Monday, June 23, 2003
Camp Cromwell 23/06/2003
Princes of the East Campaign Battle – using Ironbow Rules.
Umpires: Jim Gandy & Steve Jendrich
Oshin of Hethoumia (Cameron Harris) 4HC / 2LC / 2 Sp
Tancred of Antioch (Bernard Jones) 4Crus / 1 HC / 2 LC / 1 Xbow / 1 LI
Oshin deployed his Spears and LC on a steep hill on the RHS of the battlefield with his HC behind it.
Tancred had 2 Crusaders hidden in a wood in front and left of Oshin’s hill, the rest in the centre.
Tancred moved to his left towards Oshin’s army. The hidden Crusaders came out of hiding but came under fire from LC on the hill – half of them were distracted by this and charged up the hill at the LC. The rest joined the main body attacking Oshin’s HC, which had by now moved out to the right around the hill into the open. See pic.
Oshin charged at the LC on Tancred’s left. They tried to evade, but the unit with Tancred attached was caught up with and half destroyed. A quick reference to the website confirmed Cameron’s memory of an errata which lead to Tancred being captured. Tancred’s infantry was also swept up in the pursuit.
A hail of arrows from the hill precipitated a flurry of 1’s from Bernard doing reaction checks and a Crusader + the HC suddenly routed in the centre.
Now two HC were slugging it out with 2 Crusaders on Oshin’s right flank while the other Crusader continued slogging up the hill towards the LC – to be met with a counterattack with Spearmen & LC. Cameron’s counterattack was blessed with 6’s and the Crusaders on the hill was surrounded and surrendered.
The consequent disaster check on the remaining Crusaders resulted in more 1’s and they joined the general rout.
1 LC had a V2 defeat.
1 Crusader captured.
Rest of Tancred’s army routed.
Oshin’s losses: Nill.
Bernard’s mistake was the typical Crusader syndrome of rushing at the enemy’s main body with the knights without due regard to the scum (compounded by Cameron’s consistently better dice).
The horse archers on the hill were effective in firing onto the flank of the Crusaders and later joined with the spearmen to swamp the unit that tried to get at them.
The decisive moment was Oshin’s charge with 2 HC v. Tancred’s LC. The LC tried to evade, but Cameron’s hot dice caught them, including Tancred himself. The problem got worse because the infantry were behind the LC and got swept up in the chaos.
The Crusader cavalry should still have beaten some of Oshin’s HC, but Oshin’s dice kept him in it until Bernard’s penchant for throwing 1’s for morale checks completed the disintegration of the army.
The rules themselves were a bit difficult because we were all unfamiliar with them. They are not that well set out – what you want to know isn’t always where you look. We find it odd that there is no wearing down effect of long combats – if you survive a test you are as good as new. We also found the turn sequence confusing at times – like when did the movement resultant from a test take place – this turn or next ? But it was an entertaining battle - certainly decisive.
I thought we should try doing this battle using our rules on Wednesday. The difference could be instructive.