Thursday, November 1, 2012

October 2012 Northamptonshire

Championship battles and local wargames

Of course, I'm sure I don't need to point out the irony in my post header ... as Will and I do battle using his collection of original Minifigs (strip) 15mm figures depicting armies of Late Bronze Age ...

We had agreed to play 2 back-to-back championship games with the same armies just swapping sides.   I understand Will had had a similar pair of games with Championship Organiser Barnsdale just previously.

Suffice to say that whilst the visitors lost the first pairing, I exacted revenge in the second.

(both armies Minifigs 15mm originally painted by Anthony Clipsom from Will Whyler's collection)

The first game was something of a smash and grab raid.  Will had over extended the somewhat more brittle Egyptian army, allowing me to make an attack with my right wing that had every chance to destroying the enemy before all his force could be brought to bear (Armati trans: the Egyptians were BP4, the Hittites BP5 ... from deployment, it was clear that the Egyptians had committed 4 BPs worth of key units on that flank, and without undue risk, I thought I could mount a pretty hefty attack on them without putting (all) five BPs of mine at risk.   As the Egyptians have many more bows in the army - and thus 'outshoot' me, I felt I needed to do this before the arrow storm took its toll) ...

(the marker indicates that the big bow block had 'reserve' status, ready to wheel as required)

Game Two was going to be a challenge ... I now took the Egyptians, which we had proved were the more brittle, and I had demonstrated that they could be taken out with a vigorous attack.   The sandal would now be on the other foot ...

I was determined to get the bow armed foot into play, and set up ready to range them in on where I expected the heart of the enemy force to be.    Meanwhile, varying my tactics, I set up a strong skirmishing force to soften up the Hittite wing on my right before any chariot clash could tangle me up.

(the Egyptian infantry - of whom I had great expectations ...)

On the left, I set up with an uncommitted division of chariots, correctly guessing that there might be some empty desert out there - and planning to ride around the open flank (general trans: we were using deployment screens, so some divination is required when setting up ... however, if there is some open space and you have troops able to respond to it, there can be tactical advantages that emerge).

(the chariot division with the green 'complex move' marker on it is Hittite and has just wiped out the end of the Egyptian infantry line - an enterprise from which they will not return: both units are now trapped as the Egyptian outflankers (top of picture) close in)

This game played pretty much to my script.  Nevertheless, with a lower Army Break Point, the Egyptians were always on the brink of sliding to defeat with every die roll.

The Hittite key units on the 'soften with skirmishers' wing were destroyed, and the two units caught in the flank trap made five.   The Egyptians, though rocking, were only two down, so the battle was won.  

The old warriors had fought well.   The vintage Minifigs didn't do too badly either!

A few days later, I put out a choice of Eastern Front armies for what I expected to be a couple of DBA games against Ian.   Actually, I had one of my very rare 'long' games ... which we played to a natural conclusion (we were level at 4:4, but Ian eventually won 5 [incl Gen]: 4).

(Sub Roman British: Gladiator and Peter Pig figures with the odd Essex and Chariot mixed in)

Ian chose the Sub Roman British - so I, somewhat rashly, chose, as their natural enemies, some near contemporary Middle Anglo-Saxons.   I say 'rashly' as these early English are somewhat embarrassed for cavalry, and the British Knight General looks fearsome indeed.

(several boat-loads of Angles, but just a single element with any horse power)

Some near centrally placed marshland meant Ian split his force into a 'spear' anvil and a flank raiding 'mounted' hammer.   His plan was to make me either break up my force so he could crush me with the Spears, or turn my flank should I try to keep together.

(seen from the British side)

Actually, I managed to foil the flank raiders and get them into a tangle in the tight corners between the wood, the marsh and the battlefield edge.

(seen from my side)

Although that had put me ahead, it did leave me slightly undergunned against the infantry unless/until I could get all the troops back in line.   Of course they are mostly infantry and the game was DBA - so that's a big ask.

The good news and the bad news with the Middle Anglo-Saxons is the Warband General and supporting element.  A very good chance of destroying Spearmen, but I could see Ian hovering behind the line with his Knight General.

(the crucial melee, general to general)

The inevitable could not be avoided: I had to put the general into combat to maintain the line.  He destroyed his opponents and followed up into the vulnerable gap ... and the British general then charged in and made the 'quick kill'.

Although I was still ahead at that point (so losing my general did not end the game) I could not get enough Pips to limp over the line and the rampaging British were able to mop the game up.   Appropriately, of course, this Dark Age confrontation was really settled by the two commanders in personal hand-to-hand combat - and you can't argue with that.

A very interesting game - and not the quick bash I was expecting.  We'll play the second game on another occasion.

It'll be Field of Glory before then, for me, however - at the Northern Doubles League ...

See the Society of Ancients at Warfare ...

Why not join in the Championship (it's just ancient warriors like us lot!): Society of Ancients Wargames Championship

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