Romans vs Spanish
Marian Roman vs Ancient Spanish
Marian Romans under Jon invade the Iberian Peninsular for a historical match up against the Ancient Spanish.
The terrain was rough and hilly in places, unfortunately for the Spanish mostly round the edges. An area of rough ground and a steep hill was in the centre of the Spanish rear baseline and a more promising hill and rough area on the Spanish right around the centre line of the table.
Outscouting the Romans the Spanish General pushed his two main bodies of scutarii to the centre and another to occupy the high ground and surrounding area on the right. The Spanish cavalry were kept well back with a small command of caetrati in support as the Spanish expected to be outnumbered in good quality horse.
With commands flung pretty far forward spotting soon revealed enemy dispositions. As expected the main Roman mounted command were on the right facing the Spanish horse on the more open flank. A large body of troops were behind them as yet unrevealed but strongly suspected to be the Roman cohorts. The Roman centre was a brigade of light troops; German LS, Balearic SL and veteran Cretan bowmen. The left flank was a mixed command of 2 Cohorts, Thracians, Greek LC and some Spanish cavalry from another tribe.
The Spanish moved their cavalry quickly forward to stop the Equites, Gallic and German mounted from flanking the scutarii who were closing with the Romans as the previously hidden cohorts moved from behind their cavalry. Similarly on the Spanish right loyal Balearic slingers and Spanish LC closed the Roman left with the initial shooting going the Roman way. On the Spanish left centre the first Roman cohorts charged the scutarii who evaded away having dispatched a shower of ineffectual javelins. This would be the pattern in this area as the Spanish refused to let the better armoured cohorts close. Tragedy struck the Spanish early as their right flank commander was badly wounded but his Spanish Balearics made up for their previous shooting by shaking the Thracians with a couple of volleys of slingshot and a base of Spanish LC delivered a successful charge against the Greeks in revenge. True Devotio!
A slight tactical error was made by the Roman general as he allowed the Spanish LC supporting their nobles to close down the Roman horse against a steep hill so that when the initial charges came a base of Gauls was forced to drive off the LC and the initial fight was the nobilty vs Equites and Gallic nobles, neither side gaining an advantage in the charge. However, the Spanish had LC and caetrati support and these moved up to see if they could swing the melee in their favour but the Romans replied by bringing up the elite German cavalry. The main body of cohorts continued to press forward, the scutarii all the time evading and picking off the occasional victim. The Spanish could not do this right of centre as the Roman LI were there ready to catch any evaders in the rear so a base of scutarii was forced to charge and drive off the Balearics who nonetheless inflicted casualties. The two cohorts on this flank had halted nervously eyeing the Thracians who had disintegrated under a withering hail of slingshot and promptly routed as did the Greek LC under attack by Spanish LC. All the supporting Spanish MC could do was charge fruitlessly the evading LC opposite them. The Spanish nobility were still doing an excellent job against the Equites and Gauls but now their commander too was severely wounded.
The German cavalry were distracted by a base of caetrati allowing another to attack the flanks of the Gauls fighting the nobility. Similarly a base of LC attacked the flank of the Equites and both Gauls and Equites were shaken by these attacks and subsequently routed but not before the Spanish commander was killed. Although the bases testing for morale all passed, this now left this command leaderless but the Spanish general was already heading over to take control. The other base of Gallic cavalry had left the field in pursuit of Spanish LC so the Spaniards were doing well to absorb all the pressure but both bases of nobles were badly depleted as they pursued their enemies. The scutarri who had charged to drive off the slingers found themselves isolated and unsupported and were whittled down and annihilated by the slingers and Cretan bowmen.
On the far side things were going the Spaniards way as German LI were routed by sustained shooting from the Balearics and the Spanish cavalry were charged in the rear by Spanish LC as they pursued the other evading LC who promptly turned back to catch them in a sandwich. One of the two cohorts decided to take offensive action and charged a base of scutarii who promptly evaded. The second cohort now had two more scutarii bearing down plus Balearics lining up against the Roman Balearics.
The Spanish caetrati and LC who had charged into the cavalry melee were now taken in the flank themselves by a cohort and German cavalry and despatched quite effortlessly. The Gallic warband charged and routed a base of scutarii and the Praetorians caught another, who could not change their orders in time, but were surprisingly held up by their opponents. The lone cohort was hit by two scutarii and disposed of as the Spanish LC and their wounded commander began to regroup in their area. The Spanish centre continued to fall back as did the other scutarii pursued by the surviving cohort from the Roman left.
