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Subject: The Battle of Dreux, 1562 (solitaire) rss

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Eric Stubbs
United States
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Hi all! This is compiled from a series of comments on the Wargames on Your Table geeklist, to have it in one place for those who might not read that geeklist and for future reference. Hope you enjoy!

On Turn 1, the Huguenots (white units in the images below) have mauled the Catholic left rather badly, while the Catholic right under St. Andre remains idle and detached from the action. This is largely what happened historically, though I think the Catholics have gotten hit even harder. Coligny's cavalry and Montmorency's cavalry mixed it up, with the Catholics getting the worst of it, and Conde's German Reiters poured fire into the Swiss pikemen and sent them into significant disarray, with one unit in full retreat. Not without cost to the Huguenots, however: some gendarmes have fallen in battle, and others were fleeing the field in a shameful display after an impetuous assault on unbroken Swiss.

End of Turn 1:

On Turn 2, Conde reformed a bit but his reiters continued to shoot at the Swiss. Meanwhile, Coligny attacked successfully but was wounded in the fighting and replaced by Porcean. The Catholic Gendarmes suffered heavy casualties, but at least the Swiss pulled themselves together. St. Andre still declined to intervene, the cur.

End of Turn 2/start of Turn 3:

On Turn 3, Porcean and Montmorency focused on reforming their troops and avoided engaging one another. For his part, Conde successfully pushed his men into a renewed attack: heavy fire from the reiters broke and then demolished a unit of Swiss, and his gendarmes annihilated one of the French legions. Conde then noticed that St. Andre was starting to move, finally coming to the aid of the near-destroyed Catholic left, so he exhorted his men to greater efforts, shifting them to meet this threat.

End of Turn 3/start of Turn 4:

Here's a bonus photo of the casualties; white and light blue are harder to distinguish due to the lighting, but the top row is Huguenot and the second two rows are Royal/Catholic.

On Turn 4, St. Andre commanded the Royal gendarmes to spur forward in an enthusiastic but somewhat disorganized attack on Conde's opposing line of reiters. It did not go as well as planned, but one group of reiters was utterly destroyed by the ferocity and elan of the noble cavalry. St. Andre then pressed his advantage, which went amazingly poorly for the overextended gendarmes. Conde capitalized as best he could on this opportunity, and his reiters gunned down weakened targets, causing them to flee. St. Andre was eventually left with precisely one effective cavalry unit out of the six he started with. Meanwhile, Montmorency and Porcean continued regrouping: Huguenot marshal Porcean tried to chivy his men into at least advancing, but was unsucessful.

End of Turn 4:

On Turn 5, little of great note occurred. Conde and St. Andre pulled their troops together and had them re-form. Porcean finally set his wing into motion to put pressure on Montmorency, who likewise maneuevered.

End of Turn 5:

On Turn 6, Porcean attacked, but really shouldn't have sent his militia to shoot at the Swiss pikemen... It got even worse when he was wounded in his own personal assault, leaving his wing leaderless. His men nonetheless carried their momentum forward, breaking more Royal gendarmes and seriously discomfiting Montmorency. Finding himself pinned, the Royal Constable of France simply had his remaining men regroup as best they could. Conde also had his soldiers regroup and reform, and St. Andre failed to get his own forces into motion.

End of Turn 6:

On Turn 7, the Huguenot wing formerly led by Coligny and Porcean had lost direction and guidance. Conde could still guide his own men, though, and did so, but mostly to make his formation more compact. St. Andre advanced cautiously to oppose him. His troops have been reduced mainly to infantry by this point, so challenging Conde's line of reiters and remaining gendarmes would be tricky. Montmorency rallied some of his men while others engaged with the leaderless Huguenot right, which didn't end up going well for anyone.

End of Turn 7:

On Turn 8, Montmorency disengaged from the Huguenot right, braving some ineffectual fire from the disorganized reiters. Conde attacked St. Andre, and in the ensuing struggle, both (!) commanders were put hors de combat. St. Andre's wing was thus thrown into confusion as the Duke of Guise was located and informed that he is now in command. Chaos likewise reigned on the Huguenot side.

End of Turn 8:

On Turn 9, Rochefoucauld, the replacement for Conde, attacked with some success against both Montmorency and Guise. The Royal army, for its part, did nothing worth mentioning apart from Montmorency making his formation more compact and declining to engage any further.

At this point, the Royal forces have taken a severe beating and almost certainly cannot prevail on the field. However, the devastation of the Huguenot command structure will make it hard for the other side to take advantage of this fact, and the casualties among their leadership will have serious repercussions for the future.

End of Turn 9:

Looks like the order for Montmorency's wing vanished from the map somehow, but he's under March orders.

On Turn 10, Rochefoucauld, had his left and center attack with some success, before riding to take command of his right and hit the German mercenaries hard, routing them utterly. Rochefoucauld continued his assault and fire rippled up and down the line as soldiers on both sides exchanged volleys with everything they had. Meanwhile, Montmorency regrouped, then shifted back to the attack himself, eliminating vulnerable Huguenot gendarmes right in front of his own heavy cavalry. The Duke of Guise, perhaps foolishly, tried to reform in the face of the enemy, and lost his other German mercenary infantry for his trouble. The leaderless wing formerly under Coligny managed to rally effectively, so at least it would likely suffer no further, but without guidance it could not take advantage of the battered Montmorency.

End of Turn 10:

On Turn 11, Rochefoucauld continued to press Guise, inflicting casualties on both sides and breaking a Spanish tercio. Montmorency seized the initiative, but he was overly confident and his men too impetuous, attacking the Huguenots to only moderate effect and overextending themselves in the process. Fortunately, the confused enemy returned fire in only the most ineffectual of manners. Guise somehow managed to get his men in much better order, arresting the flight of many of his troops.

End of Turn 11:

On Turn 12, as darkness fell and the cold seeped thoroughly into the bones of those still on the field, Montmorency spurred his remaining gendarmes into a final attack. It did not go as planned at all, and he found himself carried off in their precipitous flight when the guns and swords of Huguenot reiters proved their undoing. Rochefoucauld rallied a number of his men, while others exchanged inconclusive fire with the soldiers opposing them. On that side, Guise found himself largely unable to restore any further order.

As night arrived fully, the combatants disengaged. The Royal army was nearly shattered, and would take a long time to recover. Their leadership did suffer substantially less than that of the Huguenots, which was some cold comfort.

End of Turn 12:

In game terms, the Huguenots scored 31 or 32 VPs (depending on whether or not Montmorency being carried off the map with his routing gendarmes counts as him being eliminated), while the Royal army scored 14 VPs. A clear Huguenot victory, though with the loss of 3/4 of their command staff.

Casualties at the end of the game:
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Florent Coupeau
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Great session, Eric ! Thanks !

As for Montmorency, well, he follows the fate of his gendarmes and is eliminated.
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