Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Spring 992 - The Battle of Thelwell's End

Thelwell's End was a place of little interest to the casual voyeur of scenery. It had nothing but low rolling steppes as far as the eye could see, which was a long way because these plains had been scoured clear of all tall vegetation by years of wind. It was perfect cavalry country, and Hardecg Legbiter intended to make best possible use of it. The Northern Tropilium army had been caught napping and was now trying to form up as Hardecg ordered her left wing to move around the flank of the Tropilium army.
 Her right wing, including herself would hold for now, awaiting the inevitable onslaught of the Tropilium clibanarii, although that seemed slow in coming. They were remarkably reluctant to charge.
 As her left wing dealt with the enemy skirmishers, Hardecg's confidence grew.
 She called out orders and her wing advanced on the Tropilium cavalry, who were still reluctant to charge. With wild yells and howls her girls raced forward, ribbons streaming out from the ponies' manes and tails.
 A hail of arrows and javelins soon cleared the clibanarii out of the way. The Tropilium general had detached a couple of forlorn hopes to slow her down, but her girls were in position now to harass the main body of the Tropilium army.
 Her left flank surrounded the forlorn hope there as the main body of the Tropilium army broke the square formation it had adopted. Unfortunately the forlorn hope on her right flank seemed to be made of sterner stuff. She last saw it pursing two cohorts of her ponygirls as they routed from the field rather than face the Legionaries' steel.
 Seeing that she needed to do something drastic, Hardecg ordered her bodyguard to charge the flank of the nearest Tropilium legionary unit. She was sure that the unit would break and run and that she could roll up the flank of the Tropilium troops before disaster struck. Too late. The unit held, her own bodyguard was repulsed with heavy losses, and it all went downhill from there. Soon her bodyguard was fleeing from the field, and only a few of the ponygirls remained to harass the enemy.
Hykar was lost. Northern Tropilium was victorious. However, the Brazier of Durmun was also lost. No one knew who took it or where it will resurface.

Hmm, so, totally flat terrain to suit the cavalry. I easily stripped Steve's cavalry and skirmishers away, but his infantry were a tougher proposition. I could not charge them and he had them in a square formation that provided mutual support to front and back, leaving only a narrow flank to harass. The real problem came with my formation. My troops needed a second rank to max out the bonuses for reaction checks. Unfortunately, this also meant that any time the front rank had to retire, the second rank routed for being interpenetrated by a retiring unit. I lost a large chunk of my army to this mechanism. Once my troops started taking casualties I had to move them into single lines, which further weakened them, but at least I was able to not lose completely fresh units. Breaking up the Tropilium infantry proved very difficult because my troops decided that they did not like being faced by enemy units that could threaten them. They did not like being charged either. Having only a WR of 2 seriously hampered my efforts to keep my troops together too. Still, it was a good game and I shall now repurpose the Hykar army either as Valkae cavalry or perhaps as Mangu. I like the idea of the Mangu army because it has a larger core of heavy cavalry as well as the Rep5 elite light cavalry. They should perform much better than the Hykar did.

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