The Spanish nobles had recovered from their pursuit and turned just as the Gallic base that had pursued off table chose to return robbing the Iberians of their chance todestroy the Germans. In the ensuing charges the Spanish, already badly mauled put up a stiff fight but were soon routed by their fresher opponents. With the Praetorians routing their opponents the Spanish centre was fast running out of room and effective bases with their remaining troops regrouping in the hills and rough going in the rear.
The Spanish right was pushing forward to exploit their success sending LC to outflank one base of enemy slingers and more LC to chase off Cretans and more slingers. Another base of LC charged some German LI who promptly worsted them causing the LC to become shaken!! More successfully Balearics and a base of caetrati combined against the Gallic warband recovering from its rout of scutarii and routed it through shooting; the Balearics were behind them causing most of the damage. The main force of Cohorts had halted outside the hilly terrain to their front occupied by the remaining Spanish and their general trying to rally some routing and shaken bases.
The German LI now routed their LC opponents but as they pursued were badly shot up by slingers and routed in turn. The enemy slingers attacked frontally and in the flank were also seen off and pursued to destruction which left the pursuers vulnerable to a counter attack by the remaining Gallic nobles who destroyed them in turn despite the rough terrain. The two remaining scutarii bases on this flank had been advancing against the remaining Roman LI; the first was ridden down and destroyed by the Germans who then reformed and attacked the remaining base which had been fixed in place by enemy slingers to the front. This flank, which had looked promising for the Spanish, had been destroyed by the remaining Gallic and German cavalry.
Back in the centre the Spanish general had succesfully rallied a base of caetrati and sent them to support the lone scutarii base retiring from a Roman cohort. They arrived too late to save the scutarii but attacked the Romans in the flank, routed and destroyed them. The other Roman cohorts now advanced into the rough terrain, driving caetrati off the board and pushing back one base of scutarii, destroying another. One cohort was badly mauled and about to rout but the successful scutarii were about to be flanked by more legionaries.
At this point the Spanish decided further resistance was futile; over half their army was destroyed or routing. The Romans had also suffered heavily, losing three of their cohorts and most of their support troops. However, by retaining two good quality cavalry bases they retained the ability to ride down both Spanish scutarii and caetrati.
Hardest fought and bloodiest battle yet. Spanish were skirmishing all the way back to the rear but ran out of room. That said their weakness in cavalry, as suspected, was their Achilles heel and the terrain fell too open to compensate for the lack.
Done in a few times with Jon's ability to roll way too many sixes in that first combat round putting the Spanish on the back foot virtually every time. Having more light troops for those crucial flank attacks bailed me out of a couple of losing situations.
Also true to form was dead and wounded leaders leaving command and control in tatters from very early on. Jon had one leader wounded, another badly but that was the last turn of the game with his command destroyed. Typical!
Battle of Assuwa: mid 13thC BC
Hittites vs Assyrians
After the Hittites rolled up the Egyptians at Kadesh they found that the Assyrians had taken the chance to pounce on their Easternmost vassals, the Mitanni, swallowing it once and for all after a century of struggles.
This placed the Assyrians in striking distance of the great Isuwa copper mines, one of the sources of Hittite wealth and power. As a key constituent of bronze it was essential that a Superpower control such an area. Last night saw a play for the mines.
The Isuwa battle saw two aside with the city of Isuwa about 2/3 along the table away from the short edge on which the Assyrians entered. Apart from the levy garrison inside the medium works of Isuwa itself, all Hittite forces started off table as a flanking force arrival to represent the rapid gathering of the frontier defences light column.
The Assyrians split into four commands, two advancing straight up the road towards Isuwa, the light company worked their way over the gentle hills to the North and the charioteers and asharittu moved along the Southern plains to the left of the river than ran alongside the road.
The battle started badly for the Hittites with their flank attack from the North arriving ahead of the rest of the army. The flank commander, however, played a blinder of a game. Seeing that the rest of the army had not turned up yet and that Isuwa had a bunch of miserable and unreliable levies, he managed to throw a screen across the front of the Assyrian advance and slow it for 2-3 turns. At one point his veteran suti managed to cut their way through not only a chariot squadron but also the archers behind them and get into close combat with the Assyrian turtan himself for one turn before being swept away.
To the South the Hittite chariots were getting the better of the Assyrians who refused to support their horse troops with the infantry.
As the 12th turn ended, the Hittites had suffered heavy casualties, having lost the entire left corps but they remained clearly in possession of Isuwa...for the moment. A win for the Hittites.
