Friday, 16 October 2009

Autumn 988 - Girls Gone Bad

Sir Geoffrey Chambers was ecstatic. He had beaten back the Tropilium invasion and now Treyine controlled a part of that once mighty empire, and he had preserved enough of the army to now face the Hykar with some possibility of victory. He felt sure that he was destined for greatness in the nascent Treyine empire. Still, there was the small matter of thousands of young, vicious girls on ponies facing him. He was outnumbered and would have to fight aggressively to counteract their advantage. He formed his troops up with both flanks refused. About half of his archers had set their stakes out to hinder the Hykari advance. The enemy had deployed their heavy troops in the centre with vast numbers of light horse on the flanks. It was clear what their plan was and Sir Geoffrey knew what was needed.



The enemy began their advance. The light horse swept down on his flanks as expected, so Sir Geoffrey raised his arm and yelled, "CHARGE!" His knights leapt forward beside the Ekran contingent. The infantry, even the Brethren spearmen who had finally turned up, followed, while the archers moved to guard their flanks as best possible. Then the fight began in earnest. Sir Geoffrey's knights crashed home against the enemy general's horsewomen, who fired a desultory rain of arrows at him. A few men were wounded but none fell from their saddles. The Ekran knights, however, took many casualties as they hit the enemy spearwomen and were driven back, but not before the spearwomen routed from the field.



The fight in the centre raged on as Sir Geoffrey's knights whittled down the enemy horsewomen, but it was taking too much time. Meanwhile, the light horse tried to encircle the archers, who desperately turned to face them and tried to loose as many arrows as possible. They certainly gave as good as they got and drove off many of the light horse, but archers died too and the Treyine numbers were being reduced too. Unfortunately, even the rout of the Hykari general did not discourage the light horse. Clearly they had little respect for their leaders and they fought on just as hard, but their command was hampered and they were soon facing more arrows as well as the Treyine infantry, who had turned to chase them. Slowly the girls on ponies died and slowly the Treyine army gained ascendancy.



Eventually there were only a small number of horsewomen left and the Treyine archers were all around. The end of the matter was no longer in doubt. It was merely a case of how much damage the Hykari could do before they routed. The answer was: not too long at all. The approach of Sir Geoffrey and his knights was enough to break the Hykari morale and soon they and their ponies were streaming from the field. Sir Geoffrey was most pleased, and he was sure that the King would be too.

I was worried about this battle. There were twice as many Hykari as there were Treyine troops. Also, they had significantly greater manoeuvrability than I did, so I expected to be surrounded and cut down. As it turned out, I was surrounded but driving off the enemy general severely hindered Steve's ability to make use of his advantage in speed. My longbowmen's advantage was range and hitting power, which allowed them to hold their own against twice their number of light horse. Steve still routed and severely hurt a lot of my archers, but not enough to win the battle. That said, it could have gone either way really.

One thing we learned from this battle was that light horse are quite hard to use en masse effectively. Steve suffered because some of his light horse routed when friendly units retired into them, but he will have learned by next time! I have some ideas of my own that I would like to try out, so I plan to use the Hykari army myself at some point. Can't wait!

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