Monday 20 August 2012

Battle Report - 18 Aug 2012 - Axes 2012 tournament

Had an excellent day on Saturday at the Rushden club at their annual 'Axes' tournament. First time for me, both at the tournament and with the army I took, namely Later Saxons from the Armies of Antiquity 2 book. An interesting list - I think with hindsight I should have skipped the Thegn cavalry, which was for the most part completely useless in all three battles, and spent the resulting 338 points on a unit of Huscarls and beefed up the Thegns.

The Saxons eye up the river crossing.
First up, I drew Richard Holling in the Age of Arthur 'River Crossing' scenario: an interesting choice, made the more so by the fact that the bridges were worth 16 tournament points each (plus the 0-32 for casualties inflicted/incurred).

Much to my surprise, I won this - mostly because all the dice luck went my way, and very little of it Richard's. There is really no way that ten scummy Saxon bowmen with a little help from a dozen equally scummy Saxon javelinmen should be able to wear down a fully tooled up unit of Norman knights, including a Dux and standard bearer, to the point where a unit of underpowered Thegns can put them to flight... But they did. *sheepish grin* Sorry, Richard.

"Aelfric? What in Odin's name
are those big grey things?"
So that, rather surprisingly, was a 52-12 win to me (including holding both bridges unopposed), which found me on table 1 against Dave Pearson's rather intersting Hindu India list. It amuses me to wonder what the Saxons would have made of the elephants... It's kind of an odd army, though - it felt like it was all outsides and no middle, if you like - some fairly wimpy cavalry, some fairly wimpy bowmen, some equally wussy infantry, and three elephants.

The weather rolled was heavy rain, which fortunately, or possibly not, lifted after the first turn before it could have much effect. On the good side, I found out what constitutes the 'middle' of Dave's army.

Hands up all of you who read this far and said, "the elephants, you muppet".

And, in a nutshell, I got trounced. I let Dave's cavalry in behind me, and got seriously mullared by the aforementioned elephants, so.. well. 0-32 to Dave, really.

A classic late Saxon battle line
Round three saw me down on table 3 against Wayne Richards, who (like Dave) I ran into but didn't fight at the WAB GT. Thoroughly decent bloke, fielding a classic bunch of Normans, and we basically had a classic Normans v Saxons fight. As Marriot Edgar/Stanley Holloway said of a much more famous battle:

The Saxons had best line of forwards, 
Well armed both with buckler and sword - 
But the Normans had best combination, 
And when half-time came neither had scored.

This was the Apellido scenario from the El Cid book - I got to be the raider and protect the ill-gotten gains (which was probably a good thing, as I don't think I'd have got near the loot if our rôles had been reversed). And it was, all in all, a pretty classic scrap - Wayne's Breton cavalry waltzed up, made "Long Bacon" at the Saxons, and "[...] they ran - and t'Saxons ran after..." Wisely, they didn't run that far after, and reformed the line before anything bad happened. 

My one decent dice roll against
Wayne :D
However, I made three fatal mistakes, in hindsight - I left a gap between my left flank and a steep hill that Wayne's bowmen could sneak through; I left a similar gap between my right flank cavalry (useless lot) and a patch of difficult ground; and I passed up on the chance to swap my hardest group of Thegns to be directly opposite Wayne's tooled-up knights.

Sadly, this combination of minor cock-ups let those damn Bretons through to grab one of the plunder counters. On the good side, I did survive at least one charge from the bunch of knights that got round on the other flank (having gone through my cavalry to get there). By then, though,

...t' fight were all over bar shouting,
And you couldn't see Saxons for dust.

Great game, win to Wayne by... about 7-25 but I'm blanking on the exact numbers. I finished 10th, which is above the halfway point, so I'll call that a win by my standards!

All in all? Fantastic day out: kudos to the Rushden guys for organising it, and congrats to Justin (and son) from Norman Cross Crusaders for a well deserved win!

1 comment:

  1. HI Mike

    Glad you enjoyed your day out and the heady heights of Table 1!
    Hope to see you again next year.



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