Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Spring 996 - On the Plains of Death

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
Across the Plains of Death
Rode Altengard's knights.
"Forward, Altengard's army!
Charge the archers!" he cried
Across the Plains of Death
Rode Altengard's knights.
"Altengardians, Sir. Fahsands of 'em"
"Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the knights knew
Someone had blunder'd.
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die.
Across the Plains of Death
Rode Altengard's knights.

Altengardian light cavalry sees of the Hykari mercenaries while the Treyine reserve deploys to face the new threat. Sir Rumplz von Stiltsken sounds the Horn of Naz Goth, causing casualties among the nearest Treyine archers. In turn Altengardian knights charged the Treyine right wing and were promptly seen off.
Archers in front of them
Turn'd the sky dark
With bodkin and point.
Storm'd at with bow and spear,
Boldly they rode and well,
Across the Plains of Death
Into the mouth of Heck
Rode Altengard's knights.

The Altengardian left wing is seen off by mercenary knights and the infantry in the centre clash for the first time. Casualties are high but Treyine morale holds and it is the Altengardian troops that are driven back from the archers' stakes.
Spearing the archers there,
Charging an army,
While all the world wonder'd,
Plunged in the arrow storm
And broke on the line;
Altengardian heroes and knights
Reel'd from the sword stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.

Casualties mount on the Altengardian infantry as they are threatened from the flank by the newly regrouped knights. The Treyine archers have taken horrendous casualties but most are still holding because of support from their own side and being behind deployed stakes. The Treyine left flank surges forward to encircle the Altengardian flank.
Then they fled the field,
Altengardian knights.
Archers to the right of them,
Archers behind them.
Worn down by bodkin and point
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Lay on the Plains of Death.

The moment that General Heinrich von Vonavay of Altengard realised all was lost and fled the field, taking the last of his army with him.

Few returned from the mouth of Heck,
The few that were left of them,
Left of Altengard's army.
O the wild charge they made!
Bravery unmatched
Noble Altengard knights.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor Altengard's men.

The battlefield was a completely flat plain. Treyine deployed with archers in the front rank and infantry behind. The archers deployed stakes at the start. The cavalry was deployed in a line behind the main body as a reserve to respond to whatever Altengard did. I was worried about the possible effect of the Altengard light cavalry on the integrity of my line so I wanted space to throw some cavalry at them. Steve deployed Altengard with a strong infantry centre and cavalry on each flank. As I had hoped, Steve charged immediately and my archers saw off his knights, although with some casualties. I was worried about the hero and the Horn of Naz-Goth, but Steve blew the horn a little too early, meaning that only four archer units suffered hits. He then charged the hero into my lines, causing casualties to the archer unit that he attacked, but the archers held and the hero, being mounted, had to retire. He could not do this because Steve had moved a unit up in support so the hero routed because he remained in contact with an enemy unit. This was probably Steve's biggest mistake. had the hero been able to charge again, I doubt that my infantry could have hurt him, because it takes two units fighting together to stand a chance of hurting an AC8 hero unit. It is quite difficult to manoeuvre to a position where you can do this.

In the pursuit, Altengard permanently lost 1 unit of archers, 5 units of infantry, 1 unit of arquebusiers and 1 unit of pikemen. However, both units passed 2 dice on the national morale test and the war will continue. The hero, despite routing, is happy to remain with Altengard for the time being.

2 comments:

  1. Trying to get to grips with archers, when you only have melee troops, is always difficult. Heroes can be very powerful but, as in my battle, can easily be mishandled and lose their potency. Good stuff. Look forward to the next one.

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  2. Very good report. Things are stirring in Talomir.

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