|The aforementioned freshly painted unit|
of Gedriht - largely GB plastic Saxons. By
my standards, one of my better paint jobs.
But I am facing Andy, who's brushwork is
just beyond gorgeous.
Namely, an Age of Arthur battle (as practice for a campaign day at Maelstrom in April) with my new early Saxon Kingdoms army... well, to be strictly honest, one freshly painted unit of Gedriht, two gorgeously painted loaner units of Duguth from my opponent, the fabulous Mr. Andy Hawes, and a unit of Geguth and skirmishers made up by temporarily borrowing from other armies of mine (a British warband, and some Roman allied archers). The rest of the army is in various states of assembly/painting/in the post, honest, and I hope to make a sizeable dent in it over the course of this week and weekend (I better, the Analogue Hobbies painting competition finishes in a week and a half!).
We picked the 'Battle on the River Glein' scenario - simple enough: a river across the middle of the table with a ford and a bridge, the objective being to hold the crossings. Andy's Romano-British were the attackers, and he generously let me have first go.
Lesson one in Age of Arthur scenarios - always read the objectives. Why should become rapidly apparent by the end of this battle report!
|After my first move. The terrain is Andy's, as are the|
tape measure and hands :D
It nearly worked.
I have a hunch I need more skirmishers, or perhaps a better deployment. The archers did a good job of keeping the Romano-British cavalry out of the battle, but they couldn't be in two places at once. The Gedriht advanced one move too cautiously (not good) without the aid of a skirmish screen (not good), and got cut to ribbons by Andy's archers. Being led by my Cynring, they survived the morale check for doing that, and met with his Commanipulares in shieldwall...
And even then it was probably still not a done deal. Except that, amid his protestations of how rubbish his dice usually are, Andy proceeded to not roll rubbish dice. At all. Whereas I did.
The Gedriht actually survived to a second round of melée, which surprised me, They didn't last that round, which didn't at all, as they were at that point a unit of < 5 figures, and it was time to vacate the field. Bye-bye Cynring, bye-bye Atheling, bye-bye army standard, bye-bye my hardest unit.
Panic tests all round. The Duguth advancing onto the bridge in three-wide column? Immune, due to the religious and spiritual fortitude imparted by Bishop Oswulf in the front rank. The Geguth with no character leading them? Hey! The boss is running away. Scarper, lads! The skirmishers? Oooer missus, no thanks. The Duguth in the centre? Mmm. Just remembered an important engagement elsewhere, we're off.
So. Currently Andy's Commanipulares hold the ford, and I hold the bridge with my one (count it, one) remaining unit, as Andy's Pueri are standing off the end in shieldwall, taunting the Duguth, who respond with a benediction from Bishop Oswulf and a hail of theologically sound javelins. If the game ends now, it's still pretty much a draw, though, as we hold one crossing each.
Time to see if we can rescue this impending disaster. Skirmishers? Hey, we appear to be not getting killed. Maybe it's not so bad. Geguth? Well, apparently some bright spark in the front rank managed to kick them into shape, 'cause I rolled a 3 to rally them. And they do so within their own charge reach of the Commanipulares, who are just on the edge of the river.
And the turn after that, in we go with the Geguth - the bunch of impulsive, hot-headed, Saxon youths - to try and retake the ford. Two turns to go. First round of battle? Andy rolls... about average. So do I. Combat result is +2 in his favour. Gut check for the Geguth. Snake eyes.
|The worst unit in my army holds off the best unit in|
Andy's for four rounds of melée...
Andy's turn. Not much for him to do bar stand on the bridge, and continue mauling the Geguth at the ford, and have his cavalry mince about on the far side of the river (*grin*).
Well, yes. Not so much, actually. Andy's dice finally desert him, and the Commanipulares do no damage to the Geguth, despite having momentum. Combat result a tie, the Geguth winning the
Turn seventh and last. Geguth with momentum, this time. My turn - my dice are crap, Andy's dice are marginally better: tie again. Horn-blowing contest once again goes to the Saxon lads! Andy's turn - the Geguth win by two. He's one (rerollable) Break test from losing the ford...
...and makes it by one on the first attempt. Close-fought victory to the Romano-British, as he has the bridge, and we're still arguing over the ford.
All in all, a cracking battle - my first Age of Arthur scenario - great fun, against a classy opponent, and good practice for April.