Saturday, 16 July 2011

A great slaughter of Scots

Last night I played two great games against the Lowland Scots of Alanus Dux Homunculorum (check out his excellent blog here). Disclaimer: Please note that all nationalistic jibing and slander expressed throughout this post have been added for gaming flavour only. They do not reflect the beliefs of any of the players involved with the games - not even Mr Hotspur himself....

In the first engagement, the Honourable Harry Hotspur led his men north in the name of good Queen Bes to put a halt to Scottish opportunistic depredations. He managed to recruit two companies of demi-lancers, a company of border horse, two of billmen and one each of longbowmen, militia pikemen and plantation militia (obviously home from the Dublin Pale for the holidays!?). He was opposed by some Scottish laird whose name has already been forgotten by the court chroniclers. The mangy northerners managed to put together four companies of border horse, two companies of targeteers, one company each of militia pike and militia shot together with a single saker. 
The battles are drawn up for... battle. Scots to the north, Hotspur to the south.
Hotspur started with a mild advantage as a spy in the Scots lines passed him information of the enemy deployment. Due to the presence of the saker, the English were forced to take the offensive. Early on, Hotspur maintained strict order over his companies as they closed on the cowardly savages.
The English surge forward as Scottish partisans fire at the English horse from the woods.
English border horse are enveloped as the longbowmen pull back to make way for the billmen.
The Scottish laird commits himself to battle as his militia shot retire.
As Hotspur rode to the aid of his failing border horse, he left the longbowmen heading east to the other flank. However, once the archers passed out of their lord's direct control, their recalcitrant captain decided that it was time to head off home for some Yorkshire puds. 
The English borderers flee as Hotspur presses home into the Scots targeteers. In the background, the English archers wander away from the action.
The Scottish right flank gives way in a cascade of routing reivers. Hotspur's pursuit leads him straight into the waiting gunners who took the opportunity to soil their breeches.  
The Scots submit to the obvious moral superiority of their English betters. Their Laird suffers a thorough raddishing and is sent packing back across the border.

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In the second engagement, the Lowland Scots again mustered a force under the lairdship of Someguy MadSomething (NB: this may not be an accurate rendering of his actual name). He only scraped together a small battle consisting of three companies of border horse, two of targeteers, and one each of savage highlanders and militia pike. Opposed were a mass of wild Irishmen led by the brave Conor Roe - two companies of galloglass, three companies of kern, two each of bonnachts and kern marksmen along with a priest and a company of Spanish-trained targeteers. The Irish numerical superiority left them spoiling for the fight. 
The Irish kerns (all of whom were out of command range) impetuously move forward.
The Scots horse start forward against the exposed kern.
The first of the Scots border horse strike home. 
Aware that his kern were about to be decimated, Conor Roe leads the rest of his lads forward to envelope the Scottish right. He was well aware that decisions would soon have to be made whether to commit more companies to save the kern or abandon them to their fate.
More kern rush forward from the woods to support their kin.
The Irish begin their envelopment of the Scots right.
The pressure from horse on the Scots left flank was too much for the kern who broke and fled in a wave of panic. Meanwhile, the Scots infantry were hard pressed by their Irish counterparts on the opposite flank and centre.
As the kern break and flee, one company of Scots horse, believing the battle won, pursue their foe into the woods.
The Scottish infantry break and flee leaving the border horse feeling a bit lonely. At least the Irish didn't insist on raddishing the laird before they sent him back o'er the water... 

So in a real turn around compared to my traditional role of defeatee. My boys actually did me proud in both games. Of course I did write the rules and in the second game I did have quite a handy numerical advantage so I shouldn't crow about it too much. 

Still... a victory is a victory whichever way you paint it...

5 comments:

  1. At least my army wasn't riddled with pox....

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  2. I'm sure I don't know what you mean... but when the apothocary's bill comes in, I was only visiting him to ask a question for a friend...

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  3. That's not what happened at Otterburn.. usually the soft and effeminate English would give way as soon as a Scotsman gave them a hard glare.

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  4. @Doug - what about Flodden or Pinkie?

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  5. Large scale very different from small scale.

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