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Battle of Ceresole

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:53 am
by Rmarsden
A French army is outnumbered in terms of foot, shooting, and generally outclassed in a pitched battle.

This was a difficult battle that took me a couple of attempts to win. I ended up with a tremendous victory of something ridiculous like 5% to 49%- but don't let that fool you. A couple more turns and it would have quickly swung the other way.

Short Version = Use your superior heavy cavalry to clear the flanks, but save some for the masses of enemy arquebusiers. Try to get the enemy foot distracted and chasing your cavalry and at the same time try to knock out their weaker foot, and use your high-quality Swiss to take out enough of the others to win the battle before they do. I felt I needed a lot of luck as much as skill with this one!

Long Version = The Spanish are arrayed in a long line with three tercios on the left, four landsknecht in the center and two weaker pike on the right. Two artillery are in the center, with a lone gendarme and a screen of arquebusiers are forward of the center. Their flanks are covered by two light cavalry units each.

My army was composed of four gendarmes in the center, along with two artillery and two formidable Swiss pike on a hill. The rest of my pike, three on the left and two on the right were relatively weak, and could only challenge the Spanish pike, and even then, only in an even match-up. Two light cavalry hovered on each flank matching the Spanish light cavalry.

Terrains consists of a hill in your center and behind your lines, and little else.

After several times of being overwhelmed, my strategy was to clear the flanks, using my superior cavalry, and use that same cavalry to try and draw out and stall the Spanish tercios on my left, and the two weak pike units on my right. In the center, my Swiss awaited on a hill, while my weaker pike shifted steadily to the right, until three of them bolstered my Swiss and two marched in a wide circuit to assist my clearing of the right flank.

On the left, things went incredibly well. My gendarmes and light cavalry caught up to and routed the Spanish cavalry. The three Spanish tercios pursued, and managed to catch and route a gendarme, but the rest of my cavalry swung around into the enemy artillery. The Spanish tercios had at this point detached themselves from the main battle and didn't return in time to affect it. Had they, I would have been defeated.

In the center, my two Swiss and two weaker pike units waited, along with two arquebusiers and one gendarme. The enemy marched toward my lines, with their arquebusiers leading the way. I allowed them to get nose to nose with my foot soldiers and gendarmes and charged them, catching them in the rear as they ran, or pursuing them and charging another unit instead. This rapidly took out most of the Spanish arquebusiers. My Swiss slammed into two Landsknecht units and my weaker pike units assisted, using rear charges to route them.

On the right my cavalry did well as it did on the left and I managed to lure out not just the two weaker Spanish pike, but also two landsknecht units as well. This enabled my center to set up and overwhelm the enemy with local superiority. My foot on the right, consisting of three pike, charged into the enemy pike. One of my units routed, but I was able to route the other two pike units. Furthermore, my routed unit recovered.

Luck went my way, when my unit routed, I was able to launch a rear-attack. This also allowed my routing unit time to recover.

The two enemy Landsknecht on my right eventually engaged in battle, but too little too late, I had already won.

This particular battle was one of the trickier ones for me. I had to stall the Spanish left and right, overwhelm their center as quickly as possible with superior troops, while at the same time wiping out their arquebusiers, cavalry and artillery as fast as possible. At the same time, I could afford for very few of my units to route, and the French pike are particularly fragile. While I won with a large margin, had I hit the 'next turn' button two or three more times, it would have swung the other way in a hurry.

A 'big' win, but just as much luck as skill on my part in defeating Mr. AI!

Did you win the battle of Ceresole? Let me know how!

Re: Battle of Ceresole

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:41 am
by lk2500
Wow, this one is giving me fits. I just can't find a good match up anywhere on the battlefield - the French pike units are so fragile as Rmarsden points out. And my Gendarmes get shot up by Arqbusiers and/or cannon fire. My Swiss Kiels can barely even take out one Landsknecht and it takes forever if they can manage it.

Anybody else have any tips on this one?

Re: Battle of Ceresole

Posted: Mon Aug 03, 2015 3:17 am
by lk2500
Ha, went back to my last save and was able to pull out a 61-51 victory. Like Rmarsden mentioned, sometimes you need some luck on the roll of the dice. In this case it was keeping my Swiss isolated 1v1 on the Landsknehcts long enough to route them finally.