Tony, Steve and Dave deployed their Norman army first with the bulk of their cavalry on their right wing and the infantry centre and left. In response, Tim, Mick and myself stretch our infantry from wing to wing and kept our cavalry behind the centre behind a very useful area of woodland.
Between us Brits, we agreed a policy of letting them come to us and launch a counter-attack when the opportunity arose. This policy lasted approximately 3 minutes! Mick, in command of our left wing insisted on advancing his infantry forward, pushing one unit into a very exposed, unsupported position. Despite Tim and my protestations, Mick insisted that he knew what he was doing! This provided a ‘worm on a hook’ for Steve and Tony who couldn’t resist taking out this exposed unit of infantry with their cavalry. The attack went against our left wing in force and without some urgent response we were facing a very swift defeat.
In the centre the missile infantry of both sides closed and started shooting at other while on the other wing, Tim and Dave lined-up against each other without engaging, which, as things turned out, became key to the outcome of the game.
I shuffled all the cavalry and 2 generals from the rear of our centre across to support Mick on our left where a maelstrom of carnage was underway, as Tony and Steve made their very best effort to smash Micks units back towards the table edge. Through some incredibly stubborn resistance, Mick held on long enough until the relief force from the centre arrived. But, the situation on our left still demanded more and more units which could only come from Tim’s wing. For the next few game turns I acted as a conduit passing Tim’s more mobile units from right to left behind my very thin shooting line towards Mick’s hard pressed left wing.
Tim moved across his one and only general towards the centre which left a very tenuous command and control line to the few units left of his defensive line – the majority had been sent across to aid Mick’s ongoing battle on our hard pressed left. Mick, was having a great time, grinning as casualties amassed on both sides, and with 3 of our 4 generals at his disposal. He won two challenging ‘must win’ combats in a row, which removed 2 opposition units and a general, and suddenly after nearly an hour of just about holding on, Mick found himself now advancing against his retreating opponents.
By this stage of the game Tim’s sterling defence, out-numbered 2:1 by Dave’s infantry was beginning to crumble. With the assistance of the captured road enabling quicker movement, we switched our units across to attack Dave’s infantry on the other wing. The relief force had arrived – better late than never! Another slogging match ensued in which we now had the advantage in both numbers and generals resulting in a very hard fought win to our Romano British.
This game turned into real thumping match, mostly fought on one half of the table with Mick launching more and more of Tim and my units into a desperate fight which we though was already lost. However, somehow with some very timely dice rolls and 3 generals at his disposal he eventually gained the upper hand. It certainly wasn’t pretty but somehow the Brits ground out a very hard fought victory in a very close game indeed, and not one that could be easily repeated.
The opening reminded me of the Father Brown sketch in which Father Dougal is told NOT to touch the red button ... which of course he does, probably not waiting as long as Mick though!
Enjoyed the AAR, I have your Normans on the painting table now (for Hastings 1066).