Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Battle Report - 8-Oct-2012 - Dux Britanniarum

The initial setup - Saxons entering
from the left, Britons centre bottom.
Monday night saw the next round in Andy and my Dux Britanniarum campaign down at the club. Another Saxon raid, and this time we rolled up a raid on a church. I started out only rolling one turn of advance movement for the Saxons, and as I was moving through a wood, it took a little longer than I really wanted to get to the church, by which time the British Tribune and several warbands were facing off against Aelfric and his hearthguard.
Aelfric and Godric at the head of
the Saxon Gedriht.

About there is where it all started going downhill. Not fancying being charged by Andy's commanipulares in shieldwall, I backed off, hoping to draw them away from where Leofric and the warriors were raiding the church. It worked, up to a point.

Chaaaaaaarge!
The plan was to charge them on my terms, so when the Saxon Lord card came up, I declared a charge, planning on using a Carpe Diem, a couple of Boar cards and an Aggressive Charge. Andy promptly trumped it with a Step Forth card, which allowed him to take his turn immediately. Fortunately, he did this before I'd played any cards on my activation, so I plonked down the card I wasn't planning on using, an Evade, and rocked back out of range. Of course, then it was my turn, so I got to charge after all. So far, so good.
The notorious Maximus Minimus
and the British levy.

However... let's just say that my dice rolling in the combats that followed will probably be the subject of a Probability For Wargamers article. In a nutshell, it stank. I lost count of the number of times I rolled way below the expected number of hits, and I think I only managed above average once.

After two turns, both units of hearthguard were headed for the baseboard edge, having lost their amphora, and all that was left holding the British at bay, and more importantly, distracting them from Leofric's dirty work, was Ecgwine and a single unit of warriors.
The Gedriht in full rout. Ecgwine and
his warband (on the right) attempt
to hold the line.

My dice for that fight wasn't any better, and in fact all that saved him from going back to the fair Lavinia on a bier was the fact that I rolled just as few 5s and 6s for wounds as I did for my attacks!

At this point, I was on force morale 1, and very close to losing the raid. Except that Leofric had just found the Holy Knucklebone of St. Cadwyr and the church plate, and out of the church he and two warbands came, smack into Maximus Minumus and the British levy, and me with a fat hand of Fate cards.

Trust Leofric to find the wine.
That result, at least, went the way probability said it would.

If ever a victory could be said to be Pyrrhic, this was. As I remarked to Andy, on the subject of the abysmal performance of the Saxon hearthguard: "Aelfric is going to be very very unhappy."

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