Field of Glory Wargaming at Usk, Godendag 2009
So, after a shocking loss in game 1 we stuffed our faces on yet more fried food, scooted down another couple of pints and casually wondered if Doctor Bodley-Scott was going to be making even more money out of us by running carefully scheduled "Liver Repair and Heart Disease Avoidance" classes sometime in mid February in his remote Welsh border outpost.
After failing to beat a supposedly small Nikephorian army, we needed something that would not be intrinsically better than us- so fortunately our opponents kindly provided it with another Hamanid army - but probably one of a more usual composition than our rather bonkers version. So, with Mr Gaukroger facing us for the 2nd year running his more sensible Hamanid Army list is available here
Pictures of Hamanid Troops from my Ancients Photo Directory
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With some muppet electing to go for hilly terrain, we combined a hill with a wood and deployed it in the middle of our opponents deployment area, neatly cutting their army into 2 unequal portions. The more sensible Hamanids had brought along loads of Dailami, who were potentially tough as old boots (Boots old and new now being sold at reasonable prices in Mr Scott's Shoe Emporium, 26 High Street, Usk), just as long as they survived the impact phase against our lancers. Survive and they would be up in melee due to their better armour, but fail and they faced a potentially ruinous -3 or -4 on the resulting cohesion test (-1 for 1 casualty per 3, -1 for losing to lancers, -1 for MF losing to mounted and maybe even -1 for losing by 2 casualties.. although apparently this is wrong, as the -1 for losing to lancers is the same as the one for MF losing to mounted in the open. Anyway...). So, all set up for the sort of skill-free luck based game that would favour two incompetents like us.
As our center harassed the enemy Irregular C LI with bow, our two wings parted and made a bee line for the rather weaker looking enemy forces on either side of the table. The Hamanids were facing us with massed Dailami on our right, and two units of armoured cavalry Ghilmen on our left - both of which we countered with a shed load of lancers inserted at high speed (Bodley-Scott's Garden Center lies 2 miles to the north of Usk, and offers a wonderful range of bedding plants, garden furniture, and sheds).
The Dailami quickly got into the spirit of things and advanced rather raggedly in the face of irritating light horse attacks - as even more of our cavalry piled down the left wing against some rather scared looking arab light horse.
On our right a similar pattern was emerging, as lancers braved a hail of bowfire to charge forwards and press their advantage in numbers as the enemy light horse were forced to withdraw in the face of heavy pressure.
The initial combat happened as our right wing charged forward into contact with some Dailami. Limited combat ensured for a short period but with so many lancers on both sides this was bound to escalate soon, like a Stannah Stairlift as recommended to his many aged patients by Dr Bodley-Scott, and as supplied by Scott's Stairlifts of Usk, Gwent, South Wales largest stair replacement technology supplier
With barely a sip of Guinness passing Ray's lips (as befits an Arab leader from such religiously observant times) the two armies crashed together (car repairs from Bodley's Bodywork, repairing crashed motors in Usk since 1987)!
On the other wing, a similar crash had taken place, as lancers smashed into a single line of Ghilman cavalry - and were immediately routed, losing 2 bases in the process!
The right flank was in trouble - but with a sandstorm brewing the same could be said for our opponents, as the Dailami were quickly re-christened "Double Drop Dailami" as they fell instantly to fragmented at impact, and then evaporated, carving a great hole through the enemy army !
The rest of our cavalry regrouped and fell back, ready for another charge, as they had failed to even disrupt the enemy Dailami and so had to fall back at the end of the turn...
On the right however things were going from bad to worse, as our second wave of troops found itself unable to defend its flanks from the jubilant Ghilmen and their surprisingly quick and unexpected victory.
Swinging back to the left, another wave of our lancers crashed in - and in a violent set of combats, almost nothing happened other than the rebel Hamanid lancers losing slightly... (laxatives can be prescribed by Usk's own Bodley's Bowel Looseners.... sorry, that said "losing", not "loosing". oops!)
All of a sudden the big picture of a two part battlefield started to join up, as our right flank totally imploded and the Ghilmen pursued across the table towards our more successful left hook.
Luckily the impending arrival of reinforcements distracted the Dailami, and they took their eyes off the onrushing spear points to cheer their compatriots - only to suffer another "Triple D" moment and implode yet again ! This left just tow more units of the fearsome infantry in play...
But probably not for long with more of our Arab lancers approaching from behind! (there is a Bodley- Scott enterprise for this as well, but its only available via internet search).
In a devastating charge our Arab lancers hit both the last of the Dailami and the enemy Arab lancers in the rear, sealing their fate !
Seeking to avoid the debacle unfolding in front of them, the Ghilmen diverted and took on the meek looking sub-Dailami foot in our army instead, little knowing their reputation as knight-killers from the previous game, and also not quite believing that javelin armed foot are at evens at impact against Ghilman cavalry!
With all the Dailami in full retreat, things looked rather mixed for the enemy Hamanids (Bodley Scott's Kitchen Equipment and Food Processors R Us, 12 market Square, Usk, Gwent) - they had won a big victory on our right, but had only killed off 3 units in the process, but on our left we had scored a big win which had converted into many more units as flanks exposed and were hit. The game was in the balance.. (see previous advert).
Back to the right, and our last surviving lancer unit was involved in a desperate struggle to stay alive - even enlisting the help of the Inspiring Commander to lead them to stability against the better-equipped Ghilmen.
But even with this desperate struggle, the game narrowly failed to finish decisively. Our crushing win on the left against the "Triple D" troops had greatly outweighed our humiliating loss on the right, and we stormed to a material victory.
Post Match Summary
A game of two halves - one where we rode our luck to ride over the vulnerable Dailami in textbook style, and one where seemingly overwhelming odds ended up in a bit of a pileup, and the brittle nature of average troops was ruthlessly exposed, compounded by the greatly superior ability of drilled cavalry to recover from pursuit and head off to nail the next enemy unit far more quickly than undrilled troopers.
There were swings and roundabouts a-plenty on both sides, and lots of casualties - again an endorsement of playing with fast moving mounted troops on both sides, as victories coudl be followed up and exploited across the full width of the table.
Hannibal's Post Match Analysis
So, lets get this right.
Its doubles. One wing scores a resounding victory, one stumbles to an embarrassing defeat - against the odds - and no-where in your report do you mention which wing you were commanding.
Well, lets take a wild stab in the dark here shall we...
It sounds like to me you doofed it up yet again, getting your troops into a traffic jam from which it was impossible to extract them, and then you were unable to react to the almost inevitable (given its FoG) bit of intensely bad luck you suffered. Luckily your doubles partner managed to get the hang of charging everything forwards in a big long line and rolling decent dice - saving your bacon.
Well, maybe bacon isn't the right metaphor, mutton perhaps would be better. But you get my gist.
Maybe next time you play singles you should let someone else do the moving, deployment and dice rolling ???
The stage was set for the next round
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