I arranged a Seven Years War game with Al for this week, but my opponent cancelled a couple of days before. Sandy and I then arranged a Waterloo boardgame to try out (with a view to using it as a campaign base). On Thursday afternoon, that was cancelled due to work commitments.
So I turned up at the club knowing that the regular 15mm crowd wouldn’t be there and no game arranged, hoping somebody would take pity on me and hoping they would offer me a place at a table. Jack was running a Soldiers of God refight of the Battle of Hattin.
I took the left wing of the Christian army, Ken took the centre and was in overall command, while John had the right wing. Across the table, Derek took command of the forces of Islam in the centre, Micheal was my immediate opponent on the Moslem right wing and Ian faced John on the left of their army.
Ken’s battle plan was to rapidly advance the flanks of the army, smash the units facing them, then sweep round to encircle the enemy centre. Derek, meanwhile, lacking much in the way of heavy cavalry but having lots (and I mean lots) of horse archers, decided on an “advance, fire and retire” tactic to try and inflict as many casualties on the Christians as possible, before the Templars and Hospitallars charged home.
The Christian centre and right wing
The Christian leftThe forces of Islam
The battle started with the Christian wings advancing (slowly in the case of the knights). Derek soon became obsessed with defeating the left wing of our army (my “battle”) and spent most of his actions telling Michael what to do with his division/battle. Consequently, Ian had very little to do on the opposite side against John, who advanced into contact.With the help of some stunning dice rolls (that would have left my usual 15mm opponents speechless) my turcopoles, supported by archers, defeated and “burned” 2 units of horse archers, taking some damage in the process.
My heavies eventually made contact, the Templars making short work of some horse archers before piling into a unit of Mamelukes. Unfortunately, they lost their lance bonus against the light cavalry, but were inflicting heavy damage on the Mamelukes and were joined in that melee by the unit of mounted knights.
Over on the other flank, John and Ian’s light cavalry were slugging it out in a battle of attrition, which john was slowly winning, keeping his Hospitallars in reserve, waiting for a break-through.
In the centre, both Ken and Derek would occasionally remember they had troops too, although in fairness they were both sacrificing their actions to rally damaged units (usually mine and Michael’s). Eventually, they got close enough to start exchanging volleys, and soon Ken’s units of crossbows started hurting Derek’s archers.
With the battle still in the balance, Derek sent his Mamelukes from the centre to help Michael on the left of the Moslem army.
However, it proved to be too little too late, as the Templars destroyed Michael’s Mamelukes and my mounted knights (with the aid of some outstanding dice results) inflicted heavy damage on Derek’s, while avoiding taking much themselves. It was decided at the end of the turn that the forces of Islam had been banished and the Christians were victorious.
All in all, a good evenings gaming, with a rules system that I had never played before. I picked up the basics pretty quickly and found the general mechanics were quite simple, allowing for a satisfyingly fast game (although there were the usual disagreements over obscure rules, but that seems to happen with everything these days). There were some grumbles from one or two players, most notably Ian (which is understandable as he had very little to do for most of the game, as Derek became obsessed with defeating my command!)
As of yet, I have no game planned for next week, so have no idea what the next report will be.
Have fun and remember, at the end of the day, it’s only toy soldiers…..