The game was hosted by James 'Olicanalad' Roach using his gloriously painted Italian wars figures and using the 'Hell Broke Loose' rules developed by him and Peter Jackson from Piquet's Field of Battle. I won't attempt to explain the rules or the battle; partly because I'm not up to the task and partly because James has already done it on his blog Olicanalad. I say both James and Peter are responsible for the rules, but I lost count of how many times last night James turned round to Peter and said "Oh, I've changed that rule".
|Peter ponders James' latest rule changes|
Anyway, readers of James' blog - and if you aren't you should be - will know that he was asking for opinions on what formation he should deploy his Swiss pikes in: square or squareish. I can exclusively reveal that it doesn't matter. The Swiss, in what was referred to as Deep Square, formed the centre of the French line and moved very swiftly to the ditch, soon crossed that obstacle to come into contact with the defenders behind their defences and just as quickly got repulsed back. They then came under sustained fire from artillery and small arms, lost their commander and retreated from the field. Being Swiss they did this in good order, but the hole in the middle of the French line was just as big.
You will have guessed from the above that I was rolling the dice for the French, and in that capacity also managed to lose the commander of the left flank as well. However, there were various elements of compensating good fortune: the French reserves have arrived on the battlefield promptly and are poised to attack the area of the Spanish line weakened (!) by the Swiss and the Gendarmes on the French right have remained unscathed by the Spanish artillery and have belatedly reached the ditch. Perhaps more importantly, due to a tied dice roll, the three turns allowed for the French to assault the Spanish will involve cycling through the cards almost four times. With plenty of morale left all is not lost for the Duc de Nemours. The battle is to to be concluded next week.
I understand that James and Peter are to put the game on at Triples and I'd urge everyone to go and take a look because it looks fantastic and the rules are well worth finding out about. I don't know what name the game will be put on under. The schism in the Ilkley Lads gaming group appears to be approaching the level of the Bolam/Bewes feud; a case of life imitating life rather than imitating art.
|Thelma is not amused|