A great weekend of 15mm LadG doubles was had by Steve & I over at Firestorm Games in Cardiff. The event was of course, Godendag, the Tercio’s annual tribute to our spiritual sensei, Richard Bodley Scott This years Godendag was 300pts of 15mm armies drawn from the later Classical period – so from the Hellenistic world through to the Fall of Rome. All organised most capably by that Mike Baldwin fellow and Colin Cavanagh – “gawd bless ’em!!!’
As Steve & I knew we had no time to do any practice ahead of the event, he suggested that we go for Franks, Alamanni, Burgundi, Suevi army No.96 (the one with all the ferocious axe throwing heavy infantry warband types) and as I had the army (only requiring the addition of a couple of generals) it seemed like a sound plan. We went for the Frankish option from the list as all the HF could be upgraded to elite, and we also bought Clovis (496-511AD) as a Strategist – which turned out to be a really good use of points in the end.
We had considered using a Classical Indian (the Gupta variant) instead, as at 300pts the army list mins & max are multiplied by 1.5 – so that would have given us 9 elite Elephants and 6 HC impact elite + 9 Bowmen. But insanity prevailed and we went & committed ourselves to the Frank. Steve said he didn’t want to sit on the base-line any longer and in the end the Frank gave us 4 fast and aggressive games with our infantry getting within a move of the enemy baseline in two of them.
The Frank is a pretty 1 dimensional army – as we picked 22 bases of HF elite impetuous swordsmen + 4 HC elite + 4 LF bow and 1 LF javelin (the latter for dealing with enemy elephants – of which surprisingly there was only 1 in the competition). We had Clovis, as a Strategist and 3 other Ordinary commanders. However, Clovis was a really good choice as we ended up winning the terrain choice in 3 out of 4 games, and he allowed us to pick all 5 terrain pieces (as the defender) but still attempt to move 1. He also allowed us to place 3 ambush markers instead of 2 as well.
Saturday (Game 1) – we played against Nigel Poole & “friend’ who were using a Middle Imperial Roman.
In true Nigel fashion he’d gone for as many fully upgraded legionaries as possible, so all were armoured, with rear support and 6 out of 12 were elite. This is a tough army for the Frank as the Roman legionaries are almost the worst possible enemy for our infantry (see game 4). We also handy-capped ourselves by putting our cavalry division on a flank march … which caused us some concern as our casualties mounted, as by being off-table they reduce your armies break-point, until they (hopefully) come on. So it was relief that after 4 turns they appeared and charged into the rear of the Roman MF auxilia … and that as they say, “was that!”. We broke the Roman army, giving us the game. But we’d suffered 28 casualties – so it was a close run thing.
As we’d done with the Middle Imperial Roman we won the terrain choice and chose to defend in Forest terrain, ending up shortening our frontage by choosing a Waterway, a Wood, a Steep Hill (covered with a wood), a Marsh and a piece of Impassable. This allowed us to put our Camp in a corner next to the waterway & out of harms way, but also enabled us to advance rapidly and take the attack to our opponents.
Needless to say, cracking deployment and a series of 1 sided melees left our enemy in tatters after only 4 turns, as the Frankish infantry held all the Roman and allied Alani charging HC on impact and then proceeded to chop them into cat-food. Tim & Kevin also sent 8 cavalry units on a flank march that hadn’t turned up by the time we broke their army. Ending up with a massive 36-4 victory for us (which was nice … oh how we chuckled – & we shall wait and see how the Madaxeman blog reports this slaughter). I did have to empathize with Tim when in one turn he threw 6 straight D:1s for his Alani noble HC in combat, whilst I was throwing 4,5 & 6’s.
So a good days gaming had been had and both games actually lasted under 2 hours each – a result of aggressive play and our terrain choices really channeling our opponents into the jaws of death with our Frankish warriors. Below, Mike allowed us to practise our acceptance speech….
Sunday (Game 3) dawned sodden, pouring with rain, grey & overcast – as only welsh weather knows how and saw us facing an African Vandal. Historically accurate as an enemy, our opponents Richard Young and Charles Masefield had selected an almost all heavy cavalry force, but with 2 small commands of LH, designed to cramp our maneuverability on one flank, as the HC aimed to hit us like a hammer on the other. This time we lost the terrain choice & ended up fighting on a Plain- but again the terrain deployment favored us, (but I still hadn’t managed to deploy my Frankish village – that never appeared throughout the event). This was another tough fight, but this time our smaller commands of just 6 HF and the 4 HC faced the wrath of 12 elite impetuous HC. However, we held on long enough and inflicted enough damage (whilst Clovis and the 2 larger Frankish infantry commands chased a host of Moorish & Alan LC across the other flank) to give us a winning draw, but once again our dice had held up and tactically we managed to use our LF to lure the enemy cavalry into impetuous charges onto the axes of our Frankish warriors.
Sunday (Game 4) – now we were in real trouble as we faced Dave Allen and Gordon Jamieson – who were leading the score table, with their Warring State Southern Dynasty Chinese army. This is a fiendish mix of elite Cataphracts, MC bow, LH bow, MF impetuous swordsmen, MF swordsmen HCW, archers, crossbows, LMI javelins and, oh yes, an Elephant! So almost the opposite of our simple army. Again, we won the terrain choice and defended in a Forest, but this time failed to get our much needed Waterway to reduce the playing frontage. However, we managed to block off a flank with the Impassable terrain feature and as we rushed eagerly forwards the cunning Chinese started to withdraw and refuse a flank in front of our main infantry command. Things were looking pretty evenly matched until their six elite Cataphracts hit our infantry and our Warriors hit their HCW halberdiers … and then it all started to go horribly wrong.
Over the course of 3-4 turns of combat our infantry ended up in tatters (some really poor dice rolls contributing hugely to this) and the effect of the Cataphracts heavy armour and being elite and the extra plus 1 factor for HCW winning in melee meant we were soon racking up multiple hits per combat turn. Steve threw our HC into the fray and started to do some serious damage to the Chinese MC and Cataphracts, and Clovis lead a charge into the 4th Chinese infantry division that was now just 2 moves from its own base line defending their Camp – inflicting multiple casualties and unit losses in the process – including killing the Elephant – but by then it was all too late. Our central infantry divisions had both collapsed and we had reached our 31 point break-point, but had inflicted 26 casualties – so an honorable defeat.
In the end we came 4th – with Dave & Gordon winning the competition with the Warring State Chinese. So we felt that our honour had been satisfied, especially as we had only played 4 competition games. Winning the terrain 3 times out of 4 had been very helpful and our dice throwing had also been exceptional (for 3 out of 4 games) as against the African Vandal our opponents had been cursing the numbers of 6’s we’d been throwing – until we caught one of their integral generals in combat and beat him in melee, only for Steve to promptly throw a D:1 to kill him (which was nice) … ho ho ho.
Biography- Mark Fry is an established writer for the Despertaferres organisation. His frequent posts and flamboyant lifestyle choices have made him a form favourite. More from the less gifted members of the bandera to follow…