At last, after months of anticipation ... my first game of Warhammer Ancient Battles! What fun it proved to be too.
Darren's Early Saxons are not quite finished (as you'll see in the photos), and my HYW English aren't quite either, but that was not going to stop us! Whilst on the way to the Woolston Club I realised that I hadn't been quite this excited about the prospect of a wargame for some time.
The slightly later than planned start time meant that we didn't exactly get the pick of the scenery (hence the sci-fi ruin in place of a peasant hovel), plus I forgot to bring anything scenic along with me - doh!?
The game was a 1,500pt Pitched Battle, pitting the might of my HYW English (until recently Bretonnian) army, against Darren's hairy Early Saxon horde.
Deployment is where I usually make my first mistakes and this game was to prove no exception ... I deployed archers either side of the 'peasant hovel' with the intention of placing some spearmen in the hovel itself (don't ask me why). Darren pointed out that I could not deploy a formed unit in a building so they had to go to the left flank, whilst the men at arms and knights squeezed in on the right. The Saxons were screened by two units of (pesky) skirmishing javelin men. Pah - 'mere skirmishers' I thought - oh dearie me that was silly. The unit of tough looking skirmishing Saxon horse on Darren's left flank did give me pause for thought - rightly so as it turned out.
The first turn saw some reasonably archery from the English, though no Saxon units fled. The next two turns were different - the English archers almost totally lost the plot, plus the Saxon (Gehdrit) horse proved to be truly fearsome. Darren described my archers as 'shooting like old ladies' and he was right - his javelin skirmishers did better against my longbowmen. The agile Saxon horsemen soon despatched my cumbersome unit of knights and slew my general. The men at arms got bogged down in combat with saxon infantry who just wouldn't run away, then they were thrashed in the rear by the dreaded horsemen. At the end of turn six all that remained of the English were a few archers, giving the Saxons a solid victory.
Regardless of the result for my army it proved to be a very enjoyable game, plus being very instructive too. Darren's a great guy to game against and it was really good to play a game where the result was decided by manoeuvre, tactics and ordinary troops. Long live WAB!
Now I just need to get on and paint some more English ... and those Romans ... and a host of other armies.