Game 1 (10 – 10) Chris Beesley, Caroline Imperialist

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So the day began against Chris. I know of Chris and I knew I would be in for a very enjoyable game. The terrian, closed me down a bit. After the pre-battle initiative, I opted to move first. I needed to grab as much of the open space as possible. With the imperialists I was expecting some solid infantry tercio’s and possibly a keil. These would be supported by some mounted and possibly a decent artillery park. I was not disappointed.

I deployed on south side of the table. I positioned my baggage camp on the west (left) flank. Chris deployed his fairly central to the north. End of deployment found me with to large wings of mounted and a token presence in the centre. Chris deployed nice and tight around his terrian and two artillery batteries came out. Lovely, just what I needed.

So the plan was to rush his flanks and try to bully his heavily out numbered support mounted units while distracting the artillery with a sacrificial unit. Here during the game I made a few mistakes and in fact gifted Chris two extra units. My few units of lancer armed cavalry I used to provide support to the LH.

During the game the centre was fairly static. I used some of my LH to tie down his three blocks of infantry. I could not really damage these, but I was able to severely restrict their options of movement. The eastern tercio did advance to shoot in effectively at some (east/right flank) LH that was threatening his LF in the terrian. However this is where I made my big mistake of the game. Sensibly I positioned a unit of LH to absorb the artillery hits so that I could get my left flank attack in safely. But with some relaxed movement I ended up with two additional units breaking to the fire. Also I completely wasted my big unit of 6xLH defending the baggage camp in front of the artillery.

The west (left) flank: So in good LH style we clatter forward with about a third of my army. Chris two units where looking a bit nervous, but they had a nice piece of terrian to pivot their defence on. Using my extra numbers I started to slip a unit down the extreme western flank. Sniffing out in a very obvious way the flank of Chris’s units. Chris deployed on each flank, 1x LH unit and 1x heavy horse unit to work together. After a few rounds of shooting (I do like crossbow versus armoured mounted). Chris was forced into an outnumbered fight which the Reivers won. A unit was able to get round and start to threaten his baggage. Chris now had a dilemma. Turn his end tercio to block my move towards the baggage, but leave one battery artillery unprotected with my very, very close LH. Or give up the baggage camp. Hard one. Chris opted to defend the artillery. Eventually I broke through my left flank and was working my wAy round at the end of game.

The east (right) flank): I fancied my chances here as it was more open and I had no artillery to content with. I very aggressively and openly pushed my units down the extreme board edge. My inside units I worked up to get both a tactical advantage and a complete overload of units. Chris carefully moved his units around to try to block this as best as he could. Some slightly badly angled LH caused me some disruption because they did not have a clear path to evade and burst I to a following unit. It got to the stage where I had three units in danger of bursting round his line and his main fighting unit was tied up trying to hold off too many LH.

So, Chris decided to pick where the scrap would be and charged my better armed and supported LH with his single LH unit. I lost the impact against better odds and a general fighting. The unit held. Then we had few rounds of melee where I won some, he won some. I moved a unit found onto his flank ready to charge the his fighting unit from the side. And time was called.

After working out the score we ended up with a complete draw. I had lost more units in the end, but the size of my army (17 battle groups) meant percentage wise it balanced out. As I say a very enjoyable game with good and bad luck on both sides.

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