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Author Topic: Battle of Svenstrup 1534, Chritsmas refight  (Read 797 times)

Offline Erik

  • scientist
  • Posts: 247
Battle of Svenstrup 1534, Chritsmas refight
« on: January 06, 2019, 11:49:40 PM »
Again this Christmas we had a night of gaming with a handful of hardy wargamers, good food and lots of beer and whiskey. We had decided to playout the battle of Svenstrup in Northern Jutland in 1534. The battle was part of a civil war that ravaged Denmark in the first half the 1530th. It was a war between different heirs to the throne, citizens and nobles, Lbeck and the Netherlands and Protestants and Catholics. Everything a good civil war needs.

In favor of the deposed and imprisoned king Christian II, a great rebellion rose up in the northern part of Jutland under leadership of the Aalborg merchant Skipper Clement. Zeeland and Funen had already fallen to Lbeck and Christopher of Oldenburg who also supported Christian II. But in Jutland a new king, Christian III cousin to Christian II, together with his ruthless army commander Johan Rantzau  still held on to royal authority. Johan Rantzau advanced from Holstein with an army of 2000 experienced landsknechts to crush the rebels. However noble royalist gathered at Randers eager to deal with the peasants themselves. The noble heavy cavalry was lured in to a swamp just south of Aalborg by Skipper Clement and slaughtered. 14 nobles are known to have fallen.

We played the game using Hail Caesar, our favorite game for these sorts of events. Cavalry fighting in the swamp would only be able to use their sustained fighting value, not their clash value and no one would gain bonuses from charging. In the rebel deployment area there were large areas of high ground that offered normal fighting conditions. Each of the brigade commanders was given different objectives, aside from of course beating their opponents. This meant that there was a certain amount of completion within each army to reach brigade objectives. We also used a set of event cards that Dr. Zombie came up with two years ago to spice up the game a bit further.

The two armies face each other across a swampy area known as Lere Sig. The center of the royal army is help by the two competitive noblemen Niels Lavensen Brock and Holger Rosenkrantz and their cavalry brigades both eager to kill rebellious peasants. They are flanked on either side by the two army commanders Mogens Gye and Erik Banner. Both commanding mixed heavy infantry supported by handgunnes and small cannons. The rebels have taken up position on the dry, high ground. On the eastern hill are German landsknechts commanding by the mayor of Lbeck Wullenwever and pikearmed peasants commanding by Christopher of Oldenburg. The only road through the swamp is cut by entrenched heavy cannons. On the western hill the rebel commander Skipper Clement commands a very large collection of rebel peasants with mixed arms and crossbows. 


Here you can see the royal army from the east with commander Mogens Gyes men in the front.


A look from the view of the two cavalry banners in the center.


Closeup of the pikearmed peasants on the eastern hill


Holger Rosenkrantz immediately cut in front of Niels Lavesen Brock to take the road and the easiest way to the peasant rebels. Seeing the eager noble cavalry the pikerarmed peasants decide to take the fight to the enemy and move of the safety of their hill, judging that fighting the cavalry in the swamp is to their advantage.


Getting a bit carried away they actually end up charging the lead cavalry unit. With a bit of luck and some of our custom-made event cards, Holger Rosenkrantz ends up winning the fight and repulsing the pike-armed peasants. He also manages to get himself impaled on one of the pikes. The first of many commander casualties in this battle. In the rear, you can see Niels Lavesen Brock making his way around Holger Rosenkrantz and towards Skipper Clement.


After this initial hotheadedness, the two brigades line up nicely in front of each other. The landsknechts have also moved off the hill and into the swamp to be able to support the eager peasants.


This, however, turns out to be a big mistake as Mogens Gyes infantry is no way near as impeded be the swamp as the cavalry. Only by the most impressive of luck do they manage to make it out alive (rolling 10 out of 12 moral saves). The Rosenkrantz cavalry is not so fortunate and is cut down and broken just as their historical counterparts.


Niels Lavensen Brocks cavalry having had to move behind and around Holger Rosenkrantz cavalry finally start making their way for Skipper Clement and the hated rebels.


