Friday, August 25, 2017

To The Rescue, a Pikeman's Lament AAR

     Having lost my Leader, captured by oldSarge's Duelist in the last battle, I was resolved to try to rescue him from captivity. I laid out the terrain with a small farm in the center and offered oldSarge his choice of sides. From there we played out rescue mission in the rule book; half of oldSarge's troops were in the and around the buildings guarding the prisoner while the rest of his force was away foraging. With great caution and stealth my troops had crept close during the night. As dawn broke my troops charged forward with a loud "huzzah!"........or something to that effect.

the situation at the beginning of the battle
the French troops are arriving on the near edge, the Dutch reinforcements will appear on the far (top) edge with the two building in the center already occupied by some Dutch foot

first turn, I fail my Command roll and the Commanded Shot 
on the far right take off at top speed toward the enemy

oldSarge failed his first Command roll so it was back to me,
this time I managed to gain control of the first unit of Commanded Shot and order them into the woods, the second unit promptly failed its Command roll and took off toward the enemy
 (if only I could find such aggression in the rest of my force)

oldSarge passed his Command with flying colors but the result of this spectacular roll was for a unit to regain its First Salvo, sadly no one had fired yet 

in the following turns I got the rest of my force onto the table and in position to engage the enemy
my first shots from the Forlorn Hope took effect on oldSarge's unit of Shot

this looked pretty good at this point, oldSarge was having difficulty getting his force into position due to some unlucky Command rolls while I had a couple of fortunate turns of movement

on the left I had cleared the tree line and had a two to one advantage in cavalry

the situation in oldSarge's center, his Trotters moving up in the center, the treeline held by a unit of Shot, the larger cottage (with my Leader held captive therein) was held by a body of Forlorn Hope while the smaller cottage was occupied by Commanded Shot, on the right you can see another unit of Shot moving into the woods 

in the center I began an unequal fight with the Dutch troops ensconced in the cottages,
unequal due largely by the trouble I was having in passing a 7+ Command test to shoot!

on the right my overenthusiastic Commanded Shot ventured too close to the village
 and were taken to task by the hidden enemy Forlorn Shot 

on the left my Gallopers boldly charged the enemy Trotters, 
forcing them back

the follow-up combat cost both of us a couple more casualties 

with the extreme right edge looking secure I turned the second unit of Gallopers
 toward the center to counter the other Dutch horse 

 my Forlorn Hope continued to pick away at the Dutch Shot in the treeline but my Shot were beginning to suffer from the fire of the Dutch troops in the cottages

another failed Command roll by oldSarge passed the turn back to me;
the concentrated fire of my Shot were beginning to have an impact on the
 Commanded Shot hiding in the smaller cottage and another hit by my Forlorn Hope caused the Dutch Shot in the tree line to test morale and flee the field

at this point I was beginning to feel pretty confident

having exhausted my supply of enemy units on the left-center I began to move up my Forlorn Hope, they were to be the strike team that would save my Leader with fire support from my Shot units

on the far left my Aggressive Gallopers showed the problem with that trait, 
the need to charge when within range caused me to charge the Dutch Trotters,
Trotters defend as well as Gallopers attack and I'm not good with dice,
my troops died heroically

the advantages of firing from the secure environs of a building as opposed to standing in the open were becoming painfully clear when the first Shot unit rolled a four on their morale test

and departed the field of battle with little further ado

for the moment my left was safe, if not secured

 on the right the Dutch Forlorn Hope had driven in my picket of Commanded Shot with little effort
but things were in control for the time being

in the center I was no closer to getting to my imprisoned Leader,
fire from the Dutch in the larger cottage caused another unit of Shot to falter and fall back

and the last unit of Dutch Shot got into the fight 
opening up on the Commanded Shot in the woods 

at long last my unit of Shot on the right passed a Command order 
and opened fire on the Dutch in the larger cottage

 then it was the turn of the middle Shot to decline to fire,
I confess that this was beginning to drive me to distraction

during the next turn oldSarge tried sneaking some Trotters through the tree line,
he missed my unit of Forlorn Hope who were patiently waiting for a chance to rush the bigger cottage, out of boredom more than anything else they fired at the Trotters causing them to fall back

