The REAL Last Game of 2018 - unless I have another one on Monday!
Turns out the title of my earlier blog was somewhat premature, as my friend Nick kindly invited a couple of us over to his place for game of Hail Caesar on Friday 28 Dec. We had all played these rules previously, but quite some time ago, so this was a test/learning game as much as anything else.
The scenario was loosely 12/13th century Hungarians against a random assortment of Eastern Steppe peoples - Nick provided the Hungarians (beautifully painted and based as is his wont) whilst Andrew and I combined to provide a purely mounted army of Cataphracts, medium cavalry and horse archers. My contribution was from my all female Dark Ages army - my figures are all Eureka with the exception of one command figure. The points were 502 on our side to 589 on Nicks.
Nick won the initiative but sportingly let Andrew and me go first. My horse archers advanced three operations, fired on a unit of foot archers, and disordered them. Andrew on our left flank advanced three units of light cav again for three operations and got right up in the face of some of Nicks cavalry opposing him. His arrows forced one unit back to the table edge.
In Nicks first turn, he forgot to do initiative moves first and rolled badly for the units opposing me - so basically they did nothing. On Andrews front, his light/medium cavalry on our left flank forced all Andrews to pull back - whilst in the centre, his extra heavy cavalry (Cataphract equivalents) drove off some covering light cavalry - they rolled for three moves again and rode right off the edge of the table (luckily under these rules they can come back on again!) - then crashed into Andrews heavies (who had unfortunately BOTH been disordered by the passage through their lines of the fleeing lights!)
An epic melee ensued over the remainder of the game which eventually saw Andrew loose both his heavy units whilst Nick lost one of his four. On my side of the table, Nicks solid wedge of infantry advanced in base to base contact so they all supported each other, the front rank comprising archers who combined with more horse archers and skirmishers in the woods to discomfit all my light cavalry and force them back. My solid line of medium and heavy cavalry confronted this move but could not get the number of actions to carry out a charge - which would probably have ended badly but it would have been nice to see what happened - alas, it was not to be - after 4 hours play, we had completed 3 moves but decided to call it a day, with the Hungarians the winners.
Here are the images from the game
Nicks wonderfully painted and based Medieval infantry
Some supporting light cavalry archers
My contribution to the game - Cataphracts, Medium and Light cavalry
My leader figure - who has featured on this blog previously!
The Hungarian camp, complete with at least one "follower" in yellow dress
Nicks heavy cavalry arrayed for battle
My first move - light cavalry rush forward three moves (36 inches) and disorder one of Nick units
In the centre - Andrews cavalry advance rapidly too
On our left flank, another 36 inch move took Andrews horse archers right up to Nicks line
Behind the screen of archers, an ominous rumble as the heavy cavalry advance, knee to knee
In the centre, Nicks first move - his four units of heavy cavalry come surging forwards
After a couple of rounds of melee, Andrews heavies have been pushed back behind the light horse archers again
Close up of the victorious Hungarian heavy cavalry
The action continues in another turn as the Steppe people are gradually forced back
On my flank, a solid wall of infantry and archers advance and drive off my light horse
My flank from another angle, Nick inveigled his bow armed skirmishers into the flanking woods and rained arrows down on my unfortunate light horse
A solitary unit of horse archers faces a wall of steel
My heavy and medium cavalry reposition to attempt a charge against Nick infantry
Annoying skirmishers in the woods
Action in the centre is dominated by the Hungarian heavy cavalry
The final clash of the heavies - Andrews second unit was destroyed
Hungarians run rampant in the middle of the battlefield
The left flank as the game draws to a close
One final shot of my second line of cavalry, who failed to roll sufficiently low for a three action turn and were thus unable to charge the Hungarian infantry - who knows what might have happened if they had made it in?
A great way to spend one of my days off work over the Christmas/summer break here in New Zealand - the plan is to have several more games using these rules so we can become reasonably competent in them and able to run through most of the phases without constant reference to the rule book!