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Saturday 31 May 2014

Dicing with Vikings!

Today we did a Dark ages skirmish, pitting an Anglo-Norman force against a Viking raider group.
Ian had his Saxons with my Normans, Phil and Lawrence used their Vikings.

The Vikings had landed on the banks of a river...
...But before they could raid, they needed to fight off the defending English. Phil (aka Olaf 'Treehugger') took the Viking right.
Lawrence (aka Trigg 'lotcaster') took the Viking left. Both Viking forces had rolled well in their force composition dicing, and fielded large numbers of Bowmen and armoured infantry. 
Ian deployed his force on our right, he was facing Lawrence. 
 My Normans deployed on the left, behind a wood.
 My men began by advancing into the woods facing Phil's force. 
 Ian advanced steadily, allowing the archers in his shield-wall to shoot.
 The Vikings waited, and returned the Saxon shooting.
The first volley lightly wounded and armoured Saxon in the front row. 
he must have ducked to pull out the arrow, as the next hit caused another light wound on the man behind him! 
 My Normans were progressing slowly through the trees, some more Saxon bowmen accompanying me.
My archers were on the left of the Saxon line, behind some Norman axemen.  
 My archers first volley killed a Viking spearman.
 My spearmen trudged on, but at least they were not fighting an arrow-storm! 
The Viking bowmen were having a good day, their arrows began to  cause casualties in the Saxon line. Amazingly, the first 2 hit were the 2 archers in the second line!
Lawrence's slingers now came in range and began shooting at my men. 
 The Norman arrows did not have the luck of the first volley, but still caused a few injuries.
Ian's archers had more luck... 
 ..they killed a man I had previously wounded.
The slingers were also hit by my archers. 
 ..though their return shots light-wounded a Norman archer and swordsman. Phil and Lawrence were focussing on Ian's Saxons though, apparently!
 More arrows were hitting the Saxon line, and slowly wounding more men. 
 Ian was not shooting the Viking archers, preferring to shoot their shield wall.
 The Saxon archers were taking a beating!
 The Viking slingers began an indecisive skirmish with my archers, neither side really managing to hit each other!
 Phil's archers now came into play, shooting from behind his spearmen on the hill.
Lawrence's battle line looked untouched, the Saxons opposite less so! 
 Even with the Saxon bowmen's help, those slingers stood their ground!
 Finally, my spearmen cleared the wood.
 ..but the 'Treehugger' held the high ground in force.
 The Saxons were losing the shooting match, so advanced on the Viking line. 
 My men moved forward to support their left.
 My spearmen were stuck facing Phil.
 At least the slingers were taking more losses at the shorter range.
 ..but the same worked the other way, as a Norman armoured axeman slumped to the ground..killed by a slingshot.
 Ian's line was counter-charged fiercely by the Viking line, and came off much worse in the melee. The Saxon shield-wall began to break up
 The loss of the brave Viking slingers, who FINALLY broke, could not recover the situation.
The Norman commander, seeing the Saxons failing, decided to retreat with his force still more or less intact. The Vikings survived to sail away and raid elsewhere down the coast!

This was, rather sadly, a game rather spoiled by the erratic results of the dice. It seemed Lawrence could only rarely roll a bad dice, and Ian's dicing was...appalling!
The result was a foregone conclusion....

Such is the nature of war!

Saturday 24 May 2014

Battle in darkest Canada

Today, we went to Canada in 1757 in our game, to fight a battle during the French and Indian war.
The scenario was a group of Rangers and Mohawk Indians escorting some civilians to safety, being ambushed by a war party of hostile Hurons.

Phil commanded the Rangers, Ian the Mohawks, Lawrence had the settlers, and I had the 3 heroes from 'Last of the Mohicans' (Chinganchook, Uncas and Hawkeye)
The road down which we were travelling toward a small settlement.
 Ian's Mohawks were on the left of the column. 
In the centre, the settlers, led and followed by Rangers, my 3 heroes guarded the right. 
 We advanced warily, keeping a sharp eye out for any hostiles! 
..but no enemies were to be seen! 
My men took a large rock as a vantage point. 
At last, the tail of our column appeared on table. 
 Hawkeye saw nothing on the right, The Rangers saw nothing on the road ahead. 
 The Mohawks, however, saw some Huron bowmen in a clearing, and moved to attack them.
 At the same time, a group of 20 Hurons attacked the settlers from their right.
 What to do...move forward, or stop to engage.
The Mohawks forced the Huron archers to take cover. 
 The Hurons shot arrows from cover, despite being outnumbered.
 One of them was wounded by a Mohawk arrow coming the other way!
 As their archers duelled with the Hurons, the main body of Mohawks moved through the woods to threaten the Hurons flank.
 The settlers decided to stand and fight, but where were the escorting Rangers?
 The settlers fire killed 2 of the Hurons as they tried to attack. 
 One group of Rangers had withdrawn to a hillock, but were surprised when another large group of Huron appeared in their rear. Fortunately, the Rangers were able to react and engage them. 
 The Hurons were surprised and took a few injuries which halted them.
The other group of Rangers saw this action, and moved to join in! 
The settlers didn't  seem to need their help as the Hurons attacking them fell back to cover.
Back with the Mohawks, the Huron archers decided to counter attack... 
 ...One of their arrows killed one of the Mohawks in the wood.
Back with the Rangers, the Hurons they had ambushed charged up at them
The fighting was brutal. 
..but the Rangers were winning the melee against the odds. 
The other Rangers were still crossing the road to help. 
My guys, were waiting for a clear target to appear...and guarding the Rangers rear! 
 Suddenly. a third group of Hurons appeared on the flank of the settlers, who had seen off the first group just before.
This group were more dangerous, and soon caused injuries amongst the settlers. 
 The settlers began to give ground as the Hurons advanced.
Ian's Mohawks were charged by the aggressive Huron archers - in the first clash, Ian's war leader fell to a tomahawk blow!
The other Mohawks fought the Hurons off, however.  
Eventually, the last 3 Huron archers fled. They had covered themselves in glory however!
Back with the Rangers, Magua attacked the Ranger leader, but was killed by a swift sword thrust!
The Hurons withdrew back to the woods, shooting as they went. 
 The situation with the settlers was getting dangerous, as the Hurons advanced, the settlers were forced into the woods, taking injuries as they retired. 
 Back again with the Rangers, Magua's warband retreated into the woods.
..where they met the other Rangers, and were scattered by a volley of musketry. 
The settlers, supported by my scouts and the Mohawks...
..shot at the remaining Huron warband, forcing it to withdraw.
We had won! 

The Hurons had lost 13 dead and several wounded, we had lost about 8, mostly Indians and Rangers.

Curiously, the solo system was used to control the settlers as well as the Indians, and put up a creditable fight! At several points it looked as if we might even be wiped out.