Sunday, 29 May 2016

Normans on tour!

Over the weekend, 10 of us from the Hutt Club played a 350 point Impetus competition. You can read the full report from Triple T who (graciously) organized it here.

I was running my brave Normans which I finished recently. My list was:

Poor General
Mounted Milites
Mounted Milites
Mounted Milites
Mounted Bretons
Skirmishing Breton Javelinmen

Poor General
Mounted Milites
Mounted Milites
Mounted Crossbowmen
Skirmishing Breton Javelinmen

Poor General
Foot Knights
Flemish Infantry
Flemish Infantry
Flemish Infantry
Flemish Infantry
Skirmishing Archers

I also grabbed a couple of destiny rerolls, just in case!

So that was my list- what about everyone else? Well, they seemed to be either similar to me (Teutonic Order, or English Knights), filled with long spear (hoplites, scots, pikes) or with lots of shooting (welsh, mongols and turks). In short, it was going to be a tough weekend for the Normans...

So, with my two practice games having been completed against the English, it became clear that my Normans had successfully invaded England, and were now seeking further lands to conquer....

Game One: McBeth, with Scots
So, game time!

McBeth was running Scots, who were in turn led by McBeth. Which, is surprisingly not as complicated as it sounds.

His army was made up of people with pointy sticks and some Norman mercenaries who got a bit lost after we conquered the English. Clearly, our brave (brave) horsemen were just going to run over these peasants with sticks, claiming Scotland as our own.

The plan was simple:
Knights go on the left flank, infantry on the right. One command of knights stays on the left, the other goes to the right. Smashy smashy, choppy choppy, then we head off home for an ale.

The left flank, in the starting gates

The dastardly McBeth, and his equally dastardly Scots....
So, the game got off to a rip roaring start. We rolled to see who would get the first turn. Simon rolled a 12. On his Charismatic General. So that would add up to 16 then. For me to beat on 2d6. Good.

His second command roll was an 11.

His third command roll was a 10. To which I rolled a double 1, making my poor general, even poorer.

And that was basically sums up the dice for our game. In fact, of the 18 command rolls we contested. I won one. In fact, I even lost a command roll when I rolled a double six!

So, I definitely didn't have the initiative, but I did have a plan.

The cavalry surged forward

Meeting his cavalry head on (10 dice of charging knights vs light troops, that was no hits....)

Charging through and hitting the Vikings behind them
 While this was happening, the infantry battle started in earnest
Crossbowmen boldly taking on the enemy foot units.... It didn't go well for them.
And to be honest, the less said about the infantry battle the better. My spearmen weren't really up to much, their more numerous counterparts were much better at getting into proper ranks and smashing their way through.

So, back to the horses, how was that going?

Well, badly. My first cavalry command killed some light cavalry, and then decided that charging Vikings was just the done thing. Turns out they can go into Shieldwall. Which is really not that ideal for me, in that it meant my cavalry didn't get an impetus bonus, and proceeded to crumble like a dried biscuit.

But not to worry, William the Conquerer himself got involved!

He rode bravely up to the enemy Norman Knights, and reminded them that he was the one true king. They promptly changed sides, and were removed from the table. The Scots knights behind them got such a shock, that they were unprepared when William's knights charged into them, obliterating them from the field of battle. The remnants of the light horse behind them didn't stand a chance against a grumpy William, and promptly fell to the charging cavalry.

Back on the infantry side, the Norman spearmen were doing their best impression of a house of cards.

Back to the cavalry.

Having smashed the entire Scot Cavalry command single handedly, William proceeded to charge the Vikings, in the flank no less.

Shield wall this!
This glorious charge was cut short by Simon and his dice. One would say being attacked by TWO Norman knight units, one in the flank would be a bit of a problem for most people. Not so Simon and his dice.

The Vikings had to make a cohesion test, with a target number of 1. Simon rolled a 1.

The Vikings had to make a cohesion test, with a target number of 1. Simon rolled a 1.

The Vikings had to make a cohesion test, with a target number of 1. Simon rolled a 3.

The Vikings had to make a cohesion test, with a target number of 1, or be finally destroyed from the game. Simon rolled a 1.

And at this point, my army packed up and went home. Mainly because Simon had killed all of it.

Result: Loss. Horrible, horrible loss. At least I killed his Cavalry.

Game Two: Pelarel, and the Welsh
So, after having lunch and thinking about it, the Normans decided that Scotland was too cold, and we didn't want it anyway.

Instead, we thought Wales might be nicer this time of year.

Pelarel's Welsh met us at the border, armed primarily with longbows and bad attitudes.

So, just like against the Scots, the Normans hatched a cunning plan....

Knights go on the left flank, infantry in the middle and knights on the right flank. Smashy smashy, choppy choppy, then we head off home for an ale.

