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Author Topic: The siege of Aalborghus  (Read 1618 times)

Offline Erik

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The siege of Aalborghus
« on: June 24, 2017, 09:53:04 AM »
Wednesday night Dr. Zombie and I had our first go at Warlords games Pike and Shotte rules. We have played Hail Caesar many times before as well as Black Powder, so there were no real surprises there.  In my opinion Pike and Shotte is somewhere in between leaning heavily towards Black Powder. I had recently gotten hold of a beautiful model of the castle Aalborghus from northern Jutland. The model was built by the wargames club in Aalborg, Tinsoldaten (the lead soldier). It was on display at Crisis in Antwerp in 2008 and maybe also Tactica in Hamburg, but recently it had been collecting dust in our club and was finally moved to someone’s attic.

The model was originally built for the storm of the castle in 16XX when the castle was in Swedish hands. We wanted to refight the siege of the castle in 1534 when the rebellious Skipper Clement held the castle for the disposed king Christian II against the brilliant but ruthless general Johan Rantzau and his royal army. Only problem was that the model represents the castle built 5 years after this siege, so even though the model is a really good example of a contemporary castle it is in fact completely wrong for the scene we wanted to set. Luckily wargames often concern themselves with the what ifs of history and in this example we wanted to see if the good Skipper could hold out with a “modernized” 16th century castle. We mostly used the siege rules from the supplement “The Devils Own” and supplemented it with HC Dacian Wars as well as our own home rules. I won’t go into all the details here except for two rules we came up with while playing. First of all canon firing at defenders on the wall was just too nasty with only a -1 to hit as the -3 moral from the heavy guns negated the +2 moral from the walls. Instead we decided the firing at defenders only served to suppress them making it easier for the attackers to reach the wall. The disorder rules do this pretty well, so defenders on the wall could only be disordered from attacking firing. Second was representation of the canons flanking fire from the round towers (rondels) in the corners of the castle. As the moats were two move wide it was possible to give enfiladed fire when troops stranded in the moat, but the guns were really meant to give support in the insuring fight for the rampant. So we decided to let them do just that, give 3 support each to the men manning the walls. The round towers could not be attacked themselves.

Enough with the chit chat. Here’s a huge load of pictures of the battle which in my humble opinion look absolutely fabulously (I am allowed to say that as I didn’t built the model)

Overview of the battleground. Rantzau has but the bulk of his force to the west of the castle with landsknechts, mounted nobles and a battery of large caliber siege guns. To the east he has deployed trained levies and at sea three warships bombard to main building. They carry more trained levy ready to be landed once the walls are breached.

The defenders only have enough men to man three of the four flanks of the castle and can only waint for the attackers to come within range of their many firearms.

The trained levy make good way toward the moat and prepare to throw in the fascines.

On the western flank the landsknechts move more cautiously while the guns start battering the walls.

The mounted nobles begin making their way around the castle to attack it from the north.

The fight on the eastern flank quickly gets heated as the defenders pour a deadly crossfire into the attacking royal forces.

The attackers manage to hold on and reach the wall were fierce hand to hand combat erupts. With all to hits already sustained to fight looks like it will be short-lived but the trained levy show remarkable resilience.

The landsknecht have finally reached the moat and started filling it up with fascines. However heavy defensive fire keeps them disordered and casualties start to mound. Some manage to cross the moat and assault the wall, but they are beaten back and hit with more gunfire.

Luckily the siege guns beach the wall and sprits lifts as the earthen rampant crash into the moat taking many defending crossbowmen with them.

On the northern flank the nobles have dismounted, filled the moat and are attacking in force. With attacks from three sides the defenders are hard pressed for firepower as every available gun is red hot from constant firing.

Meanwhile the ships have managed to breach the wall of the main building and have landed their cargo of fresh trained levies, who immediately set about crossing the moat to the undefended southern part of the castle.

Overview of the battle when all sides are under assault.

Handgunners from the nearest round tower rush to fill in the gab but they are easily swept aside by the tide of warriors flowing through the large hole in the outer wall and take control of the main castle building.

 The landsknechts mount a final assault on the western wall, while the nobles have secured the northern wall and started making their way to the round towers to take out the canons and handgunners stubbornly continuing their deadly flanking fire. 

