Tally Ho!

Thursday 24 December 2015

Lion Rampant Campaign - week 1

Campaign Standings:
Saracens: 8 Glory Points
Crusaders: 6  Glory Points

Week 1 reports

In a bumper week we managed to complete three battles:
  • Hammer and Anvil; Saracens (Stu)  vs English (Mike)
  • Hold on Tight; Saracens (Roy / Bruce) vs Teutonic's (John)  
  • The Bridge; Saracens (Roy / Bruce) vs English (John / Stu)
The advantage lies slightly with the Saracens and some tweaks are needed to the Teutonic army to make it more flexible.

Hammer and Anvil; Draw - 3 points each

The English were defending so deployed 2 units of archers, the bidowers, and a unit of foot sergeants as the blocking force. This left the foot men-at-arms and a unit of foot sergeants as the hammer.

The game started well for the Saracens as their large cavalry force slipped easily past the waiting archers and the infantry made steady progress, leaving the English men-at-arms in their wake. As always though the dice turned and three turns of no movement left the Saracens in a real pickle, with battered infantry units bogged-down and the men-at-arms slowing gobbling-up units. What looked like an easy win ended a draw as all the mounted escaped but the foot died to a man.  

The English anvil

The Saracens advance

Catch me if you can

Oh - seems you can!

Hold on Tight; Saracen win - 5 points

The scenario requires both sides to capture and hold a cross-roads. Both sides adopted a similar deployment with mounted on the flanks and foot sergeants in the centre looking to hold the objective.

The early exchanges were dominated by the Teutonic men-at-arms refusing to indulge in anything so gauche as actually moving towards the enemy and so the Germans sat resolutely on their base-line while the Arabs captured the cross-roads. After enduring an archery barrage they eventually trundled forward but met with limited success, chasing skirmishers and eventually perishing. Even the usually rock-hard foot men-at-arms were repulsed by the Saracen foot.    

The Saracens advance unmolested - its quiet, too quiet...

The Teutonic's hold firm 

The Germans fight back, but is it too late?

The knights are steadily worn-down

The Saracens are left in charge

In hind-sight an army with two units of mounted men-at-arms is not suited to many of the scenarios, the 7+ to move can prove hard to pull-off every turn.

The Bridge; English win - 3 points as defender

As the defender the English deployed a unit of foot sergeants on the bridge in hedgehog and the remainder along a ridge to the rear. The Saracens deployed with both foot and horse archers to the fore.

The Saracen plan was to bombard the unit of the bridge with  archery and then secure it with their own spearmen. Initially this worked well as the English appeared happy to stand-back and watch their forlorn hope shot to pieces. When they eventually advanced things looked bad with Arab light horse sneaking across the bridge and heavy cavalry bearing-down on the ford.

Better late then never though and the tide began to turn. The Arabs at the ford were beaten-back with heavy losses from a unit of English foot men-at-arms and some archers. At the bridge a second unit of men-at-arms stormed across supported by increasingly accurate English archery. Although destroyed, the knights bought time for the remaining English units to converge on the bridge. Suddenly its was the Saracens in trouble as their morale crumbled and with darkness falling they lacked the strength to capture the bridge. An unlikely looking victory secured for the Crusaders.

The doughty English

The sneaky Saracens

The English forlorn hope meets its end

Arab light horse sneak across the bridge

The English hold the ford and turn the tide

The bridge ends in English hands

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