Wednesday, 9 January 2008

WAB - 30th Dec 2007 - Early Saxons vs EIR

Always keen for a game of WAB I arranged another game against Darren's early Saxon Horde. Rather than use my HYW English (Bretonnian) figures I asked Darren if I could use his Roman-style Dwarf army as stand in figures. I cannot remember which company makes the figures but they are wearing lorica style armour and carrying scutum-like shields. I managed to field a few of my archers and used some Bretonnian light cavalry as stand in figures for Auxiliary Cavalry. In fact the slightly odd nature and appearance of the army rather reminded me of the first few games of WFB I played way back in about '87. The "armies" were a mix of role-playing figures, borrowed bits and newly acquired GW Orcs & Goblins. Ah - nothing to match a bit of misty-eyed nostalgia is there?

Anyway, my EIR was

3 x 15 Legionaries CSM
1 x 15 Auxiliary Infantry LSM
1 x 12 Auxiliary Archers
1 x 9 Auxiliary Cavalry LSM
2 x Ballista
2 x 9 Barbarian Skirmishers
2 x Packmaster & 5 Warhounds

CSM = Centurion, Standard and Musician.
LSM = Leader, Standard and Musician.

Darren's Saxons was something like (approx anyway - must remember to make a note on the day)

1 x 24 Gedricht LSM
1 x 12 Mounted Duguth LSM
1 x 28 Duguth LSM incl General, ASB
1 x 28 Geoguth LSM
3 x Unit of 9 skirmishers (short bows and/or javelins)

The game was a 1,500pt Pitched Battle lasting 6 turns.

Deployment
For a change I think I deployed quite well. The Legionaries were centrally placed with the Auxiliary Infantry on their right flank. The skirmishers were in front, with a pack of hounds on each flank. The Ballista were sited one on each flank. The Archers protected the right-hand ballista. The cavalry were placed on the right flank too.

Darren placed his Saxons with the three big infantry units in the centre, the cavalry on his left flank (facing my cavalry). His skirmishers were placed in front of his infantry units.

The Battle
First turn went to the EIR and they advanced across the board. In reply only the Saxons skirmishers and Mounted Duguth advanced. Turns 2-3 saw a fierce battle develop in the centre of the field as the skirmish lines clashed. Suprisingly, neitehr side would give and this caused some hold up for the Legionaries keen to get to grips with the waiting Saxons. On the Roman left flank the warhounds did well against bow armed skirmishers, tearing them to shreds and then pursuing into a formed unit of Saxons who promptly beat them, causing the hounds to flee the field. On the right flank the disciplined Roman cavalry beat, routed and destroyed their Saxon counterparts, though the fight was close.

Eventually in turn 4 the greater number of barbarian skirmishers prevailed against the Saxons. However, the barbarians pursued in to the waiting Saxon Duguth and Gedricht and so were torn to shreds. But at last the legions had a clear view of the Saxon infantry and wasted no time in bringing them to battle.

However, this is were my plans went slightly awry. Having won the fight against the cavalry and the skirmishers I was perhaps feeling a little too confident. One Legionary unit attacked each of the Geoguth and Duguth but the Gedricht got the charge on the other Legionary unit supported by the formed Auxiliary Infantry. The Gedricht chose to charge the Auxiliaries who were simply no match for the fearsome Saxon killers. The few survivors fleds. The pursuit of the Gedricht took them away from the waiting Legionaries. The combats against the Duguth and Geoguth did not go too well either with the Roman armour seemingly made of paper.

At this point I think I must have had a brain-fart because I forgot the fantastic rule that Romans are stubborn (ignore first break test) so the Legionaries made a run for it and were wiped out ... both units! Ho hum - certainly the best way to learn eh?

The remaining unit of Legionaries and the few Auxiliary cavalry were no match for the massed Saxons and the game finished as a massive victory for the dreaded 'Sais'.

Conclusion
Another very enjoyable game! I'm really beginning to like the WAB rules and armies. The result is a much better wargame, in my opinion, than WFB. I really must prepare for battles more thoroughly and make sure I remember any important special rules.

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