Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New Meets Old, A first test of Pikemen's Lament

     The only person that could make it for the game on the 19th was my rules-junkie buddy Joe. Knowing this I decided that we would give Pikeman's Lament a try. Everybody else in my gaming group has pretty well made up their mind about the pike and shot era (and in a very negative way, I might add).
      These rules are derivative of the Lion Rampant system but have enough differentiation to feel rather specific to the period. In reading the rules one of the scenarios gave me the idea for our game; a redoubt has been constructed in front of the main gate of the fortress and last night the big guns have been moved into position, these guns must be destroyed before they can blow in the the gate and allow the besieging army access to the fortress. To this end a desperate force of volunteers has been assembled and will attack at first light. They must place an unwavering unit on each gun for a full turn to spike the barrels and burn the carriages, anything else is failure.

the Gallopers burst forth from the main gate and headed hell-bent toward the guns

the Commanded Shot and artillerymen were taken completely aback by this development

the next turn Joe failed his orders tests and the Gallopers stood still,
my troops in the redoubt also failed to get a shot off to warn the others

the next turn things got back to normal, the Gallopers continued their headlong attack
  as the support troops filed out of the gate and began to form up

my Commanded shot opened fire, emptying some saddles
 all the was needed was a blast of grapeshot from the gunners 
just an eight or higher and everything would be.....

....so instead of being blown to perdition
 the Gallopers stormed over the rampart and slew the gunners

in my turn I managed to get two units of reserves activated, 
of course these arrived at the extreme opposite ends of the battlefield

in Joe's turn he rolled a twelve for his orders test with his second unit of Gallopers, 
the follow-up test allowed this unit to move twice, 
suddenly my reserves were fighting to remain on the table

the gunners finally had a group of targets worthy of their attention,
but the presence of the enemy in the redoubt distracted them and they once more failed to deliver,
eight or higher, guys, eight or higher!

they paid for their hesitation as the enemy did not fail to open fire

meanwhile, on my left, we were about to see whose theories worked best, 
Gallopers (in white) vs Trotters (in armor)

a general overview of developments,
my reinforcements streaming in from the corners
while the assault force forms up outside the main gate

the same view from the opposite end of the table

having failed to perform their Caracole maneuver the Trotters had to meet the charge of the Gallopers flat-footed, it was a foredoomed encounter

but, losing a fight is one thing, running away is another,
the Trotters passed all of their morale tests and battled on against the odds 

spurning their defeated enemy, the Gallopers turned and attacked a fresh enemy unit
catching the end of the Fusileers lines

as could be expected, this went poorly for the Fusileers

they recoiled, and the Gallopers followed up

the sides exchanged blows sending the Fusileers into another morale test 
and eventually a headlong flight from the battlefield

in the center my fire had caused one of the forlorn hope units to waver and fall back ,
the rest ground slowly forward

the irrepressible Gallopers found themselves a fresh target 
and slammed into the flank of a unit from the Greys

a short, bloody melee and the graycoats were in full retreat

despite being forced back the graycoats shrugged off the situation 
and killed the last of the  hyperactive Gallopers

and the forlorn hope got ever closer

having failed to fire upon the approaching Garden til Fods the Commanded Shot now found themselves having to defend the redoubt ....................
.....and they promptly managed to hit one enemy soldier......

as you might have guessed, the storming party hit rather harder

awakened to action at long last the Commanded shot on the other flank opened fire

as did the cannon (finally!)

further fire from the Trotters unit on the right finished off 
the Forlorn Hope unit and gave a moments respite

the situation in the center,
 the combined fire of three units has finally wiped out a assault unit 
this did them little good as the two remaining Forlorn Hope units attacked relentlessly, 
slaughtering the gunners and  driving away the last unit of Commanded Shot 
they took sole possession of the redoubt

with no opponents in the redoubt, and me failing order test after order test 
the Garden til Fods set fire to the guns and spiked the barrels

the blues had advanced to support the Forlorn Hope, 
the redoubt having been captured they chose to fire at my remaining Trotters
(just off-screen to the lower left)

they managed to kill one but the other advanced undaunted to open fire upon them 

on my far right the reds and the other unit of blues
 had become engaged in a largely ineffective long-range firefight

having captured the redoubt, killed the gunners, destroyed the guns the Garden til Fods decided that they had done their part for the day and started back to the gate, the only thing standing in their way was a small unit of cavalry, they had never read their Military Manuals and didn't know that Foot can't attack Horse so they went ahead and did it (quite successfully, I might add)

having lost the fight all that I could do now was to make the price too high for the fortress commander, I dogged the retiring enemy troops firing steadily at them as they headed home

poor dice-rolling and long-range shooting made this effort ineffective

Joe drew his troops back toward the gate in good order 
covering the Forlorn Hope with his flanking units

until, at last, they filed back into their fortress

     All in all the game played well, giving an appropriate feel and decisive results. Mind you this is a skirmish game and is probably unsuited for grand battles like Naseby but most of this period is loaded with small fights at bridges and villages along the point of contact between armies.


  1. Never mind the game (Which looks fun)- absolutely loving that fortress! Is it a little later than ECW?

  2. Looked like a good game. I'm still out of commission. The Spinal Rehab Doc is getting me fixed... Oh my insurance doesn't cover all of it. Now my knee is acting up. The bone chip moved to where it hurts. The Fortress looks great.

  3. The fortress is modeled on the Castillo de San Marcos which was started in 1672 and gradually completed in 1695, so yes it is of a later era. To my knowledge most ECW forts were earthworks rather than stone-built, England's enemies traditionally came from overseas instead of Hampshire ;)

    1. My bad- assumed the minis were ECW- I can see the tricorns now! Super fort, want one. :-)

    2. I can build you one......I have it figured out now

  4. Old Sarge, take care my friend, there aren't many of us dinosaurs left! The fort would not have been possible if you hadn't fixed Proxie!

  5. No problem buddy. I glad I was able to help out.

  6. Forlorn Hope indeed! You gave Joe cavalry. You should have known better!
    I have finished about 12 more 28mm British lights and 16 French lights to go with my French line infantry and 95th Rifles. Have you tried SHARP's PRACTICE 2?

    Looked like 7YW to me. Didn't see any Pike so ECW would be earlier. This is time of French and Indian War in NA.
    Also finished Stalingrad 15mm and 15-20mm city buildings.Also finished some more WW2 Soviet Cavalry for Joe.

  7. A nice and bloody looking game!