Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Roydefeld 912ad & Heldenbourg 917ad

Managed to find a willing opponent for as transpired, two games of Warhammer Ancient Battles last week. Just about squeezing both battles to a conclusion in an evening.

The forces were to be my Ottonian (nee - Later Carolingian) Franks versus the recently revivified Vikings - as a raiding party from Norway. Broadly speaking the armies were as follows:


  • 12 Frankish Milites (knights) including a Comes (Lord)
  • 10 Frankish Milites including a Comes
  • 32 Milites on foot with a Comes carrying the army standard
  • 32 Liberi (freemen) including a Bishop
  • 15 Swabian Sergeants with great weapons
  • 16 Coloni with bows
  • 24 Hirdmen including Jarl (lord) Hersir (petty lord) with army standard and one Besirkir
  • 24 Hirdmen including Hersir and one Beserkir
  • 12 Ulfnehdar fanatics
  • 18 Jomsvikings
  • 18 Bondi spearmen
  • 18 Bondi Bowmen
So a pair of 2000 point, 100 figure plus armies.

In the first game I foolishly chose to play the Flank attack scenario, me as the Franks and my opponent as the Vikings.

I then blithely fell into his trap as he got to choose a flanking force. I assumed completely wrongly that the denuded flank was being left open for the flankers to arrive, when quite obviously that was in fact a refused flank on his part.

I wandered off with my foot Milites to face a threat that didn't exist, whilst my cavalry squandered their opportunities to attack early and ended up trapped by the flankers.

That battle ended in short order when the largest unit of cavalry, elected to flee a charge, and then failed to rally (needed a 9 or less, rolled: double 6); running straight off the table.

With the heavy foot miles away and the rest of the army surrounded I surrendered before it became a slaughter.

In the second match, we swapped armies and stuck to a traditional battle. Shuffled the scenery a bit and got on with it.

This time the Franks got their charges in whilst the Vikings swarmed over the field in open order. The first Knightly charge was successful but the second was bogged down in a fight agianst a large block of Hird.

In the end when they were destroyed, it was enough to panic the other group of horse, and with his centre starting to be outflanked by hordes of Vikings and time pressing, my opponent graciously conceded.

Conclusions? Well, once again the Frankish army fails to impress, as its heavy cavalry couldn't make their advantages work for them; every time I play this army I conclude with thinking I either need to get more cavalry, or ditch them entirely in favour of foot troops - in which case a Flemish build with 'shieldwall' abilities would be the route to go down.

On the other hand, in WAB you can't go far wrong with the Norsemen; anyone looking for a first historical army, that's easy to win with and fun to play could make many worse choices!

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