Sunday, June 25, 2017

1066, The Battle For Britain

A Headless Body Production

Location:  Regency at Providence Community Center, Phoenixville, Pa
Event:        Providence Gamer's Game Knight
Players:  Bruce William Potter, Jenny Parker and Steve Turn are representing the defending Britain's, England, Scotland, and Wales.
                Philip Harry Gardocki and Garth Parker are representing the conquerors, the Normans, Vikings, and the Bretons.

Preamble:   In a world before Brexit, England was known for its multiculturalism and fierce independence.  Where strange men bounced around the countryside to blood thumping background music, their servants banging coconuts in their wake.   But there were those in Europe,  who looked upon England with envious eyes, and made their plans.   
(Yes, I know I used the same preamble in the Vikings vs. Picts AAR, but it sounded too good not to reuse.)

Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, about 300 points per side.

Scenario:  In this scenario, Duke William of Normandy, allied with King Harald Hardrada of Norway and Duke Vetal of Brittany, unite in a plan to conquer Britain.  King Harold Godwinson has time to form an alliance with the King Rhys ap Gruffydd of Wales, and Clan MacDonald of Scotland to repel the invaders.
The Forces:

King Harald Hardrada of Norway
6    Huscarls                            Heavy swordsmen armour 2HW        elite
4    Irish mercenaries            Medium swordsmen 2HW       

Duke William of Normandy
3    Milites                                  Medium knight impetuous        elite
4    Norman Spearmen            Heavy spearmen       
2    Bow                                       Bowmen       
Duke Vetal of Brittany
3    Knights                              Medium knight impetuous        elite
4    Breton Spearmen            Heavy spearmen armour       
2    Bow                                    Bowmen       

Breakpoint 29

King Harold Godwinson of England
3    Huscarls                                    Heavy swordsmen armour 2HW   
9    Anglo Saxon Warriors            Heavy spearmen                  

King Rhys ap Gruffydd of Wales
9    Warriors                                   Medium spearmen missile support  
1    Medium Horse                         Medium cavalry  
2    Light                                          Light infantry javelin                   
Clan MacDonald (Scots)   
8    Warriors                                  Medium spearmen missile support  
1    Medium Horse                       Medium cavalry  
1    Light Horse                             Light cavalry javelin  
2    Light                                         Light infantry javelin  
Breakpoint 37  
All generals in this game are Competent.  Just to keep things simple.

King Harold Godwinson has home-field advantage, and elects to defend in the forest.  King Godwinson selects 2 woods and a 2 wooded hills and a village.
Duke William selects a field and a brush. 

It is a quiet morning near Nottingham.  It has a been a dry season and campfires are being carefully extinguished.  The mood music is shifting to a lower key, the plot is about to thicken.
Not since when the General Aulus Plautius of Roman, has such a massive invading army attacked the isle of Britain, and not since Arthur Pendragon has a united Britain faced such an invader.
Men from all over Europe have been called up, looking land, glory, and plunder.
Britain is not without it's defenders.  Fierce warriors from the north answered the call.  Standing alongside brave warriors form the west.
And holding the position left of the line, the English, with a full dozen units of men armed with spear and ax.
Turn 1:
The Irish plunge into the field, but one is sent to distract the Scot's horsemen from wrapping around the flank.
King Harold Hardrada's Huscarls move at the double, but are outpaced by Duke William's Knights.
The Norman spear and bow wave their goodbyes to the Knights as they depart.
Duke Vital's Knights are also eager to engage the enemy, leaving his spear behind as well.
What happened here was a flurry of small command rolls for the Normans and the Bretons.

Also, you may have noted a larger than normal board.  4 x 6 feet.  This was to accommodate the 300 point armies.  However, this made for a boring early game, as close order foot moves at a snails pace, even with double moves.

With their flanks secure, and with terrain advantage, and having Medium Infantry vs. Knights.  The Britain's stand pat.
The only movement on the left.  Scot's horsemen are running wild!
On the right, England pushes forward.
Turn 2:
FYI, this was a long approach, you might want to skip down to turn 7 or so....

William's Knights and Harold's Huscarl's seem to be in a foot race.
Duke Vital gets a couple of command points and summons his spearmen.
The Scots and the Welsh stand pat.
Harold Godwinson, is enjoying a good laugh at the Normans expense.
Turn 3:
Playing on a large board, the command radius really is felt.  The next few turns are are not so much about moving forward, but getting the troops back in command.

Hardrada's Huscarls and Williams Knights are neck and neck.
The intent of the Britain's is clear, so the invaders will spend time and command points organizing.
Turn 4:
Godwinson's troops have been reforming their lines, so Huscarls are facing spear, and Spearmen are facing Knights. 
The Scot's Light Horse gets 2 command points to slip behind the Irish lines.
Turn 5:
Turn 6:

Turn 7:
OK, back from the nap.  Duke Vetal's Bretons are closing to contact with Godwinson's British.  It looks like bad match-ups for the Bretons.
The Welsh are determined to stand in their woods. 

Hardrada's foot are now ready for their assault.  In response, the Scots of Clan McDonald, pull their lines back.
Harold Godwinson is not going to wait for the Breton assault, and orders a charge where the odds are in his favor.  The first die roll doesn't bode well as Breton Bowmen actually win their fight against Elite Armored Heavy Swordsmen.
Overall, the British did not do well here.  3 loses, 2 ties and a single win.
Irish Mercenaries pin the Scot's horsemen to the edge of the board.
Turn 8:
A lot of turns, but only an hour has passed at this point.
An ambush is revealed.  Light Infantry in the village.  The Irish eagerly approach to assault the village.   Harold's Huscarls spend a turn expanding their rear ranks before plunging in.
This all looks good, if it were not for the trees.
A decent picture down the line.
The back and forth down the line has both lines cracking.  King Godwinson goes to the front lines to bolster his men, and catches a spear to the eye.  Leaderless, his Saxons fight on 
Turn 9:
The Irish begin their assault.  And in true Irish fashion, one of the warbands is destroyed by defending Light Infantry.  Two Irish warbands invest the village, now defended by one Light Infantry and one Medium Cavalry.
On the bottom of turn 9, things go very wrong for the Bretons.
In the center, Normandies forces are at a stand off against the Welsh.
The Irish went into the village with all the advantages.  And are now losing.
Save for one bowmen, it is a clean sweep of Breton infantry.
It was hoped that the Bretons would keep the Britain'a engaged till they could be flanked by the Norman foot, but that is not to be.
Turn 10:
The shadows lengthen as the end of the day draws neigh.  As Nottingham forest grows dark, the Welsh begin to disappear.  Only the occasional jeer in that incomprehensible language keeps the Normans in their place.
Another Irish Warband falls.  The last is engaged with Medium Horse.  Despite the horse having a minus 3 modifier, they survive the Irish assault undamaged.  But Harold's Huscarls, winded by their long march, have now engaged the Scot's.  Winning only one battle, while losing 3. 
Scene from the center at sunset.
With the setting sun, the combatants disengage and return to their camps.  The Bretons had been massacred, the Irish decimated.  The defending Britain's are largely intact.  The invaders were defeated, but not broken, and begin the long retreat against a hostile countryside, hounded by the Godwinson alliance, facing the threat of winter, few would ever see their homes in Europe.

Neither side hit their break points, the final score was 14 of 37 losses for England, 19 of 29 for Europe.

No comments:

Post a Comment