Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Tuesday Night Game - Beneath Lilly Banners

 After work yesterday, I headed over to Auckland's North Shore to our mate Nicks for another game of Beneath the Lilly Banners. This time, we played version 3 of the rules, which have substituted D6 with extra factors for D6 D8 D10 and D12 to represent different troop grades, but apart from that, the rules were pretty much the same as our last game. 

Nick had set up a beautiful table based on a scenario from one of the Helion books by Barry Hilton - Every Bullet has a Billet I believe. The scenario notes and forces are in a couple of the images below. 

My own pictures plus some sent to me later by Nick come out to around 50 - so I hope you dont get bored looking - I have added a view counter device, so I will know if you have only been on my blog for 30 seconds AND had time to leave a comment...... thats just a joke by the way, although I am sure this is something that technically, I would be able to do!





The initial layout, with my Dutch/Danish forces in the foreground. I had more infantry and Nick more cavalry, which probably suited both our temperaments 


Squadrons of Nicks beautifully painted French cavalry - they were all classified as "blade" whilst my cavalry were all "bullet"


Lines of advancing French infantry


Two of my three small 12 man all musket infantry units - these two are both Swiss in Dutch service using Front Rank figures


My dispositions seemed somewhat haphazard but were as per the scenario - so my centre saw four squadrons of cavalry next to my infantry, with a light gun slightly advanced


My centre from behind - two standard infantry battalions in front with one in the second line


The first clash came almost immediately - I had a single cavalry unit of two squadrons on my right flank, facing off against around three times their number of cavalry PLUS some mounted dragoons - so as soon as I had the opportunity, I charged, with the officer attached to try and help them out!


Meanwhile on my left flank, the ponderous 17th century foot drill left one of my infantry units horribly exposed to Nicks cavalry....but a fortunate (for me) roll of 1 when testing to charge resulted in the four squadrons retiring a full move instead!


In the centre, I tried to open up the line around the firing artillery piece - Nick advanced a unit of dismounted dragoons (top right by the orchard) who commenced a galling fire on the unit in white coats


The second line infantry unit manoeuvred to refuse my right flank to Nicks cavalry, whilst my solitary unit of dragoons beat a hasty retreat (the cavalry charge I initiated resulted in my one unit being destroyed by three of Nicks!)


My C in C hastily reassessing his plans!


The all musket Swiss unit who luckily escaped the flank charge now facing the cavalry who are a long way off in the distance


Two of my four cavalry units commenced the game on the base line behind my main infantry position - having rolled quite badly for "activation" I was mainly only getting 25% or 50% of my units to do something each turn, so it took some time to get them on their way to support my left flank. In retrospect, they should have gone t'other way.....


Nick slowly advanced his infantry but was definitely concentrating most of his aggressive activity through his cavalry....


The units who failed to charge the Swiss returned to the fray...


My somewhat "messy" deployment in the centre - Monty would not have been at all happy....


View from behind Nicks right flank - my all musket infantry were slowly (2" per turn) making their way through the woods immediately in front of his cavalry


Next turn - Nick charged, I didnt - BUGGER. My cavalry was caught halted by charging blade cavalry - I didnt expect a happy outcome....


However, thanks to the vagaries of war (and the dice Gods!) after about three rounds of combat, my front unit had been destroyed but Nicks cavalry are in full retreat!


I impetuously followed up (against my better judgement really) and in the following cavalry combat, exactly the same thing happened to me as had just happened to Nick - lesson - cavalry are not as omnipotently powerful as they seem!


I had to take another gratuitous pic of Nicks cavalry routing - the larger unit left the table completely, the single base managed to rally


Nick moved another two squadrons forward to continue the assault - my low quality musket-only infantry can be seen almost on the edge of the adjacent woods


A view form the far more open French left flank, as Nick expands his cavalry and dragoons ready for an assault


The view from my left flank towards Nicks advancing units


The Maison du Roi elite cavalry charge a much depleted unit that had lost 67% of its strength to artillery and musket fire. Surprisingly, my infantry held the cavalry but when  the bloody dismounted dragoons behind joined in the melee as a support in the second round, they collapsed


The final melee of the game


Nicks cavalry break through onto the flank of the light gun, which is unable to fight back at all in melee


View of the centre as we called the game a minor French victory


On my left flank, my cavalry were just getting into position for a charge.


The final view I took from Nicks left flank of his cavalry ready to pounce.

I had quite a lot of luck in this game, with Nick throwing some unfortunate dice at critical times and I think the result was better than I had any right to expect! My initial dispositions made it quite hard to deploy and get anything like the full benefit of my advantage in infantry fire power, and I was just lucky Nicks cavalry failed at two or three crucial points - the flank charge on the Swiss and losing the melee in the centre being the two major instances. I enjoyed the game and I do like the scale - 12 -14 units per side is a nice number and means you dont get tied up in a traffic jam of units trying to move around the battlefield. Indeed, I have enjoyed getting my WSS troops on the table so much, I have committed to buying a few pike men to paint up and add to each unit, as they should be for the slightly earlier period we are playing. I am also going to get six battalions of Great Northern War Swedes, to take on Nicks fantastically painted Russians.

