The Ottoman army was typical of the period with nine units of Sipahis and Akinci bow-armed light and medium cavalry and large numbers of infantry consisting of azab archers and spearmen. In contrast, the Hungarian army had 9 units of heavy cavalry accompanied by a mixed infantry force of archers, crossbows, two units of warwagons and accompanying handgunners. Because of the relatively high points of the heavy cavalry, to bulk up the numbers, the Hungarians had 6 units of peasants at only 3 points per unit. This balanced the points cost of the 2 armies at 275 points and also brought the number of units in each army to a more even balance.
Chris deployed his Ottomans first and spread his battle line across the width of the table with all his cavalry concentrated on his left and all the infantry on the right. My Hungarian deployment was centred on the middle of my table edge with the heavy cavalry units spread across the deployment line and my infantry missile troops divided on either wing and the warwagons in the centre.
Chris moved first and his Ottoman cavalry moved up quickly against my right wing and the quick moving Akinci light cavalry already threatened to sweep round behind me. His infantry advanced to take up position on a slope stretching across the width of the table in the centre and his right. In response I advanced my infantry in the centre and sent most of my units of peasants to my right to hold and defend two areas of woodland to counter the outflanking move of the Akincis. The Hungarian heavy cavalry were held back in reserve.
As the two sides closed to shooting range it soon became apparent that my best option would be to launch a massed heavy cavalry charge in the centre with the aim of splitting the Ottoman army in the middle, and thus divide the cavalry from the infantry. I had made the mistake of splitting my missile infantry so as to engage with both the Ottoman cavalry and infantry wings and both groups of Hungarian shooters would be quickly out-shot by their far more numerous opponents.
The Hungarian Knights charged in! Well, against the Ottoman infantry; the Sipahis cavalry simply evaded out of the way and positioned themselves ready to shoot as the charge inevitably fell short! The Ottoman infantry withstood the Hungarian cavalry charge rather well recoiling a couple of units through accurate shooting. The ensuing hand-to-hand combat between infantry and cavalry on balance went in favour of the Ottomans, which as a result forced me into committing most of the Hungarian cavalry and 3 of the 4 generals against the stubborn Ottoman infantry.
Meanwhile on the other wing my peasants were doing a great job of holding the woodland and keeping the Akinci light cavalry units from encircling my centre. Units of peasants were losing lots of stands, recoiling and fleeing disrupted all over the place, while being shot to pieces. But they were still plugging the hole!
Often games can be decided on a single roll of a dice, and in my opinion, and I am sure Chris would agree, this was one. My heavy cavalry charge had effectively stalled and the massed Ottoman infantry surrounded 2 of my generals and their Hungarian Knights. On a double-dice roll-off between two generals I rolled 11 and Chris 3! There was no justice in this which resulted in the disruption of all of the Ottoman infantry units involved in the combat. The once stalled charge of the Hungarian knights was reinvigorated which eventually lead to the destruction of the whole of the Ottoman infantry wing.
While this was taking place the Ottoman cavalry had been gradually whittling down their Hungarian opponents with steady shooting as the Hungarian missile armed infantry were now so reduced in number as to be rendered ineffective. The slow moving warwagons and their accompanying handgunners had not fired a shot all game as Chris carefully avoided them with his much faster and more agile cavalry.
The Akici light horse finally removed the obstinate peasants to arrive behind the rear of the Hungarian army, but by then the Ottoman infantry were gone and the Hungarian units simply turned to face them.
Nine units Ottoman cavalry and 2 generals remained on the table free to move and pick-off any Hungarian infantry or cavalry brave enough to leave the central pack which was once the Hungarian army. The Hungarians had more units remaining but with very few missile troops and no cavalry fast enough to catch the elusive bow-armed Sipahis and Akicis the game ended in a very hard fought and entertaining draw.
When the massed Hungarian heavy cavalry failed to break the line of Ottoman spearmen and their charge stalled, Chris’s opportunity to destroy 2 generals and 2 units of Hungarian Knights slipped away with a very lucky dice roll for the Hungarians. This was the clearest opportunity throughout the game for either side to win. The reversal eventually resulted in the loss of the entire Ottoman infantry which swallowed-up all the Hungarian reserves in order to complete this task. However, the Ottoman light and medium cavalry were never successfully challenged at any point during the game. They gradually whittled down the Hungarians by bow fire, carefully avoiding hand-to-hand combat and out-shot and effectively neutralised the opposing missile troops.