Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Holding the Gap

As I mentioned in my last post, the "miniaturised" version of OHW had proved to be quite successful to the extent that I turned round and played another game straight away.  This time it was scenario 24 - Bottleneck.

With the loss at Connor's Bluff, Cottar's Scottish army was chased back to the Scottish borders before they could find a place to turn in an effort to hold the rampaging Parliamentary army.  Cottar had found the ideal battlefield whereby his outnumbered force could defeat the English.

The battlefield at turn 1 - The Scots are based just to the north of the wood and lake, except for the Highlanders in the forest.  The English are just off the playing area looking to force their way up the road as well as sweep around the lake. 
The Scots had 4 units to the English 6. To win they had  to have at least one unit within 4 inches (2 squares) of the road by the end of turn 15.  The swordsmen (Highlanders) are hidden in the forest which is impassable to the English.

The battle unfolded in two parts.  The English charge up the road was blocked by some exceptional firing by the Scottish regiment that was based on the road.  The English had led with their own swordsmen who, while good at hand to hand, had no firepower and, worse, blocked the firing of the supporting three infantry regiments.  The swordsmen were quickly despatched and the following infantry regiment was also sent reeling back before the next regiment could finally see off the resilient Scots.

The English worked their way around the lake on the east flank, where the cavalry charged the Scottish reiters. In a close run fight, the reiters were just victorious thanks to the damage inflicted by firing before contact.  This success was short-lived as the English eastern infantry regiment closed the range and sent them routing through firepower.

The crisis point
The crisis point of the battle was reached with the English threatening the last Scottish unit in the open.  However, the Scots were clearly experienced and well provisioned with shot as they continued to shoot down the English regiments who were clearly  worn from the long pursuit north (ie they threw too many ones which either resulted in little damage or the loss of firepower).

The game ended with the Scots still holding the road and the Highlanders emerging from the forest to confirm the victory.

This miniaturised OHW game also ran quickly with seemingly no loss of fidelity from the original rules.  I know this seems to reduce OHW almost to the level of a boardgame but it worked pretty well for me.

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