For some time I have felt under the eye of Russ who painted quite a few landsknechts for me a year ago. About that time Russ managed to paint up an entire Swiss army of the late 14th century/early 15th century on a wet afternoon whilst watching the east enders omnibus. Being a mere painting mortal it has taken me somewhat longer to catch up.
"What news from Birkenhead?"
"Build me an army worthy of Russ!"
Well, the above is a picture of my first 4 units of landsknechts. Not quite a horde yet but I am looking forward to painting the Gens D'Armes that Mark dropped off the other night and getting some more Burgundian v Swiss battles fought whilst building my French Army for the Italian Wars.
"I'm sorry but that wasn't worth shaving my eyebrows for!"
So after last weeks battle a revue of the rules to make sure we were doing it right
Poleaxed 2 rule revue
Roll for initiative
battle commanders (BC) and contingent commanders (CC) can do one of the following
2-listen to message, 3-respond to order (dicing for interpretation) or 4-fight
The G gives
orders to his BC; the BC gives orders to his CC.
It takes 1
turn for a messenger to carry new order
If the G is
touching the BC contingent then the order is instant, if BC is touching CC the
order is instant.
can change his own order instantly and act accordingly.
So if G sent an order to a distant BC
(turn1) the BC listens to the order (turn2) the BC responds to the order
The BC sends new order to a CC (turn4)
the CC responds to the order (turn4 if in contact).
If G is in contact with BC, G sends
order to BC (turn1) BC responds to order (turn1) The BC sends new order to a CC
(turn2) the CC responds to the order (turn2 if in contact).
ranks to front or front ranks to rear
ranks ending in original position (only happens when lining defences or terrain
contingent in a battle does this, then so does all.
4-Move 1 rank
of HMW figures to side of contingent (only in pike/spear block).
Any of the above stops movement and
shooting.None of the above can be done whilst fighting
with the exception ofPike of 4+ pike
ranks who can form square but not if disordered, pushed back, perusing, broken
nominates contingents who will charge (control tests and flinching may override
orders) then payer B.
All melee and
missile troops who didn’t declare a charge must stand against a charge and
cannot move in the movement phase.
and artillery must evade in the movement phase if they will be contacted by
must move full dice distance
may halt for one turn to allow others to catch up (orders permitting)
contingents must stop at the attack distance (40 for infantry, 60 for cavalry)
chargers continue the rest of their movement after the shooting phase.
done by front corner only (front corner doesn’t move as the contingent wheels)
your own stakes doesn’t cause disarray.
troops that were shot at last turn must take a control test if they wish to
move and not shoot. Does not apply if shot at by skirmishers at more than short
Pike units in
square cannot move
Retire is at
is allowed from steep hills and battlements
priority is 1-unit to the front, 2- unit in front of adjacent contingent, 3-Ark
Long bow not
at short range targets majority type, if equal at lesser type.
shooting targets front rank.
tactical factors, if 0 or – then left hand column. If + then roll D10 if score
is equal to or less than tactical result then right hand column if not left
If 2+ dp are
scored roll on commander risk test D10 and if failed roll 2d6 on a 2 roll d6 on
that declared charge now move into contact. If they cannot make contact they hold
at the attack distance and are disordered.
/spear units the second rank fights as well as supporting (use the 12 column)
If a unit has
been hit on the flank then it is assumed to turn to fight (it still takes a
If engaged to
the front and flank the front rank fights forward (no supports) and the other
ranks fight the flank using the majority weapons and armour (no supports).