the endless misfortunes of my overenthusiastic Commander Shot continued,
I had allowed them to wander too close to the Dutch Forlorn Hope on the far right, 
they paid the price for my foolishness  

the right hand Shot continued to fire upon the Dutch in the cottage

while the unit in the center declined to fire, passing the turn back to oldSarge

oldSarge used his turn to swap the battered Forlorn Hope out for  fresh Shot unit in the big cottage then moved his Trotters to the far left of the battlefield, in my turn I fired at them to no effect

another failed shot order left my Commanded Shot in an unhappy situation,
close enough to shoot and be shot at, but failing to shoot,
oldSarge's Forlorn Hope took advantage of this situation to lash my troops with fire

they expressed concern over my generalship
by failing their Morale check and left the filed of battle

 another failed Fire order passed the turn back to oldSarge , he took advantage of this by hammering my Shot with concentrated fire from the cottage and the Forlorn Hope

in one turn my right hand Shot went from fresh to battered and retiring
(mostly thanks to my horrid die-rolling) 

things had taken a sudden and violent turn to the worse for my troops
on the right, everyone was retiring!

another turn spent rallying away Waver markers left my troops steady and a failed Shoot order on oldSarge's part left me in position to return to shooting at the troops in the large cottage,
some casualties were inflicted

the strike team had become tired of waiting and resolved to hit the door, 
but only by the slimmest of margins

they charged across the street and through the door

the ferocity of their attack threw the unit of Shot holding the
cottage (and my Leader) into an uproar and put them to flight

with the enemy troops sent packing the Forlorn Hope freed our 
Leader from his bindings and prepared to escape

meanwhile the Shot continued a long-range (and largely ineffective) 
exchange of fire with the opposing Forlorn Hope

a quick dash across the street and the Strike Team were on their way to safety

while all of that was going oldSarge had carefully maneuvered his Trotters into 
a position where my Aggressive Gallopers were forced to charge him 

this went poorly for me, with my Gallopers bouncing away and becoming Wavering

a general look at things, 
my right is retiring, my left is gone and the center in a shambles,
 in other words I am faring much better than usual!

seeing the Strike Team exit the cottage with our Beloved Leader
 the center Shot unit drew upon their last reserves of resolve and rolled a magnificent eleven to pass their Morale test and hold the center firm for one more turn

alas, the next turn they crumbled under the combined fire of two enemy units 
after suffering over 55% casualties

the turn having passed to oldSarge he advanced his trotters and performed a caracole 
against my already Wavering Gallopers

this ended very badly for my brave lads

fire from the Dutch Forlorn Hope units first drove back my last remaining unit of Shot ...

.....then shattered it completely

just one move from freedom the battle ended with my Leader still on the table

     OldSarge was gracious enough to allow that my Leader was able to escape and I hope to be in a position to return the favor in the near future. PL had once again turned out a game that kept things on the razor's edge right down to the last turn. There were periods of frustration for both myself and oldSarge as the dice frustrated our plans and cut short our turns, but the luck cut both ways and evens out as play continues. We are sure to return to this little campaign soon.


  1. Great looking game and a lovely see saw run of events, seemed to keep both sides in the game right to the end.
    Best Iain

  2. Great looking game and a lovely see saw run of events, seemed to keep both sides in the game right to the end.
    Best Iain

  3. Yes the battle was another nail bitter to the end. My the skin of my teeth I grab a victory. But the honor points I received give my commander another trait. He going to be tough in battle. Looking forward to next time...

  4. Great battle! It's an enjoyable games system, isn't it?

  5. Particularly so when I think about how slow and dreary the other rules for this period are. These bang along at a cracking pace.

  6. Really enjoyed this one too. Nice effort to paint the scene and narrate a well rounded battle report. I enjoyed the figures and the use of the rules for the game - I had not thought about Pikeman's Lament for my collections, but I saw this and it makes great sense for a way to use the Warlord WSS starter box! Nice job, and I do hope to hear more about the campaign as it unfolds. Great stuff.