Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Autumn 993 - The Battle of Twin Gorge Plain

"Sire, the messenger has arrived from Valkae. He reports a great victory for our forces once more."
"A great victory, Lord Cavill? Against Valkae? Hardly. I expect they might try to put a fight up, but they should not have had a chance against our overwhelming numbers and training."
"Yes, Sire, but surely any victory is great if the casualties are low, and ours were particularly low."
"Aye, Lord Cavill, I'll grant you that. Now send the messenger in and get him to make his report."
The Valkae army advanced quickly towards our centre. They saw that their only chance was to demoralise us by killing our general, Lord De La Warre. (Valkae on the left of the picture. Treyine deployed with stakes in front of the archers and melee troops behind them. A reserve of archers and the cavalry may be seen peeking into the far right of the picture).

As the Valkae melee troops approached, they were met with a rain of arrows that caused casualties all along their line. The marines were driven back by this fire, but the Sword Maidens and Warriors were driven into a frenzy and charged.

Weakened by the storm of arrows, the Valkae marines tried to close once more with the archers but were driven back again after an exchange of shots. Meanwhile the Warriors had taken too many casualties and ran, leaving their general and the Sword Maidens to fight on alone. The archers who faced them had suffered few casualties and were inflicting many more than they received.

The Valkae skirmishers had tried closing with the Treyine flank archers, but were driven back by fire. Then the Sword Maidens routed, taking their general with them. That was too much for the rest of the Valkae army, who all ran. Our cavalry ran down the Marines and the Warriors but the skirmishers and the Sword Maidens escaped. Well, those that survived did.
 "Sire, I am pleased to report that the surviving members of the Valkae government have capitulated and we now control the southern ports of their island."

I played this game solo because Steve was not able to pop round yesterday and because I thought it would have been a bit too one-sided to be really fun. The terrain consisted of two gullies on the bottom edge of the game board with a wood between them. The rest of the table was flat and featureless. The Valkae army rolled Penetrate Centre for their tactics. This meant that they had to try to bull through in the centre while their skirmishers on the left flank prevented encirclement there. Treyine rolled a Static Defence with archers in front of melee troops and a reserve deployed behind the main line. The entire Treyine line had stakes deployed in front of it to blunt enemy charges. I did not have space in the deployment area for all of Treyine's archers, so I deployed a line of archers in front of the cavalry reserve too. As expected, the archers weakened the enemy before they made contact. Normally I would expect the archers to get cut to bits, leaving the melee troops behind them to finish off the enemy, but in this case, the Valkae army's low armour class meant that the archers were able to finish the job.

One thing that struck me about the solo system is that the options for tactics only give the Treyine army a 1 in 3 chance of using their most effective tactic, and the one that I have used in almost every battle we have played. It will be interesting to see what tactics they roll up and how they fare when other players in the campaign must fight them and do so using the solo system.

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