Given that Pelarel had brought every Welshman from the local area, and they all seemed to have a longbow, this was going to be a game of whether the knights could smashy smashy, before they became pincushions.

The Norman batteline
The Norman traffic jam
And with that, we were off. The Normans all surged forward one move, not wanting to risk becoming disordered before getting shot at...

And the Welsh promptly shot at me. Luckily, the welsh were off the mark.

And then the Normans advanced again, my cunning plan of sending the skirmishers forward to attack his Longbowmen got promptly stopped by some opportunity charging Welsh cavalry.

Who I promptly charged right back.

The same unit from late in the game. This combat actually lasted 5 turns, with neither of us able to hurt each other. Sigh.
The left flank for me turned into a swirling melee, as my cavalry got pincushioned by archers, and then tried to charge and kill them (hint, it didn't go well).

Pictured: Worst combatants ever. My light cavalry with 1 VBU left. My heavy cavalry with 1 VBU left. His Welsh Cavalry with 3 VBU left. And no one could roll the 6 they needed to kill the other.

Luckily, the right flank was doing very well with the charging and the smashing, crunching their way through light infantry and longbowmen before ending up killing his camp.

But the clincher was when Pelarel's light infantry ran out to attack the advancing spearmen, the light infantry commander promptly got his head stuck onto a spear, which the rest of the command thought was a bit rough, so they went home, and would file a formal complaint in the morning.

And that meant the poor longbowmen were now facing some grumpy Norman infantry, who hadn't been softened up anywhere near enough for them to beat in hand to hand combat.

Result: A win! But mostly due to dice.

Game Three: Scotty and the Turks
Fresh from the conquest of the Welsh, William got to thinking of where to invade next. Deciding on somewhere warmer, and with the Crusades all the rage at the moment, he headed south, to the Middle East.

Where we encountered Scotty and his Turks. Scotty had a small army, made up of lots of elite units. They had harquebuses, composite bows and fancy hats. All things I was very jealous of.

Needless to say, I had a plan:

Knights go on the tight flank, infantry on the left. One command of knights stays on the right, the other goes to the left. Smashy smashy, choppy choppy, then we head off home for an ale.

Conveniently, I placed a hill right in front of my knights, in the hope that it would prevent me from being pincushioned before my Knights could charge.

This is the first move- Cavalry charge!

So, all that was left was to sound the horn, and start the charge. My infantry waddled forward, with the two cavalry commands surging up to the hill. Again, we kept ourselves to one move, not wanting to be disordered in front of all of that shooting.

And then I got shot.

Which, although annoying, didn't cause me any damage.

Buoyed on by this, the Normans charged again!

One of the knights in the lead command raced forward to charge some Azab archers, introducing them to the hooves on their warhorses. Having now broken a hole in the lines, they kept going until they reached another unit of Azab archers, where they promptly stuck and never moved again.

And this is how they ended the battle, doing what they loved... trampling peasants

Not wanting to be out done, the other Milites unit in that command got to charging too. First, there was some light horse. Then some other horse. And then, it had a good go at the camp!

As for the second knight command, they promptly got to charging too, rampaging around trying to destroy the enemy while not getting shot at.

Best way to not get shot at? Be in hand to hand combat
The skirmishing Javelinmen were incredibly annoying for Scotty, running round throwing sticks at things and then running away while the Knights charged in behind them.

As for the infantry command? We won't talk about them. See previous games where they have been a house of cards. Luckily, the Knights managed to punch through and do all the damage before the infantry folded!

Result: A win! Knights go smashy smashy!

And with that, my tournament was over. Tibby pulled out his magic scoring machine, and apparently I had done enough smashy smashy for second place!

But the real prize was that the Normans had now conquered Wales, and the Turks!

So all up, an excellent day playing games. The Normans worked well, I think if I was running the list again, I would try and squeeze in some more Cavalry, they were way more useful than the infantry were!

Still, damn glad I didn't have to face the eventual winner Tank Engine and his Mongols!

Assorted Musings
- Of the 9 Generals I had over the 3 games, 5 of them rolled double 1's to become incompetent
- Skirmishers fighting T in forests made for a weird situation where Pelarel's T couldn't shoot, and so just had to sit there getting javelined (which didn't kill them, they sat there until some Milites charged them in the side!
- Impetus looks amazing when everyone has a fully painted army
- Triple T's scoring system was only understood by him. Thousands of points? Now your just making numbers up
- I enjoyed watching McZ's Teutons stomping the Scots enormously
- Short Bow B skirmishers were not points well spent



  1. Short Bow B Skirmisher are an excellent point spend (when you can ONLY have them).

  2. Nice write up Mr P - the Mongols are ready any time you want at them :)

    1. Er... We might stop our expansionist empire at the Middle East thanks....