Civil Strife in Arden

Rob Dean

 My elder son Norman came up for a visit including some gaming last weekend.  It was the monthly HAWKs Ghost Archipelago day, so we had that game in the morning, but we also set up a 40mm Renaissance game in the evening.

Ross and I are planning to take 40mm Renaissance to Huzzah again next year, so we found time for a “Skype” game a couple of weeks ago (actually Google Hangouts these days) and considered the state of the rules.  After discussion, Ross decided that he liked the rules we had used at Huzzah in 2017 well enough, so that’s the version I dusted off for the this game.

I was also considering the question of whether I could run a game at Barrage for four players.  A few posts back, I showed a picture of my full inventory of figures.  With about 50 stands of troops, each player would get a dozen or so, and this game convinced me that wouldn’t be enough to keep things interesting.  Norman and I ran this one in under two hours with nearly everything I own (less some artillery) on the table, and it was still pretty fast.

Here is the table set up:

And from another angle:

 We put this on the Alpha Gaming Table (4×6 feet), and it worked fairly well.  We are setting up to move, so the house is full of boxes of stuff being packed, unpacked, sorted, thinned, etc.  That left the gaming table surrounded by some rather tight clearances, and we bumped it a few times.  Being light for transport also translates into being subject to bumps, but we didn’t hit it hard enough to bring down the trees, so that was acceptable so far.

I improvised the scenario; as we have used before with the rather generic forces available, we are in the fictional land of Arden, where the usurper Duke Frederick is attempting to seize power from his brother, the rightful Duke Senior.

I’m playing around with battle records…

 As can be seen from the diagram, Frederick’s forces entered along a road in two groups, a cavalry group leading followed by an infantry group, with the objective of taking the town.  (The town buildings, by the way, are some Fat Dragon Ravenfell fold-flat structures.)  Duke Senior’s forces were an advance guard holding the area with shot, swordsmen, and a cannon, with cavalry and infantry reinforcements expected.

Usurper’s horse advances up the road

Usurper’s gendarmes and foot

The usurper’s forces soon ran into the defenders, and their light horse was unable to make much progress. 

The Duke’s cannon was firing with good effect down the road, and Frederick order his light lancers to take it.  Unfortunately for them, the cannoneers had time to load a charge of scattershot, and broke their charge. (Melee roll went against the horse.)

Duke’s cannon holds against the horse

By this time, Duke Senior’s horse had arrived on the scene, and a cavalry fight raged up and down the road between the enclosure at the edge of town and the fields to the north.  

The Duke’s foot arrived from the north shortly after that, and crossbowmen  lined the river bank to shoot with good effect into the masses of the usurper’s advancing pikes.  
Recalling his objective, though, Frederick sent his swordsmen and some extra shot around to his left in a bid to take the town.  
The Duke’s gendarmes attempt to drive off the usurper’s forces
They were met by Duke Senior and his gendarmes.  Upon seeing the situation, the Duke decided that running down the foot and leaving Frederick with his lancers to their rear was not a good plan, and charged the usurper in a bid to clear the cavalry with the intent of turning on the foot afterward.
Unfortunately for the Duke, the cavalry fight did not go well.  Frederick had the advantage, and the Duke attempted to save the situation by joining the fray personally.  He was unhorsed, and, with their leader down, the remaining horse fled the field.  
With that, there was nothing but a handful of shot in the enclosure which could dispute possession of the town with the usurper’s foot, a task for which they had little enthusiasm.  They too withdrew, and night fell over the battlefield…
We got in about ten turns and the battle ran up and down the length of the table, so it felt pleasantly active for a game.  I noted, however, that I would need more pikes (a lot more pikes) before I could reasonable stage a multiplayer game out of my own resources.  This project originated as two Armati “introductory scale” armies, and I ended up with a relative surplus of cavalry stands when they were rebased onto the 60mm square bases.  Some painted figures have fallen into my hands from gifts and flea markets, but they have all been swords and shot, so my collection still has the look of a couple of advance guards.  
I’m still hoping to get some additional pikes painted up this fall and winter.

via The Sharp End of the Brush
from Tumblr

Author: hawksgameclub

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