Category Archives: Battle Reports

Sumatran Expeditions 

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any game photos, so I thought a few photos of this evening’s DBR game would be in order. Now, my weekly Tuesday evening opponent recently purchased a Turkish army and after several games, where I have fielded a traditional pike and shot army, I decided a change was in order. After pondering a few options I decided on fielding my Sumatran army. Our regular weeknight gaming slot is reasonably short so our armies comprise just 300 points. Hard choices must be made in troop selection and army composition. We both opted for two commands, so PIPs were always going to be at a premium.

The Ottoman main command comprised both foot and mounted while the other command was primarily mounted supported by a number of bombards. In contrast the Sumatran army was more symmetric in composition with warriors, archers and elephants divided reasonably equally between the two commands.

With the weather determined the Sumatran commander ordered a rapid advance. Opposite the Turkish commander attempted to work each flank, hold with his centre while riding down the Sumatran foot with his massed sipahis opposite the Turkish left.

Combat was soon joined, first as Sumatran archers began to breaking up some of the Ottoman mounted and then, more critically as the Sumatran sword and spearmen became locked in combat with the aggressive Ottoman sipahis. Fortunately, the Sumatran foot were victorious in some combats while holding in others.

Above, some Sumatran warriors have broken through the enemy and pursued forward.

While Turkish bombards broke up some of the troops to their front other Sumatran foot pressed forward against Janissaries opposite. Now both commanders struggled to exploit the situation.

Below, a general view of the battlefield just prior to the Turkish left flank collapsing. 

Below, Sumatran foot prepare to charge the Turkish bombards in the centre. Two of the three bombards were actually overrun in the ensuing combats.

On the Sumatran left the Turks attempted to turn the now very exposed Sumatran left. Sumatran archers, fragile at best, along with elephants were thrown forward in a desperate attempt to protect the Sumatran foot engaged in a determined clash with the resolute Janissaries. 

However, the prophet would tonight, it seems, be with the Muslims of Sumatra. With casualties mounting the Ottoman host had suffered enough, and broke. 

A fascinating and enjoyable game, all resolved in 2 1/4 hours. Rumour has it that next week my opponent will be fielding his Royalists, their ranks expanded by new recruits. Another great game will be on the cards I’m sure…

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For King or Covenant

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on my Renaissance site, but that shouldn’t be confused with a lack of Renaissance gaming. Far from it in fact with armies being deployed almost every week. As always the games played with the locals are always excellent. Last Wednesday’s game was no exception.

Jim deployed his newly completed Scots Covenanters while I took the field with my English Civil War Royalists in a game set in 1644. Each army comprised 300 points. The situation found the Scots invading, on a fine Autumn day with the Royalists deployed behind a stream. To the Royalist left several enclosures bordered the stream and would play a part in the battle. To the Scots left rear a small wood hampered the Scots deployment but would otherwise not impact the battle.

The English deployed in traditional manner with foot, some 1600 in number, in the centre with some 800 horse split evenly on the wings. A few dragoons and a handful of guns supplemented the small English army. The larger Scots deployed their foot across the battlefield interspersed with guns of various weight. Their horse, outnumbering the English, were deployed to the rear due to their doubtful quality.

Both armies advanced in the centre where soon the foot of both armies were hotly engaged in a prolonged exchange of fire. As time past the Scots foot and gunners would suffer heavy casualties. On the English left the enclosures soon rattled with musket fire as English Dragoons and Scots dragoons and musketeers engaged each other.

However the wings where the scene of much action when English foot charged across and threatened both Scots flanks. On the English right the stream caused much disruption and delay. While a foothold was gained counterattacks eventually drove the English cavaliers back in rout. On the English left the cavaliers were more successful. While delayed but Scots dragoons eventually across and began to drive in the Scots horse. Meanwhile English foot prepared to press their hard won advantage in the centre.

Alas it was only the lateness of the day that was to save the Scots right from collapse. Well, at least according to the English pamphlets reporting the battle…

Japanese Excursions

Over recent weeks I’ve had the opportunity to play a couple of games covering the Sengoku or Warring States period as a result of another player building a Japanese army and providing my own army with an historical opponent. It’s a fascinating period with much historical interest and colourful armies that look great on the table so it’s pleasing to game this period rather than the normal ahistorical games I’ve previously used my Japanese in.

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In the first I tried using fixed obstacles to counter my opponents mounted Samurai, alas this was a complete disaster. Clearly, my concept of the enemy smashing themselves against these obstacles while my arquebus armed ashigaru pouring fire into them was flawed. Worse however was the martial abilities of my own mounted Samurai, who collapsed in a series of charge and counter charge. The fixed obstacles are made by Baueda who make some very useful resin items.

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The next engagement was more positive for my clan who after a very deadly battle finally secured a narrow victory. Again, both armies were based on the later period with a number of ashigaru armed with arquebus.

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Then today, as a way of creating some variety for my opponent, I fielded a English army for an invasion of the east. Obviously not an historical engagement, yet it still proved very enjoyable. At least the army was of the same period and by the 17th Century the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch all had armies in the area, such is the global landscape of the Renaissance.

A Solemn League and Covenant

Over recent months we have been playing a number of medium sized DBR games involving four players. In these games each player brings along a 300 point army resulting in 600 points per side.  Each of these 300 point armies is typically organised into two commands both of which a single player controls.

What follows are a few photos of one of these games. Colin and I had declared for the King while Brian declared for Parliament, and having signed a Solemn League and Covenant with the Scots, joined forces with a Scots army commanded by John.

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Above, a general view of the battlefield with the Royalists on the left and the Allies on the right. Below, a view from the Royalist right centre with the Roundheads in the distance.

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The Parliamentarian commander was reluctant to fight an open battle, but rather clung to the coast where he hoped to be supported by a small fleet. However, the Royalist, aware of the Roundhead fleet opted to bring a small selection of their own ships forward and challenge the Roundhead fleet, or at least attempt to prevent it bombarding the Royalist army.

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Above, the Roundhead fleet can be seen off the coast. Below, another view from near the coast where Royalists advance on the Roundhead line.

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While the two fleets faced each other, and refused to engage, the battle away from the coast was developing.

In the Scots sector the Royalist attack was in full swing. Royalist cavalry move from the flank towards the centre of the Scots line where too few Scots pike had been deployed to support the massed Scots musketeers.

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Above, the Royalist horse can be forming on a hill. Below, the Royalist foot press the Scots  and some Scots frame guns are about to be overrun. In the distance the Royalist horse charge home.

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Back towards the coast the Royalists moved to engage the Roundheads.

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Here to the Royalist cavalry was in the centre. However, unlike the Scots the Roundhead foot was well supported by pikemen and interlaced with light cannon. The result was heavy casualties among the Royalist horse.

IFAs the battle progressed casualties on the Scot contingent increased alarmingly until the Scots broke. Alas, for the king the Royalists facing the Roundheads also broke.

An excellent game providing a great visual spectacle while providing a great oppurtunity to catch up with several friends on a Sunday afternoon…