The Terrible Revenge of the Catalan and Mr J Gallacher!
The horror caused by the Catalan Company, between 1305 and 1307, still sends shivers through the Greek population in the twenty first century. The Albanian “katala” means monster after the auxiliary horsemen feuded with the mercenaries all those centuries ago. Although the ferocity of the Catalan is legendary, it pales into insignificance in comparison to the blood curdling fury that I was to face across the wargames table this Thursday! Being an old school mate of Mr. J. Gallacher could not save me from humiliation. The venom that John had been nursing since our last game was only aggravated by unfounded allegations of shoplifting by the Turkish waiters in Trade Street! I hope the gentle reader doesn’t think I am exaggerating….
The chosen rules set was of course DBA. We usually play Big Battle DBA with thirty six elements and our famous “Freikriegenspielencheetenzustoppen” amendments. Each command has a command roll which can be freely interchanged, unless the general is in contact or routing. Also, demoralised commands will fight with a minus one modifier but a “pip” is needed to hold troops not in combat.
John’s choice of the Sicilians gave him twelve elements of heavily armoured Iberian Knights that he placed on the flanks. His almughavars were massed on his right, with communal crossbowmen and more of the dreaded mercenary company in the centre. Blood-thirsty, double-dealing and slippery, there was no other choice than the Turks for me. I think the recent run of Renaissance games is beginning to affect me. In my centre I placed my heavy guns and elite Jannisaries. Would the epitome of cautious play be tempted into charging? Two ranks of light and medium horse flanked my knight destroying artillery park……..
With good pips, the aggressive Turks careered forward. Perhaps ‘trundled’ is a better word when one considers the monstrous size of the Ottoman cannons.
But, Mr Slippery was already scheming! He left his right-wing Almughavars hugging the baseline and brought his heavy horse to assail my lightly armed skirmishers.
Looking nervously around for support from their social betters, the Turkish light horsemen could gain confidence from the massacre of the Sicilian centre.
The Iberian wild-men capture the hillock. The Catalans pursue the Turkish bowmen and barrel into the supporting Turkish cavalry. Now my centre is broken. Just to add insult to injury, my Azabs,in the hills to my right, ambush the jinetes but are mown down in the open!