FoGR:Age of the Sun King, at Godendag 2013
Later Louis XIV French vs Later Ottoman Turkish
The second game arrived, after the traditional carbohydrate-rich Usk lunch of Chips, Rice and anonymous curry-coloured chicken in anodyne sauce
This time it was a third time in a row draw against The Don, and a second competition in a row to face the Ottoman Turks (although this was a Later Turkish list). This Later Ottoman Turkish from this game, as well as all the other lists from the games at Godendag can be seen here in the FoGR Wiki.
Ottoman Turkish Battle Music
In an attempt to keep the potentially tricky armoured Ottoman Cavalry (and MF Janissaries) out of open and uneven terrain, we managed to win the initiative and select Hilly as our terrain choice - this led to a lot of Steep Hills appearing on the table, almost all of which fell on the Ottomans baseline, providing them with a number of places in which they could potentially form a neat defensive bastion.
Which they promptly did.
After correcting the white balance on the camera the French quickly set to work. This time they had avoided the mistake of deploying in a solid line and then deciding later that they wanted to advance - this battle was to be "Attack!" all the way as the French infantry sought to close quickly with the Ottomans and get stuck in before the superior Ottoman artillery train could do its worst.
The French were racing across the table at a rate of knots not seen in the fields of Wales since the 1572-84 moratorium on sheep worrying was lifted, and with the Ottomans having no fortifications there even seemed an opportunity for French Horse to careen into the Ottoman Janissaries and try to achieve the maximum number of cohesion test minuses as hopefully the Ottoman foote would soon be MF losing Big in the open to Impact Horse
With no sign of an Ottoman advance, the French had no need to protect their gunnes with supporting infantry, and so all they needed to do was leave a line of fire in front of the Grande Battery so it could get to work on the end of the Ottoman line.
And get to work the French gunnes did - almost immediately the Ottomanian masters of Artillery found their infantry 2 bases down - this unit occupied a pivotal position at the end of the Ottoman line, and with a load of cavalry and further foote stacked up behind them the French suddenly had to decide whether they wanted to continue pounding them with artillery in the hope of breaking them now, or perhaps shift the focus of the gunnes elsewhere so the French foote could deliver the telling casualties with close range musketry, meaning the Ottoman infantry might end up breaking through their supporting units when the French were already too close for the Ottomans to mop up the resulting mess.
The Ottomans gunnes meanwhile had been ineffectual - carrying on the tradition of the previous game - and the line of Janissaries was soon forced to step through the artillery park and take on the onrushing French themselves. As the 6-strong Ottoman units decanted their buckets of shooting dice and the French totted up their Impact POA's and Cohesion test modifiers both sides realised that this would be short and bloody either way
The narrowness of the Ottoman deployment had left some of the French infantry out on a limb on the French left and as the main body of Guards closed for combat, the three units of Line infantry were still struggling to catch up
Whats actually happening now?
The Ottomans have adopted a static deployment in a gap between terrain, and the French have rapidly closed to battle with the main Ottoman defensive line, leading with their three Guard infantry units. The Ottoman shooting has had limited effect so far, and the French will soon be into combat relatively coherently with their best foote, with Horse lurking dangerously ready to support and exploit the initial attacks.
The French also have a handful of units who are not yet in position to be committed, having been deployed anticipating a mildly wider Ottoman deployment - but they too will soon be joining the line of battle. The Ottomans are by now very concerned that their deep static defensive approach may in fact mean the French have less distance to go to engage with their reserves when - as seems likely - the Ottoman front line crumbles under the assault of the three best French units.
The French Guards had gotten into close range relatively unscathed - or more accurately, all the casualties had been incurred by the unit in the middle of the French line, which was probably less than idealÖ Unusually French Horse were also now operating with their Infantry, as with no flanks to speak of due to the dense terrain and mostly MF opponents they were a potentially decisive addition to the main French frontal attack
The two lines clashed, and instantly both sides were losing bases at a rapid pace - everyone was teetering on the brink of disaster, but the Ottomans were just about hanging on in thereÖ for now!
The first Janissary unit turned tail and fled under the onslaught of the red-coated French Swiss Guards - the Ottomans reserve of Sipahis might be called into combat far sooner than they had hopedÖ
A typical Amazon.co.uk Review of the Wenger Swiss Army Knife
On the whole, this is an excellent tool and has helped on many routine tasks around the house, including eavesdropping on GCHQ, performing a minor appendectomy on the dog, and serving as a temporary RSJ when a simple DIY project to remove what I thought was a non-structural wall went awry. It also paid for itself very quickly after I heated it up and inserted it briskly into the rear end of the 100:1 outsider for the 3:15 at Epsom. This was much more successful than my first attempt on the 2:30 when I had neglected to fold away the spiky bits first.
