Monday, January 30, 2017

Somewhere in Antioch... 1260ad.

Suppose for a moment that Antioch had been rash enough not to become a tributary state of the Mongol empire when it invaded the Levant.  I don't imagine such an idea would've ended well for them.

Myself and Ross would endeavour to explore this idea, via a game of Lion Rampant.  In which my Feudal English would once again take on the role of Crusaders, whilst Ross - quite enthused by his first play of LR some time ago - would take on the task of commanding Mongol raiders, having assembled a set or two of the Fireforge miniatures for the part.

This looked like being a tricky challenge for my troops, as whatever the scenario this was going to boil down to a low mobility, low shooting army, facing a High mobility, high shooting one.  A real chalk and cheese encounter that I felt would advantage the Mongols heavily.

In the end the randomly rolled scenario would only make this seem even harder for me.

The battlefield and initial deployments
 The scenario was the Messenger; one that was a challenge for me and would've been easy for Ross had he been the attacker.  As it was, it was my task to get from one corner of the field to the opposite, with a Priest bearing vital documents in tow; for the most part, on foot.  Meanwhile the enemy was dispersed yes, but entirely mounted, and mostly armed with bows.  This set off looking impossible.

 Fortunately the crusaders were able to get most of their force on to the field before the Mongols closed; Ross proved to have a somewhat slow witted leader, who despite having a reroll for failed commands tended to need most of those himself.  My leader was of sterner stuff, but would spend much of the early game distracted by mounted scouts.

It would be up to my foot men at arms and their supporting infantry to try and draw the Mongols in.

Mongol bows shot down my scouts, but had no real effect on armoured knights - mounted or on foot.  In hand to hand fighting the Mongol general was repeatedly drawn into rash attacks on my strongest foot; eventually to be lost.  However the losses were enough to force my messenger back behind the lines of foot solders.

 My own general eventually caught and chased off the enemy scouts, and then with his full force still available to him, advanced to turn the flank of the remaining Mongol troops.

Close up on the charge
 At this stage there was a chance for a Crusader victory, but Ross' remaining heavy horse put up a sterling battle at the wadi.  A grinding match would ensue, whilst my remaining infantry tried to drive off the other, damaged, unit.

 In the end though, both would be grinding matches, and it came down to a pair of rallying tests for me.  Both would fail and my leader and final man at arms would both think it best to quit the field whilst the enemy was to weak to pursue.

End game
For the Mongols this would be mission accomplished.

When Glory was factored in it was a victory for them still, though the odds were evened up somewhat as I had managed 6 points of boasts.  As I recall it ended 8-6 to Ross.

This was, as I've already alluded to, a really tough game, enjoyable, but a real challenge.  My force as it stands is not suited to this scenario - which I've had to play twice against such a foe - and certainly not to this foe.  I think I will have to find some time to add some reinforcements to the English, but the question is what?  The three candidates are a unit of Mounted Sergeants, for more mobility, a unit of Crossbowmen (heavy missilery) to add firepower, or a unit of slingers to add more skirmishing.

Time will tell, but it looks like one of these must be recruited soon if we're not to be whipping boys to these 'mounted shooter' types.

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