Category Archives: Event Report

Harquebusiers & Hussars – Autumn Report

Today several players gathered for the Autumn round of Harquebusiers & Hussars here in Christchurch. As with previous events it was an outstanding success. Perhaps the only unfortunate point being that some players who would normally play were unable to due to work commitments. That said with a couple of out of town players in attendance we still had a very respectable field of eight players.

The armies in use were as follows:

  • Mark Caunter – Early Austrian Imperial
  • Jim Morton – Polish-Lithuanian Rzeczpospolita
  • Colin Foster – ECW Scots Covenanter
  • John Kerr – ECW Montrose Scots Royalist & Early Parliamentarian 1644
  • Tilman Walk – Sinhalese
  • Brian Sowman – ECW Scots Covenanter
  • Keith McNelly -ECW Royalists 1644
  • Keith Caukwell – Safavid Persian

We use a flexible format allowing players to use a different army in each round. It transpired only one person elected this option allowing John to field historical armies against his opponents. All armies comprised 300 points and play was on a smaller table using pre-set terrain.


Above, a first round game between the Early Austrian Imperialists and the Sinhalese. The game resulted in a bloody defeat for the Austrians, more of this later. Below, also in the morning, a game Colin’s Scots Covenantors and Jim’s Polish.


Below, a photo of an afternoon game between my Royalists and John’s Civil War Parliamentarians. The Parliamentarian use of commanded shot significantly bolstered the ability of the Roundhead horse. It was only after repeated Royalist charges that the Roundhead horse broke.


In other afternoon games, shown below, Brian and Colin used their Covenantors to engage Safavid Persians and Austrians respectively. 


On another table the Poles were engaged against the Sinhalese which can be seen below. The Polish commander employed some camp followers as fake Winged Hussars causing some surprise to the Sinhalese commander.


As with previous Harquebusiers & Hussars events the outcome of the games is not recorded. The winner of the prestigious Captain General cup is rather determined by player nomination of interesting game events. After some discussion it was determined to be between two “events” we’re in the running.

The first was my own ability to have victory almost robbed from me when a fresh command Royalist horse was demoralised by a broken Roundhead horse while simultaneously my own foot, who outnumbered the Roundhead foot opposite, also come within a breath of collapse. I however lost out to Mark whose army, during the morning games, was caught by a hidden command of Sinhalese deployed behind a hill. Unable to recover and attacked at several points the Austrians army collapsed while causing little damage to his enemy. A true disaster!

Above all, another excellent day of Renaissance gaming using DBR.


Harquebusiers & Hussars – 2014 Winter Report

Today our 15mm Renaissance event “Harquebusiers and Hussars” was held. We have been running Harquebusiers & Hussars for a few years but it was rather pleasing to attain a good number of players for our latest outing.

Unlike most conventions Harquebusiers & Hussars uses 300 point armies on smaller tables, the aim being to keep games short allowing a couple of rounds in a standard club day. The format is flexible and players are not required to use the same army in each game, allowing players to more easily field historical opponents or experiment with different armies. Finally, to confuse players even more no record is kept of points, it is an event rather than a competition! Anyway, the players and their armies were as follows:

  • Colin – ECW Scots Covenanter
  • Chris – ECW Scots Montrose
  • Jim – Later Polish
  • Paul – ECW Scots Covenanter
  • Brian – Ottoman Turks
  • Mark – Funj Empire
  • John – ECW New Model Army or ECW Royalists
  • Kevin – Japanese
  • Keith – Maori

Below are a couple of photos from the games. Firstly Chris and Colin involved in a battle set in Scotland between Covenanter forces and Scots Royalists under Montrose.


The Scots Royalists had a hard time getting across the table, despite it being a narrow table. Though the early wounding of Montrose hardly helped matters.


In the following photo John and Paul are engaged in another game, while on the left Jim takes a break from an encounter between his Poles and Brian’s Ottomans.


In one of the afternoon games my own Maori come to grips with Scots Royalist. Below, the Maori press forward against the Scots centre and right flank.


A great day of gaming and which was enjoyed by all. It was certainly good to see some different armies being fielded. The Scots Royalist is a case in point. Being a small army infrequently seen on the table but ideally suited to a 300 point format used by Harquebusiers & Hussars.

Now, while we don’t keep track of points or placings we do award the Captain General’s Cup for Outstanding Game Event. This is determined by player nomination and as always several game events, mostly humorous, were nominated. After much discussion, and voting by players, it was awarded to Colin for consistent command incompetence by continually placing his generals in the wrong place. Additional photos of the day can be found on Mark’s blog here.

Natcon 2014: DBR Competition Summary

Each Easter weekend the New Zealand National Wargames Convention is held and this year it was to be held in Christchurch. For my part I both organised and competed in the Renaissance competition which used the DBR rules and 15mm figures.