Following are some pics Nick took on the night - they are in order of the game as described above I think - I am not going to add any further description. Off to Julian's tomorrow after work for Sharp Practice number three, so its a pretty good week of gaming for me! The report will have to wait a few days though as we are off on holiday for a few days Fri - Tues inclusive - I might inflict some more pictures of sunny New Zealand countryside on all you northerners, huddled round your blazing fires as the icy wind whistles outside!

Oh and as I drove home, the view of Auckland city from the Shore was really stunning - I could not take a pic but I found this one on Google....its pretty much what it looked like last night about 2200..
























31 comments:

  1. Well I made it to the end Keith and loved the pics and AAR. Sounds like a great game and the Die Gods did seem to favour you, which is always a nice thing to have. I've played games where similar things have happened with the outnumbered cavalry performing heroically and way better than they should have reason to.

    Enjoy your break and please treat us to some nice photos of sunshine, as we are due snow again early next week, despite it feeling like Spring yesterday!

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    1. Thanks for your perseverance Steve! It's nice to benefit from some undeserved luck every now and again, it restores ones faith in the equilibrium of the universe! Glad you still have an appetite fir more images of our countryside, I will try to oblige in a week or so. Maybe you can sense us a picture of a snowman in exchange😀

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    2. I'll see what I can do Keith;). Inspired by your recent AARs and others I've seen, I just treated myself to a copy of the rules and look forward to receiving them soon:).

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    3. Great - look forward to seeing what you think of them Steve

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  2. Lots of lovely pictures! So you were lucky and still lost? What would have happened if you were unlucky!
    Best Iain

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    1. Lol I would have lost comprehensively and in half the time Iain....

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  3. Thanks for all the work of posting and labelling the photographs. These rules seem to be a bit of a gem, with everyone who uses them, liking them. I am quite taken by the use of smaller sized units for 28mm and I know the design folk have been putting out some 4’ x 4’ table sized scenarios - very interesting.

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    1. Thanks Norm...the rules are quite intricate and have a lot to them...there are three double sided pages of quick reference sheets and we still have to consult the main rule book numerous times...but we have only played a couple of games. With your interest in fitting games into smaller spaces, they should be right up your street because as you say, many of the scenarios fit on small tables and consist of only.six or eight units per side, which I am also finding more and more appealing!

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    2. 12 - 14 units per side I now find gives me a pretty good game, so nice to know these rules work well for these 'smaller' battles:)

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    3. They seem specifically designed for this level of gaming Steve - enjoy!

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  4. Looked like a great game. Enjoyed the post. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You are most welcome JBM and thanks for dropping by.

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  5. So many splendid figures here, what's not to like?

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    1. Thanks Phil, Nick is certainly a master painter and the tables he sets up look fantastic, so it's a joy to play these games with him.

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  6. A splendid looking game Keith...
    A lovely period and lovely toys...

    All the best. Aly

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    1. Thanks Aly, it is an attractive period, as you are aware!

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  7. This project produces some very fine looking games. I enjoyed the battle report and glad to see you Lady Luck was on your side.

    As for taking a long weekend holiday, what is that? Many of us have forgotten that pleasure...Enjoy yourselves!

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    1. Hahaha....at least you still have a sense of humour about it Jon.

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  8. You're certainly getting a few games in early in the year Keith. Both of my gaming groups have yet to grind back into action, but that's often the case for us as no one really feels that motivated until things start to cool down a little. The Swedes will be great when you start on them. Some lovely uniforms to get stuck into there.

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    1. Cheers Lawrence, yes, we have been quick off the mark this year. I am looking forward to the Swedes but need to do some research - my impression is all blue cots and mainly yellow facings but I assume given the era, there must have been some variety...

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    1. Thanks Neil, It was fun and certainly a visual spectacle thanks to Nicks lovely terrain and figures - mine brushed up ok too I think, given many of them are Wargames Factory plastic, including all my cavalry!

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  10. Looks like a very pretty game. I’m unfamiliar with the rules but with all those nice looking banners on the table it seems aptly named. 😀

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    1. Thanks Stew, they are indeed well named - and I have enjoyed the games that the rules have produced thus far!

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  11. A fine looking game with a table full of so many beautiful units of the period. It's great that you took so many photos between the two of you.
    Cities can look so peaceful, at night, from a distance...!
    I hope that the game of Sharp's practice went well and have a grand hol.
    Regards, James

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    1. Thanks James - yes and yes #to all your comments! Back now and just about to do a post on the game at Julians

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  12. Very interesting report and lots of lovely pictures! Troops look fantastic. My congrats on getting the great game.

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  13. fantastic looking game mate, Impressed with the look achieved

    cheers
    Matt

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    1. Thanks Matt, appreciate yoiu dropping by and commenting

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  14. Just dropped by to say- this is beautiful

    B. Hilton

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