Field of Glory Wargaming at Badcon 2010
After a remarkably civilized night we cleared the snow from the baggage camels and headed off for the first game of the second day. We were facing a Everything but the Kitchen Sink army of Early Scots Isles & Highlanders who's list is available here
Pictures of Vikings and Scots from my Ancients Photo Directory
The terrain was all rather irrelevant here, as it fell around the edges. A line of solid spearmen and clubmen faced us across the table.
The Scots had gone for a plan - they had a mix of Men with Sticks and Men with Clubs, and on both wings a big lump of Men with Every Imaginable Weapon (if the kitchen sink had been invented, they would have been armed with it) The deployment was as above (created using the free Battle Chronicler) tool. Our plan was to smash through the center with a mixed lancer and foot attack, and then roll up either wing from the inside out.
The Dailami were especially confident as they moved up on our left supported by 2 units of Ghilmen cavalry - and after all, the enemy general was doing an impersonation of a teapot so what had they to fear?
Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Give him a Haggis and he eats for 2 days, but then dies young of coronary heart disease.
In the center the Fatimid foot moved up confidently, leaving gaps in their line through which a couple of units of lancers could charge - joining the inevitable fray and hopefully causing more cohesion tests on the enemy.
The Scots Irish were a veritable walking wall of Celtic nastiness that stretched from one side of the table to the other. And they were spoiling for a proper fight as well !
Roast some pork, then have some chicken too
The Fatimid right looked to have the edge over the its opponents, as the armoured Dailami (with a General to make then effectively Elite) were the best troops on the board. If they could catch some of the close formation Scots in a ploughed field, it would be even better - although their armour would not count against the small unit of heavy weapon wielding Irish.
Nothing had happened as yet on our left, as the Fatimids simply didn't have enough combat troops to fight everywhere, so this had become our delaying flank whilst we concentrated on the other 2/3 of the army.
The Dailami were keen, but the Ghilmen were confused as to how they shoudl deal with the Bw/Sw Impact foot facing them from the security of a field.
We were leading aggressively with our right wing, but would it be enough...?
When the bagpipes skirl, steal your opponents dirk from out of its sporran.
As Fatimids advanced, they used their drilled status to shuffle to the right and set up an even greater concentration of force on the Scots left center.
The Fatimids Bedouin lancers also attempted to sneak round the edge of the Scots line, as the undrilled Highlanders wondered what they might be able to do about it.
Yee-hah! The Dailami decided that all this shuffling about was terribly dull, and charged in, against 2 separate units - the Irish and a unit of spearmen. The Dailami had the quality, but the Scots had the numbers !
Sacrifice the Pint of Heavy to leave room for a wee dram
The Fatimids had been able to tee up the perfect (ish) combo in the middle as the Scots lumbered forwards.
But the Ghilmen were struggling to come to terms with the Scots shooting. At least though they had tempted some of them into the open ..
The two lines clashed in the center, with every type of troop on the table suddely in action!
It was a classic wall of combat, where anything could happen -
- and where both sides were fully committed with no reserves to speak of ..
The Scots had committed their generals, but the Fatimids held some of theirs back unsure if they would be needed to bolster units along the line.
Well, with dice like that, maybe the Generals would not need to be doing much bolstering !
The Scots line was faltering, and as it frayed, a unit of Arab lancers burst through it, destroying their opponents in short order..
With the battle going well in the center, and the Scots seemingly doomed it seemed clear that only a couple of additional units would be needed - prompting the Ghilmen to charge home against the innumerable Highlanders - but to little effect ....
The Scots center was now in full flight, although the Fatimids ability to hold them off on the left with a handful of skirmishers had by now run it's course and the battle was almost certain to swing round 90 degrees as we tried to eviscerate the Scots army from the inside out.
Having burst through the Scots line, the Arab Lancers found themselves in a target rich environment
And on the wing, some of the Ghilmen were holding up against the swarm of Highlanders - but hadn;t there been 2 units there a while ago?
The Aragonese Mouse Headed Mounted Lancers were doing their best - but it was not enough against the striking power of the Alan Shearer Infantry
Back to the left, and both sides were rushing infantry slowly towards each other ...
The Ghilmen finally gave up the highly unequal struggle and fled the field in ignominy .. by now our right flank consisted of the Dailami, who were by now only fighting the stubborn Irish, 4 rubbish crossbowmen and 4 LH lancers - not much to threaten two 8's of Highlanders!
