“And so the army of God lead by Ambrosius and inspired by Artor met the heathen host on the field below the fortress of Mons Badonicus…..
The out-scouted Saxons set up first, and seemed scared of the Romano-British artillery located on the walls of the fortress . Strange given the ineffectual use of artillery in previous games Tony took the Saxon left with their cavalry and some infantry. Dave the Bretwalda took the centre and Colin the exposed right. The British set-up saw Pete complete with “Great Leader Artor” face-off to Tony, with Phil and Fred taking the infantry in the centre and Chris the predominantly cavalry wing which by dint of the Saxon deployment had plenty of manoeuvre room. Would Chris be able to use it??
The early turns saw the Saxons trudge forward trying to make the best of their deep units of Warriors, but were somewhat slowed by the drawing of “1s” at the most inopportune moments. Eileen was truly at the club in spirit! Pete tried to take the battle to Tony, and a desultory cavalry battle soon broke out on the Romano-British right. On the British left Chris was finding it not so easy to advance and turn his massed cavalry so as to attack Colin’s flank. The relentless Saxon advance in the centre continued, but the British maintained what must have been a frustratingly solid-ish line of spearmen and took the deep units on with only a few “disorders” being inflicted.
By half-way through the game casualties were surprisingly few, being a skirmisher per side lost plus one Saxon cavalry unit. Finally Chris managed to turn Colin’s flank and attack with cavalry into the side of the deep Warrior units. The loss of a Saxon warrior unit torn a gap in the Saxon line and a unit of light cavalry galloped through heading for the Saxon camps. It seemed game over as Colin’s warriors began to take multiple disorders and appear on the verge of collapse. The Saxons muttered darkly about the power of the Christian god and this view was reinforced as in trying to re-dress the line the Saxons managed to pull a series of “1s” at just the wrong moments. Chris took two of the camps leaving the Saxons with only a handful of Victory Medals.
With the right Saxon flank in peril the Saxon left (Tony) and centre finally started to achieve results. Phil’s General died under the hammer blows of the deep warrior units, and thanks to some bizarre manoeuvering Artor, having killed another Saxon cavalry unit, managed to expose his flank to a Saxon cavalry charge and he too was wounded. Dave was finally pushing the Romano-British spear line back towards their own camps on the table edge. Between them Fred and Chris managed double disorders on two of Colin’s deep units and seemed on the verge of carrying the day but couldn’t land the killer blow. Back on the Saxon left Tony killed Artor and the Saxons re-captured one of their camps, but were still down to 3 Victory medals.
As night fell both sides licked their many wounds and claimed victory. The Saxons had certainly lost more men but the British two leaders including the allegedly inspirational Artor. If the game had gone on one more turn the British should have won by killing Colin’s units, but they had been saying that for the last three turns on the game. If they hadn’t Dave may have steam-rollered over the British spear and into their camps.
Overall a close run thing….
As a “neutral” it was good to see my Saxon and Romano British armies finally on the table. The Romano-British were painted nearly 20 years ago and “refurbished” with metal spears, LBM shield transfers and re-based about 4 years ago. The Saxons were painted about the same time. For both armies this was their first major outing in battle. The Grand Manner “Dark age” palisade was purchased soon after Grand Manner started back in 1998. Again this was maybe only the 2nd time on the table.