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The English rolled well, deploying two companies each of demi-lancers, halberdiers, and militia pikemen, supported by three companies of shot and a small battery of sakers. The Irish managed three companies of galloglasses, two each of bonnachts and wood kerne and one each of kern musketeers, Spanish trained targeteers and a priest.
The forces deploy - The Irish lord with a wicked glint in his eye...
The Irish started the game disease free while two companies of my Royalists were infected and started the game with lower resolve. Still, they were cheered up by some rallying speeches during the first couple of turns and there was no harm done. For the first couple of turns the English advanced and the Irish player shuffled his line to provide more beneficial match ups. The English gun battery hammered away at the gallowglasses being led by the lord, hoping that a lucky shot might eliminate the commander. Although the firing was mostly effective, much of the resolve lost was later restored through the combined work of the Irish lord and the priest in rally phases. In fact the biggest casualty of the early part of the game was a dice which bounced off the balcony...
Once my English militia shot were within range, they opened fire in a series of devastating volleys which made shot work of the wood kern on the Irish left flank (ha! not such a sparkle in the eye now!). The English foot advanced on the English left and were met by the main Irish line.
The bonnachts on the Irish right enveloped the poor English pikemen but the high resolve of the pike-block enabled the line to hold firm - for a while... It turn, the English shot companies engaged the Irish gallowglass companies in the flank whil the demi-lancers swung slowly across the boggy ground to hit the Irish in the rear. One company (led by the English lord) managed to get into the rear of some gallowglasses but the second were charged by some foolishly brave kern musketeers. There was no chance that the musketeers would win the melee, but by laying down their lives, they managed to stop the lancer charge into the rear of another gallowglass company which would have scattered the unit and caused an Irish rout. As it was, the melee ground on slowly with each side losing considerable resolve until it reached the point that the battle would be decided in the next phase. Whoever decided the order of the melee would choose the flank where they had the advantage. One scattering company would then start a domino effect on the resolve and their army would flee. The Irish won the initiative easily and by starting the melee roles on the Irish right where the pike block still faced two companies of bonnachts, the game was decided. The pikemen scattered and the panic spread across the English ranks.
You can see the lost resolve markers (white stones) really building up there. It was the third game in a row where I have played as the English and the thirs game in which I have lost... I wonder if this is statistically significant....? Still, it was probably the closest run game we have had and a lot of fun.