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Arquebus: Men of Iron Volume IV» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A Nice, Addictive Battle...Ceresole AAR! With a Twist! rss

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Juan Valle
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Hi Folks,

Have been waiting to post this review due to lack of time at both office and home, but finally is here...

For your best reference, please find some pics at the gallery, identified as Ceresole AAR...Here we go:

The setup for this battle is pretty much straightforward, both armies facing each other from a hill, with the clashing taking part in between...

For the French side the battle plan was simple: Perform some harassing fire in their left flank (Spanish/Imperial right) with their 'spawned' arquebusiers (or skirmishers as to use the Battle Book terminology) in order to neutralize their Spanish counter parts, with the Jacques Dampierre SB and PK following close behind as to exploit any gaps in the Spanish lines; at the same time both Count D'Enghien (French OC) and Boutierres contingents will advance as a single line and put pressure on Spanish/Imperial center and left...

As for the Spanish/Imperial army the plan was kind of similar: Eliminate the French SK and then use their own SK as to decimate the French left with Cardona SB/PK attacking French SB/PK, while at their center and left both Madruzzo and Salerno respectively will advance and put some pressure on French center and right...

Basically both battle plans were each one a copy of the other one...

The hostilities started as expected at French left/Spanish right; the French SK performed volley fire maneuver (fire, then retreat before the advancing French SB and PK) and caused some casualties among their Spanish counterparts; however a quick Seizure Initiative by Spanish OC Del Vasto, followed by a Continuity die roll by right flank commander Cardona (helped by negative modifier for being within OC command range) caught the French SK between the enemy SB and their own SB/PK, creating something similar to a highway traffic jam...The Spanish SB/PK advanced head on against the French SB/PK and since none of them had any missile fire capability it was a series of vicious shock combats...The two French LC armed with bows performed some 'selective fire' which allowed them to bag a couple of Spanish foot units after combining with their SB/PK units...However the clash there eventually reached a stalemate...

In the rest of battle line, Count D'Enghien and Boutierres advanced in a single line against contingents of Madruzzo (center) and Salerno (French right/Spanish left)...The clash at the center was intense between the Swiss at French service and the Landsknetch under Spanish service; despite some PK being bagged by both sides and couple of charges by French heavy cavalry the combat there was pretty much even...

It was at the French right/Spanish left where the battle was decided: Salerno contingent moved further to the front seeing a way to outflank the D'Enghien Swiss troops; two turns later they lost a continuation attempt and Boutierres contingent of SB move forward and they in turn outflanked and then enveloped Salerno's contingent, causing huge casualties there...The Madruzzo contingent moved its left wing backward as to prevent their own group being outflanked as well...

Those Landsknetch put up a heroic resistance; however the pressure from the Swiss and the French SB was too much and eventually they gave up, and the battle finalized with a French victory, similar to the historic counterpart. However, att the French left/Spanish right Cardona men had a sort of last moment 'final push effort' and managed to cause some casualties to the French...It was a closed fight battle despite the envelopment maneuver...

Some comments about it:

1-For those of us whom also own Blood & Roses it's remotely similar to the Battle of Towton; Although here there is a slightly more room for maneuver, basically both are head on clashes, like a heavy weight boxing fight where two huge opponents go against the other fist by fist, no finesse nor subtleties of any kind.

2-And for those of us whom own the other titles of Men Of Iron series, this battle is a reminder that here is the infantry, the foot soldier the main character, not the glamorous MMA...In this battle the French MMA and bow armed LC made some selective attacks but only as support for the foot infantry.

3-The artillery present in the battle map took little part: Both sides cannon opened fire but unless at short distance, there is not too much damage those cannon can inflict.

4-In the Spanish side, since Cardona is one of the two Spanish commanders with a low activation rating (2) it pays off to keep it within command range of De Vasto, as to benefit from the later negative continuation modifier...In the French side is much more difficult due to the distance from the OC to the other leaders is long...

Now I mentioned in the AAR title about a twist, right? Well I was so delighted by the battle and the fact that was a close affair, so next day and thanks to a rainy day which prevented yours truly to work on my house back yard (despite my lovely wife complains) had another session...The pics and battle plans were similar, however this time it was a Spanish victory!

This time the French center and right moved together and attacked the Spanish center and left at same time...The attack was repulsed: The accurate musket fire from Madruzzo and Salerno contingents cut both the French SB and Swiss PK into ribbons... With no delay these two Spanish contingents (Madruzzo/Salerno) counter attacked, with the Swiss PK being forced to retreat while French SB contingent disintegrated (their leader Boutierres got KIA'd)...With the French right flank open the Salerno contingent performed an envelope maneuver, while the Swiss PK tried as best they could to endure the attack from front and flank (similar to what happened to Madruzzo contingent in the previous battle)...However the surviving French SB from Boutierres (KIA) contingent made a quick rally and got into a defensive position, slowing Salerno envelopment, which in turn gave some respite to the beleaguered Swiss in the center; then the situation developed into a stalemate.

At the other flank another stalemate between SK, French and Spanish SB/PK happened again; however the Spanish SK performed a volley fire then retreated behind their SB/PK, so the latter attacked head on and extracted a heavy toll on the decimated enemy foot infantry...The French leader Dampierre was KIA together with one SB and one PK, while one LC performing 'harassing' file got disordered and then eliminated as well...

Quite interesting how a same battle does have different outcomes, both of them quite close!

Thanks for your kind comments!

Regards,

Jumval
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Rodger Samuel
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Thanks for the excellent AAR. I look forward to getting this to the table.
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Juan Valle
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DrZaat wrote:
Thanks for the excellent AAR. I look forward to getting this to the table.



You're welcome!laugh
 
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Ralph Shelton
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Glad you are enjoying it!
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Juan Valle
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revnye wrote:
Glad you are enjoying it!



Thanks, Ralph!

 
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Clay Woody
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Thanks for the nice descriptions and pictures of the battles. This is such an interesting time period, I must get this game!
 
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