I eased his wargame hoarders' burden by buying Hammer of the Scots off of him :)

1 comment:

  1. Mazik,

    Nice report. This is a good scenario for starting out and fairly interesting for both players. I did not catch the the Swede's start off FS in my playing of it.

    Great Blog...