Monday, 14 November 2016

5th War and Conquest Gaming Weekend P1

I left the house at Noon on Friday thinking I would manage to get to the hotel at Lincoln in daylight by half three and get a little snooze before everyone turned up, I duly arrived in Lincoln at said time but didn't arrive at my hotel until 1700 hrs, a tale of woe for the View. I didn't manage my forty winks so ended up in the bar with a small select group who braved the Friday traffic, the rest of the players would be turning up on the morrow. After dinner we caught up with the football much to my chagrin where Scotland were embarrassing themselves playing rubbish and playing in pink, I retired gracefully suffering the slings and arrows etc. as I made for the door.

The troops muster.

Fortified by a full English, I do love hotel breakfasts, I arrived at Coddington Hall ready for a days wargaming, first up my Army of Vortigern was against Dave Howes' Romano-British, Dave is a tournament player and has beaten me twice, my story is that the second game went south due to a combination of some bad morale dice and Dave's tactics, he excels with small units. I wanted to do much better this time, Dave once again had a number of small units and two cavalry commands, we were both hemmed in by the deployment area and once the game started he pushed his left flank forward, I slowly moved to meet it. I wanted to launch my Saxon mercenaries at his line to punch a hole through, however we both took time to shake the lines out until he saw an opportunity to flank my battle line on my right, it became my opportunity as I swung my cavalry through a wood and got on his flank, a good charge here would sweep away a cavalry unit and possibly one of his skirmish units. I needed the strategic advantage to make the attack, I did not get it, his cavalry escaped, which now put mine in danger as his heavy cavalry were now coming for me.

Vortigern and his boys.
Dave's Romano-British

Both lines advance.

Dave retreats and menaces my flank.
The infantry lines clashed, well the Saxons did, Dave could see his right was up against it as my larger units bore down on him and retired in front of me, this was very frustrating. The Saxon Gedriht did their job and smashed their opponents but his Welsh managed to hold the Geoguth and eventually rout them. A confused battle followed as I lost my right flank while Dave lost a couple of infantry units and no one could strike a killer blow, we fought to the last turn which took a while without any real change in the situation. Neither of us took our objectives but in the end Dave had a higher body count than me and the score was 17 to 28 in his favour, I cannot remember which objective I had been given but I knew it was never going to happen. Despite the objectives I fight a battle to defeat the enemy army, if I do that then sometimes this brings along the objective or on the other hand it will stop the enemy getting theirs, what I want is a good fight and I got it with this battle. I noticed a couple of things, I had not picked up on the fact that elite British cavalry can have heavy armour, that makes them very dangerous indeed for infantry as well as cavalry, I was also beginning to realise that although my Saxons could deal out a lot of punishment they were not great at saving themselves from the same which kind of negated their potential, especially the Geoguth. One thing that was noticeable in this clash was that Dave's shooting was lethal throughout while none of my people could hit a barn door.

Dave is also a bit of a comedian and had a herd of sheep accompanying his Welsh troops and an actual smoking dung heap near his watchtower.

My second game of the afternoon was against Michael Curtis who also had a Romano-British army, it had a couple of really big Pedyt units and some of the excellent cavalry along with quite a few skirmishers. I started well and won the dice off for deployment so Michael had to set out his army first, this was a great opportunity for me as I usually never win this dice off, it also showed as I made a mess of it, I really should have given it more thought. My objective was to capture the enemy general but Michael's was running free behind the line so I decided to launch my main attack against his right and see what happened, my right however now looked dangerously weak.

Me on the right, Michael on the left.

All was not lost however, I managed to get my own cavalry into a position to hit his small extreme left unit and even better I had managed to extend my ranks, I couldn't lose could I, this would mean that he would have to pull off his good cavalry as he couldn't take the chance of my guys wreaking havoc in his rear. Once again my cavalry let me down, shouting "we should have been in reserve" as they fled the field. I ended up with one infantry block defending my whole right flank, they bravely tried to resist but with only some skirmishers in support were overwhelmed by the enemy, they fled shouting something which sounded like "prat". My left got into a position to hopefully smash Michael's right but it was too little too late, I could not recover from the right flank disaster as my centre also went. Michael managed his objective and I was left with a poor score of 12/41.

Disaster on the right and centre.
Too little, too late.
I was pleased with my performance against Dave and the game went the full term and was on a knife edge right up to the last blows, his retiring from my battle line on the left won it for him, most of us would no doubt have simply stood or attacked but he did the right thing and I was left on the back foot. Michael played a good game helped by my disastrous deployment and slow advance on the left, I had not played well in that game.

How much of the blame could I put on Lady Luck, well probably quite a bit as usual, my shooting in both games was undeniably abysmal and therefore enemy skirmishers were more of a problem than they should have been. My generals also suffered from a tendency to attract wounds, I lost my Saxon leader in the first game and not many limped off the field without a dirty rag clutched to a sword cut. I also suffered from not getting the initiative at times when I needed it despite throwing in Strategic Initiative Points to get it, these were valuable resources of which I only had four, not my usual five and it did make a difference as I generally needed them to keep troops in the front line, so they were not available for the dice off. My Saxon Gedriht had done fairly well but their mates, the Geoguth, as I said above were too brittle, both units have bucklers which do not fend off shooting attacks but do have the chance of being lethal in the first round of combat due to a re-roll of hits, however once this is over they do not have a great chance of fending off blows so the enemy can quickly recover, so they have to be handled with care. My Romano-British elites once again proved less than keen, I can never trust them to do what I want.

So there you have it for the first day, two defeats, I think I was second bottom on the leader board, this is not something I worry about and it is there for a bit of fun, but still, as I said above I am there for four battles but nonetheless had started badly. The next day I was fighting Jenny who was commanding Western Patrician Romans, Jenny has beaten me twice and I fell to the Romans at Peterborough a few months ago, not good omens, in the afternoon it was victorious Michael again, oh dear.

Ancient Spanish

Western Patrician Romans vs Romano-British
Romano-British vs Romano-British

Pyrrhic elephants.


  1. Great pics, looked a fun day, me thinks you need dice?

  2. Looking good so far George, despite the defeats. I enjoy the way you analyse the battles and tactically important events in each one... it doesn't seem to help you win, but I do enjoy the reading of it!! ;-)

    1. There seems to be a communication problem between me and the troops Dave. On tenterhooks for part 2, will I fall on my sword or head for Mrs Miggins' Pie Shoppe.

    2. I know what my money's on!!!

  3. yes George missed my objective by 10mm in our game but that's the breaks great game as were all of them great tear ups no poncing about

  4. Good looking stuff and write up George, has for winning, where's the fun in that? :~)

  5. I don't mind losing if I think I have done my best and can then blame my troops, but the second game was all me. I do wonder however if I need a new bunch of comanpions and bodyguards as this lot don't seem to have my best interests to heart.