Monday, 15 February 2016

Franks Triumphant!

I packed and checked and rechecked everything needed for my away game my memory not being what it was, I left the rules and dice at home last time and had to do a u-turn to get them. That little escapade nearly gave Lawyers4U some business, long story. Anyway I set off early so no View last week, there may not be one next week either as I am taking my wife away for her birthday to a plush new hotel and restaurant.

I arrived in time despite a rough ride over the A66 which had had some snow, and we set up, it was my Romano-British versus Stewart's Western Franks (Carolingians), I had painted up a cavalry unit for him and he had a new foot unit to add to the one he had already, so things are going forward with this interesting army. We decided to fight a pitched battle rather than choose a random objective card, I managed to keep both my terrain pieces, a large gentle hill and a small piece of uneven ground, Stewart as usual went for empty spaces, one of which he had to discard.

Romano-British deployment.
Frankish deployment.

As the Frankish cavalry are much better than mine I put my Comitatus cavalry and Saxon infantry on my left to advance and take the high ground, hoping a charge from this would give me an edge, my other cavalry were held in reserve while my infantry would go forward and hopefully get into shieldwall before the clash. Stewart had obviously decided to go for my left while keeping his infantry back to see what would happen, his lone cavalry unit opposing my right was going to just be annoying and force me to use my reserve cavalry to counter it.

The Comitatus and Saxons take the hill.

The armies manoeuvre.
 The battle opened as described above, my men got the hill and Stewart, not being a seasoned wargamer of many years like me put his faith in his newly painted Milites and charged uphill into my Comitatus. My plan was working, my large Saxon warband would soon put paid to the other flimsy horsemen while my Comitatus would thunder over their opponents. No, that didn't happen, it was my cavalry which disappeared under the hooves while the Milites got behind my left. My infantry were now within javelin range of the enemy and this forced several Frankish units to charge me, I was not in shieldwall, just one more move was all I needed, but I didn't get it. Despite this I had more men fighting as I stood my ground, this was to no avail, I couldn't win a goldfish. I quickly lost two units including my Dux, another mob fled in sympathy, things were unravelling fast. The flimsy cavalry slammed into the Saxons and pinned them, much to my chagrin, what is it with me and mercenaries, am I not paying them enough?

My centre goes and my Dux is captured.

Damn mercenaries, you just can't trust them.
At this point any of my units actually still fighting were just about to get hit in the rear or flank so I put a brave face on and called it a day. Stewart of course was over the moon as all three of his home grown units had won, this is the kind of thing bloodfueds are made of as I swear my boys will be back.

Bad news travels fast.
The game was a disappointment for me, not the playing of it but the half hearted effort of my troops. I had expected my Milites to do a lot better, especially as Stewart had charged in, this gave me double the amount of men in the first round and at the best I managed draws while Stewart twice managed to kill five men in combats, I could not match this kind of slaughter. We joked that his Liberi only had loincloths as armour but it must have been tough cloth because I couldn't shift them either. With the loss of several units the remainder had no flank or rear protection and disaster was staring them in the face, hence I threw the towel in. I can only think they were teaching me a lesson as I have not commanded them personally for some time and have given most of my attention recently to the Romans.


  1. George,
    Thanks for another entertaining AAR. I think your boys were just having a bad day. It's good to get this sort of thing out of the way ahead of the tournament! ;-)

    1. Thanks Matt, I enjoying writing the 'chronicles', although it takes a full morning at least with maps and posts.

  2. Great looking battle you had there!

    1. Thanks, with large forces on the table a battle usually looks good and this period is equal to it. I have loads of terrain but Stewart never wants any :(