Monday, 22 August 2016

Getting the turn sequence right!

Over the years that I've been playing WAB, it's always surprised me how many little bits and bobs that form part of the core turn sequence myself and my gaming buddies have gotten slightly wrong, or not quite in the right order. Nothing game winning, or anything of that magnitude, but with that in mind, I've put together a quick reference sheet, which is more of a turn flow sheet than a point by point reference.

You'll find it by clicking this LINK!

BTW - It's been designed to be printed full A4 portrait page with no borders, then folded into A5 and laminated if required.

 I hope new and old Wabbers might find it useful!

Friday, 19 August 2016

The Noble Franks - A WAB BatRep.

We played another great game of WAB today with the Age of Arthur supplement. This time my stand in Angle army would fight against Matthews Franks (cobbled together from his Norman army, with some supporting troops thrown in for good measure). We played the pitched battle scenario with 1500pts worth of troops. Again, this is the size of army that we're looking to use at the WAB weekend event next year, so these games help out with timings for the days events. We used the standard scenery rules and Matthew won the dice roll for setting up the armies, so I went first, then we put a unit down one after the other, after which I won the roll to choose who went first or second, so I went first...

The Angles covered as much ground as possible in the first turn.

This game didn't require any of the subtleties of the previous one - it was going to be a real clash of arms, so I wanted to get as much of my army into the fight as I could before they suffered too many shooting casualties, so with that in mind, off they went at full speed ahead! Matthew had a similar idea, but was more cautious and positioned his units to get some javelins shots in where possible.

It didn't take long before the real fighting began.
Matthews plan to get some extra shooting attacks in paid some dividends in his turn as he managed to panic the mounted Gedriht unit, who ran like the wind to get away from those mounted Pueri on his right flank - they would take a bit of dealing with it seemed.

Oh dear...
After some pretty brutal combat, both sides had taken enough casualties to cause tests, but the worst of it came from the challenge between the two army Generals. During the first round of combat, the Anglian Atheling had had a lucky break and caused two wounds on the Frankish King, who had fumbled his own attacks and caused no wounds at all. With his lifeblood draining away, the King put up a valiant fight, causing a wound on the Atheling, but it wasn't enough to finish him off and so the deathblow came swiftly... The King was dead, and the army new it, with almost all of the units turning tail and running for home, the Frankish battle line faltered.

The brave few.
The only Frankish units left standing after their King had died in combat were the troublesome mounted Peuri and the allied Tribal Warriors, who refused to flee in the face of almost certain defeat. At least they would die fighting, and they would too!

Even the Pueri have seen enough.
With the final stages of the battle coming to a close, the Pueri took casualties from the previously rallied mounted Gedriht unit, which caused them to turn tail and flee along with the rest of their Frankish comrades, which left only the Tribal Warriors in the fight.

The bitter end.
With the rest of the army lost or fleeing from the battlefield, the Tribal Warriors stood firm in the face of the oncoming Gedriht unit on foot, led by the Atheling and his battle standard. Although the fight was a close thing, the Angles finally broke and ran down the last of the Noble, yet doomed Frankish army and the battle ended in a resounding victory for the Saxons.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

You shall not pass! - A WAB BatRep

So, it's been a few months since I've put anything new on the blog, but that's purely due to getting the time to sit down and write up the reports! We've had quite a few games here over the last couple of months; mainly Shieldwall, but with some Fall of the West and now Age of Arthur thrown in for good measure. As we start to prepare for next years WAB1.5 event, there'll likely be a lot more Age of Arthur BatReps appearing on the blog, so keep your eyes peeled!

Later Anglian Kingdom Saxons line up to face Dans Scots Irish.

I've realised that I regularly say how much I enjoy reading and playing through this supplement or that supplement for WAB, but it's true. I think that each one gives something different to the game and although I probably could attempt to pin down a favorite or two, all of them are great and Age of Arthur certainly is one of those in the top contenders for the all time best

I have to apologise for the armies we're using for this, and probably quite a few of our future battles for AoA, as these are a mish-mash of our Shieldwall armies that are being used whilst new, more fitting musters are being rallied to the banners!

For this battle we used armies of 1500pts each and played the Breakthrough scenario. Dan won the roll off to see who would be breaking through enemy lines, so he forced me to place my army first.

Skirmish troops getting in to position to cause as much damage as possible.

As per the scenario rules, once both armies were deployed, all skirmish troops and light troops in skirmish formation moved an extra 4" in a bid to cover some ground and close down shooting ranges where possible.

The Saxons are spread pretty thinly in the middle ground...

Because I was the defender, I had to go first, so I tried to fan out what little troops I had in an attempt to cover as many escape routes as possible. My mounted Gedriht unit quickly move off in skirmish formation to cover my left flank and the allied Pictish Cavalry who were threatening to move round there unhindered.

As their shooting has little effect on the oncoming enemy, the Irish skirmishers start to fall back.

Shooting was not giving either of us much to worry about, except my small unit of Gedriht on foot who started getting far too much attention from enemy javelin and sling shots, so they were forced to form shieldwall and hold their ground whilst the larger units moved in to flush the pesky skirmishers away.

