Monday, August 20, 2012

Steenkerque 1692 French Vs. the Grand Alliance

Steenkerque 1692 French Vs. the Grand Alliance
The Grand Alliance has stolen a March on the French.  The Dutch, Danes and British have moved through what the French had assumed to be impassable terrain and emerged at the rear of the French camp after a tiring early morning March.  The French rear area troops have spent the morning staring across the fields at the Allies and constructing hasty works whilst being shelled at a distance.  Orders have gone out to get more troops to counter this bold stroke.  Its noon and the action (under the able direction of game master Greg Symko using Carnage and Glory computer moderated rules) is about to begin.  Victory conditions involve holding the camp at the end of the game and inflicting casualties upon the enemy.  The camp and hasty works can be seen below.
The French center deployed above and the French right flank deployed to the right - two regiments each of pike and shot.
The French left flank with dismounted dragoons in the woods to the rear of the hasty works.

Here come the Grand Alliance.  Their right flank about to begin their advance.The troops are all shot. (no pike) 
Two units of pike and shot along with a single stand of Grenadiers.  The later were to prove particularly troublesome to the French. 
Another (Dutch) two units of pike and shot and a Grenadier unit.  The Grand Alliance had more commanders and this proved to be a great advantage. (I'm already making excuses).
The Alliance Commander and one of his two batteries.  In this day and age one sets their batteries and leaves them alone.  How I wish I remembered my own advice - as we shall see.
More of Greg Symko's beautifully painted troops on review prior to the openning act of our drama.

The Grand Alliance moves forward to engage the French. Their cannon lob shots at the French behind their works.  The two small French artillery pieces are deployed to the left of the hasty works.  The camp (objective) can be see in the center rear.  I was commanding the left flank of the French, Rich took the right (anything to the right of the camp - we split the center troops with me taking half and Rich half.)

Rich's troops watch while the Grand Alliance troops deliberately move forward at a slow pace, pinning him in position.  Troops tire in this game and the more you have them do, the more exhaustion they suffer.  Sitting in place and waiting for your enemy to tire themselves out through manuvere is a consideration. 

The action is taking place on the French left flank.  I have moved one of the center units to support the dragoons.  I keep my left-most dragoon unit stationary and move my other a short distance forward to blast the approaching Allied hordes.  They move up to the hasty works but not over. I blast the Allies right most unit, a Grenadier stand with my dragoons and cause heavy casualties.  Not knowing the size of the unit (I am assuming its a small stand so its a small unit), I decide to charge it during my next turn, if the dragoons are willing and the computer gods allow. My artillery have also punished the advancing blue flagged pike and shot unit which is lagging behind. Rich has sent the second black flagged French infantry (pike and shot) unit to bolster the defense of the camp.  The other French units blast over the works at the Allies with minimal result. 

The action continues on the French left flank.  The white cotton ball by the rear blue flagged Allied unit means it cannot advance without an officer attached. The Allies can deploy two units against the French unit closets to the artillery.  I pivoted the artillery to bet a better shot at the Allied unit at the works and was unable to fire. My dragoons are about to evaporate as is the balance of my front line.  My troops are poor grade units, good for protecting the camp and forming the armies rear supports and not much else as I am learning. 

The dreaded red markers show my gray coated two units holding the hasty works have decided to make a hasty advance to the rear. I only have my commander in chief to rally so if multiple units bolt for the rear I must choose which one to attempt to reform. 
Rich assumes command of our reinforcements.  The troops facing Mike Payne's slowly advancing command have routed out of sympathy to their colleagues in gray and have abandoned their works.  Seeing their colleagues on the flank flowing to the rear they decided it was a good idea and joined them.

The Grand Alliance continues their relentless advance towards the French camp.  The French dragoons have left the field, one artillery piece is kaput and the second is about to join it.  The supporting French pike and shot unit is all that stand between the Grand Alliance and looting the camp!  French reinforcements begin to appear in the distance (love those flags courtesy of Greg and the Flag Dude). 

Another picture showing the plight of the French.  Note the three Allied commanders in the shot and those troublesome grenadiers. 
A picture from the Alliance side of the table shows Scott and Mark closing in on the camp while I continue to look worried despite wearing a splendid Hawaiian shirt.
Greg did a great job designing the scenario.  The French must slow the Grand Alliance with poor quality toops and get their reinforcements on in order to turn the tide.  Here come the reinforcements. Additional Grand Alliance troops can be seen in the distance.
Despite only having our commander in chief to rally our rearward looking troops, his liberal use of cognac and dashing countenance seem to have rallied our lads and they prepare to defend the camp barricades.  It also doesn't hurt that the victorious Allies are just as tired as we are and seem hesitant to assault yet another prepared position.

I love what Greg did with his labels.  He has the unit number, the troop name and number of troops shown on the label plus the unit number is also visible at the unit's front.  Such beautiful troops. 
Alliance reinforcements advance toward the camp and the raging battle. Will the French with a shorter distance to traverse be able to throw the Alliance members out of the camp?  Will the Alliance reinforcements get to the scene in time to prevent this?

Scott Monteith is smiling, surely a bad sign for the Sun King's troops.  In fact their commanders are being stood against the back door in order to block out the light.  Yes, they seem particularly good at this, but Scott is smiling for other reasons.
Perhaps its the proximity of his reinforcements as they begin to crest the hasty works and move to support his tired troops.  Perhaps its the arrival of his mounted arm. 

we have removed the tents from the camp (it is the brown area at the front edge of the picture).  Three French units hold the area.  The gray coated French have been holding on forever, the last few turns without ammunition, keeping out the Allied scum by push of pike. My horse decide they don't want to charge and my plans for a counteroffensive flag as well. Merde!

Rich is able to wrest some small sense of victory by sending Mike's left most troops back after a crushing volley and combined arms counterattack. 
Our able game master and host extraordinare, Dr. Greg Symko.  Thanks for a great C&G II experience and a balanced well designed scenario. 
Final dispositions. The gray coats have finally abandoned the encampment.  Reinforcements (the Wild Geese) hold the other side of the encampment - no Allies have crossed into it ('though they can rightfully claim it is a contested victory objective).  Mark's allied horse have caused problems on the French right (note the red markers festooning our units).  The game is called as we have slipped below army morale.  Victory to the Grand Alliance!  Well played gentlemen (Mike, Mark and Scott).  I feel fortunate to have had Rich anchoring the team - good game all around.

1 comment:

  1. Love the way it all looks, thanks for sharing