Just spent an excellent weekend in (and near) Newark with Gary Phillips, Dave Hall, and Iain Burt. First face to face game for a long time! Having missed two Ayton games now due to the plague this was a chance to roll out our C18th troops and have a playtest of rules we hope to use for the game next May (hopefully!). We are gathering in November but playing other stuff so next May will be what should have been our 10th Anniversary game and as we started with C18th ImagiNation we wanted that to be the main anniversary game. For a while myself and Iain Burt have wanted to have a proper set to with our forces (my Altefritzenburg and his Gateway) as we’ve both added to them over the last couple of years. Various C18th games over the last few years have seen us use Henry Hyde’s Shot, Steel and Stone, Black Powder, Honours of War, and Rank and File. But for next year’s game we wanted to try our own rules. So Iain and Tim Hall have been playing around with the Perry ACW set and adapting them to C18th. This was to be the first playtest of these in anger!
Dave Hall came up with the scenario (loosely based in Blenheim) with myself (Altefritzenburg) on the left defending against Iain Burt and the Gateway and Dave (Medetia) facing Gary Phillips and his St Paulin forces. Gary has a LOT of figures so had also bolstered Dave’s force so I think they had 12 brigades each whereas I had 6 facing Iain’s 8 brigades. We deployed roughly half our forces on table (our side holding the three towns) and cards determined brigade arrivals via cards drawn at the end if each turn. Each off table brigade had a card, plus a couple of dummies and you drew two cards. So you could get two of your own or two for your opponent…or none…This was more to test the idea for the Ayton game and did affect the game progress.
Iain deployed two infantry brigades to face mine protecting the central town and a heavy cavalry brigade in the centre to face my cuirassier brigade. Iain’s brigade had four regiments, mine three, but the Gateway cavalry have a less than stellar reputation! 🙂 Fearing the arrival of more cavalry (I knew he had a light brigade and another heavy brigade where I only had three light regiments to come on…) I decide to just pile in! And with great success! I bladdered the two front regiments sending them back in disarray, disrupting the second line, which in turn retreated. This effectively wrecked his brigade forcing them to retire to the table edge. Unfortunately, it left my brigade on the verge of being wrecked as well (half casualties) so I couldn’t pursue for fear of losing the brigade and leaving my centre open if fresh brigades arrived! There are rules for brigade recalls and Rally to the Colours to allow you to ‘recover’ spent brigades – if you have the chance. As I had nothing else to throw in we both retired and his brigade recovered faster and was able to attack again, finally breaking my brigade…
Over on the left it took a while for Iain to bring on the brigades needed to assault the town so we never really got far there. He did get his lancers on who rode down my gun! I finally brought up another brigade and given time I think quite a battle would have ensued!
My light cavalry finally arrived and tried charging his heavies but it wasn’t a huge success…
Overall it was a great weekend. Lovely to get the figures on the table (and a lovely table it was too!) but even better to see the chap and get a few (too many) beers in on the Friday and Saturday nights! Thanks to Iain for the work on the rules (he’s finally written a set where his cavalry aren’t crap!), Dave for sorting the venue, and Gary for the masses of troops and the knowledgable comments on the rules. Great fun!
Roll on Ayton!