Friday, 18 September 2009

Spring 988 - The Battle of Snakeye Woods

Lord De La Warre surveyed the Tropilium troops as they advanced. He did not fear these mongrels. Their empire was a shambles and they were but a shadow of their former selves. His battle-hardened troops were ready for another fight and were confident from their previous victories. He was less sure about the Ekran and Brethren levies though. Better be careful with them, or throw them into the first assault and rely on the enemy to deal with any issues. Ah well, Saint Lindorf was on their side and there was little he could do now. His troops were deployed with archers on the left and right flanks and the heavy infantry on the hill in the centre. Sir Geoffrey's knights were deployed as a reserve with the Ekran knights and Sir Geoffrey had orders to deal with the Ekrans should they prove troublesome.

The Tropilium troops had deployed on the other side of Snakeye woods with light troops on each flank. This whole southern border of Treyine was a welter of light woods and small copses that broke up the landscape. It made finding a battleground difficult, but it also suited the preferred Treyine way of war.

(Click the pictures for larger versions)

The Tropilium trumpets sounded and the advance began. Lord De La Warre grinned as he saw the enemy enter the woods. Right, he would go to meet them. He ordered his left flank and centre to advance. The right flank would stay put for now. He was uncertain what the enemy cavalry would do so those archers might be needed to hold them off. Meanwhile, behind him, the knights turned to the right and began a march on that flank. What the heck were they doing?

As the troops advanced, the enemy skirmishers soon emerged from the woods on the Treyine left flank. Treyine longbowmen were waiting for them and drove them back through the woods with heavy casualties. First blood to Treyine.

As the Tropilium centre emerged from the woods, Lord De La Warre suddenly realised that there was deviltry afoot. The ground shook under his feet and the Treyine centre was scattered apart. The enemy then ordered a charge. Fortunately for the Treyine soldiers the troops on their right decided that discretion was the better part of valour and chose to remain in the cover of the woods but bitter fighting ensued elsewhere on the edge of Snakeye woods. Lord De La Warre was in his element now. He loved a good scrap.

The enemy cavalry had emerged on the Treyine right flank by now too but the auxiliary cavalry was quickly driven off by bow fire. Sir Geoffrey and the Ekran knights were still parading uselessly around behind the Treyine lines. Without Badenhorst to focus on, Sir Geoffrey seemed to be having trouble deciding who to attack.

After the initial hard fighting, the Treyine troops seemed to be getting the worst of it and their infantry were being driven back, but Lord De La Warre was undaunted. He drove his men forward and, as the enemy was driven back, his men surrounded and killed one of the mages that had sought to aid the enemy. He redoubled his efforts and urged his men on harder.

With the enemy falling back and casualties mounting the battle seemed already won, but De La Warre knew better than to count his chickens before they were hatched. Dropping his shield and taking his sword in both hands he cleaved a passage into the enemy unit and his loyal knights followed. The enemy general soon stood before him. He recognised the man from various diplomatic missions. General Cloddius was a decidedly average man in all respects, but still he put up as good a fight as he could. It was not good enough though. De La Warre charged at Cloddius, who soon fell before the Treyine lord's fury. With the fall of Cloddius, the Tropilium army routed from the field and Treyine was safe once more from enemy incursions.

This battle was characterised by a general inability on Steve's part to roll high on his hit rolls, resulting in not many hits to the Treyine army. He still routed two units of Treyine infantry, the first casualties they have suffered in this campaign, but his dice rolling was terrible just the same.

Steve's progress was slow too thanks to all the light woods I put out. I rolled high for terrain so I was able to place a lot of it. This hampered his efforts to deploy usefully and reduced the amount of time I would have to face the mages for.

The knights in my Treyine army did pretty much nothing for the whole game. I had intended to use them as a tactical reserve but in the end I dithered too much with them and they just paraded around because I never got them anywhere useful.

Finally, Steve's ability to throw 6s at just the wrong moment was evident too. The mages were deployed in the centre with his general's stand and in two turns his best mage and his general both suffered mortal wounds as a result of rolling 6s. Ah well, perhaps he will roll better next time.

Permanent Losses:
2 Infantry

General Cloddius (WR 3)
Pharos (Level 2 Mage)
1 Equites
1 Legionaries
2 Auxiliaries (Mixed)
1 Archers
1 Auxiliary Cavalry

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