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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Swordpoint: Holy Roman Empire vs Maltese

Some time ago, I had my third game of Swordpoint, a new Ancients & Medieval ruleset, of which I am very fond. It is fast and easy to learn, has some nice mechanisms, e.g. Momentum Tokens and the Line of Battle, AND it produces historical results for big battles in 3-4 Hours!

We were pitting my Holy Roman Empire force against my pal Ulrich's Maltese Order of St. John in a 800 points random battle. Let's start with one of the two (early) essential blunders, which cost me the game in the end. My first pike block of Bernese Swiss mercenaries tried a charge against the Maltese Crusaders and failed. I forgot, that in SP you are allowed to measure all distances all the time (the result of reading too many rulesets...), and therefore they got charged from two sides in return.
Swiss mercenaries in the meat grinder
My Landsknechts (Halberdiers, Handgunners and a cannon) on my left flank tried their best to give a good fight against the Maltese crossbowmen and skirmishing handgunners, put could hold the line after pressure for 6 turns.
Landsknecht left flank
Beautiful Maltese Handgunner Skirmishers
When the centre broke, the Habsburg general tried to rally the Swiss, but the Maltese armoured might was already on its way to exploit the breach.
General's rallying attempt
The Landsknecht Halberdiers now had to take on two thirds of the enemy army all on their own, being surrounded by crossbowmen and crusaders. Although they put on a tough fight, they finally fled, as well. 
Landsknecht Halberdiers against the red horde

The Swiss rallied again (two times!) to plug the hole in the Line of Battle, but the tactical situation was to bad to be fixed by now. They got slaughtered by the Maltese in a hard melee.

Meanwhile my second blunder came into effect: I had positioned my second pike block of Swiss from the canton Uri just one inch into a field (needed room for another cannon) and it took them 6 whole turns to move through the crops and being able to enter the fight much too late! In SP close order-infantry movement is reduced from 8" to 2" in difficult terrain.
Uri Swiss mowing down crops
Uri Swiss finally take action (too late!)
The last Huzzah of the battle came, when the heavy Habsburg knight cavalry move around my left flank and successfully attacked a unit of Maltese pikemen, which fled. But the pursuit failed and they rallied again to counter-attack next turn, which made the knights leave the field and the battle was lost.
Glorious cavalry charge against pikes!
Maltese Pikemen flee...
... but return to rout the Habsburg knights.

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