With both sides reduced to units of heavy foot, the left hand side of the game was taking ages to start to shape up again...
Back in the middle, the stubborn Irish were still doing famously against the Dailami, and the spare Arab Lancer unit decided that the flank of the Irish was the best, and indeed by now, the only target in range.
The suicidal Crossbowmen were also now getting cocky, and used their drilled status to try and engineer a flank charge onto a unit of highlanders, hoping that their hand to hand capability (of "B/Sp" - "Blunt Spoons") would be enough to take down the Highlanders after the devastation of the flank charge..
The ridiculous Irish were grinding the incredulous Dailami into the dirt, and with their flank threatened by more Highlanders, the Arab lancers realised that they actually needed to prepare to catch the Irish in pursuit rather than in the flank in their existing position.
At least the Crap Crossbowmen had by now hit the Highlanders in the flank.
Alan Shearer's Infantry and the Deaf Spearmen were also ganging up on a lone spear unit on the Fatimid left as the end game dragged on stubbornly in a surreal slow motion Benny Hill phase ...
The Dailami broke and evaporated, leaving the Irish suddenly feeling rather over exposed as the Fatimid lancers salivated on their flank.
But it had happened in my turn, so the Irish had a chance to react
Look, you know what's happening here. No need to comment. ...
The Arab Lancers crashed into the Irish, who had executed a turn in the nick of time and then bravely stood their ground, with the benefit of rear support and a general ! Would they ever break?
What sound does an Arab lancer make? "Boing"! They bounced off the rather irritating Irishmen. Some Deaf Spearmen moved up into earshot ...
Look, when it eventually happens, it will be quick , I promise you...
With crossbows now engaged, the Arab lancers threatened too ..
This time, two units hit the Irish - even the Deaf Spearmen decided that charging in was a good idea this time as only one more unit was needed to break the Scots army.
The Fatimid lancers attempted to nick it by catching a LF unit - but they got away !
The game moved towards the lunchtime break ...
The Fighting Irish were still giving as good - or indeed better - than they got, staying coherent and bouncing off the Arab Lancers and disrupting the Deaf Spearmen.
Finally the two sets of spearmen got to grips over on the left ...
And the crossbowmen were thrown into confusion when the Highlanders chose not to fully conform (and thus stayed as a unit of 8, rather than becoming a unit of 3 or 6 (for casualty purposes) as they would have by turning the whole unit and forming a column. This also prevented the Berber LH from doing anything stupid as they now had no flank to charge into!
The Arab lancers charged home for the 3rd time against the Fighting Irish, who were by now - eventually - teetering at the edge of death through cohesion failures and simply through being nearly all dead.
Likewise on the other flank, every Arab spearman on the table was almost ighting his brothers in a desperate attempt to get hold of the one viable target on the board...
And the Irish finally ran out of luck to break, taking the Scots-Irish army down with them . A Major Victory for the Arab Forces on their foray into Northern Europe... !
With that the game petered out into a draw.
Post Match Summary
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
That was partly good, and partly shameful. The matchup in the middle, I'll give you worked very well, and by the simple expedient of having better troops than the enemy, and better dice you managed to scrape a very quick game winning advantage.
However, what happened on the flanks? You sent one unit of Dailami - your best troops - out on their own? The Ghilmen could not really be counted as support as they were of course unable to go into the bad terrain - where it was perfectly obvious the Scots only rough terrain troops - with bows - would be lurking. And then you managed to get your only armoured infantry unit into combat with, erm, a unit of unprotected heavy weapon men, thus negating the only advantage you had. Like, the Dailami are DRilled, MF - so they have a massive movement advantage over everything the enemy owns, yet you still got them in the worst place possible to take advantage of their, erm, advantages.
And what on earth did you do throwing away the Ghilmen like that? Charging 4 cavalry into two bow-armed units of 8 each? How was that ever going to work? And don't get me started on the crossbow unit either...
The only upside is that the points you squandered on the Ghilmen and Crossbow unit breaking were just about made up with by beating the army. The downside is that they played no part in helping you achieve the army break - in fact, if they had stayed in the box you'd have done just as well.
Hopefully the Sunday Lunch and obligatory trip around Spirit Games to not buy anything can clear your head for the afternoons exertions, as you are actually - somehow - creeping up the table here
Lets see how the next game goes then ?