My thanks to the four players who made it such a cracking game.
Bactrian Greeks vs Seleucids
The Bactrians, in an uncharacteristic a fit of aggression, took the offensive against the Seleucids who, caught on the hop (bad die), found themselves on a mostly open plain with some rough ground on their right flank. Normally this would suit the Seleucids and their mounted arm but their general expected the Bactrians to have an edge in that department and scouting did indeed reveal a Bactrian superiority (56 vs 30 scouting points), so the Seleucids were obliged to deploy first and anchored their right on the rough ground but left a large gap on their left. The Bactrians countered by deploying from their right, overlapping the Seleucid left but leaving a gap on their own left.
Both sides advanced cautiously and at the end of three turns the armies were revealed:
The Seleucid right occupied the rough ground and consisted of Asiatic levies, Cyrtii, peltasts and mercenary archers.
To their left was the pike phalanx, mercenary archers and a unit of Line cavalry(HC,LA).
Then cavalry including another Line Cavalry base, the Companions and Agema, with Scythian horse archers and an elephant in support.
The Seleucid left was another Line Cavalry base, the Galatian nobles, Tarantines and Scythians.
The Bactrians had guessed right, although the position of the phalanx off centre was a surprise. Facing that and the light troops in the rough were two contingents of Bactrian light horse and Saka then two more contingents of Bactrian Cavalry (HC,LA,BO) each supported by an elephant and the final contingent far out on the right of Arachosian and Saka light horse.
The Bactrian plan was to crush the enemy mounted leaving the infantry isolated and vulnerable to the mounted bows they had in abundance. Thus once the enemy were revealed they closed rapidly with the heavy cavalry toward the two Seleucid mounted contingents whilst bringing the Arachosians around the right.
One contingent of Bactrian light horse moved up to provide archery support, the other was promptly halted to maintain a presence in the face of the enemy lights. The Bactrians did not want to close with enemy archers any more than they wanted to leave the safety of the rough ground.
After some fairly ineffective shooting from the Bactrian cavalry a mass charge took place all along the cavalry front with the Tarantines and Scythians evading the charge of the Arachosians. Casualties were pretty even which came as a disappointment to the Bactrians who found the Seleucid Line cavalry holding their Veteran opposite numbers. The Agema pushed back their opponents but the Companions found themselves assailed by the Bactrian Bodyguard and cavalry and were pushed back although they caused the cavalry to recoil. The Bactrian light horse were meanwhile engaged in some long range shooting with mercenary archers to their front, with the foot coming off best, but were also peppering the sole Line cavalry unit supporting the advancing phalanx.
The central melee continued with the Agema shaking their opponents but the Companions in turn were shaken by the Bactrian Bodyguard. Disorder was starting to effect more units as the elephants moved up with the Seleucid beast causing more problems due to a better position. This elephant now charged the recently recoiled Bactrian cavalry opponents of the Agema who wisely decided to use their bows to stop the charge but failed miserably and were only saved by a very poor attack by the pachyderm.
Elsewhere the fights remained even and the Arachosians charged the Tarantines and Scythians once more who were obliged to counter this time as evading would have meant leaving the board. The Scythians found themselves worsted and the Arachosians also held the better equipped, shielded Tarantines. Meanwhile other uncommitted Bactrian units were heading for this flank.
The next few minutes were full of incident in the centre as the shooting match on the flank continued. The Agema routed their opponents, could not be held from pursuit but were unable to destroy their enemy who outdistanced them leaving them somewhat isolated. The Bactrian Bodyguard similarly routed the Companions but destroyed them in the rout and killed the enemy cavalry commander to boot. The Bactrians fighting the elephant actually gave as good as they got but then broke off with the elephant ending it's pursuit with a Bactrian elephant on its flank and the Galatians were forced onto the back foot. However, both engaged Seleucid Line now shook their Veteran opponents which was a major blow offset by the efforts of the Arachosians. The rout of the Scythians, another superb effort against the Tarantines and a charge delivered against enemy skirmishers despite 25% losses to shooting.
The final turn saw the Arachosians rout the skirmishers but the Tarantines routed the Arachosians facing them. Badly mauled in that fight they now had bow armed Bactrians on their flank. One unit of Bactrian cavalry was routed by the Line cavalry but in an excellent turnaround the other shaken Bactrian cavalry pushed back, and shook, their opponents and the Galatians were routed.
At this point, seeing the Bactrians poised to sweep around to his rear, most of his cavalry badly mauled or shot up and his principal cavalry commander dead, the Seleucid general sued for terms.
