Field of Glory Wargaming at Badcon 2010 - part 4
After a fabulous lunch the sun had come out and we hoped to get away early. But it was not to be as we were facing a skirmish-tastic Early Hungarian army who's list is available here
Pictures of East European Feudal Cavalry from the Ancients Photo Directory
Our LH-tastic opponents had thrown loads of terrain onto the table, including a cheeky "it'll mess up your deployment" impassable just short of our base edge. The Hungarians army consisted of 3 units of knights, with everything else being units of hard to catch skirmishers - we imagined they had not had many outright defeats during the weekend so far...
The Hungarians had such a simple plan I didn't even bother to set up a Battle Chronicler report - they intended to skirmish everywhere, and play in a charge by 3 units of knights into anything in front of them. In a vain effort to reduce the number of shooters facing us, we dispatched a lone unit of LH across to our right, drawing 2 units of enemy LH away.
The Al Shearer and Deaf Spearmen watched impassively as a Hungarian skirmish screen delayed the inevitable charge by the Hungarian nobility. With both flanks anchored our line was solid - why were the Hungarians delaying the inevitable?
Fish stinks from its head..
On the right, our lancers realised they may have bitten off more than they could chew...
The knights were squeezing forwards, and the Hungarians sought to open up their path by squeezing yet more LH units away at either side - some even rushing across a rough field to look for an unlikely flank.
Every miracle lasts only three days
The Fatimid left, away in the distance, was fully stacked with almost all our decent troops - we were struggling to fit them all in around various pieces of terrain - and the Hungarians had nothing much capable of slowing them down
The Fatimind stacked left had to decide whether to pursue the flimsy screen in front of it, or try and swing round into the advancing knights.
Nothing had happened as yet anywhere of note, but the Dailami were looking set to drive off the enemy skirmishers and open up a passage for a unit of lancers to steam through into the Hungarians left flank.
The Fatimid infantry had stacked themselves up tightly, almost daring the Hungarians to charge in - and hoping that they would force each unit of the Hungarian knights to charge into 2 separate units of Fatimids, therefore potentially forcing the knights to break off.
The Fatimids had so much stuff on the left - but the Hungarians survived shooting, and sat back smugly secure in their ability to evade!
The man who comes from afar says what he will
Who needs Battle Chronicler? 3 units of knights zero in on the reinforced Fatimid line, as crossbowmen and lancers move up to provide rear support and generals are magnetically drawn to the combat from all across the table.
The Fatimids gnash their teeth in frustration as the Hungarians evaporate like smoke on the central european steppes in the face of superior Fatimid firepower.
Yee-hah! The Battle is about to be joined in the clash of civilizations as the Hungarians attempt to prevent the Egyptians from bringing Islam to Eastern Europe!
Finally the overwhelming firepower of the Ghulams works its magic and the Hungarian LH start to pick up markers and lose bases...
Only stretch as far as your blanket reaches.
The Fatimids brace themselves for the Hungarian attack, with 5 generals committed !
The Hungarians come off slightly worse, losing bases all across the line ..
But on the extreme right of the Fatimid line, a huge block of Deaf Spearmen have been shot to pieces by relentles Hungarian LH shooting... and with the Hungarians shooting everywhere, the Fatimids would also need generals everywhere to bolster their lines - and with the vital mano-a-mano combats happening, its impossible !
It was a classic wall of combat, where anything could happen - but whet happened was that 2 of the Fatimid units became disrupted, allowing 2 units of Hungarians to stick in combat as the third breaks off (giving them time to rally their own disruption!)
The Fatimids start to fear for the worse - their units of Deaf spearmen are disrupted and losing bases, handing POAs to their opponents in fistfuls. It is only the fact that they are deaf which is preventing them hearing the inevitable tolling of the bells of defeat
The left hand unit of deaf spearmen sees its general killed off, and breaks -disrupting the adjacent unit just as they advance towards yet more knights. The other spear unit is also Fragmented - the entire Fatimid line looks doomed.
Catastrophe! The pursuing Hungarians steam into the soft underbelly of the Fatimids - the rubbish crossbowmen.
The second spear unit breaks - taking their shot-up colleagues with them. 5 units in rout or fragmented already and a huge hole in our lines ..
The only decent unit in the Fatimid center is a unit of lancers - who are trapped behind a soon-to-break infantry block...
With the battle going badly in the center, the Fatimid skirmishers decide that they need to flee over to the left to escape the trap closing around them ...
The Fatimid left was chasing as hard as they could, but the battered Hungarian LH wing were as hard to catch as a greased up fish plucked out of the Danube on a cold night in Budapest.
Having been burst through by their own infantry, the Fatimid lancers hang on as the only remaining decent unit in the Fatimid center.
With the center collapsing rapidly, the Fatimid LH were struggling to find a decent escape route ..
Likewise on our left, and finally, the Hungarians were also running out of table pursued by the bulk of the Fatimids anti-LH troops
The Hungarians were playing Cat and Mouse with routing Fatimids, but the Fatimid lancers squirted out of the way..
The Hungarians were still evading furiously with their LH ...
With the Fatimid army at the brink of defeat, the Hungarians ran out of units to run over with their knights - and so it was back to our attack to claw back some points from the edge of despair...
The Hungarians finally managed to be caught - but the clock ticked down before the Fatimids could catch the Hungarian baggage (and exchange it for their own!)
Post Match Summary
Wi had a git bad dyah at the office heor , despite having planned everything perfectly.
Aa'd set up wor lads te tyek the Hungarian charge in the ideal set of circumstances, an wi had everything in wor favour - yet unfortunately things still boiled doon te a lottery in the Roger Mellie phase as the knights armour meant they were just a touch betta than wi were, plain an simple.
Wor strong left hook also failed te achieve much of note until layt in the game, as the huge amounts of terrain the light cuddy Hungarians deployed actually helped them as it gave them obstacles which they could scoot around far faster than wi could pursue them.
Aal in aal a rortha grim time wez had bi aal . It waad hev been much more interesting if wor infantry had stood firm.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
That was shocking really - how much effort you put into setting up a perfect formation with which to take on the enemy knights, and then to find that you were faced with a total lottery as to who would win. For a great general like myself, I weep at the thought that today's youngsters will read this and work out that a line of charging knights led by generals are technically a match for practically anything you can throw at them in this theme and time frame.
I suppose that it does show up how incredibly fortunate you were in the 2nd game to actually beat the same type of knightly opponents - so, strike one for the dice, and zero for the skill really.
I'm also not sure what you thought you'd be doing by stacking your army up on the left - those skirmishers could always just turn tail and run faster than you could catch them with cavalry, and because of the terrain cluttering your pursuit paths, it was obviously impossible for you to co-ordinate both cavalry and your own LH (although I notice that 2 units were wasted over on the right) to try and keep up with them.
At least your army will be fresh for any subsequent battles, as the Dailami and 2 units of lancers did practically nothing of note all game. Shame its the last round and there are no more battles.
All in all, another grim experience trying to catch LH to round off another bout of mid table mediocrity in which there seem to be few if any lessons to be learnt other than shoot a lot, skirmish a lot, and roll good dice.
Hopefully a while until the next tourney eh?
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