Saturday, 17 June 2017

Baroque outing

We had a learning game of Baroque this weekend. I managed to find 2 willing generals and I played the role of rulebook page flipper. I borrowed the scenario for the Battle of Edgehill which I found on the Baroque Facebook page. In hindsight, this might have been a little ambitious as it required large armies. Not the best for a learning game. On the other hand, the generals wanted to play a historical battle. An additional challenge was setting up on a 6'x3.5' table when I had planned for an 8x4. The set up call for a flat battlefield with hedges along the flanks and a road down the middle. Historically, the Dragoons battled amongst the hedges for supremacy while the cavalry used the open ground next to the farms to fight it out.

 Deployment - Royalists on the right

In our battle, the large infantry units forced the cavalry to deploy mostly in the hedges in support of the Dragoons. This made for a slow and disordered approach for the cavalry and made it difficult for them to come to grips. The Royalist Dragoons succeeded in getting the defended terrain by occupying the cross hedge on both flanks. The players learned quickly that the hedges nullified their cavalry's combat abilities.
Trouble in the Hedge Rows

The Royalist elite horse unit managed to charge the Parliamentary cuirassier in a opportunity charge. The Cuirassier failed to cause any damage with their pistols and were driven back, pursued and driven back again one hit from routing. The next turn the Parliament general elected to withdraw the Cuirassier and the Gallopers gleefully prepared to play in the flank of the enemy infantry.

Battle lines approach

The gallopers performed an about face. Which triggered an opportunity charge from a lowly unit of Reiter cavalry amongst the hedges. They were able to contact the Gallopers on the flank but had to battle across a hedge. The Reiters had the minimum one dice in combat but rolled a six causing a hit. The Gallopers swung back with 5 dice but failed to score a hit. They then failed their cohesion check and took a wound. In my rule flipping I learned that losing a flank or rear combat results in an automatic rout. That was it for the Kings Horse Guard unit!

The Royalist general tried his luck with another unit of horse, charging a disordered unit of pike and shot. The muskets succeeded in getting off a volley of defensive fire but to no effect. The horsemen learned that they were at no advantage due to the loss of impetus from pike armed foot. They rolled well and drove the infantry back. They pursued but were driven back in turn.

As the infantry lines approached each other, the generals were constantly considering whether to risk closing range and triggering an opportunity charge, or to save their first volley for a closer shot rather than a long range Hail Mary shot. We only managed to play two turns but both players said they enjoyed the rules and would play again.

I reset this battle on my 8x5 table to give it another try. Unfortunately, one box of figures got dropped on the return trip and much gluing will be required before this can happen. Good thing it is only Monday and the game will not happen until the weekend!

Back on home turf - 8x5 table

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