Stewart brought his Carolingians to the field and this time changed his composition to only one cavalry and five infantry units, the infantry had three elite formations which always give me a headache. I too had decided to change things around, I took Saxon Heptarchy which have won at least two of the last three games against Stewart's guys, I only took one bodyguard unit, two average cavalry and some fairly uninspiring infantry along with those damn Franks. My idea was that the long spear armed Ceorls would hold the enemy up due to their numbers and the extra ranks allowed by the spear, long enough for my Gedriht, Franks and cavalry to smash a flank and win the game.
We do not bother with he objective cards and mainly fight a simple pitched battle, which is what we have with both our armies only turning up once in a blue moon they are not going to be happy with a mere run off the table to win, they want a fight. The Carolingians had an infantry line with their cavalry in reserve, I was hindered by a wood to my front so put my PBI on the left and my winning forces on the right and behind the wood. In WAC you have different set up zones, I have them on cards and we chose the Winter Deployment, so the wood became a real problem for me and I had to squeeze four units around it. The single tree's are only for the visuals.
|Carolingians on the left, Saxons on the right.|
|Saxon traffic jam.|
|Saxon left fails.|
|The end is nigh.|
|Franks leg it, sigh.|
That was it, there was no way now to turn the tide, even if they had simply held for a couple of turns I had two units to throw on the flanks of the Stipendari, but no, as my Cyning looked around him he knew it was time to leave with what troops he had left.
The wargame, if I say I threw twenty-two dice and got a result with five what would you think, grounds for a major moan I should say, and you would be right, at the time I was most dischuffed that my line was destroyed and especially at the unit which had ran without a scratch. Stewart did point out that the Ceorl unit that stood dished out some major casualties and held for three rounds, which on reflection was fair enough against an elite formation. Stewart deployed first and perhaps I should have put my good guys opposite his but I didn't, I also waited too long to get my right into action, I could have pushed the Gedriht with cavalry support while waiting for the Franks but again I didn't, so well done to Stewart for pulling off a good win and doing nothing wrong, except that move where his archers charged my slingers and got wiped out.
I have some issues with the Carolingian army and the others of the same type i.e. Normans and Bretons in WAC, they have far too many superior troops to choose from and almost no rubbish, in fact you can have an army full of elites, in the Norman case it is supposed to be the 1066 army, so there is possibly a thin argument for this but not any of the others. Normans in wargaming are a bit like the Imperial Guard or Waffen SS, they just have to be brilliant, all this despite the fact they only just won Hastings against an English army which was not at full strength and had just recently carried out a forced march.