My only criticism is that the battery life is a little disappointing, which means that the night-vision feature only lasts a few hours. This caused no end of trouble the other evening when I was over the Alps in the built-in microlight waiting for permission to land at Geneva. Luckily the hand-cranked generator tool was sufficient to illuminate the (rather basic!) flight instrumentation, and permitted a largely successful landing using the (optional extra) ILS feature.
Overall, it is an excellent all-purpose tool. It is quite heavy and the anti-gravity device is a little temperamental, so it is always worth arming the auto-inflation safety feature if you are in the vicinity of deep water. I would have given it 5* but couldn't find the tool for removing boy scouts from horses' hooves. Incidentally you can quickly recoup the purchase price by using the time-travel feature to enhance your investment decisions.
Now the Ottoman centre was looking rather jaded, with one unit of Janissaries carrying the responsibility for the whole army, as they came under fierce attack from two units of French Guards and a unit of French Horse - but astonishingly this unit in the very eye of the whirlwind ("le yeux du grand vent cirulaire") were as yet unbowed and fully intactÖ
1683 Siege of Vienna
On the right hand flank the third French Guard unit was pushing forward against some somewhat bemused Ottoman Sipahis and infantry, with neither side quite sure how to turn a shooting match into a decisive combat..but the Ottomans have far more shooting capability than the French
Suddenly, disaster strikes for the French as both units of Guards fall short in their attempt to continue their advance into the Ottoman baggage, and both break at the same time, leaving a rather bemused and irritated French Horse unit carrying the responsibility of winning the game on their own.
The collapse of the Guards in the middle triggers a similar disaster on the right, as the third Guards unit takes withering fire from the Ottomans and is broken in a matter of a couple of bounds, and is then joined by the 2-strong elite Horse Guards who die from enemy shooting as well - and as they both rout this exposes the Franco-German musket-only infantry unit, who were hoping to play a purely supporting role but who now find themselves in the part of some vengeful Janissaries - and even worse, a free-roaming unit of Sipahi. The MF vs Mounted Cohesion POA and cohesion test modifier mountain is about to get another thorough workoutÖ
Whats actually happening now?
The Ottomans have suprised the French, and to a lesser extent themselves, but not only standing against the initial French attack, but handing the French Guards a series of very bloody noses. The French attack is breaking down rapidly, and if the French Guards do not hang on the second wave of Average French foot risks appearing to be part of a 2-part piecemeal attack rather than as the second hammer blow that finally breaks the Ottoman resolve.
The deep Ottoman deployment however means that where cracks do appear in their lines, the damage done by routing units is still severe - and they do not have the space to bring up reserves until the front line units break and run. The French meanwhile still have their high quality mounted units largely uncommitted, but time is running out for them to join the fray.
With the best part of the French army now unexpectedly crumbling, the French left wing is thrown into the fray against another exposed Janissary unit - but the French infantry lose too many bases as they close in, and yet again the surprisingly resilient Janissaries stand firm against the mounted onslaught. From a promising start the game is quickly now starting to look like a demoralising rout for the French forces with 4 out of 7 units of French infantry already down and out, and the Ottomans are already planning how they can add minarets and some artistic calligraphy to the Eiffel TowerÖ
The Franco-German shotte unit is already not looking likely to survive for longÖ 5 out of 7 ?
The French infantry is almost entirely eliminated, and the thoughts of the mounted French nobles turns to whether they can salvage any points at all for their army in what is now an imminent and almost inevitable total army collapse.
As the French horse battle on, the only 2 surviving French infantry units consider heir options very carefully, and make a tentative advance towards the remnants of the Ottomans - some careful sniping picks off one of the Janissary units who rout down past the steep hill, and equally pragmatic exchanges of fire are taking place against a unit of Ottoman infantry lurking upslope on the the steep hill.
In one presumably last flurry, the two units of French Horse both evaporate their infantry opponents at the same time, and crash into a rather surprised and already-though-he-had-won Sipahi unit who had gotten a little to close to the action. The French have now recorded a few more units and points, but still sit dangerously with 12 AP lost out of 13
The Sipahis are simply swept away by the ferocity of the French charge, and suddenly French Horse are bursting into the Ottoman end zone and spiking the ball - the French may well be losing, but they are making a damned good go of going down in styleÖ
And then, perhaps embarassed into it by the successes of their mounted colleagues, the routing Swiss somewhat shamefacedly rally to FRAGGED status from their rout, under the encouragement of one of the French generals. The French have bought maybe a little more time, with now just 11 AP down..
