Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Rearguard action at Utterly Edge

So there I was setting up the table for the latest T.W.A.T.S meeting yesterday when it cam to me. A question. Why are some wargamers so bloody boring? It must be in the genes- we all do it from time to time especially when riding our own pet hobby horse. Now I'd just had the latest WI drop on the mat and frankly it is tedious  full of "rules spotlights" and sycophantic twaddle about how wonderful the new Perry western desert stuff is. The whole mag was an exercise in product placement. Now you'd expect a bit of that but somehow this issue went over the top. There were a couple of interesting bit- making tents in 10mm and some nice stuff on the last weeks of the Reich - focusing on the Panzer Test facility and its extempore Panzer company. I would have liked more of this  However overall the tone was pretty childish again or rather patronising. It  sometimes seems to me as if the various writers would rather be thought "cool" than educated. Sorry to say this but this is the unforseen, pernicious influence of  SCI-FANT specifically GW and its fanboys and copycats. Even Henry Hyde's column- actually quite thoughtful -has pictures of bloody Airfix all over it.
 What is this bloody obsession with childhood
 This is all a long way from the "intellectual pursuit" that Featherstone aspired to in Advanced Wargames. And by God it is so repetitive and boring .

However back to the plot. I was in the chair for this month's game so I decided on a follow up to the Battle of Shyterly Moor -see earlier post-  I thought I'd use Pike and Shoote for the game this time as I'd had them a while- even read them- but not actually played.
 Time pressure meant I never made specific briefings but no worries I thought  the forces are all in their boxes and aside from detaching a couple of units frOm the Parliamentarian side to simulate losses from the previous engagement  all was set.
The field of battle before anyone turned up.

By Gum You could lose the will to live trying to find stuff in Pike and Shotte- what a faff- even though I 'd read them- and yes bits READ very well. Playing was so bloody slow with all that IGOUGO each player issuing orders 1 at a time by the end of move 1 we had terminal ennui.
 So I switched to  faster set.... WRG....  Well it was the only other set I had to hand.
The Royalists advance.

The actual enagagment was a follow from the Battle of Shyterly Moor  on so the Roundheads had troops deducted to simulate campaign losses- their Cuirassiers had a proper smacking last time out so declined to play this time as had 1 of their foot regiments. However they were reinforced by 2 more companies of militia shot and a couple of guns.
Royalist Horse and Dragoons bimbling about. 

 They had a distinct terrain advantage as I decided to base the scenario loosely upon the battle of Adwalton moor, so the Roundheads had a hedgeline to defend which, while gapped in parts was a significant obstacle to the somewhat more numerous Cavaliers.
Floating Jeff took the Cavaliers and Jim and Shaun the Roundheads
 Quire quickly after the tedious first turn the game became a right slogging match. Strange to say but the roundheads kept about half of their shot in reserve and the brunt was born by the 4 D class militia musketeer units. They stood to it manfully. Giving at least as good as they got and often better.
 The battle developed into a long firefight with only the superior Royalist Artillery giving them any kind of edge.
The Parliamentarians sit safe behind their hedges

 As the afternoon wore on  a unit of royalist horse finally put in a charge against some exposed roundhead shot and after a 2 move fight sent them packing and pursued- only to be hit by the Rounhead horse and sent off in turn. The better controlled roundheads did not pursue and this allowed Jim with the Roudhead right wing to break contact and beat an orderly retreat declaring that he had done enough. The rest of the Rounheads followed suit albeit in a somewhat more disorderly manner abandoning guns and baggage.
The Royalist horse finally make a move. 

 The Royalist - having had a stinging slap in the face contented themselves with collecting more abandoned Roudhead guns and more importantly enough powder for another battle.
 The Roundheads fell back on their fortified base at the town of Utterly.
 But nest time we'll use Forlorn Hope ....

No comments:

Post a Comment