|Sunlight in the woods of Cat Cait Calidon. My Gedriht and|
Duguth advance on Geraint's Romano-British, with Bishop
Oswulf's second unit of Duguth in reserve to plug any gaps.
First up was a doubles battle - myself and Tom, the other Anglo-Saxon player, against the Romano-British of Andy and the other newcomer, Geraint. We fought an extended (i.e. wider) version of the Cait Cait Celidon scenario with the Romano-British as the attacker (cue protestations from Andy as to how exactly his laden-down 3" move Comanipulares were supposed to make it 36" across the table in 8 turns ...). For those unfamiliar with the scenarios from Age of Arthur, basically the attacker has to break through and exit units off the defender's edge of the board.
Rattling good scrap, this - Tom started off well, but lost a couple of critical fights at the end against Andy, and Geraint and I pretty much fought each other to a standstill. I can't really accuse Andy's cavalry of mincing this time, since my Gedriht were the ones avoiding combat, but they were doing a good job of intimidating Geraint into not trying to break through. End result was a close fought victory to the Romano-British.
There were a couple of nice twists in the campaign I should mention - first off each army got a bonus card, which was about 60 points worth of extras: things like making one unit Stubborn or Veteran, or a small group of skirmishers. In addition, there were artefacts scattered around the land, which one could pick up by landing a unit on. I got the Holy Grail early on in the first battle, which conferred extra leadership range on my Cynrig for the next battle.
|Advancing on the Franks while the skirmishers lead off|
the spoils of war. In the foreground, a unit of Duguth who
are complaining bitterly that their new standard keeps
whapping them in the face.
It was all going so well - one unit of skirmishers nabbed one group of cattle, the other nabbed the artefact, and both proceeded to hightail it out of combat behind a line of warband, Then my Gedriht got charged by two Frankish units: they survived the first round, and I'd just about cleared the skirmishers out of the way for my Duguth to even up the fight, when, lo, round two and the Gedriht lost. No problem: the bonus card for this battle meant they were stubborn, so fell back in good order. Lurking about 5" behind them were some very nervous bowmen leading some equally agitated cattle. D6 roll for how far they fall back...
As the rules say, if you have no room to fall back, you flee. As the scenario says, if you flee into cattle, they're destroyed.
That one went downhill from there. Mass panic. Major Victory to Steve, who also picked up the Holy Grail AND the artefact my skirmishers had grabbed. Moving swiftly on...
By game three I had a splitting headache - several things kick this off, one or two food-related, and I'm suspecting the spice in the chicken drumsticks at lunch (no blame to Maelstrom's catering, needless to say) - so no pictures of my refight of Cat Cait Celidon, this time as the attacker against Alex's Romano-British as I was concentrating on... erm.. concentrating :D
The attacker starts off with a number of units potentially fatigued (-1 toughness on a 1 on a d6), and I managed 1's for ALL my Duguth, the cavalry reinforcements included. However, nothing venture, nothing gained, and I'm firmly of the opinion that there's only one way to play most warband armies - get stuck in. In fact, if you don't almost welcome failed warband tests, I contend you're working with the wrong mindset. I certainly could have done with a few,
So, stuck in we got. With some inordinately lucky dice rolling, both my Duguth foot punched unit-sized holes in Alex's ranks (you know you're rolling preposterously when the unit your fighting has nothing to roll in response to your charge) and hightailed it for the border, with units in pursuit. My geguth and Gedriht tried the same trick, but were ultimately repulsed - the Geguth hit Alex's Comanipulares, which punched well above their numbers, and the Gedriht didn't win on round one, and thus got to take two ranks of thrusting spears from then on. Meanwhile, my cavalry reinforcements turned up on one flank, went 'ah, yes, remember the objective' and promptly left by the far edge of the table.
Somehow, the Duguth warbands got off the table. One unit were chased by a unit of legionaries in march column, which couldn't afford the time to get OUT of march column to charge them, the other got shot to bits by a bunch of skirmishers, who would up needing to kill two in the last round (having been averaging about 3 a volley) to prevent them escaping with enough numbers to count. Close-fought win to me. Sadly, though, in the meantime, Alex had completely stuffed my Gedriht and Geguth, and shifted the result one in his favour to a Bloody Stand-off
And that was it. The Franks in the person of Grahame from the club wound up holding the most territories, and thus being the ruler of Britannia, and Andy from the club and Steve with two artefacts each squared off in single combat to determine who was the source of the legend of the Once and Future King. Seven days and seven nights (erm, turns, ok, turns...) they fought, till on the eight day each man struck a mighty blow at the same time, and both fell, dying, to the ground. Which kind of seemed a fitting end to a great day.
Many thanks to Scrivs for organising it, to Andy, Geraint, Steve and Alex for being great opponents, and everyone else for being generally good fun and friendly. For more reports, check out both Scriv's and Andy's blogs (and I suspect Tom's shortly, too). Thanks, all. I'll be back.