Yet more Janissaries collapse under the hammer-blows of the now rampant French mounted, and the resulting pursuit catches yet another too-close Sipahi unit unawares and they find themselves (perhaps not for the first time) with French nobility smacking into their rear ends. Astonishingly the Ottomans have now lost a huge number of units and are themselves creeping ever closer to an army break situation.
Whats actually happening now?
The French, having almost given up on the battle, suddenly realise that they are clawing their way back to a position of strength as their mounted nobility are crashing through the Ottoman infantry, who it seems have been fatally weakened in the act of repulsing the initial waves of French infantry. The Ottomans second line of fresh mounted troops are proving to be no more of a match for the French Horse than their already battle-worn infantry, and whilst the Ottomans are now a little concerned, the French army is still so close to defeat that victory is still very much within their grasp.
This explanation of what is going on in the picture above is well worth waiting for (It repeats every 20 seconds or so, so if you only see stars, just wait..)
...And guess what music plays when you press the "play" button?
The French are now sniffing a historic victory that will have been dragged from the very oesophagus of defeat ! The French Horse, led personally and remarkably by the Great Commander (and his rather embarassing white flag) carry on their train of destruction and, splitting like a formation dance troupe, pile into two further Ottoman Sipahi units as they seek the vital extra handful of AP's needed for total victory!
The Horse crash in, and two Ottoman units drop immediately to DISR, their morale shattered as much by the apparent impossibility of throwing away such a near-victorious position as by the ferocity of the Gallic charge
With the French Swiss Guards now rallied, the French are 3 APs from an army loss, and have a little more breathing space at last. The Dragoons take full advantage - rushing towards the shell-shocked Light Infantry they unleash a deadly volley of close quarters musketry.
Whats actually happening now?
The French now are closer to victory than the Ottomans, and having stared defeat in the face now feel morally compelled to take some risks in an effort to get over the finish line. The Ottomans are metally shattered, as they cannot believe how the French army has apparently escaped from imminent defeat - they continue to push units forward into harms way, still not either believing, or perhaps realising, that they too are now close to losing their army
The shattered Ottoman Light Foote's morale crumbles, and they turn and flee! The French are within 1 AP of a historic victory!
And, fittingly, the French Horse are the ones to deliver it - the mounted swordsmen smite powerfully at the Ottoman Janissaries, killing another base and dropping the Average unit down to 50%. The end has arrived - a stunning victory for the French ! The Result is a 17-8 Vistory for France!
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition, or read on for the post match summaries from the Generals involved, as well as another episode of legendary expert analysis from Hannibal
Post Match Summary from the Later Louis XIV French Commander
Well, that was rather more exciting than I actually might have wished for, wasn't it?
Whether we were unlucky at the beginnin is not really of much account now that the points have been recorded on the victory board, and we are once again racing up the table towards a position in which we can trouble the engravers to add the name of Louis XIV to the tropy by the end of Sunday evening, and we can also take pride in doing so with some degree of style and elan, both of whichh are almost as important as goood manners and the eating of pheasants stuffed in geese stuffed into swans in my plan for life
The Noble Horse once again came to the rescue of the plebian infantry in this battle, and I must thank my brothers and rich subjects for their help. I suppose those that have most to gain financially from the removal of the Ottoman threat to France would be expected to fight more strongly, and I will watch with care in case the abject crumbling of my foote presages a rapid uptake in Fez-wearing amongst the people in the next year as well
Onwards and upwards I say - everything is possible from hereon in !
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
Leave thy vain bibble-babble aside my friend, and admit that here is a victory that owes all to the fates, and naught to the skill of your men or maneuver!
For me the staggering thought is how you managed to so severely underestimate the quality and competence of the Ottoman forces in this battle? Just because they are all Medium Foote is not enough reason to ignore the fact they are all musketeers, and all armed with swords as well - which were they unbreeched Irish warriors you would no doubt have feared them mightily and been more cautious of such men instead of charging blithely towards them in a foolhardy fashion.
If I look back over the trail of unbroken incompetence that this game represents, what I see is a battle which you only won once you had givven up - which is hardly a great state of affairs under any iteration of the martial code, is it?
Imagine how many additional points you could have garnered if you had the simple wit to realise that your thre units of Horse could almost certainly win this battle unaided? And I am sure your infantry would have been also grateful not to have had their lives so carelessly wasted as well. Shame on you for claiming to be a King, and yet treating the lives of those who elevate you to that position with such wanton abandon - claiming this as a victory for you means naught but that you have as little honesty as honour !
Click here for the report of the next game in this competition
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