I suppose in wrestling terms this is very much a ‘catchweight’ contest between two very different armies – the longbow and heavy knights of the English v the mobile archers of the Korean cavalry and spear and firearms of their infantry.
The terrain pieces were chosen and placed by Andre and his young helper while the 4 of us who were going to play the game looked on or when for drinks from the bar. It was with some surprise and a little trepidation that we found ourselves confronted with a battlefield which comprised of two very large central forests with only a two hex wide gap between them – very challenging terrain indeed!
Karl and I deployed our Korean army first having chosen our table edge, with our cavalry, the cream of our army, facing the largest open area on our right flank. Unfortunately, by deploying second, the English players, (Tony and Dave), placed their mounted knights on the opposite side of the table to our cavalry, which left a line of longbow facing our cavalry.
Opening moves saw the English knights advance and our infantry which started to form a defensive line against them. At this point Karl suggested advancing our cavalry against the longbow, but against Karl’s better judgement I insisted that our mounted archers needed to be switched across to the other flank to shoot away the English knights. This silly idea turned the game into something equivalent to ‘the bay of pigs’ and our cavalry suffered the same fate as the charge of the light brigade! The large woods left no space for the horse archers to deploy in order to shoot their opponents, the English knights soon smashed through the Korean infantry, before knocking back the Korean cavalry domino fashion – each recoiling unit disrupting the one behind!
By this stage of the game Karl was hardly impressed with my ‘superlative’ generalship and decided to use his three remaining Korean cavalry units to attack the English longbow on the other wing. He proceeded to quickly dispatch two longbow units and force the rest to pull back towards their centre. Meanwhile, the rest of the infantry from both sides were fighting it out in the large central wood and with the Korean left flank caving-in, the Korean infantry were soon disappearing into the casualty tray as quickly as their cavalry.
We struggled on for a few more game turns hoping for some luck with the dice in key combats but got no joy with these either. We were resigned to our defeat in less than an hour and a half, but in truth, when Tony advanced his knights and I chose to try switch wings with our horse archers to meet them, it was really game over for us after the third move. Karl could have smashed the English infantry with all the Korean cavalry if I hadn’t stolen most of them to fight a hopeless situation on our left. It might not have won the game for us, but it would have made it a much closer fight!
The two very large central woodland areas were the dominant feature of the game. The Korean (our) initial deployment was poor. My decision to switch the Korean cavalry from wing to wing was totally disastrous and Tony sealed our fate with two quick advances with his knights.