There's nothing for it, we'll have to fight!

Both armies spent some time dancing around each other, trying to get enough of an advantage to commit to the charge, but luckily for the Saxons, the line held firm and some of the Irish units were forced to withdraw in the face of more powerful enemy units (snigger!!).
The Saxons get the better of the Irish in most of the battles and the Irish army starts to melt away.

As the battle lines moved closer and closer to the inevitable combats, the Irish skirmishers started to melt away. Their shooting attacks had not caused enough damage on the formed Saxon units to reduce their combat effectiveness and so they ran away in the hopes of fighting another day!

With the main Irish force beaten and chased from the field, the Saxon units start to return for the end game.

In true heroic style, perfect for the age, once battle was joined many challenges were issued and accepted and the cream of both armies pushed their way to the front of individual battles to prove themselves to their comrades, unfortunately for the Irish, they weren't all that good really when it came down to it and so got trounced!! The Irish General stumbled somewhat with his attacks, although he did make large about his fighting abilities in a very heroic way before he was butchered by the Saxon Atheling!

The last Irish unit is broken but manages to get away from the pursuing enemy troops, for now at least!
With their leader dead and their very nimble skirmishers moving quickly away from the battlefield (The technical term for this is routing!), the rest of the Irish slowly (Well, quite quickly actually!) withered away until the remnants were swept from the field - You shall not pass, said the Atheling, all dramatic like!

Friday, 17 June 2016

Form Shieldwall!

Actually, my Saxons never once went into shieldwall during this game!

We played a 2000pt game on Tuesday to celebrate number one sons return from University.

We used the standard rules for terrain and the Meeting Engagement scenario which offers some interesting tactical options compared to a Pitched Battle.

Dan used his Hibernians and I used my Saxons...

I deployed the Saxons with their skirmishers on both flanks as I wanted to push the army forward quickly to avoid taking too many casualties from those pesky skirmishers that fill an Hibernian armies ranks, before getting in to combat, but at the same time I didn't want too many of them getting round my flanks and picking off troops from my main units. Terrain would most likely stop any formed units from venturing on the flanks, so a push in the centre seemed like a good idea...

As expected, there were lots of javelin and sling armed skirmishers deployed before the main Hibernian army, so there was nothing for it but to take the incoming missile fire and get stuck in as planned.

This is how the two opposing armies looked prior to the first move. The woods on each flank looked well placed to block most of the movement of formed troops, but I'd forgotten that the Hibernians are able to deploy one of their units in ambush - guess where they were...

I started to position my units in order to make sweeping attacks from my left flank, with the idea of causing panic through Dans formed units, which were no match for mine in a straight fight. I did wonder why he hadn't used his Fianna though, as they weren't on the table...

The early stages of the battle seemed to be going better for the Saxons, as the Hibernians shooting phase wasn't overly successful and caused minimal casualties - nothing I couldn't handle, plus my skirmish archers had taken up a great position behind a stone wall and were starting to shoot back! But then, as I moved my troops nearer to the woods on my right, it turned in to the opening fight scene (well, almost!) from Gladiator, and a horde (well, 20!) screaming fanatical Irishmen in the form of axe wielding Fianna emerged from the woods - oops, this was not good!

Undaunted, I decided that I had enough troops to sort these upstarts out before they caused any trouble, so I charged and swept the skirmishers that were covering the Fianna with an initial charge, which then redirected onto the Fianna, as well as declaring a supporting charge with the mounted Thegns - everyone knows how good Saxons were on horseback, don't they?

Not bloody good at all! The mounted Thegns got smashed by the Fianna and then were set to flight, never to return, well, not in this battle anyway! All was not lost though as the rest of the Saxon army was well positioned for the planned attack.

With the Hibernian skirmishers desperately trying to inflict as many casualties as possible before the less than reliable Bonnachts had to face the music and do some of the dirty work, they ended up being stranded at the front of their army with very little support and so fled to a man when the charges were declared - Just like the Thegns... they never stopped running!

Once the fighting got underway, the Bonnachts struggled to hold their ground and the Hibernian resistance started to melt away. Luckily for Dan, he'd hired two mercenary Viking units to bolster his fighting force and they were more than up for the fighting to come.

Much more than up for it as things turned out - Although all of the Bonnachts were either destroyed in battle, fleeing, or hiding behind the nearest trees they could find, the Vikings cut through the Saxon Ceorls like a hot knife through butter and one by one the Saxons were beaten. With several breaking from their combats, even the Saxon Earl and the unit of Huscarls (who hadn't struck a blow yet!) decided to turn tail and run rather than fight the Vikings!

Bolstered by the imminent victory, even the Ri Tuathe decided to have a crack at some Ceorls and although he was never going to break the unit, I suppose it would at least make a good story...!

And with the last of the Saxons being chased from the field by the Viking mercenaries, their victory was finally complete and the field of battle was theirs...

Another great game and another defeat for the unlucky Saxons, but they will return soon as we have already fought another battle!