Britcon 2007 FoG Game 5
Game 5 saw me starting late - my alarm clock failed to wake me from my peaceful alcohol-induced slumber, although having revealed the secret of "MaB" to the world the previous night I felt justified in being a little late.
The game saw me facing Dave Ruddocks Lydians - they all appeared to be a bit of a blur, so maybe the alcohol was affecting me still?
In banter on the Slitherine beta testers forum, Dave had let slip that he has played over 8,000 games of FoG using every army from Cavemen to American Civil War Union cavalry, so when he dished out a load of those pesky skirmishing cavalry types I assumed he knew what he was doing. Although he was playing me towards the lower reaches of the leaderboard, so maybe he was actually a muppet too and I may be in with a chance?
Conscious I was a late starter, I felt under a moral obligation to play speedily and so I rushed forwards. This also seemed as good a tactic as anything else given my previous poor showings in the other 4 games.
And lets face it, I was still skull-hammeringly drunk, so that was three votes out of three for the Crusader Banzai!
Soon my knights were closing down the light horse rapidly, scattering them in disarray. With nothing in my army able to catch or threaten them, even though it seemed a bit of a waste I was prepared to let the knights have their head just to clear the way for my other troops.
With Dave also pressing forward with his spearmen, the centre was shaping up to be an almighty ding-dong. I had defensive spearmen and knights against a solid line of similar spears. I had even decided to bring my crossbowmen into the fray as they were at the far end of my line safe on a rough hill, and I hoped to use their numbers to give me an edge in what would be a fairly equal combat. A unit of Lydian cavalry was racing round their hill, and it could have been an option for the crossbowmen to turn and interdict them, but I was optimistic my own Turcopoles could hold off the cavalry long enough for me to go for the bigger prize in the middle.
The Brother knights were steaming forward, supported by their foot soldiers. The Lydian skirmishers fled in all directions to try and escape the advancing metal monsters
Clunk!!! The spear lines clashed - with my crappy bowmen acting as a morale-boosting line of support.
Table appeared to be running out for the skirmishers who could be pushed off table - even the baggage looked threatened! If I could win against the Spearmen I might have managed to prove that playing whilst still steaming was the secret to using my army !
But in the middle lots was happening - in all different directions! My spearmen has beaten the left flank of the Lydians, with the extra fighting power of the crossbow unit on the flank proving decisive....and the unwise yet jubilant crossbows had pursued the fleeing spearmen and advanced down from their hill to find themselves facing more skirmishers.
But the middle was still engaged, and on my left the the knights has been smashed in a futile charge and the Lydian spearmen had in turn broken through and hit the soft underbelly of my reserve line. Crusader spearmen attempted to save the day, but they were just too slow to get anywhere near the line of scrimmage before the Lydians started to spear my bowmen.
To add insult to injury my Turcopoles had performed pathetically and Lydian cavalry were sweeping unopposed towards my baggage!
The crossbowmen loaded their weapons and prepared to try and drive off enemy cavalry. With a withering hail of fire they forced the Lydians back
Time surely was running out for the skirmishers - there could surely be no escape from being driven off the edge of the table?
But somehow the tricky blighters eluded the lumbering Crusaders, and squeezed through the grasping fingers of the iron fist of militant Christianity to escape unharmed!
In the middle my reserves were still attempting to catch the only victorious Lydian spear formation, who decided following their colleagues toward my baggage was the best option, and with Benny Hill music playing loudly they raced away pursued by the angry mob!
Over in the distance my crossbowmen found their pursuit of the retreating cavalry and spearmen had brought them into an exposed spot, when the Lydian skirmishers, fresh from escaping the clutches of my right win, surrounded them and showered them with arrows and javelins. They looked around at their desperate situation, and their morale crumbled - they too turned tail and fled.
Amazingly, through the loss of the knights, one spear unit, the reserve bowmen the turcopoles and the crossbowmen (plus the baggage) my army had been broken, and I had grasped defeat from the seeming jaws of victory even though I had broken the bulk of the Lydian spear line and chased their skirmishers to within mere inches of the table edge!
Despite starting 30 minutes late, the full blooded battle on this table had been the first to finish, but it had ended the wrong way with a massive loss for the now increasingly obviously badly designed Crusader army.
Post Match Analysis
Despite shading a tough and brutal the fight against some of the key elements of the Lydian army, I had simply been unable to catch enough of the rest to break more than 50% of their battlegroups - but their victories in the same melee had opened the door to my baggage and my weak reserve lines. This, combined with the very small size of my army condemned me to defeat. The playtest team looked very carefully at the ability of the skirmishers to escape from such tight situations as well as the way my crossbowmen had pursued off their hill and into danger, and scurried back to their secret bat-cave to feed the information into the rules computer to see if modifications were required.... so maybe next time the result will be different!View My Stats
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