There are join by Erik Banner who has finally gotten his men moving just in time to help the redeployed noble cavalry. Erik Banner brings handgunners and a dreaded multibarreled organ gun that opens its action by shaking a rebel unit in one round of firing.


Skipper Clemens rebels hold on to their hill and manage to cause multiple disruptions to the noble cavalry by forcing the lead unit back through the rest with effective crossbow fire. Only a single unit of sergeants remain to finally charge and they are easily broken be the well-supported rebels fighting from an uphill position.


After breaking the Rosenkrantz cavalry Christopher of Oldenburg swings his pike-armed peasants around to flank Mogens Gyes infantry. Actually its Mogens Gye the younger you see fleeing from Christopher's men as Mogens Gye had been cut down. As it should be clear from this picture Mogens Gye the younger was not in a good tactical position and so he as well is cut down and his place taken over by Mogens Gye the even younger wielding an impressive command value of 6.   


Overview of the battle in the final stage. With the loose of Holger Rosenkrantz cavalry, the royal center is empty. The pike-armed peasants and the landsknechts on the western hill are trying to surround Mogens Gye. However, both are on the breaking point whereas Mogens Gye has still not been fully committed. On the western end, Niels Lavensen Brock remaining cavalry and Erik Banner are closing in on Skipper Clements men. When both landsknechts and pike-armed peasants break it's all over for the rebels.


The game didnt turn out quite as it did historically but at least the royal cavalry was still butchered in the swamp and lots of commanders died fighting there. All the rebel players where also from Vendsyssel in northern Jutland. Historically Johan Rantzau quickly crushed the rebellion and forced Skipper Clement back to Aalborg. The city was stormed and true to the rules of war back then sacked. You can see our refight of this here

http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=101738.msg1262861#msg1262861.

It was a great game and even though the rebel players claimed it was all rigged everyone still had a lot of fun.


Cheers
Erik



Online Wellington Bonaparte

  • librarian
  • Posts: 165
Re: Battle of Svenstrup 1534, Chritsmas refight
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2019, 06:39:56 PM »
Great report, I love seeing and reading about these European battles that never get a look in here in Britain. Superb table and loads of lovely mini's, interesting to see the house of York fighting in this battle!! Must have missed that when I was researchibg the WOTRs  lol

Offline Erik

  • scientist
  • Posts: 247
Re: Battle of Svenstrup 1534, Chritsmas refight
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2019, 07:37:54 PM »
Ha ha ha. Beggers can't be choosers and since the Britts completely dominate the miniature market, we Scandinavians have to make ends meet. Years back (when the first Perry WOTR came out) I had an idea of making an army but I gave up after having painted the first 140 miniatures and instead turned my eyes on the Scandinavian wars. From bow to crossbow.

Anyway. I am glad you like the AAR


Erik 

Offline Peter d

  • bookworm
  • Posts: 83
    • The Single Handed Admiral
Re: Battle of Svenstrup 1534, Chritsmas refight
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2019, 01:51:16 AM »
Great looking game, and its to see an less well known campaign on table.
Been playing with toy soldiers since the mid 70s.  Not planning to grow up any time soon.

Offline Dr. Zombie

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Re: Battle of Svenstrup 1534, Chritsmas refight
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2019, 09:31:05 AM »
Thanks for posting. It was a most enjoyable game. Even though the nobles spent all the battle prancing about in the swamps getting themselves killed. But the stalwart footmen loyal to the king carried the day in spite of having no support from the nobs.

Online rampantlion

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  • Posts: 196
Re: Battle of Svenstrup 1534, Chritsmas refight
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2019, 05:04:32 PM »
Great report and a beautiful game!  I had no knowledge of this battle so I learned a little history too!

Thanks

Offline janner

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Re: Battle of Svenstrup 1534, Chritsmas refight
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2019, 07:45:39 AM »
Sounds like you had a cracking game  :)

Offline DintheDin

  • scatterbrained genius
  • Posts: 3596
Re: Battle of Svenstrup 1534, Chritsmas refight
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2019, 11:41:46 AM »
Great report and a beautiful game!  I had no knowledge of this battle so I learned a little history too!

Thanks


Thank you for posting! And so colorful armies! Must have been a great game!
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