As we prepared to start the competition we had ten players though one was only able to play one day. Unfortunately we then had a late scratching which dropped the field to nine. Of those playing five players were from outside Christchurch, with two of these attending from Australia.

Below, a selection of photos taken over the weekend, in no particular order.


Above, Grant and Roger are engaged on the first day. Grant was using his new Early Imperial Spanish which benefited from the revised Arquebus rules which were being trialled as part of the competition. Basically, Arq(O) are treated as normal Sh(O) but with a range of 100 paces. Below, another photo of the Spanish, this time while engaging Irish Confederates.


The competition used the 20-0 scoring now used at Cancon. Below, Richard and Phil can be seen in another game of the weekend. Richard’s Thirty Years Swedes achieved  a costly win against Phil’s Irish Confederates this game with a final 11-6  result using the 0-20 scoring. In the background Jim and Mark are engaged in their own battle.


Phil’s Irish Confederates were based on Ormonde’s army in 1648. This meant they had English Royalists in support giving them a viable strike force though at times it was hamstrung by it’s reliance on a divided Irish command structure. This well presented army looked particularly effective flying a number of impressive standards, a selection of which can be seen below. In the distance are a number of Irish Redshanks advance to the safety of some brush covered hills.


One of my games was against Mark’s Hindu Indians. Like my own Sumatrans, Mark deployed seven elephants resulting in 14 elephants on the table. While on the Sumatran right several elephants faced each other without engagement it was very different on the Sumatran left. Below, Hindu elephants advance in columns, with Hindu cavalry in support, against the Sumatran left flank.


Below, a photo of another game, this time between the Spanish and Sumatrans. In this game the Spanish right centre come under pressure as Sumatran warband turn part of a Spanish tercio. On the right of the photo, Sumatran elephants move away from massed Spanish arquebusiers and towards the centre of the battlefield.


Finally, Mark Caunter considers options in another game, also against the Sumatrans. At the point this photo was taken the English Parliamentarian centre was under considerable pressure as Sumatrans poured into a gap.


At the end of six rounds over three days, the players, their armies and final points were as follows:

  • Grant Brown, Early Imperial Spanish 1533 (72pts)
  • Roger Mackay, Scots Covenanter 1648 (67pts)
  • Richard Foster, TYW Swedish 1633 (62pts)
  • Keith McNelly, Sumatran 1624 (58pts)
  • Mark Carl, Hindu Indian (53pts)
  • Jim Morton, Later Poles 1660 (51pts)
  • Phil Clark, Irish Confederate (44pts)
  • Mark Caunter, ECW Parliamentarian 1644 (32pts)
  • John Kerr, New Model Army 1648 (9pts) ** One day only

Congratulations must go to Grant, Roger and Richard for their placings. As overall winner Grant Brown also secured the South Pacific Championship.  Additional prizes, in the form of Essex Miniatures UK gift vouchers, were also presented. These were, in no particular order, as follows:

  • The Bonnie Dundee Award – Phil Clark who showed great promise (third place at the start of the third and fifth rounds) and also for most generals lost;
  • Captain General Award – Jim Morton for exceptionally chivalrous play;
  • Quarter Master General Award – Mark Caunter so that he may pay the traders and ensure victuals (baggage) for the army in future campaigns;
  • Earl of Essex Award – Mark Carl for his unusual, but well painted, Hindu Indians which comprised massed elephants and rockets.

Cancon 2014: DBR Report – Part 1

What follows here is a short report of my games in the 15mm DBR competition at Cancon this year.

As with previous Cancon DBR competition this competition used pre-set terrain. Typically these tables attempt to model a specific historic battlefield. As a result I have indicated the name of the battlefield in each of the brief reports. As I have mentioned in earlier reports I rather like the pre-set terain. Firstly it makes travelling to Australia logistically easier, no need to pack terrain. In addition I believe the DBR tables looked considerably more interesting and visually appealing to me than some other competition tables around us. The work put in by the Cancon DBR organisers was clear to see.

Prior to attending Cancon I considered several armies as possible candidates for the trip. These included Royalist, which I have some experience with, Japanese which I have previously taken three times to Australia, and Maori which I have had a string of defeats with. However, with a burst of activity in December and January I prepared a new army. In particular a Sumatran army based on that of the Sultanate of Aceh. I had been planning to paint this during 2013, but life had got in the way. With the basic army completed less than two weeks prior to Cancon little time was available for trial games. Given the unusual troop types and my inexperience with them this was disconcerting. Further, three hasty games rewarded me with a such a drubbing that the Sumatrans looked likely to suffer a series of defeats across the ditch. Indeed, comments from one of the locals who defeated me in two of these trial games, that he “expected to see the army on ebay within a week” were not exactly useful. Yet despite expecting to suffer six defeats at Cancon the army was packed ready for the trip to Australia…

Game One – Royalist 1644 (Peter Gillard)

The first engagement of the competition was on the “Morbegno Table”, which was based on the battle of 1632. It comprised four gentle hills, the village of Morbegno on one flank. On the other flank some woods and an steep hils, leading into a portion of the alps, completed the table. It was my first game of DBR against Peter so I was unaware of his playing style. That said I took some comfort in at least I knew something of fighting Royalists and how the amy would be composed and deployed. At least that was until Peter deployed very differently than I had expected. His significantly thinner line overlapped the Sumatrans on both flanks.


