Thursday, 30 April 2009

Autumn 986 - The Battle of the Two Hills

The Brethren had advanced steadily into Zog-Rot and had met little resistance along the way. There was certainly no sign of the Goblin Khan that they had expected to find. However, Zog-Rot was a hilly land and riddled with caves. While many Goblins lived above ground and tended the fields, others lived underground in great cave complexes.

"Technically speaking, of course," thought Brother Gloriosus, "it was the Goblins' slaves that tended the fields. Goblins were just not that good at agriculture. Gobbos don't garden."

When he saw the fields ahead of him with the wheat waiting to be harvested, Brother Gloriosus knew that they were approaching a large settlement and that they would probably be in for a fight. The land looked about right for the goblins; a couple of hills and some woods bordering the area. Yes, this would be the site of the battle. This was confirmed when he saw a detachment of Goblin Wolf-Riders wheeling their mounts away from the crest of a hill ahead of him. His own scouts were soon reporting the presence of a large Goblin force ahead of them. Both armies were aware of each other and the Goblins appeared to have deployed in his path. Time to show them why that was not wise.

The Goblins deployed with their centre on a hill are in the foreground. On their left flank is a unit of Wolf Riders (Skirmish mounted) and on their right are the Goblin Archers (Skirmishers). The main body consists of one stand of Black Moon Goblins (Big hard melee troops by goblin standards) and the rest are ordinary Goblins (slightly weedier melee troops). The Brethren Knights are deployed behind the Brother Sergeants at the top of the picture. On the right of the picture is a unit of peasant archers (poor quality missile troops). The crossbows and heavy spearmen are deployed on the left side of the picture just in front of the woods.
(Click the pictures for larger images)

Brother Gloriosus deployed his troops quickly in battle formation. His cavalry were in the centre and his infantry were deployed on the edge of the woods on his right flank. Time to advance on the enemy. His knights took the vanguard with the sergeants following in echelon on his left flank. As they approached the Goblin line on the hill, they noticed Goblin archers deploying in the woods on their left. No time to worry about that though. Brother Gloriosus ordered the charge and his knights smashed home into the Goblin line.

The melee was brief and the Goblins were quickly driven back. Their general's standard fell at the first charge and their general's bleeding body was quickly carried from the field. Although driven back, the Goblin warriors still held their nerve, unlike the Goblin skirmishers, all of whom routed from the field at the first sign of trouble.

Whenever a unit with the general in takes hits, you must roll to see if the general is a casualty. I rolled a 6, he was a potential casualty as a result of this, he made his armour save but I then rolled a 5 on the wound severity table, so the Goblin general was grievously wounded and would die shortly after the battle. Take a Leader Lost test into account and about one third of my army evaporated without even getting into the fight!

The Goblin warriors continued to fight an casualties piled up on both sides. Unfortunately, the Goblins were outgunned and outnumbered now. Brother Gloriosus pressed his advantage and directed his sergeants onto the flank of the Goblin line as his own unit charged another unit of goblins. The knights burst through the goblins and then into and through another rank of goblins behind them. The sergeants rolled up the line from the flank and it was all over bar looting the corpses.

Brother Miles Gloriosus surveyed the battlefield. He was pleased because his troops had all held their nerve. He would be in line for a promotion if he could keep this up.

Notes: The Goblins suffered horribly because their general died in the first melee. This completely reduced their ability to fight back, and the loss of their skirmishers did not help either. With the general and the skirmishers present, the sergeants would have had a harder time getting onto the Goblin flank, and the Wolf Riders might have been able to get onto the flank or rear of the enemy infantry and harass them so that they could not join the main battle until much later. The whole game took about an hour and a half, with time out during that for gossiping and discussion of other projects as we usually do. Wargaming for us is a social activity, so our games tend to progress fairly slowly. I can't wait for the next one, though. Warrior Heroes is a most excellent system, even if the rulebook is not as well organised as it might be. It is not currently available from TwoHourWargames, but Ed has indicated he may get around to reworking it and issuing a free copy in similar fashion to Chain Reaction 3.0, which is also well worth checking out.

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