Sunday, August 6, 2017

Nine Years War, a minor action Pikeman's Lament AAR

     The French confronted the Dutch in some anonymous corner of the Netherlands on the fringes of the main armies. Pikeman's Lament (once again) handled the action admirably; I wish I could claim my generalship was as effective. 30 points on a side; the Dutch had two units of Shot, two of Trotters, two units of Forlorn Hope and a single unit of Commanded Shot. Opposing the the French possessed three units of Shot, two units of Gallopers, two units of Commanded Shot and a lone Forlorn Hope.

the battle begins, I had advanced the two units on my left then failed a Command roll,
 this turned out to be a theme for both myself and oldSarge in this game

oldSarge failed after moving three units, this was my chance to seize the initiative....

....or be seized by the initiative, 
once again I failed my roll after moving the two units on my left 
I began to wonder if my Shot would ever move

the Commanded Shot and Forlorn Hope were getting rather far ahead of the rest of my force
in the end this turned out well, but it was looking bad right then

oldSarge was moving along on the far left with his Trotters following the road, and pressing resolutely forward on my right, in the center his Shot and Commanded Shot were slow off the mark

at last I passed enough Command rolls to move as I wished; 
the Shot Unit on my left occupied the  hill, in the center another unit moved toward the tree line,
on the refused right I remembered that my Officer was a Musketry Master

I opened fire on the Dutch unit in the trees without effect
but my Forlorn Hope and Commanded Shot battered the opposing Commanded Shot that were hiding in the bushes at the corner of the field

taking advantage of the guaranteed fire afforded by my Officers trait my Commanded Shot opened fire on the approaching Forlorn Hope, felling three of these fearsome warriors

the Dutch Trotters continued to flow around my flanks as the Forlorn Hope pressed fearlessly ahead

and the Dutch troops in the tree-line returned my fire, battering my center unit of Shot
this unit promptly began to Waver 

return fire from the Dutch Commanded Shot also nabbed one of my brave lads on the hill

fearing contact with even three members of a Forlorn Hope
 I fired on them with my Commanded Shot and my rightmost Shot unit 
dropping two more figures

their ferocious commander, 
surrounded by carnage, Wavered but did not run
on my left I had set up a clever trap, 
two units would fire upon the Trotters as they emerged from the woods,
 then my Gallopers would charge the battered unit

well, that was the plan, oldSarge had other ideas, rather than patiently heading down the road to be fired upon his Trotters blazed away at my Commanded Shot who lost a couple of figures and promptly retreated  Wavering

at the same time the center was going pear-shaped, a crashing volley from the lone Dutch Shot unit in the trees cost my right hand Shot unit four casualties and I had another unit Wavering,
away on my far right Trotters were lurking behind the tree-line

at least they managed to save the colors

attempting to remedy the situation my Gallopers threw themselves at the Dutch cavalry

this ended up in a tie, I had forgotten that Trotters had a Defense of four plus 
making them as good standing firm as my horse were when charging

at least it froze that flank for a turn and gave my left hand Shot unit a target
in the center the middle Shot unit continued to Waver backward 
while my right hard Shot recovered from Wavering
the Commanded Shot laid low the bold officer of the Dutch Forlorn Hope
in the far center my Forlorn Hope continued the exchange of fire with the distant Dutch troops

things were beginning to look rather dicey on the right
the Trotters were lining up to attack my flank and the second unit of Dutch Forlorn Hope looked ready to march past their fallen friends without a second thought

not having had enough fun the last go-round the Trotters advanced again, they successfully conducted a caracole which laid low two of my troopers and caused them to Waver
the Trotters charged home....

..........and failed to achieve a kill, 
they bounced away leaving my lone stunned Galloper holding the field

to my great sadness oldSarge now remembered that his Officer was a Duelist,
he challenged my Officer and slew him outright
the resulting Morale checks saw the middle Shot unit flee and the right hand Commanded Shot Waver
inconvenient to say the least

then the Trotters on the right opened fire claiming one of the Commanded Shot

a blast of fire from the Forlorn Hope at the crossroads 
left my right hand Shot unit Wavering and retiring

the remaining Commanded Shot had a sense of dread pass over them

in my turn I managed to rally the one remaining Galloper but would not commit him to action again (I couldn't afford to lose the unit for Victory Conditions)

as my Forlorn Hope on the left switched targets to the Dutch in the trees (firing with great effect I might add) I advanced the left hand Shot unit, the remaining Shot unit had rolled a magnificent eleven and had lifted its wavering status

punished by the fire from the Trotters caracole fire my Commanded Shot failed a Waver test 
and were thus mercilessly charged by the armored giants

all but one were slain, the remaining soldier fled
(I anticipate trouble recruiting more Commanded Shot in the future!)

in the next turn the thundering volley of fire from left Shot unit
 (assisted rather pathetically by the fire from the stump of the Officers old unit)
caused the Dutch in the tree line to break and flee

my Forlorn Hope (who had given sterling service throughout the game) finished off the Dutch Shot in the field  (see oldSarge's Morale roll of five in the background)

this pushed the Dutch force beyond the breaking point
 handing me a victory of the narrowest of margins

     A real nail-biter all the way to the very end. As you might have noticed by now I find these rules a great deal of fun. The jovial company of oldSarge makes the evening all the more enjoyable, a worthy opponent and god friend.


  1. It was a great game. The best part it was until the ever end of the battle the winner was declared. Next time I will stay clear of command and shot in cover. It takes four hits to kill one figure. Fun time with an old friend is always the best time.

  2. Interesting to see PL used for a latter period.
    It looked a damn bloody affair.
    Great post.

  3. Lovely looking game and seems like great fun.
    Best Iain