I decided to take a chance with my list and only took the basic armament of shield and javelins, albeit my bodyguard units were of course tooled up as befits their status. I also insist in my lists that some of the more, shall we say, unenthusiastic, troops have to be taken in larger armies so with all this cheapness I managed to slot in another unit which meant I would outnumber Julian. Julian had upgraded his army to large shields and had also gone for two cavalry units, until we know better we all make the mistake of taking cavalry and have visions of running down fleeing rabble, but in this period cavalry did not do that and it won't do that in War and Conquest. I took one small unit to skirmish and use as a possible reserve if needed.
Once we had set up I could see that the British flanks were vulnerable and so was the centre as it was held by a unit of Pedyts, the lowest troops in the army, it did have Comitatus either side but it was still a very soft centre. As a gentleman I did point this out but Julian had a plan and bravely stuck to it. As the battle began I pushed forward both my flanks, the left with the dubious Franks, who had now been elevated to a four rank Warband and I was hoping this would offset their frailty from previous games.
Sure enough the Franks smashed their opponents and pursued them to the edge of the table, this took them out of the battle but it also worried Julian and left my skirmishers with an open flank to attack. My right advanced and closed down the opportunity for the British cavalry to break through. I threw my Gedriht in against the Pedyts who had advanced from their line and quickly beat and routed them, Julian countered by attacking them with one of his elites and I pushed more units against his line.
My Gedriht were beaten in a straight fight and I lost my Cyning as his men died around him, however this left the Comitatus out in the open with another Saxon warband about to descend on their flank, I also began to win the other fights. As the Romano-British centre broke Julian called it a day, we shook hands and sat down to discuss what had just happened.
Not being experienced at the game Julian realised that his cavalry should have been used as skirmishers or a reserve and perhaps one unit would have been enough, having given his infantry the large shields and that, along with shieldwall if possible, gave his men the edge in melee over my lightly armed troops who would then require fives or sixes to save, so a quick attack all along the line would have been his best bet. Or even better, refuse a flank while leading the attack with his Comitatus, of course as wargamers we do tend to try and cover all the ground we can, I found this easy to do due to my extra unit and the 6x4 table, the first away game for my portable piece.
|Did I mention sixes to save?|
It would be remiss of me not to mention Freddy, Julian's son who took command of portions of the Romano-British line, I will add Freddy is a teenager and knew what he was about so no cries of 'foul' if you please. So, a nice surprise game, nice lunch and I came away with a prize, a Topic bar, long story.