Saturday, April 18, 2015

Francesian Conquest - Raider's Ridge

After the battle at Quadrivium, Lothar continued his advance into the heart of Meditera. The Legate Dumias was given command of Imperial forces in Meditera and ordered to stop Lothar's depradations. He marched forth and arrayed his army across Lothar's advance at the little village of Nilium.

Scenario Notes
Yesterday's Retrospective mentioned the influence of Song of Blades and Heroes on my games. The Francesian Conquest is an excellent example. My medieval rules essentially use the SB&H activation and combat rules using units rather than individual figures.

Once again, I am using a scenario from Neil Thomas's One Hour Wargames. In this case, I randomly rolled for scenario 2 - pitched battle. The objective is to hold both key points: a crossroad (which I represent with a village) and a hill. I added some randomly determined terrain.

The opposing forces are as follows (with Quality and Combat scores in parentheses):
  • Redgrave - 4 Infantry (Q4, C4), 1 Warband, 1 Skirmisher
    • Because I don't have any suitable figures, I replaced the warband with an elite infantry unit (Q3, C4) representing Lothar's personal guard.
    • I don't have any skirmishers either so I used some archers.
  • Empire - 3 Cavalry (Q3, C4), 1 Archer (Q3, C3), 2 Levy (Q5, C3)

Battle Report
Initial positions. The objectives are the single hill (top left) and the village of Nilium (bottom right- represented by a single building).

Lothar was furious with Sigurd after the last battle but he gave command of the Redgravian left flank to his subordinate so that Sigurd could redeem himself. Determined to succeed, Sigurd advanced his wing towards Nilium. Imperial cavalry advanced on the hill.

 Lothar reached the hill first and held off charges by the Imperial cavalry.

The Redgravian foot swung into action as both sides battle for the hill. Sigurd's advance was disrupted by archery from the woods.

The Imperial cavalry broke off its attacks against Lothar. Meanwhile, Legate Dumias swung his cavalry onto the ridge.

Dumias wreaked havoc among Sigurd's command, chasing off the Redgravian skirmishers and smashing to the flank of a band of infantry. The Imperial cavalry tried again to break Lothar's line.

Dumias ran amok, wiping out the skirmishers.

The Imperial cavalry broke one of the Redgravian infantry bands and continued up the hill .

Only to be crushed by Lothar's guards.

 Sigurd resumed the advance on Nilum. Dumias was reluctant to commit his weakened cavalry.

But seeing Nilium threatened forced his hand. Alas, Dumias's charge was repelled and his cavalry scattered.

 Despite the loss of cavalry support, the archers in the wood and the levies in Nilium held out against Sigurd's attacks. As night was falling, Sigurd personally led a last-gasp assault on the village. He was struck down in the fighting and his infantry fell back.

The day ended with neither army in control of the battlefield. Lothar and Dumias would boast of a great victory, but both commanders would withdraw the next day.

At first, Lothar was angry with Sigurd's failure to seize the village but when he learned of his subordinate's death, he expressed his approval that Sigurd had redeemed his honor.

Following the battle, the locals renamed some of the landmarks. The hill where Lothar made his stand became known as Bloody Hill and the ridge became known as Raider's Ridge.

Final Thoughts
There were 3 very dramatic points in the game.

  1. Lothar stubbornly holding the hill despite being attacked by 2 cavalry (and he was often fighting alone!)
  2. Dumias's charge along the ridge, which practically took out two enemy units.
  3. The levies holding Nilium against Sigurd.
Although it looked like it would end as a draw fairly early in the game, the Redgravians did have a chance to win. If Sigurd's band could have taken the village and held it until turn 15, then Lothar would have another victory. Alas, the levies proved capable defenders and stymied Sigurd.

A draw truly benefits the defenders in this campaign. I was wondering if I should extend the campaign but now I think I may keep it 3 battles (although next time I will do 5 battles). However, I think Lothar should have 2 victories to be able to claim Meditera. He may be up against a tough challenge.

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