Once deployed I thought Mike's centre looked weak, it consisted of auxiliary troops, archers and infantry, the large archer units could cause a problem but once engaged they should fall to proper legionary's. I would use my Lanciari to threaten his right and hold back my left where he had put some of his legionary cohorts, hopefully this would not fall until I had knocked out the centre. Mike's idea was obviously to fall on my left and roll up the line.
Right from the start "there is something wrong with our dice today" as my archers could make no impression on the enemy advancing towards them, it was the same with the hourse archers, my planned advance on the centre was in disarray because Cohors I under the personal command of the Legate refused to move towards their target, my boys had never before refused an order! Worse was to follow as I threw the Praetorians in against some auxiliaries which they should have beat hands down but only narrowly avoided a draw, I had my own excellent auxiliaries on hand and they went in to support the barracks room boys, thankfully as it turned out as the Praetorians flailed wildly killing no one. My attack was running out of steam. Cohors II managed to rout their opponents but they managed to escape due to a small patch of rough ground, these men came back but did not survive a second fight with the Second but it all took time. I now had no one to move against the archers as I needed Cohors I for support against Mike's victorious troops on my left.
|Romans to the left, Romans to the right (mine).|
On the left I knew I would lose the archers but expected the cohort in that area to at least put up a fight, with disaster looming I withdrew the horse archers, only just in time as the flank collapsed. Over on the far right Mike had taken a cohort on a trip against my flank but when their skirmish supports ran foul of the Lanciari he turned them back, I sent the Lanciari running towards my left, a mistake I now think as they could have ensured the defeat of the lone cohort. At this point Mike looked like a winner but he also had problems in that his victorious troops on my left were too far away to influence the centre battle, time was now against him.
|Just before Mike's centre went and my left disappeared.|
Stewart meanwhile had been beaten by the Normans, his army almost destroyed which is unusual although I think his dice were also getting some stick.
|Normans on the left, Carolingians on the right.|
|Me, Mike, Mark, Stewart.|
It only remains for me to thank Stewart, Mike and Mark for making the effort to travel, bring their armies and to give me some great games.
Oh, I almost forgot, I am now going to recruit a fourth cohort so that I do not have to use those damn Praetorians!