A game that went entirely the way I wanted it to, despite the odd problem, and Jon had someone die and I won for the first time since we started VB last October. Hooray!!
Jon thought I would go with a lot of mounted so deployed a lot of his own but I got lucky and invaded; the other way around and Jon would have attacked up a river valley with one flank secure. I was still surprised to see the phalanx off centre as it did not get into action but Jon was very worried about me getting behind it earlier. His lights did nothing much as they were, quite rightly, worried about the light horse blocking the way from the rough ground.
For a mass of bow armed cavalry we did not inflict too many casualties although the line cavalry halted in support of the phalanx had taken 40% casualties. It was a classic dilemma for them as if they had charged the Bactrians would have evaded then swarmed around them, isolated and in trouble.
The bow gave me a tactical edge though. Jon knew that once I had nullified his cavalry we could have stood back and shot the infantry to pieces; a mounted charge against pike was unthinkable.
We have stopped using the original scouting calculations and gone for a percentage above the opposition. In this case I had 50% more so Jon was obliged to put down his bases first and not have any false bases. This is because you could have an army with 30 scouting and someone else with 42 which completely outscouts them; I don't think that is such a superiority to warrant the benefits. Take it to the extreme in a big game with two Parthian armies and you could have 100 vs 112 scouting and be completely outscouted. I think the fixed points regardless of game size is too restrictive.
Jon will have to wait a bit for a re-match as he is moving to Texas for a few months. So unless I can find a new opponent this will be my last report for a time.
Alexander Wins At Huntingdon
Another roaring success at the Huntingdon club where Vis Bellica appears to be the Ancients of choice, even putting the WABers in the shade.
Makedonians vs Gauls 500 AP provided by Chris in 6mm (v pretty).
Battle turned into classic pinwheel encounter with my attempt at a refused right flank and enveloping action on the left almost came acropper due to overquickly advancing in the centre allowing Chris to bring his right into the battle.
Fortunately, Steve as CnC and Cavalry commander was able to sweep aside the chariot screen on our left and thunder into the back of the enemy line thus saving the day.
Point to consider:
1. With players who know the rules, the game went like the proverbial off a shovel.
2. We decided that if you charged into the back of a melee then you reinforced that melee in the next melee phase by adding your strength in a form of mobile bracing. This worked well and I would strongly recommend it as a possible amendment. Getting into the flank or rear of your opponent, however, was still allowed as a full charge.
3. Companion cavalry really are very good aren't they?
We had our second VB game yesterday (Labor Day holiday here in USA) with a Romans vs. Romans civil war battle: approximately 350 points per side, each with 5 subordinate commands, plus a general and a sub-general. Side A had three legions, a unit of auxilliary archers, and a mixed cavalry unit, which included a stand of Sarmatian lancers. Side B had two legions, an allied barbarian warband, and two 5-base units of war elephants.
Being on Side B, we decided that the elephants would make a good assault force in the center and would stomp everything in their path into the dust. Boy were we wrong. We destroyed one archer stand and forced the other three to rout, but then the legionnaires came in and it was dying and berserk elephants everywhere.
Before we could say "Dumbo!", we had lost 6 of the 10 elephant stands and found that elephants are not Tiger tanks!
On my right side of the field my barbarians went up against part of a legion and part of the enemy cavalry (led by the Sarmatian lancer). In very short order the barbarians were in hectic flight, having lost 2/3 of the strengths and, with all the elephant bases lost, couldn't rally. So Side B decided that their revolt wasn't really necessary, pledged eternal support for the Emperor, and surrendered.
I'm sure that there were things that we did incorrectly, but we had a good game. I've also decided that it's no more elephants for this wargamer!
You can see pictures of this game at:
Indians and Parthians Times Two
I had a couple of 500 point fights with another new recruit to VB.
The first battle was a rather quick one. The Indians were deployed across the middle of the table on hold orders and basically shot the incoming cataphracts to bits causing enough of them to start to run that once the elephants had charged one end a cataphract unit and the 4H chariots had attacked the one on the other end it was all over. The levy cavalry then joined in by routing a couple of horse arches and the Parthians crumbled.
Net result: decisive Indian victory (but a good learning experience for the Parthians as it was both the army's first time out and the commander's first VB game).
As the evening was yet young we swapped sides and had another go.
The second time I thought I would try to be clever and screen my cataphracts with the horse bows while only attacking half his army.
