We decide on 500 points each. Martin chose a German Catholic army and I took the Swedes of Gustavus Adolphus. My army included Cuirassiers, "light cavalry" (not so light really - both Swedish and German), "inferior German cavalry", and Finnish Hakapelli. The cuirassiers and light cavalry charge at the trot and fire pistols just before contact, the inferior cavalry fire by ranks en Caracole (fire and retire by ranks) and try to use fire power rather than the sword in the attack, and contact is made at the walk. The Hakapelli attack at the full gallop... and they are nuts. My infantry was Pikes (one superior, one ordinary), shot, and a Warband of raw Irish/Scots with hand weapons only. Added in were two battalion guns, two ordinary field guns, and one superior field gun. Martin's troops were much the same - superior pistol-armed cavalry, some ordinary pistol-armed cavalry, pike and shot regiments, and six guns, including two siege guns. (Heavy, merciless SOB's)
|Martin's left flank division - pike'n'shot, dragoons, commanded shot, and pistol armed cavalry.|
|My centre - Swedish pike'n'shot, a battalion gun, and the general.|
The die shows how many "pips" the division has. Any sort of manoeuvre costs pips.
|New German Cavalry fighting for Sweden with some commanded shot.|
Rob commanded this wing which included Swedish and Hessian Cuirassiers
and German mercenary cavalry as well.
|Martin's centre division, commanded by Derrick.|
We all agreed that London Hydro wanted their poles back from the pikemen.
It didn't go well for us Lutheran types. Our command dice were very low. Through no fault of his own, Rob actually rolled three ones in one turn - triple snake-eyes! Simpson snake-eyes! (aka "a Homer") My Finns tried to turn the flank of the German left but there were only two stands of Hakapelli and it wasn't enough. The Dragoons met them and shot at them from the woods, killing one stand. Martin later said the dragoons were the proverbial "tar-baby" to mess up my advance. (If you don't know your Uncle Remus references, a tar baby is a distraction that fixes a person's attention and action on a worthless struggle. You end up being tied up and unable to back away, since it's made of tar.)
|Two views of the dragoons 'dry gulching' my Finns.|
On the Swedish left, Rob was quite aggressive and moved his cavalry quickly. They came to grips with Martin's superior cavalry and some pike'n'shot. In the meantime, Derrick gleefully bombarded my infantry and right flank cavalry with 4 heavy guns. I detached my Gaels to support the right, but they stalled due to lack of command pips. Both Rob and I rolled horribly for command pips and that got frustrating.
|Martin adjust his left flank division and dragoons.|
He borrowed the commanded shot from me, hence the
Blue Bonnets on the end.
|Two views of Derrick's infantry/artillery line. By the end of the game,|
he'd picked off 4 out of 5 of my cannon.
|That gap in my formation USED to be a battalion gun.|
Rob and Martin fought a very confusing cavalry-heavy melee on the Swedish left. Meanwhile the Swedish right's morale was shattered and they began to fall back. In the end, by Swedish infantry in the centre never reached the German infantry formations. We had started too far away and there was too much ground to cover while being fired upon and while moving at artillery speeds. (We didn't check how wide the table was to be in the rules, so we'd been advancing from a line about six inches from the table edge.)
|My Swedish "light cavalry" hit Martin's pikes and general.|
We were cut up.
|Rob's German Cavalry (Right) followed by his Curassiers meet|
Martin's superior cavalry.
|Cavalry engaged. Commanded shot firing at the French shot.|
The New German Cavalry fires their pistols at a distance.
|The melee continues and the bases thin out.|
|The Swedish and Swedish-employed Germans hack and slash|
at the German-employed Germans.
|From Martin's side, the New German cavalry attack the pikes|
with pistol and sword.
In the end, we had to concede the battle. We just didn't have the stuff. I still find DBR clunky but I did enjoy the game and I'll play it again. One good sign (a second was Martin's pledge to cut his pikes down to a more realistic size. "Can you get UHF on those things?" "Bucko, you can get Tierra del Fuego!"), he want to look over the old WRG Renaissance rules by George Gush. These are the rules I first played back when the Earth was young and I've still got them. It may be a while but we'll try them. Until then, I can deal with the odd things in DBR since I'll get to play Pike & Shot period
|The raw Gaels advance futilely to support the Swedish cavalry.|
|My Swedish Light Horse begins to fragment.|
|Derrick - in his Evil Empire shirt - prepares to bombard me...|
- Don't ever throw all ones for your command roles in DBR... never, never, never.
- Make sure your table is the right size. Very little is more frustrating than parading over a too-large field under heavy artillery fire.
- Don't separate small units from the main body. It cost one 'pip' to move all the stands in a division if they are touching. It costs two "pips" to move a unit that not in base-to-base contact.