[Pictures available when someone explains how to add them in this crazy editor]
Having finally laid eyes upon the new world near a month ago, we ventured inland from our newly established fort along the coast. One of the local tribes had told our missionary tales of a fabled golden city in the interior of this land. In several days march we emerged from the jungles into a more arid plan of tall grass and copses of trees. And a well traveled dirt road.
Intrigued by the prospect of a wealthy people to the north-west, we paused to bring up several of our cannons from the ship, lest walls embolden resistance to tribute.The next day our dusty column, reinforced as well by our friendly native allies from the coast, encountered a line of the local people stretching across the road to either side. At first, it seemed a gathering of mere peasants, but upon consultation with our native allies, we learned that this nearly naked rabble is what passes for the Aztec army! I ordered the column to deploy for battle…Scenario:
Boarder Defense, custom map, 2000 ptsArmies:
(left to right)Spain (bottom of the map)
Native allies in front of Jinetes, Native allies; pikemen, sword and bucklers in front of cannon (mvp), conquistadors, conquistadors in front of dragoonsAztecs (top of the map)
civic militia, civic militia, civic militia, slingers in front of eagle warriors, slingers in front of veteran eagle warriors, slingers in front of veteran jaguar warriors, slingers in front of veteran jaguar warriors, (Hidden in the woods: two more slingers)Deployment:
With spain I wanted to try out the new conquistador infantry unit, a sort of battle squad with guns taking the place of the vanilla swordsmen, and the updated cannon (3)5/7 with an impact hit (representing in part the disruptive effect of cannon fire, as much as actual casualties). Niko brought a long wall of chumps to screen his elite infantry. For the first half of this campaign we're going to use historical units and then in the second half shift into an a-historical war where the aztecs have adopted firearms and horses.Orders:
both aztecs and spain were to advance at 2.5 concentrating fire over the plain to the right. On the left, the native warriors and jinetes were advancing at full speed to clear the woods and hold up their flank. Spanish fire is concentrated on the right-most slinger unit. The slingers are concentrating fire on the left conquistador (second from the right in the line).Opening moves:
Spain took the zero turn, borrowing Niko's metal dice. The three dice came down heavy on the felt and came up showing two ones. Plus the impact hit meant three damage off the bat to the nearly naked slingers. The aztecs advanced, falling just short of ranged attack distance. The slinger revealed in the close wood did a couple points of damage to my native allies. Spain next advanced, firing into the slingers on the end of the line, now with the additional fire from the conquistador infantry did a further three damage, and now I think Niko failed his check and became disrupted. The aztecs revealed their second slingers in the far wood who advanced targeting the pikemen and got the disrupted slingers back on the move. The lines converged for melee, as spain continued its slow advance. Gunpowder began to choke the line, as the slingers on the end of the line were wiped out by ranged fire. The jinetes along the flank were direct controlled to face the civic militia, lest they become a target for a flank attack by the civic militia by pinching the doomed slingers, now locked in melee with the native allies. The jinetes completel whiffed their javelin attack vs. the civic militia and the slingers were routed by the by native allies and ran back into their lines in disarray.Midgame:
Niko had backed up his veteran jaguar warriors into the space of the gunned down slingers and now they were within range of a heroic sprint to the conquistador infantry. Niko played fanatical attack and I played parry but I'd forgotten to mark their professionalism. The conquistadors took 3 wounds and failed their courage check and got mowed down by the jaguar warriors who had 2-3 pts of damage on them and take prisoners marked. Trouble! On the other flank, a unit of slingers threatened the flank of my pikemen and the civic militia charged the jinetes--and did three damage (professionalism not marked again!) and the jinetes only did two back, not even forcing a check!
The spanish pikemen and sword and buckers final rushed into melee, mostly against slingers and those fights would actually slowly creep until the elite warriors behind them could get engaged. I had to do something about those crazy aztecs that had just busted through my line on the right flank: shoot them with everything. I direct controlled the other unit of conquistadors to not charge the slingers in front of them and instead target the jaguar warriors. The cannon again shone bright! scoring two or three hits on 2's plus an impact hit for a bunch of wounds wounds. The musketry of the dragoons and the conquistadors at short range finished them off in an improbably massacre (good thing too as their base courage was 15, even in the red they were very likely to make it and then continue to rampage around my lines. The jinetes on the flank finally drove off the civic militia in front of them, but not without taking a further 2 damage and needing a card to avoid an awkward and unprofessional morale check. End game:
Over the next couple turns the spanish and their native allies consolidated their flank wins while artillery and dragoon fire continued to take their toll. I think niko's lack of enough actual fighting units and his skittishness to just charge through my gun's ranged fire led to over cautiousness. Eventually, the spanish line units cut through the skirmishers to face real aztec infantry. My guys were mostly in the yellow so I was definitely behind, but professionalism and good rolls meant that I gave as good as I got. The pikemen got pinched but managed to hold on with one red health and make their check. On the left flank two native allies in the yellow and jinetes in the red were closing in and on the right flank the dragoons were standing off firing into the aztec flanks. In despair the aztecs fled the field leaving the spanish forces bloodied but unbroken.Design notes:Spanish ahistoricals
-- we're a bit concerned about how strong the dragoons are, in particular against the historical aztecs (without their own cavalry or guns to counter on the flanks). And dragoons were probably a later unit than 1492, thinking more like late 16th century or later. Still within our design framework, but definitely later on. In that spirit we're thinking of marking the dragoons, halbardeers, and knights as ahistorical units for the main aztec v. spain campaign, units that probably wouldn't have seen the new world unless the aztecs had held out for a decades long war.The cannon
-- Niko'd estimated the cannon at 240 pts, and that's probably much too low. We're thinking more in the 300 pt range now given that an impact hit at str7 is basically a free would a turn. One of the key challenges is to make sure that the cannon is something that you're gonna take with some frequency (not too expensive) and not too specialized at just killing monsters, as cannons were pretty effective against the aztecs, etc. historically. Slingers
-- We're not quite sure about this current iteration of the slingers. It's frustrating how they actually get in the way of the elite infantry they are screening once melee happens. We had originally tried them as skirmishers but that also felt weird. I think in part it's because niko took too many chumps (and I kept getting them to fail their courage checks and become disrupted resulting in a frustrating command card tax), having a looser line gives your more opportunities to slide units around to create gaps and other opportunities for your back rank units. I'm also not sure that just charging forward with a mix of warrior societies is bad (given that they have high courage and a good amount of health). Something to watch.