For the first couple of moves this looked good until I got within short Longbow range of some of his foot by mistake. All of a sudden five bases of horse arches are running for the rear! I managed to recover two but from then on my morale was very shaky. There then followed a major fight between my heavies and the Indian mounted which I just won but by then the rest of the Indian foot was beginning to close in. Still the Parthians fought well and inflicted sufficient lumps on the Indians that the second fight was a very costly draw for both sides.
The main lesson from the battle was quite how dangerous an army where almost everyone has a longbow can be.
A New Hannibal
Romans vs Carthaginians, with me playing the Carthaginians. I drew off one flank with the Numidians (the skirmisher amendments helped), feinted at the other flank with the Carthaginian cavalry until the Roman flank was committed, then withdrew them fast towards the centre, while hoping to get enough points to cure the disorder of moving outside the flank angles.
Meanwhile, the foot just stood still and hoped that the cavalry would get back in time!
They did, and the Romans were massacred!
Two Knights' Tales
Last Thursday the Ottomans rolled onto the table vs the highly defensive Knights of St John.
We had two battles at 550AP.
The Ottomans were a pretty reasonable mix with lots of levies, some pretty good mounted and the janissaries.
The Knights of St John were dominated by Greek archers, mercenary crossbowmen, an overlarge siege train and the Brother Knights lurking at the back.
Both battles involved a lot of hills giving cover from the enemy cannons.
The first battle was a complete shoe in for the Knights due to, ah, communication difficulties between the Ottoman commanders. The levies saw absolutely no reason why they should be cannon fodder and remained lurking behind a hill while the janissaries and cavalry took a pounding. The Ottomans surrendered and left the field.
The second battle was a lot closer. This time the Ottomans got the cannon fodder in the front rank where they belonged and distracted the cannon and missilemen of the Knights while sending the horse round the right flank.
The fodder were shredded, as expected. However, as the smoke cleared and the archers looked down they saw the Janissaries advancing at close range up the hill towards them. The Knights' centre began to crumble. On the right, some of the Greeks had advanced and rolled up the last of the Ottoman levies but been brought to a halt by a slow deploying cannon battery.
On the left, the Brother Knights had piled into the Ottoman horse in two absolute catfights at the bottom of a small valley. The Knights won one of them but the other looked perilously close as we played the last turn. The matter hinged on which army would be able to feed troops into the melee faster and still be able to survive the enemy counter attacks.
However, last orders had been called and the matter was left in the air. Both sides were terribly battered with units fearful of getting into combat knowing that there was no way that they would pass a morale test if forced to take one.
Quite a ferocious game.
Alexandrian Macedonians vs Indians
Good battle yesterday with Steve
He had about 550 points of Indians facing a bunch of Macedonians with a low ridge between us. His army was evenly spread so I line my guys up heavily favouring the left flank and advanced. After a couple of turns the troops in the centre were approaching the ridge: which fortunately kept me out of LOS of his longbows when the cavalry battle started on the left.
Two bases of Companions and one of Prodromoi charge his three little (4-horse, 6-man) chariots and supporting levy cavalry. Rather than being a glorious victory only one Companion beats its opposition and the Prodromoi are roundly beaten by some scrotty medium cavalry (oh, the shame!). The Prodromoi are then rallied and thrown back into the fray, where the levies destroy them.
By now the fight in the centre has started with the pikes beginning to get the upper hand when the elephants arrive. By the end of the battle there are a few Indians holding the hill in the centre and a bunch of rather battered Macedonians looking on waiting for the one good Companion base to turn up.
A good fight and a Macedonian victory but at a heavy cost to the veteran and pike units.
Alexandrian Macedonians vs Assyrians
On Thursday we had a game of Alexandran Macedonians vs. Assyrians.
The Assyrians moved to the village on the hill in the center of the table and were shot up a bit. It was surrounded by dense woods on either side. The Macedonians massed on one flank and moved most of the infantry around the woods on one side, the Indian allies held in the middle, and most of the cavalry went around the other side.
The Assyrian OO troops barely got into the woods before the onslaught began. One "flank" of crappy Levy LI were overrun by the Macs.
Meanwhile, the Assyrian Chariots and Cavalry defeated one flank of Mac cavalry and then turned to face the oncoming Companions.
The day ended as we ran out of time with the Macedonians having more cavalry left than the Assyrians. The Macs still had 2 or 3 decent infantry units left (full strength) while the Assyrians had a lot of Levy LI and Average MI left, but most of the heavies in poor shape.
Overall, this was a slight to moderate Macedonian victory.
