The club opened up for business last night and due to illness, the lingering festive season and first day back at work syndrome meant only a small number of stalwarts turned up. I had arranged for a War and Conquest game with Simon, but like others I could not find much spare time during the day to give the army list much thought and bashed it out in about fifteen minutes just before closing. After that I get 45 minutes to have my supper, briefly catch the headlines, pack up and get out the door.
Simon had asked me to put something together for him but in all honesty the choices are such that you have to make your own list up, so we lost a bit of time while he put his army together. We also found that Ryan had nothing to do due to losses so Simon offered him some of his command, we don't leave anyone behind here at Lancaster.
I took the Saxons and a fairly normal army for 2,000 points, four infantry units, one elite, two skirmish commands and a small cavalry reserve. Simon went for two very large cavalry units, three infantry, one elite, and again two skirmish units, Simon is still fairly new to this game and I think he expected, as most people do, that his cavalry would do better than they eventually did. His plan was a good one and he had closed down the battlefield with terrain so I could not easily use my numbers, however while his infantry were comparatively safe this left his cavalry with only the right flank to operate on. My plan therefore was to hold that with an infantry block and use my skirmishers and cavalry to destroy his skirmish screen then hopefully whittle down his cavalry. I was unsure about the centre as his men had the edge in protection over my boys having large shields.
The battle started well enough and I ran down his right flank archers and beat back a cavalry charge on my infantry, I made a mistake here as I should have pursued, this would have allowed me to crash into his second cavalry unit but I wasn't thinking straight and the game had moved on so I lost an opportunity there. However the British cavalry were now no longer a threat, one had to run after my light cavalry behind his lines while the other skirmished behind my lines but with the flank guard and my own skirmishers about to hunt them down.
We had started late and so we were running out of time, we almost completed the six moves but had to call a halt at the end of turn five. In normal circumstances I would have moved my right hand infantry up and thrown missiles at the enemy opposite as they could not reply to this and hope this would goad them into charging, but we didn't have the time so I charged two units in. They were not successful and the game hinged on the British routing and catching one of my two units, they did manage to rout one but failed to catch it in the pursuit and it rallied at the end of the turn.
Neither of us had completed our objective which was to capture the enemy leader, The British had the better chance as my own elites had almost lost a full rank to enemy missile fire but they did not take the opportunity, I would have at that point. So a pretty bloodless game in the end, I tipped the scales having destroyed a skirmish unit but it was hardly going to bring me honour around the fires in the great hall, probably the opposite.
My combat dice were not great during the game but I cannot complain about my saving rolls, Ryan I seem to remember did some moaning about his dice but I cannot vouch for which ones. Things can only get better now as the year settles down and normally Simon and I would have managed to have everything sorted out before turning up and play six turns comfortably.
I am supposed to be playing The Walking Dead next Tuesday and back to War and Conquest the Tuesday after that showcasing the game to another interested player, but as these arrangements were all made several weeks ago we will see.
For me the maps are piling up and I now have three projects on the go, a good start for 2017 and I also have more Late Romans arriving today, so onwards and upwards.