Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The payoff is the battle.....

I modified the scenario a little to take into account the hexes (making the woods a little more close-in) and modifying the initial setup (the Slavs are a little closer to the road).

Essentially, a column of Teutonic Knights on a road is ambushed coming into a clearing in the woods that lines the road. The knights themselves have hurried onward, leaving their infantry supports behind (never a good thing for cavalry to do in close-in country)

The first inclination that there would be a battle was a shower of arrows which managed a few casualties amongst the unprepared Knights.

But though lacking in road discipline, they managed to come on line and charge the main line of Slavs in the clearing next to the road. A fierce melee ensued, with the Knights. The infantry supports came hurrying up to lend their hand, but were hampered by the arrows of the ambushers on the wooded side of the road.

The Heavier Knights managed to break the Slav lines after a brisk but fierce melee. The Slav noble cavalry, unlike in previous times, stayed on the field and made a desperate charge against their old foe.

Unfortunately, the infantry had managed to come up, so although the Knights were fatigued and the cavalry melee was a push, the fresh infantry ensured that the Slav cavalry were surrounded and killed. They fought well and died well. Though battered, the Teutonic Knights are victorious again !

The Teutons took the most casualties it had ever taken, mostly from among the irreplaceable heavy cavalry. Now it seems apparent why the Slav noble cavalry fled from the field each time before- they were slaughtered almost to a man.

All in all, the battle went well and rather quickly- the hexes really sped up the whole process a lot. The transparencies made set up and board generation easy, and would be very easy to pack up and take along with the game mat.

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Brainstorm... of sorts....

After using the new game mat for a few scenarios, I realized that I missed my hexes (it makes the game move so much faster). How to do that on a gaming mat with no grid printed on it ?

So I decided to print 2 hex grids on clear acetate (33" wide by 48" long)and overlay that on the terrain mat. This is the result.

In addition, I created some woods and hill templates to lay over those.

I figure I will run the same scenario (it may be modified a little) with the hex system that I ran with the non-hex system. It Should be interesting. Stay tuned.....

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

After a lengthy hiatus.... WARGAMING AGAIN !

After observing a lengthy hiatus, I returned from Christmas and New Years festivities with renewed vigour, powered by a package I had waiting for me.

I had ordered a flocked game mat from http://www.terrainmat.com/, and it is a beauty. I set it up with a quick scenario straight from taking it out of the box (Crusaders vs an Slavic ambush). The folds (such as they were) are almost gone now, and when I roll it up for storage should be minimal if still at all. The material is very lightweight and seemingly durable. Time will tell as I use it more how durable the flocking is, but so far shedding has been minimal.

Along with the mat I had ordered some woods,roads and streams (unfortunately, you can only see part of the stream in the top left of one of the pictures). The roads are a very lightweight material, not quite a cloth but very flexible, while the woods and streams are on a light platic stock, flocked and very nice as well. I didn't have any trees immediately available, so the dark brown patches are what are the woods in the pictures. Everything is textured appropriately, and looks very nice.

As for the scenario, it was a Slavic ambush on a group of Teutonic Knights. The Slavs had much more bowmen and the cover of the woods as, while the Knights had the advantage of 3 units of heavy horse. Forces were as follows:

Teutonic Knights:
3 Heavy Horse
2 Heavy Spearmen
1 Skirmish Crossbow unit (set up as 2 skirmish units)
3 Spearmen
2 Axe/Swordmen
2 Bowmen (set up as 8 skirmish units)
1 Noble Cavalry

On coming down the road, the Slavs sprung their ambush- the bowmen were in the woods on both sides of the road, while the main ambush was on the side where there was some maneuver room (to the top of the 1st picture).

The Teutons, quickly ordered themselves from the hail of arrows that clanged off their heavy armor. One of the skirmish crossbow skirmishers was routed from the field, but no signifigant losses were suffered elsewhere.

With a rumble, the Teutonic cavalry thundered down on the waiting Slav spear infantry (which were set up in front just for that with the Axe/Swordmen back in support for when/if the spearmen stopped the charge).

This the spearmen did, and a fierce melee ensued. The narrowness of the gap worked in the Slav's favor, and the supporting Axe/Swordmen came up and lent their weight to the fray. The Teuton infantry came up in support, but were taking casualties from the skirmishers. The knights were taking hits from the skirmishers as well and, despite almost rolling through the Slav line, were on the point of breaking.

The Slav noble cavalry, held back as a reserve could not contribute to the main fight due to the press to their front. The whole gap between the two woods was clogged, creating one giant melee.

Then, the inevitable happened. The Slavs, being lighter armored, finally began to break, even though they managed to rout one of the Teutonic Cavalry units. Now was the time for the proud Noble Cavalry to show its worth !

It came proudly into the fight, charging one of the heavily engaged Teutonic Cavalry units through the gap vacated by the routing unit. Despite a signifigant advantage in numbers and momentum, the Nobles quickly turned tail and ran from the field after only 1 round of combat where they suffered a few casualties. The Slav force crumbled.

All in all, it was a fun scenario, one which I had to modify my hex-based rules to a more standard move/wheel miniature system (as well as convert distances from hexes to inches with the appropriate scaling). There are still some "bugs" in the system (I think I was a little to liberal with how much spacing is needed) but it was fun and fast.

And with a very nice terrain mat, it looked even better !