Had a great game last night - Arthurian Britons vs Saxons.
It all started so well - the Saxons surged forward and got a break through in the centre and on the extreme right. Unfortunately the victorious units then spent the rest of the game chasing skirmishers and never managed to exploit their successes.
Meanwhile, Arthur led his cavalry in a charge that led to a swathe of destruction across the field as unit after unit of Saxons was trampled into the dirt. Arthur was wounded in the course of this (3 points) but who needs command points in this sort of situation?
Great fun and certainly the best Dark Ages game I have ever played under any set of rules.
Normans beat Nippon
Well, last Thursday Mike and I had another VB game. It was about 660pts of Samurai vs. Normans.
The Normans were almost solely HC and three SO archer screens. The Samurai were their normal mix of very good and crappy. After seeing the opponent, the Daimyo set up on a hill.
The Normans came on vs. the Samurai right flank in blocks of 4 deep, with a diversionary move towards the center. Hasty redeployments put good units in the front in time to be slammed uphill from the Normans. Considering the hill and with even numbers, the Samurai did well. But the two huge battering rams of the Norman left finally pushed through the Samurai to gain the top of the hill.
It was "downhill" for the Samurai from there...:-)
After a few more rounds and some amazingly unlucky morale rolls, the Samurai were finished.
Mike ended up with about 3 units at around 2/3 strength, one with 1/3 strength, and one with 1 point (bastard rallied just before going off table).
I ended up with one nearly full samurai backed by a nearly full Ashigaru, but about to be hit in the flank. The remainder was 3 less than 1/2 strength pigs who broke on really crappy morale rolls in the last fight...sigh.
Overall a GOOD battle. Mike came up with something new (for me at least). I'll have to kill him later in return.
Mike comments: "Actually the key was the central command which danced around looking stupid and getting shot. It distracted Jason just long enough from
the deep mass of knights about to smack into his right flank. When you're facing 52 points of Elite HC in a melee, it doesn't matter how big a hill is, you're going to die on it.
Basically the milites managed to break the right flank faster than Jason could reinforce it and then turned and charged downhill.
Even so it was a close run thing with a couple of unlucky morale rolls breaking Jason's line."
Ottomans vs Mamelukes
Over a thousand points of Ottomans invaded Egypt last night with a monster game run by Jason.
It was tense and exciting given that it could have gone either way. On the Ottoman left the levies hidden in the wood managed to keep the Egyptian foot levies out of the battle long enough to neutralise them.
On the right, Richard's alarming and rapid advance scared the living daylights out of his fellow Ottoman commanders but this turned to glee when we saw the Mamluks falling back before his deep wave attacks.
In the centre, the Royal Mamluks did, as happened historically, advance into the meat grinder of the Janissary bow and artillery mix and suffered similar casualties falling back and leaving the field.
An Ottoman victory but it could so easily have gone differently if the Mamluks had wheeled left and smashed the Ottoman right flank as it emerged victorious from its initial charge or deployed their scum infantry in front in the centre to soak up the missile fire or the Ottoman right had not performed in such an unexpectedly dashing form.
Kudos to Jason for organising an excellent and tense battle. As Sultan Selim I was convinced for most of the battle that I'd lost so a victory was most welcome.
Perdu Deux Fois!
First battle was a 400 point Outremar verses C14 French . This was Tim’s first VB battle so was very much a learning experience but it was a good fight leading to a major Crusader victory. However Tim enjoyed the game and made all sorts of nice noises about how well the system played etc (another convert I think).
Last night battle was a much larger affair 950 points per side with Medieval French vs English. Both armies were about 4-5 bases of knights, 6-8 bases of other heavy or medium cavalry and around 16 bases of foot ( French 2/3rds Crossbows, the English half longbows half other)
The table was set up with a long ride running diagonally across the table with a village behind it on the English side and a few other hills that played no part in the battle. The French set up in a balanced army formation with most of their knight on their left flank while the English stacked all their forces in the extreme left of their side leading to a natural pinwheel battle.
As the battle progressed the English threw everything they had at the French right flank driving it back off the ridge while 4 bases of Border Staves gave ground in front of the elite French knights delaying their arrival in the battle. After a bloody fight for the ridge in which 3 of the 4 English knight bases were reduced to less than 5 strength the French flank was beaten. At this point the as yet uncommitted elite French knights started to arrive. A huge melee followed at which point the landlord called time.
All in all it was probably a minor English victory though given the losses to the English veteran and elite units probably a Pyrric one.