When pike are
in square they have 1 supporting rank all around.
calculations both side roll a D10, higher inflicts 1 more casualty.
difference, infantry 10 paces, cavalry 20 paces If unit is pushed back and not
routed then attackers follow up in position.
on flank with other flank against friend do not move but add +3 push back next
Cavalry V infantry. If cavalry win, they hack their way
into the contingent and fight the back ranks not the first 2 ranks next turn
(both are disarrayed). If they lose they will retire for 1 move.
infantry draw or win the next bound the cavalry will break out the rear and
move I move away. If the contingent is pike it will break out a side not
attacked. Cavalry will not fight another round this turn but will stop at
If more than 1DP taken then roll D10 if
under DP’s taken roll D6 on risk table
formations cannot separate and must try to stay in contact. They cannot follow
up after melee if it would mean losing contact.
are already disarrayed rout if they fail a flinch test.
contingent routs in melee the attacker fights an immediate unopposed second
melee counting routers disarrayed and pushed back, (test CC casualty).
then move away at rout speed, the attackers take a control test to see if they pursue.
directly away taking the quickest route around friends, if not interpenetration
will take place disarraying unit, terrain penalties are ignored for routers but
Any unit that
has failed a control test must pursue their enemy.
take the shortest route and will avoid other troops unless they declare a
charge on the pursuers.
continues until a successful rally in the rally phase.
have not suffered more than 4dp per rank and have their CC may attempt to rally
using highest troop type.
inflicted by shooting whilst routing or being pursued prevents rallying.
rally from disarray caused by shooting if they are not in melee, pursuing or
with 4+Dp per rank and or lost commander may rally but will remain disarrayed,
adopt stand orders, can shoot and will fight if attacked.
with 5+Dp per rank may rally but will remain disarrayed will withdraw, cannot shoot and will fight if attacked. If commander
gone it will rout.
Roll on the
highest quality troops.
fall back facing the enemy for 2 moves.
dense terrain may not be seen until within 40paces
terrain may not be seen until within 80paces
causes disarray to both units.
1 rank of
cavalry is noted as 2 ranks on roster
2 rank of
cavalry is noted as 3 ranks on roster
are taken throughout the turn as and when circumstances arrive
fail a flinch test are disarrayed, disarrayed troops failing flinch test rout.
advancing test on front rank
standing test on facing attack or majority facing attack.
cover test on highest.
back or broken into test on lowest type
may operate 100pace away from their parent battle
They may pass
thru friends without disarray.
only ever inflict 0 or 1 Dp use composite xbow type
ark of fire is 45 degrees
Do not fight,
will always give way to melee/missile troops, if charged they will evade
Got to say how much fun this is proving. Last week (being more than half asleep) was a bit of a blur but the strategic planning (moving ships, subs and planes) around the map hunting for Force Z while tactically fighting out the invasion to take the airstrip is a great balance.
It is no surprise now that we blasted the pill boxes covering our landing spot (but clearly failed to think that the British would have sown mines on the beach). A combination of mines and MG's would have probably wiped out our first wave before it got over the wire and would probably severely hampered the second one as well. However, getting the engineers in on the first wave would have made a big difference (blame it on sleep-deprivation).
Approaching the battle last night, we were taken aback by the damage done by the mines and also the sheer numbers of troops the British had available. I thought our first wave would get swept away but Japanese in the jungle (even if there is only a handful of them) are more than capable of holding their own. A handful of stands managed to hold on, then take the upper hand and eventually rout their opposition (amazing considering how few actually got off the beach).
With a route now cleared for subsequent waves, the pressure now is to get as many troops on to the beach before any more nasty surprises turn up. We had a chat at end of play to work out our tactical and strategic moves which we will put into play next week.
The Japanese Air Force had a mixed day - turning up with wave after wave of torpedo bombers didn't help - yet the Betty's and Zero's managed to knock out nearly all the fighters available to the British. The AA cover over the cruisers also kept the Hudsons at bay. It will be Sod's Law that when Force Z appears we'll roll for fighters or nothing rather than the torpedo bombers we'll then need.
The airfield will be a tough nut to crack - however night and the Banzai Bollocks will make it seem less daunting!
So thumbs up so far for an excellent campaign - with more twists and turns to follow I'm sure.