Sunday, April 5, 2015

Francesian Conquest - Battle of Quadrivium

It is Easter morning and I have some free time. What better way to celebrate than with some bloody conflict?

Although it has been a long while, I decided to stage a battle for my Francesian Conquest campaign. When last I visited medieval Francesia, Lothar the Lascivious had overrun the Imperial province of Transflumia. Now he is invading the province of Meditera.

Today's battle came, once again, from Neil Thomas's One Hour Wargames. It is scenario 27 - Disordered Defense. A smaller but better commanded army seeks to seize a crossroad from a piecemeal defense.

I also used Thomas's random army lists. The armies for each side are:

  • Redgrave (commanded by Lothar) - 3 Heavy Infantry + 1 Warband
    • I used the Dark Age list for the Redgravians
    • I was going to make the warband into berserkers but I don't have any "warband" figures. I converted it into Lothar's personal bodyguard (The Ravens) and gave them an additional +1 CV
  • Empire - 2 Archers + 1 Cavalry. Reinforcements of 2 Cavalry + 1 Heavy Infantry
    • I used the Medieval list for the Empire
    • I rolled for a unit of Men at Arms, which I ruled to be equivalent to the Redgravian Heavy Infantry
    • Per the scenario, reinforcements arrive on turn 8
I don't have any roads so I used a building to represent the crossroad that is the objective of the game. I ruled that the building is a hamlet at the crossroads. Its structures provide some assistance with defense but cavalry can still penetrate. Here is the battlefield at the start of the game (using my Baccus 6mm figures).
Starting positions.
Redgravians on the bottom of the picture
 Although I used Thomas's scenario and army generator, I did not use his rules. Instead, I went with my own medieval rules, which are generally a modified version of Song of Blade and Heroes and DBA.

And here is a pictorial record of the battle:
The Redgravians advance toward the hill (L).
The Mediteran cavalry charges! (R)
The Redgravians swarm over the archers on the hill and the cavalry.
The Mediterans break off!
The Redgravians advance on the crossroad hamlet of Quadrivium
The Mediteran cavalry regroups and charges the Redgravian flank
After a bloody engagement, the Redgravians drive off the cavalry.
Meanwhile, the Redgravians advance on the hamlet.
And force out the defending archers.
But now Imperial reinforcements arrive!
Archery destroys one Redgravian warband.
Imperial cavalry takes out another.
Lothar's Ravens hold the crossroads.
A Redgravian warband under Sigurd retreats to the hill, and waits.
Lothar stymies the attacks of 3 enemy units.
Meanwhile, Sigurd waits,
Finally, as darkness nears, Sigurd charges into the rear of the Imperial cavalry.
Lothar holds on until nightfall.
As night descends (and turn 15 finishes), the Imperial troops withdraw, leaving Quadrivium in Lothar's hands. The battle is his, but he is furious with Sigurd, who dawdled in providing support to his warlord (he spent 3-4 turns on the hill!).

This turned out to be a fun, back and forth game. At first, it looked like the Redgravians would steamroll over their opposition (archery was notoriously ineffective early on). Then the Imperial reinforcements swept in and seemed like they would wipe out Lothar. Somehow, he managed to hold on until the end.

The command rolls were very streaky. I went until turn 9 without a single command failure, but then I rolled a whole string of them. Late in the game, the Imperials went 2 of 3 turns without activating a single unit. Then the Redgravians went 3 turns without being able to move (leaving Sigurd sitting on the hill).

What's next? Well, I decided that instead of a single, winner-take-all battle for Meditera, I would play out a 3 game mini-campaign using Thomas's guidelines. The side that wins 2 of the 3 battles will control the province. So far, Lothar's invasion is proceeding according to plan. Can he drive out the Imperials in the next battle?


  1. You added some more terrain I see. It's an odd scenario that one, having no terrain at all, given that it's based on the terrain-heavy Shiloh.

  2. Yes, I have been adding some additional, random terrain to the OHW scenarios. Good point about Shiloh!