Showing posts with label hott. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hott. Show all posts

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Maipo Again

I played another refight of Maipo this afternoon. With next door deciding to pressure-wash their driveway and the house over the road trying to offset the noise with some 'tunes' I wouldn't say my concentration was at its best, but I gave it a good go.

Here's the armies set up. I went for an ahistorical deployment, sticking the Chilean infantry on the patriot right and the Argentinians on the left. The far left of the Patriot army was covered by the Horse Grenadiers. The Royalists were in a standard deployment; some infantry and artillery on the isolated hill, their cavalry covering their right flank and the elite infantry in the centre.

The Patriot plan of attack was to lead with the Horse Grenadiers, advance the Argentinians against the centre and hold back the more vulnerable Chileans, simply using them to cover against any advance by the Royalist left

It was a plan which relied on the Horse Grenadiers sweeping a; before them. The aim was to inflict all of the casualties required to win on the Royalist right by setting up flank attacks. But first the Royalist cavalry had to be eliminated.

The Royalist cavalry held, and some of their infantry swung around to aid them.

The Horse Grenadiers fought their way out of the sticky situation initially, eliminating some Royalist cavalry ...

... but losing some Horse Grenadiers to the flanking infantry.

The Argentinian infantry was now in position and engaging the Royalists with musketry. However without the decisive cavalry attack coming in from the flank the Royalists held firm.

San Martin ordered an advance by the bulk of the Chilean infantry. Their columns drove back the Royalist left.

However the attack on the Royalist right was still stalled, the centre was basically unopposed and now the Royalists on the extreme left were advancing on the exposed Chilean flank.

San Martin ordered a bayonet attack down the line. This broke some Royalists, but the rest rallied and held.

The Royalist left counterattacked, and the Chileans were shattered, falling back.

Meanwhile the Royalist right held firm. The Patriots actually only had to destroy two more elements to win the battle, but couldn't quite finish them off.

The Royalist line reformed, looking as strong as ever.

One last Patriot attack failed to break them, and the loss of another element of infantry took them over their breakpoint, giving the Royalists the victory.

The Patriot plan was a bold one, relying on the cavalry winning quickly, and that didn't happen. Holding back the Chileans isn't a bad idea, as they are vulnerable to unlucky combat rolls. This is something I need to think about with these rules; militia can be very fragile and possibly too fragile. But changing it won't be as simple as I'd hoped.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Maipo 200

Today is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Maipo, which basically secured Chile's independence from Spain, so obviously I decided that I would have to refight it.

I have, in fact, games it a few times, most of which are covered on this blog. Here's some links to the relevant posts:

Refight (Liberated Hordes)
Refight (Liberated Hordes)
Refight (Liberated Hordes)
Refight (Rocket's Red Glare)

For those not in the know, here's a brief history.

For a start, everything I've read for the past few years has called it the Battle of Maipú. However I've called it Maipo for the past 20 years and I'm going to stick to that.

Anyway, in February 1817, José de San Martín led an army across the Andes, defeated the Spanish  and captured Santiago. This is the campaign that includes the battle of Chacabuco, which I've refought a few times before. Look it up. I'll wait.

San Martin set Bernardo O'Higgins up as the Supreme Director of Chile and, a year after Chacabuco, O'Higgins declared Chile independent. However, the Spanish viceroyalty sent an army to Santiago under General Osorio and the Patriot armies were defeated at the Battle of Cancha Rayada in March 1818. After their defeat, the Patriots regrouped, rebuilt their army in a matter of days, and eventually numbered about about 6,000 men, a mixture of Argentinians and Chilean patriots.

Meanwhile, Gen. Osorio realised that he had not defeated the Patriot army conclusively at Cancha Rayada, and moved against them. They met near south of Santiago, at Maipo.

Both armies formed up on ridges, facing each other across a valley. The Patriots outnumbered the Royalists, but their army was less experienced and was still recovering from the earlier defeat at Cancha Rayada. In addition the Royalist army contained a regiment of Spanish veterans from the Peninsular campaign.

After an ineffective artillery bombardment, San Martin advanced against the Royalists on both flanks,  and drove back their left. The Royalists counterattacked, mostly in the centre where their better troops were stationed, but the Patriots held and pushed them back. The solid Spanish units held off attack after attack but eventually gave ground, and Osorio fled the field. His successor managed to rally part of the army, but it was too late and the Patriots forced them to surrender, winning a decisive victory.

As I have done many times before, I used my Liberated Hordes HOTT variant for the refight, and my 6mm figures on 25mm frontage stands. This gives a teeny-tiny game with a massed battle look.

This is the terrain. The Royalists would set up to the right and the Patriots to the left. Some of the Royalists had to set up on the smaller hill in the foreground.

The Patriot army, a mix of regular and militia infantry with a solid striking force of elite cavalry.

The Royalist army; smaller, but with a core of elite infantry veterans.

And the deployment. Caesar took the Patriots, whilst I took the Royalists. Both armies had to set up entirely on their own ridge, except that the Royalists had to deploy three elements on the isolated hill. The Royalists deployed first.

Actually I think this is one of the first times I've tried this battle with a 'free' deployment, rather than replicating the historical setup.

The rather poor Royalist cavalry deployed on the right. In the distance you can see the Patriot cavalry deployed to advance and destroy them

Caesar simply used his artillery to cover his right. I advanced my isolated infantry towards it, hoping to turn the Patriot flank.