Having realised the area of my deployment, I was defending and therefore deployed second, I determined that I had still to attack his centre, despite it being thinner than I hoped. The result of an attack on the centre however would mean that even if I broke through in the centre the English army would likely remain on the field and likely be breaking my flanks. Despite this the Sumatran drums and gongs burst into life and the army advanced.


The Sumatran centre, seen above, comprised the bulk of the warriors who are classed as Wb(S) and were screened by a great number of skirmishers armed with, bow or arquebus. The Sultan Iskandar Muda was in the rear mounted on his elephant. It was this centre that would strike at the enemy centre and achieve victory. Supporting the centre was two wings. Each wing comprised more warriors and skirmishers. However, the wings also comprised a number of archers, elephants and light horse.


The details of this now famous battle between the mighty Sultanate of Aceh and the European interlopers is now lost. While the English centre was soon crippled, and would eventually break, the English pressed the Sumatran right mercilessly. Indeed, the photo above shows the Sumatran right as being reasonably open about midway through the battle.However, English losses finally became overwhelming. Iskandar Muda was well pleased and secured a 16-1 victory against the infidel.

Game Two – Dutch Rebellion 1585 (Roger Mackay)

The next game of the competition found me facing Dutch Rebellion on the “Lund Table”. The battlefield comprised a paltry stream that separated both armies and was flanked by the town of Lund, on the Sumatran left and Valkarra on the Sumatran right. Determined to be the invader he Sumatrans deployed second. As expected the Dutch were well ensconced behind the banks of the stream and had positioned their heavy artillery well forward to bombard the Sumatran centre. The battle opened in the centre by an advance by Sumatran light troops, part of whom can be seen below, to screen the army from the Dutch artillery.


At the same time Sumatran archers on the right advanced to harass the Ducth harquebusiers. This archery while resulted in some Dutch casualties and the probing attacks against the Sumatran right by Dutch light cavalry was soon replaced by an all out attack on the Sumatran right. Below, Dutch cavalry on the right have crossed the stream. In these attacks the Sumatran archers were ridden down and eventually some elephants eliminated. This resulted in the breaking of the Sumatran right wing.


Now sensing victory the Dutch centre advanced across the stream with the intent of attacking the Sumatran centre frontally and from the flank. However, the Sumatran right rallied and in turn counter-attacked. Now the Dutch left itself broke just as the centres clashed. The Sumatran warriors pressed their advantage at every point and finally the Dutch centre broke as well. The Sultan was awarded with another victory, 15-3 and putting a halt to Dutch colonisation.

Game Three – Royal French (Stu Todd)

Sunday morning found the Sultan facing the Royal French on the “Killiecrankie Table”. Forced on the defensive the Great Sultan opted to deploy with the paltry river flowing through the French deployment area. As before the Sumatran army deployed with the mass of warriors in the centre and the elephants and light horse on the flanks. The battle took place in the autumn and as in previous battles, the weather was to have no impact on the game.


The French commander moved aggressively to clear the stream and areas of rough going, especially so on the French left were a mass of horse and commanded shot pressed forward aggressively. This is illustarted above.

The Sumatran right was at a disadvantage. The Sumatran archers could disrupt the enemy horse, but were at risk of being dispersed by the commanded shot. Further, the elephants have a habit of fleeing from massed musket fire. As a result the Sumatran right delayed the advancing French using a thick skirmishing screen and terrain of nearby brush covered hills.


However, the Sumatran warriors of the centre and right were launched in a series of fanatical charges against anything to their front! Above, the Sultan orders the Sumatran warriors forward.

As the battle progressed the engagement became general and while some breakthroughs were achieved the Sumatran line was under significant stress. The Great Sultan was himself involved in the fighting. However, the Sumatran warriors were resilient and as the French pressed their advantage they overstretched themselves. The remaining Sumatran elephants moved forward while the Sumatran foot attacked the French infantry in front, flank and rear. Under this wave of attacks French cavalry fell fled and the French infantry centre collapsed. The Sultan was once again able to claim victory with another 15-3 result.

But what would the next three games hold? Part two of the competition can be found here.