Battle of Gravelines -End of Italian Campaign-

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Rmarsden
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Battle of Gravelines -End of Italian Campaign-

Post by Rmarsden » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:16 am

Gravelines, the final battle in the Italian Campaign.

The French army finds itself on the road, attacked on one side by a large army of pike and arquebusiers, while on the other side lies the sea, and three English warships with heavy cannons. The road is blockaded by Spanish cavalry. Even better, on the other end of the road some of the French army is behind a river and has to cross a bridge to join the battle. Even more 'good' news- turn 1 you don't even get to move and the enemy draws in closer, eager to push you into the sea.

It's going to be a battle of tight quarters and challenges from many directions.

In this battle I had an army that was outnumbered in terms of foot, but not cavalry. The Spanish had their arquebusiers in a line in front of their pike. They had minor cavalry on their right, and a cavalry blockading force on their left.

Knowing that to sit idle was to be shot to pieces from the ships and muskets, I engaged in headlong melee, hoping to wreck the Spanish arquebusiers and cavalry before engaging their pike, which generally outclassed or equaled me in terms of quality and, as mentioned before, outnumbered me.

My pike sought out the Spanish arqubusiers, and if they failed to catch them, my cavalry rushed in to catch them after they evaded. The battlefield is compact, with little room to maneuver. This was initially to my advantage, enabling me to route arquebusiers, then roll into the next unit, or follow up soon after. In short order the Spanish were virtually devoid of shot.

The cavalry on the road was matched, surrounded and routed, though it took me precious time and my over-eager gendarme and light cavalry nearly ran off the field in pursuit.

The battle was going my way, and I came close to a 20% to 40% victory, but it wasn't to be. The Spanish pike rolled into my army and locked up most of my units. They were also able to double-up on some of my pikes. My attempts to get a rear charge with two of my pike who crossed the river failed. By the time I had cleared the other wing of Spanish cavalry, my army was already starting to route before they could get into position.

My lead in the battle whittled down until the Spanish and I were hovering in the 50% range, with most of my pike routing or running away to keep distance from superior and numerous units.

Once the Spanish were close to breaking, I used the only advantage I had left- my arqubusiers. They were largely untouched and I focused fire on the Spanish pike. The Spanish were slow and cumbersome, and without cavalry or their own gunmen, could only march, or try and charge and catch my arqubusiers. Luckily for me, they failed to do this. I was able to have three arquebusiers fire away on single units.

I routed a pair of Spanish pike, and when some of their cavalry rallied late in the battle, my light cavalry was on hand to break them (again). My own units that rallied were shot up by the English navy, which did a fine job of preventing any of my pike from recovering for very long.

Victory was mine, but just barely.

In hindsight, I should have been more aggressive in clearing the Spanish cavalry on their right, so I could get my pike from the river behind the Spanish army. If I was a little faster, I could have had local superiority and perhaps run away with a grand victory instead of a nail-biter.

And so ends my many AAR's, I'll leave it to others to handle the English Civil War and 30 Years War.

Waldorf
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Re: Battle of Gravelines -End of Italian Campaign-

Post by Waldorf » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:27 am

Thank you for the effort you have put into these reports. They will be very useful to consult for the generals who come after you :).

rbodleyscott
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Re: Battle of Gravelines -End of Italian Campaign-

Post by rbodleyscott » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:37 am

Yes thanks very much. At least nobody can now say that any of these scenarios are unbeatable!
Richard Bodley Scott

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Rmarsden
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Re: Battle of Gravelines -End of Italian Campaign-

Post by Rmarsden » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:44 pm

Happy to help and pleased with Slitherine. We don't get titles like this without them.

KateMicucci
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Re: Battle of Gravelines -End of Italian Campaign-

Post by KateMicucci » Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:31 pm

I had a similar experience. Routing the numerically superior arquebusiers without losing any of my own was surprisingly easy.

Unfortunately I lost my gendarmes and pistoleers early in the battle when they were flank charged during a pursuit. God, I hate that. I had to take out the four remaining heavy cav on the right flank by locking them with a couple of Landsknect's ZoC's while shooting them down to autoroute levels with arquebusiers, and a few charges with light lancers. Unfortunately the pikes I was using for this purpose took enourmous casualties from the English ships. I repeated the procedure with the left flank cavalry using a unit of Raw French pikes and a few arquebsusiers.

Meanwhile the Landsknects holding my center performed admirably, and despite 3v1 pileups they endured a long time. Eventually though, they autorouted, but not before severly bloodying the enemy. Once my center and right flank pikes collapsed the numbers looked dicey, but the remaining Spanish pikes could now be shot at again and they already had around 40% casualties. For two or three turns my arquebus volleys routed pike block after pike block. Final score was something like 50%-68%.

Waldorf
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Re: Battle of Gravelines -End of Italian Campaign-

Post by Waldorf » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:03 pm

After many *many* attempts I managed to "win" this 61/67(!). Got the message about both armies withdrawing, but in this instance it awards you the win. That seemed a somewhat hollow victory so I restored from a save game and randomly clicked on things while on the phone to my mum. Miraculously, this rather zen approach actually netted me the absolute victory that had eluded me for the last few evenings.

One of the things I discovered was if you leave one of the generally pretty useless pike units by the shore they can soak up an *awful lot* of cannon fire from the ships, leaving your more potent units relatively unmolested.

I have now finished all the Historical scenarios including Tercio to Salvo. Will download some choice community generated ones of course, but the burning question is... when will we see the P&S Gold that is currently in Beta? I'm a school teacher about to begin a six week holiday. Soon would be nice ;).
Last edited by Waldorf on Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rbodleyscott
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Re: Battle of Gravelines -End of Italian Campaign-

Post by rbodleyscott » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:24 pm

Waldorf wrote:After many *many* attempts I managed to "win" this 61/67(!). Got the message about both armies withdrawing, but in this instance it awards you the win. That seemed a somewhat hollow victory so I restored from a save game and randomly clicked on things while on the phone to my mum. Miraculously, this rather zen approach actually netted me the absolute victory that had eluded me for the last few evenings.

One of the things I discovered was if you leave one of the generally pretty useless pike units by the shore they can soak up an *awful lot* of cannon fire from the ships, leaving your more potent units relatively unmolested.

I have now finished all the Historical scenarios including Tercio to Salvo. Will download some choice community generated ones of course, but the burning question is... when will we see the P&S Gold that is currently in Beta? I'm a school teaxcher about to begin a six week holiday. Soon would be nice ;).
Well let's just say there won't be much left of your holiday....
Richard Bodley Scott

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