Sunday, 8 November 2015

Franks for the Memories

 Well I sit here shell shocked after a battle which saw the cream of the Saxon army decimated by the Romano-British and my elite troops laid in heaps of dead. As I said previously we had two battles this weekend to get in the mood for the tournament next weekend, it was mainly a training exercise for my son who is taking my Romano-British so he could hone his army to a fine edge.

I decided to take only some elite Saxon cavalry and concentrate on my infantry which I fielded in large numbers, the British decided more or less to do the same, however their left flank looked decidedly weak and I thought a swift advance would lead me to victory. I don't know which objective Stewart had but I had to kill two expensive units, these I thought were the cavalry and I gave up with this idea as his Comitatus were out of my reach, so I would simply crush his army.

First battle deployment, Saxons on the left.
His deployment allowed me to advance against his left which I tried to do at great speed, despite throwing in extra dice to achieve this I never once won the initiative, it was a warning unheeded about the future. Stewart tried to reinforce his left rather than merely shorten it and my first assault was a hammer blow as three of his infantry units ran from a combination of combat and failed morale, in the words of the famous football commentator "It looks like it is all over....." mmmm.

British left in trouble.
 Then of course the rot set in, the bleedin' Franks whose only job was to remain in the centre and threaten the one British unit left, decided to run away, this let the British cavalry attack a beaten up unit of mine, which would have been better running, but no, they decided to be brave and continually stood up to the cavalry, not enough to beat them, just enough to stop any of my other units hitting the cavalry. I was in a bad position on the right, I couldn't get any of my men through due to the Franks and the six men and a dog who refused to die or run. I could see the way things were going and it wasn't good, the pendulum had begun to swing in the direction of the British. Meanwhile my left flank was being overwhelmed. 

A sad turnaround.
 My poor White Horses were left to be hit in front and flank, miraculously they threw snake eyes to stand fast just as the game ended, this meant I was narrowly defeated by 19 points to 22. I was more than annoyed with my Franks once again, they made no effort whatever to stand and fight and abandoned their comrades to overwhelming odds, defeat from the jaws of victory.
Dark Age slaughter, the White Horses fight to the end.
 Our second game on the Sunday was my fault entirely, I changed my army list and went for quality over quantity and two elite foot units and an armoured Duguth unit, I hoped to break a British flank with them and then roll it up. I didn't think things through my objective was to rout 75% of the enemy. I mucked about at the start and again did not win any initiative so Stewart quickly threw his line forward and took the centre, this allowed him to win the game without any combat at all, I was in no position to contest the centre as I had put all my effort in on the flank. Damn!

Second battle, Saxons on the left.
 We decided to continue and give my army a chance to contest the centre, I was obliged to throw my troops at the enemy line, this proved more than unproductive and I could not dent the shieldwalls backed up with long spears. My guys tried their best but were repulsed everywhere they charged. This was a disastrous game from my point of view, I did nothing right and suffered the consequences.
So there you have it, two defeats, one I blame entirely on the Franks and the other was my own fault. I shall have some things to say on the army lists and give you more insight into the workings of both armies in a future post.

You may or may not have noticed I have added two more pages above, one is an article on the fall of Constantinople in 1453 which was supposed to go to a magazine but I never got around to it as they changed their content and the other is an Old West scenario based on the real bank raid on Coffeyville in 1892 by the Younger Gang.

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