Caesar went for a classic attack; he formed his infantry up into columns and advanced as quickly as possible. The first exchanges of musketry saw losses on both sides. The low-quality Chilean infantry suffered particularly badly. However the Patriot artillery eliminated some of the infantry advancing against them.

Poor PIPs held the patriot cavalry back at this stage. The Royalists stayed on the safety of the hill.

Caesar used San Martin's general bonus to push as many of his troops forward as possible, and broke up the Royalist line some more.

The Patriot cavalry attacked. One element of Royalist horse ran away instantly, but the other put up more of a fight, pushing back its opponent.

At this point the Royalist PIPs dried up, and their left flank was only able to mount a half-hearted attack on the Patriot right.

With his army falling back, the coward Osorio decided to quit the field. Marvellous.

This left the Royalists even more starved for PIPs and only one element away from defeat. Caesar launched attacks on two vulnerable Royalist units: the remaining cavalry and one of the units of Spanish regulars. Both elements saw off their opponents. Now was the time for the Royalist army to pull together and inflict enough damage on the patriots to drive them off.

They rolled another '1' for PIPs, and for the second bound in a row none of the Royalist troops moved. Their cavalry couldn't hold out forever, and its loss broke the army giving the patriots a win.

This was a pretty straightforward game, but we both enjoyed it. Once again the shaky quality of the Patriots made their attack risky, but the quality of the elite Horse Grenadiers saw them through. The Royalists have good troops poorly commanded, and spent a lot of the game in a state of command paralysis. If the same paralysis happens to the Patriots then the Royalists can pull of a win, but that didn't happen in this game.

So, for our 200th anniversary refight a Patriot win, securing the liberation of Chile, was the right result.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Sunday Dreamtime

I got out my Indigenous Australian matched HOTT armies this morning, since I have been promising myself for ages that I'd try a couple of games and see if the matchup really is as unbalanced as I think it is.

I'm happy with the Heroes of the Dreamtime (shown here). They're a nice mix of warband and flyers, with a single beast and hero in support, and a god and some lurkers waiting in the wings.

The Horrors of the Dreamtime are more of a problem, mostly because they have a single flyer general and no other aerials, making him rather vulnerable, since the opposing army has two flyers and (potentially) a god. Oh, and the hero. The two behemoths are quite dangerous to the opposing warband, it's true, and there's a magician to cause the enemy flyers a few hairy moments, but really it doesn't seem enough. The rest of the army is beasts, hordes and lurkers.

So in the first game the Horrors attacked the Heroes. The Heroes got themselves onto a hill, whilst the Horrors advanced.

The Heroes' god appeared, and immediately attacked the Horrors' general.

The Horrors continued their advance, but the god kept up his attack and killed their general. Game over.

The second game saw the Horrors defending. Both armies ended up fighting a very fragmented battle.

This was due, in part, to the Heroes opting to ignore a frontal assault on the enemy Behemoths (sensible) and send the warbands on a flank march through some woods. Rubbish PIPs meant that the Whowhie was able to move to intercept them.

The Winjarning Brothers, the heroes of the Heroes, rushed to the warriors' aid.

Meanwhile the mighty Wulgaru was having trouble with some domesticated dingoes.

He recoiled into the Goose Women (magician), destroying them.

It was all looking a bit of a mess for the Horrors.

The Horrors got a line together, but the Heroes attacked. The Whowie was driven back by the heroes and ...

... a lucky combat roll saw Marmoo The Evil One killed by some whirlwind-spirits, ending the battle with another defeat for the Horrors.

My conclusion? The Horrors need a rethink. I'm tempted to drop one of the beasts (since they are very similar in background) in favour of a second flyer, and even two of the hordes in favour of a third. This would give the Horrors a decent supported aerial force, albeit one hampered by the PIP costs of having a magician in the same army. I shall have a think about how I want to depict these new elements, and give them  a try. Sometime in the next ten years or so ...

Friday, 16 March 2018

Punch A Nazi

I know how much most people here like to see Nazis getting a good kicking (and if you're not one of those people, what are you even doing here?), so here's some pictures of a couple of games of HOTT I played against Geoff last night. I used my Weird Reich army. Geoff used the Weird WWII Americans in the first game, and won, and then the Weird WWII Soviets in the second game. And won again.

Americans vs The Weird Reich

Gung-ho US soldiers pile into the Death's Head Battalion. In fact the skull-heads came of best in this fight, one of my few successes of the evening.

A few brave boys engaged Adolf himself, who fled to his bunker (some bad going far to his rear).

Captain America and The Haunted Tank teamed up to take down the Aryan Superman.

Desperate fighting in some ruins. The ruins had to be removed because of all of the fighting.

The Death's Head Battalion has a go at The Haunted Tank.

But this is where it all ended. Cowering in the ruins, Adolf was attacked by ... Lassie! And Lassie won.

On to the second game. I used the same army as before, whilst Geoff switched to the Soviets

I had a good feeling about this game, and advantages on a couple of key parts of the battlefield.

Hordes and skulls faced-off on the left (although skull-headed soldiers already have an advantage in a face-off).

On my left I did a grand job with the werewolves, but Geoff did a grander job with The Hero of the Soviet Union and an even grander one with Stalin in his battle-suit. These two elements cut their way through the Nazi centre, before finishing off the werewolves to win the battle.

So that was the Nazis thoroughly punched twice.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the room, everyone else was having a far more sensible time refighting Marengo using Black Powder.

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