The armies were:
Russians (Caesar) - Seven Trained Infantry, two Guard Infantry, four Trained Cavalry, three Artillery, Maison Du Roi (upgrading the two Elite Infantry to Guards), Pikes
Swedes (Me) - Seven Trained Infantry, four Trained Cavalry, three Artillery, a la Bayonet, Cavaliers, Clerics, Pikes
We got an Urban battlefield, Caesar won the scouting roll and opted to defend. We both rolled very low for terrain, and ended up with only five pieces - two small villages, a wood, a wall and a ploughed field.
The armies deployed - Swedes on the left, Russians defending the smaller village on the right.
The Russian left-wing. Caesar placed his artillery behind the wall. The infantry columns included his two guard units.
The Russian right.
The Swedish left. This includes two units of Cossack mercenaries.
Charles in charge.
Peter the Great personally set up the range-markers for his artillery.
Caesar's columns advanced, only to find the ground was far boggier than they had been led to believe it was.
He marched his infantry wide, the speed of columns catching me out as he basically turned my flank. I charged his cavalry screen.
Unfortunately, despite the edge Cavaliers gave me, Caesar held my cavalry off. I wheeled my infantry line to face Caesar's deploying Russians, and the cavalry fight became sandwiched between them.
My cavalry was soon destroyed by Russian musketry and a final charge by their cavalry. But the Russians started to take hits from my own infantry as the two lines positioned themselves for what would obviously be the main fight.
The guard had ended up in the second Russian line, but the loss of one of their regular units brought one to the fore.
The Swedes positioned themselves for an attack.
The first Swedish assault was inconclusive, mostly through Caesar matching a bonus card I played with one of his own, as well as my rerolls being as bad as the original rolls they replaced.
The cheesiest move ever! Noticing how close Caesar's units were to the edge of the table, I used a Confusion! card to retire one of his guard units out of the fight.
The Swedes prepared to attack again. Both sides had lost a couple of infantry units by this stage.
Another Swedish attack. Ga pa!
It didn't go well - the Russians stood firm. This despite the Swedes supporting their attacks with Clerics.
The second Russian guard unit was finished off by musketry, backed up with extremely lucky die rolls.
The position was now interesting. The Russians had two infantry units and a couple of shaky cavalry units over on the flank. I had managed to bring the infantry from my left flank over to support my troops, and had four of them ready to launch a final attack. On the downside my morale was down to the last point, but my units were fresh and ready to go, and the Russian morale was getting dangerously low as well.
Then Caesar played this ...
Charles XII shot down like a dog, and the end of the Swedish will to fight. A Russian victory.
Aside from the infantry I switched to my right, our troops on the other flank didn't move. Neither side's artillery fired a shot.
Even the Cossacks managed to sit just looking at a lootable town all game. Well done lads!
Pikes is something of a game changer for the infantry, making the firefights far less deadly. Although the Swedes have an edge in close combat, it's still not enough to be able to barrel straight in against a foe that hasn't been softened up first, if they're of an equivalent quality. We did discuss whether the Russians should have a lot more Conscript infantry. This would up their numbers, but make them a lot more vulnerable to Swedish attack. Maybe it's something to experiment with in a future battle. Another approach is to give the Swedes a few Elite units. The plus side to that being that I wouldn't have to paint any more figures in order to try it out.
Anyway, it was a great little battle, even if it was mostly fought in a small area of the table hard up against one edge. We seemed to pretty much have the rules off-pat now as well.
On the other table was a WW1 game featuring Australian troops in Palestine and using BKC. I took a few pictures of it towards the end, but I was obviously suffering from too much excitement because they all came out blurred and shaky. It sounded like a lively game, though, with much discussion.