Friday, 11 February 2011

Storming Normans

Having managed to paint my Normans they were put to the test at the York Impetus Tournament last weekend. I had planned to do a more in-depth post cataloguing the three battles from the tournament in detail but as a week has nearly past and I have yet to find the time I thought a shorter post outlining the lesson learnt would by more achievable. I also apologise for the lack of photos but in the excitement I forgot to take any.

Having seven units of cavalry against two to four I was the attacker in every game. This meant that my opponents got to place the initial terrain. As expected they tried to cover the flanks as much as possible with woods which meant that my single choice to move/remove one item of terrain was always to open up one flank.

In the first game this played into my opponents hand. Steve fielded a Romano-British Army whose strength lay in four large units of long spears. Using his Genius level General he was able to deploy them after my Knights and take up position opposite. Successfully covering his flank I was drawn on to his spears where my Knights were easily taken down. Luckily, his attempt to counter attack with his cavalry was stopped by my missile troops in the centre allowing me to hold out for a draw. A key lesson here was the need to mix up my infantry and cavalry more when uncertain about the enemies deployment in order to prevent a complete mismatch. The impetuous nature of the Knights means they cannot be moved easily to a different part of the field once the battle commences.

The next game was against Phil's Carthaginians. Have used Carthaginians a lot in the recent ancients campaign so I know the army well. The key to defeating them is to target the Punic infantry and cavalry as their mercenary troops do not count significantly towards their break point. The Carthaginian deployment left enough room for my light horse and a unit of Knights to get around the flank of the Punic Spearmen. The dice then fell favourably for me in two successive charges which saw half the Carthaginian army destroyed and the rest in flight. Key lesson from this battle was that impetuous troops are required to either move wheel towards the enemy or more straight forward in their first move. By starting the Knights at an angle towards the side of the board the can quickly get round the enemy flank.

The third battle was against Kelly's Early Germans. We had fought each other the previous Thursday as a warm up for the tournament so were familiar with each others armies. Kelly's army has two commands, one infantry and one cavalry, so I knew that routing the infantry command would break the whole army. Leaving my bulk of my infantry to hold off his cavalry I sent the Knights against the Warband on the flank. Using the same manoeuvre as the second battle I was able to threaten their flank. In order to counteract this the central Warband turn to assist the flank but in doing so exposed its flank to the central Norman force consisting of spearmen and light cavalry. Being charged in either flank was enough to rout the Germans. Key lesson here was that just threatening the enemy flank was enough to force them into an error.

A fully enjoyable day and three interesting battles. One draw and two big victories was more than i could have hoped. The results for the tournament can be found on the Impetus website. This weekend I am down Oxford to take part an Impetus historical battles day so i'll let you know how that goes next week.

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