Friday, February 28, 2014

The Way is Shut.

For long years the Eastern border of the Midlands had been quiet, guarded by an Empire powerful but friendly, friendly that is as long as the King of Midlands didn't cause any inconvenience. However, now the power of the Empire is slowly waning while that of the Great King Of Kings in the East is rising. No barriers now stand between the Eastern Border of the Midlands and the Turanian horsemen of the Great King.

Good news!
After hiding for 10 months in a dark corner of a room that it had never been in before, my camera has re-emerged, just not in time for this battle. Better pictures are bound to follow!

So it was that the Lord of Ravenswood received a summons to march with his Black Company. The time of testing had arrived.

As the armies march onto the field. the Black Company rides ahead to block the move by Turanian light cavalry to sweep over the river and into the unprotected farms and villages of the Middle Kingdom. Behind them the Earl of Cowcross leads his cavalry and some archers  to confront the enemy and give his spearmen space to deploy.

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Having aligned the mechanisms more closely with those of the Square Brigadier, things like deciding which type of combat modifiers should be to dice scores and which to the number of dice  rolled and so on, it was time to retest the rules. It was also time to step farther into fiction, or fantasy if you will, and bring another of the 5 Kingdoms into play, the Turanian Great King. Picture a medieval Sassinid Successor State or something similar, but without the religious issues of our history.

The Turanian Hillmen have over run the bravely defended village, pulled the thatch off the roof and driven the Midlish knights back with a hail of slingshot.  The light cavalry on their left are holding their own but are losing the missile battle with the Black Crossbowmen who are experiencing their first real battle. On the right, the Turanian light cavalry found themselves trapped between the Royal Companions and a mass of  aggressive spearmen and  dispersed. Seeing that the Companions were now faced with woods full of archers and  a forest of spears while the enemy cavalry were redeploying towards the open ground, Prince Salaman Dar orders them to pull back and redeploy to the left. 

The Turanians are a reconnaissance in force/raiding party, testing the strength of the Midland borders. Their mission is to scatter the defenders and cross the river in force. The Midlish army must force them to retreat.

The Turanians, led by Prince Salaman Dar, consist of:

Right Wing
2 units of Royal Companions, Elite, heavily armoured cavalry inc a sub commander
1 unit of light cavalry.

Center
General,
1 Elephant
1 unit of spearmen
1 large unit of archers with pavise (there should actually be a few more figures there, oops)
3 units of skirmishers.

Left Wing
Sub commander
1 unit of cavalry
2 units of light cavalry


The Midlish army has regrouped and, now that the Earl's Orders die has recovered  its nerve,  is pushing forward. In response, the Prince's Order die suddenly freezes for a few turns and he has trouble regrouping and redeploying his  somewhat scattered forces just when it matters most.
The Midlish army consisted of:

A detached unit of militia archers defending their village.

Vanguard
(The Black Company)
1 unit of elite heavily armoured lancers w sub commander.
1 unit of crossbowmen

Main Battle
1 unit of elite heavily armoured lancers w general.
1 unit of lancers

Rearward
2 units of archers
2 large units of spearmen 1 including a sub commander.

( Note: under these rules, lancers are heavy cavalry relying on shock alone, cavalry are heavy cavalry able to fight at close quarters but also capable of shooting. All light troops have a shooting ability.)



The Earl sweeps forward scattering Turanian skirmishers and archers alike and capturing Prince Salaman .
 There is talk of glass windows for the upper windows in Cattlecross Hall..
I was very happy with how the rules played out and the balance between these armies.There was a bit of trouble trying to get the right language to describe how I wanted the movement to work so I kept fiddling with it so that it described what I was actually doing. I'm not sure if anyone else will understand but as long as they reach a consensus with themselves it will be all good.

Apart from that the missile fire was of limited use against large bodies of troops and heavily armoured units but could be deadly in the right circumstances and was excellent for encouraging light troops and cavalry to back off. The spearmen were resilient but slow and hard to maneuver and were better at wearing an enemy down and outlasting them than at smashing them.  The Knights on the other hand were pretty darned good at smashing things out of their way though they didn't get to try having a go at a large block of spearmen. The support rules also worked as hoped making properly formed groups of units tougher in defense and more persistent in offence than scattered individual ones.


The Turanian Royal Companions are finally in position to assault the knights of the Black Company but the rest of the left wing has disappeared apart from a solitary horse archer, the Prince's banner has gone down and a horde of Midlish knights is bearing down on their flank. It is is time to cover the retreat of what is left of the army and report back to the Great King that a War will be required if the Midlands are to be subdued.
(The jubilant peasants seem to have already re-thatched their houses!)


I'm already looking forward to the next game but there is some painting and background work to be done first.

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