All seems lost for the defenders however the attackers have taken heavy casualties. First to break are the trained levies who started the attack on the eastern flank, but suddenly every falls apart for the attackers. The landsknecht manage to fight the defending crossbowmen on the breached wall section to a draw which ends up breaking both units. This is the final straw for the mercenaries who start to retreat from the battle. The nobles are met with a storm of crossbowbolts coming from the castle building where defenders from the now secure eastern wall have taken up position to form a second line of defense. This break the fightingwill of the nobles as well and with three retreating battalions Johan Rantzau must accept defeat and retreat leaving Aalborg in the hands of the rebellious Skipper Clement.

This was my first proper siege battle ever and without a doubt on of my most enjoyable wargames ever fought. Hats off to the guys from Tinsoldaten who made this beautiful model of Aalborghus. It was a great scene to fight over. We plane more fights trying out yet more twists to the siege rules. The fewer stamina points for the unit makes for a much more dynamic game than Hail Caesar while the slower movement rates still keeps the pace down from the sometimes very fast moving Black Powder games. We must also get hold the new supplement for Pike and Shotte which supposedly has more rules for siege warfare. Great fun and an epic struggle.



Offline marianas_gamer

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Re: The siege of Aalborghus
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2017, 10:00:56 AM »
Great looking game :-* I like close fought - near thing battles.
Got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight.

Offline Poiter50

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Re: The siege of Aalborghus
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2017, 10:03:27 AM »
Is the warship the Zvezda Kogge?

Offline Plynkes

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Re: The siege of Aalborghus
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2017, 10:33:34 AM »
Spectacular! What a lovely piece of kit that castle is.

Thálatta! Thálatta!

Offline Dr. Zombie

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Re: The siege of Aalborghus
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2017, 11:52:41 AM »
It was a magnificent battle. And very close fought. I was sure the castle was lost with the knights having taken one rampart and footmen pouring in through the breached wall on the opposite side. So it was a bit of a surprise when they suddenly all broke and ran for it. But the casualties did mount up near the end.

I think we actually hit the balance for the game spot on. I think we both thought it would be an up hill struggle but the game was winnable.

Offline DintheDin

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Re: The siege of Aalborghus
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2017, 02:04:19 PM »
You had a fantastic game! Everything was great! And a very complete AAR! Congrats!
Thank you for sharing!
Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates. – Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

Offline mweaver

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Re: The siege of Aalborghus
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2017, 02:12:40 PM »
Sounds like a really exciting fight.  That castle is gorgeous, but your figures do it justice - very striking armies.  Thanks for the report!


Online jambo1

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Re: The siege of Aalborghus
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2017, 02:22:13 PM »
Wow!! Superb set up and loads of lovely figures. Well done to all. :)

Offline janner

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Re: The siege of Aalborghus
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2017, 05:22:37 AM »
What a cracking game!

Is the warship the Zvezda Kogge?

Yes, it is  ;)

Offline dinohunterpoa

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Re: The siege of Aalborghus
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2017, 10:23:25 PM »

Thank you very much for sharing!
"Because life is made of inspiration, dreaming and insanity in about equal measure."
- Erzsébet Báthory - 1560-1614 (?)

Offline Helen

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Re: The siege of Aalborghus
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2017, 10:32:36 PM »
Wow! Fantastic looking game. Love the scenics.

Offline Dr. Zombie

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Re: The siege of Aalborghus
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2018, 06:39:08 PM »
I am sorry for the necromancy. But I am a zombie doctor so I know what I am doing.

This thread was posted a few days before Photobucket screwed over the internet. But now the pics are somehow back. And I thought it deserved another honorable mention because it was a most awesome game both to look at and the game itself. Certainly one of my gaming highlights  for 2017.

Offline OSHIROmodels

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Re: The siege of Aalborghus
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2018, 06:46:48 PM »
Looks a cracking game  8)

I also like the use of the silhouette against the wall representing the breach.

Offline Ogrob

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Re: The siege of Aalborghus
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2018, 06:49:31 PM »
It does look very good. Glad to get the chance to see it.

Offline Dr. Zombie

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Re: The siege of Aalborghus
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2018, 07:20:21 PM »

I also like the use of the silhouette against the wall representing the breach.

I quite like them myself. I made then on the day on a whim. I have not had a chance to use them since though...


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