Hastings (kind of) AAR

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Hastings (kind of) AAR

Post  vtsaogames on Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:00 am

The Corlears Hook Fencibles played a game of Hastings using "Seasons of War" rules.

The armies were each 400 points since I can't put together 450 points of Saxons, even using my generic peasant DBA hordes as greater Fyrd. Well, I could press Goths and such into service, but chose not to.

Normans

2 nobles
2 units of Knights, one of 4 stands, one of 3
2 units of retainers, 1 of 3 stands, one of 2
2 units of spearmen, each 4 stands
1 unit of archers, 7 stands


Saxons

2 nobles
2 units of Housecarls, each 4 stands
2 units of Select Fyrd, each 8 stands
1 unit of Greater Fyrd, 7 stands
1 unit of archers, 2 stands


I picked the Hold the Hill scenario and put woods on each flank to kind of replicate Senlac hill at Hastings. The Saxons deployed with Select Fryd on each flank, the two Housecarl units on the hill in the center, the small archer unit in front and the peasants of the Greater Fryd further down the hill in front.

Bill played William the Bastard, with Tom as his subordinate. Ken played Harold, with Rick as his second. I umpired.
The Normans deployed from right to left with the two units of retainer cavalry, the two spear units in the center preceded by the archers in a single line, and the two units of knights.

The Normans advanced while the archers nailed the peasant infantry. The Saxons went into shield wall, but the peasants still took hits and broke for the rear. At first the archers resisted the urge to run, but when the peasants ran again the archers decided it was time to head for home. One of the Norman knight units charged up the hill and rode down the peasants. Meanwhile the retainer cavalry charged the left flank block of Select Fyrd. Both sides hacked each other down. One of the retainer units was destroyed and the other chose a feigned retreat to break contact. (A later question to the designer revealed that this wasn't legal.) In the center, the knight unit that rode down the peasants wheeled right and rode across the front of the hill. Archers continued to shower arrows on the Saxon units but few got through the linked shields. The second knight unit then made a feigned retreat (strictly according to the rules) and the right hand Housecarl unit broke ranks and chased them. The knights turned and a spear unit came up on their flank. Both then charged the Housecarls and hit them hard. After a second turn the Saxons broke and ran, pursued by both Norman units. While the Saxons were getting the worst of the fight, breaking is usually a result of a crappy morale roll.

The other knights charged up the hill in a bid to capture the left flank Saxon noble, but he escaped to the left flank shield wall. The left center Housecarls wheeled and charged them in the flank. The left flank shield wall wheeled and joined in. The knights began going down in a ferocious fight that lasted three or four turns. They tried a feigned retreat (again, not legal from a fight) but failed to roll high enough dice. They finally made it out around the end of the game, with one stand left and that with a hit on it.

The right Norman spear unit came up and engaged the left flank shield wall. After several turns of fighting, they retreated in disorder with one wounded stand left. The surviving retainer cavalry unit came up and got into a scrum with the shield wall.
Meanwhile the archers had no target, as all the Saxon units were engaged in hand to hand fighting. On the Saxon right, the fleeing Housecarls were ridden down. The right flank shield wall got into a fight with the knights and the Norman spear unit on that flank. The shield wall was ground down over a few turns. They broke and were pursued by both units, and cut to ribbons. The Saxon noble on the right, deemed to be Harold, was captured. It was the ninth turn. All the Saxons had left was their left flank shield wall of Select Fyrd, which was pinned down fighting retainer cavalry, and two stands of cavalry on the hill, watching the beat up unit of Norman knights riding down the hill in a feigned retreat. There was a knight unit behind them, a spear unit behind their flank, and a large unit or archers closing from the front. The Saxons threw in the towel. It was the ninth turn. There was only one more turn in the game, but the Normans would be able to move lots more stands onto the hill, even if they didn't wipe out the two Saxons stands remaining on the hill. It took 3 hours and 5 minutes to play the game; not bad considering none of us had played before. I'd only purchased the rules the night before and had to flip back and forth through the rules to resolve some things.

The Normans lost 9 of 28 stands. The Saxons lost 21 of 33 stands, while 2 run away and another two were about to be ridden down, with Harold taken prisoner.

My umpiring mistake on feigned retreats made the game more lopsided than it should have been. The Saxon retainer horse would probably have been in much worse shape and the Knight unit taken in flank would not have escaped. But the complete collapse of the Saxon right would have given the game to the Normans in any case. The Saxon players' morale would have been much better. The rule I overlooked was that units engaged in melee with the enemy cannot activate at all, they can only fight. I think a house rule allowing cavalry to break off frontal fights with infantry might be in order. The only Saxon unit that broke ranks and chased a feigned retreat was chasing the legal one. That was bad dice, since they also failed a re-roll from the nearby noble.

I notice that morale checks cannot be failed unless at least two hits are being checked for. This makes most melees fights to the finish, or nearly so.

The combat dice system works pretty well, though we did get confused about the re-rolls sometimes. For example, a unit that has advantages and is charging with lances gets re-rolls for the lances and other re-rolls for the advantages. Then you decide if you are going to use the re-rolls for attack or defense. Remembering which was done after you have resolved one side's attacks can be trying for old guys with ADD. We'll have to come up with a method of recording it.

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black text

Post  vtsaogames on Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:02 am

Don't know why the AAR has black text on black. Oh well, c'est la vie.

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Re: Hastings (kind of) AAR

Post  IanHannam on Sun Jun 16, 2013 8:17 am

Great battle report, and certainly ambitious to take on such a large game for your first forray into the rules! I don't suppose you managed to get any photos of the game? I'll eagerly await the next report!

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Pix

Post  vtsaogames on Mon Jun 17, 2013 4:46 am

" I don't suppose you managed to get any photos of the game? "


The AAR was also posted on the Miniatures Page and one of the fellows who likes the rules just fine posted pictures. 
I can't post a link yet.


TMP is where I found out about the rules.


Last edited by vtsaogames on Tue Jun 18, 2013 4:16 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Hastings (kind of) AAR

Post  IanHannam on Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:22 am

Great stuff! Some great pics on here

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Re: Hastings (kind of) AAR

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