The armies deployed and taking advantage of the nice new grid lines. 6 units of infantry flanked by light infantry archers in the distance, 2 elite cavalry, 3 horse archers, 2 light infantry and a skirmish unit of archers in the foreground.
Italeria sat upon his horse and gazed past Stone Hill at the immense dust cloud. His experience suggested that upwards of 50 men marched towards the nearly 30 men under his command but they were huddled like sheep and all marched on foot and they did not worry him. What worried him as he ambled forward was how his Steppe mercenaries could tell who one was talking about if they were all named Alan?
Suddenly he realized that the enemy had stolen a march on him and were already climbing the farside of the hill. Damn! His plan had been to make use of the superior speed of his cavalry and light infantry to get there first and sieze the advantage of ground. Now it would be be his loose scattering of men against their shield wall, meeting at the crest with no advantage of ground. That didn't seem like a good plan. Showering with missiles might work if they weren't in dead ground. He didn't really have any other plan. Might be a good time to call up a druid to slaughter a chicken while he waited and maybe let the Alans work around the flank while the dead chicken thought up a plan.
Ahh, that was better, the enemy had come forward and manned the edge of the hill and the Alans were circling behind them. He waved Airafix and his light infantry to do the same on the other side. Once the enemy had been worn down a bit, he would lead his bodyguard in a death or glory ride against the shieldwall.
On the hill, King Orion rested on his shield during a break in the series of hit and run attacks. This had all seemed so simple, march up, take the hill, scare off the locals. Well, the locals seemed scared enough but that didn't seemed to help. They kept showering the hill with arrows and javelins and running away when threatened. His men had good shields and some armour and knew how to keep a tight formation but every now and then an arrow slipped by. His own archers had eventually been overwhelmed and only rarely did the enemy come close enough for his men to respond with their own javelins. Come nightfall he prayed or let the enemy grow rash.
Aerafix, Lord of the Old Ones, guardian of the Crowning Stone.
I had planned to try out the ungridded version of the Gathering of Hosts using my Turanians but I don't have a handy carrying case for them and didn't feeling like making several trips up and down stairs lugging trays of metal 25mm figures. I opted to spend some time reorganizing and basing some 1/72nd ACW troops and then, with memories of the invisible grid still in my mind, grabbed a green felt marker and quickly lined out the grid. The improved board just called out to be tested and suddenly I recalled the makeshift 1/72nd DBA armies tucked away in a dark corner for the last decade. That's a story for another day but the test game was on!
The first game lasted about 5 minutes before I called a halt, reset the table and turned back to the rules. Another 5 minutes of adjustments and I launched into a game which kept me rivetted for an hour. I still need to do some editing for example, I caught myself applying various unwritten rules, and I need to look a bit closer at some of the troop type definitions and check that they each have a role but essentially I am ready to roll. The big decision now is whether to stick with 1 stand per unit + markers (the smart move) or break the units down into 1 stand per strength point.