For anyone who hasn't seen it on the PAWS Yahoo list, the theme for the PAWS Winter DBA on 2 December 2017 is
How Holy is my Roman Empire? Central Europe in the 12th Century AD (1101 – 1200 AD)
III/1a Northern Slav III/40b Viking (not Manx or Dublin, so no Irish Ax) III/40d Leidang III/53 Eastern Frankish III/63a Early Polish III/68ab Early Hungarian III/73ab Communal Italian III/77 Papal IV/4ab Feudal French IV/5ab Sicilian IV/13ab Medieval German IV/13e Free Canton Allied contingents must be restricted to the same list as the main armies
Usual start time, 1.00 pm, at Stacey Community Centre in Copnor, Portsmouth.
Played about 5 - 6 hours yesterday, using the armies from the theme. All sorts of results......but the one thing we (Colin, Richard and I) are agreed on is that we no longer feel we know the rules, especially conforming and shooting in terrain. A few clarifications from Bill pre kick off might be in order.
Thanks to Bill for organising, and the good competition with an excellent group of people.
Did the Early Poles win through in the end?
Yes they did! Mark’s Early Poles and their Early Hungarian ally made short work of the Leidang despite a promising Viking littoral landing and Mark charging in on not brilliant odds. A few players were still around to applaud the victor as he received his trophy and some Xyston unpainted figures. Congratulations to Mark.
The turnout was good (14?), I only had one draw and enjoyed some good games despite my Feudal French (IV/4b) having to play against all the other 3 Feudal French armies in my 5 games. Civil wars are often hard work and dull but the die fell well for me at several crucial points in those games – as my opponents will, I’m sure, agree.
I pondered over taking the 5 Hd or the Arty and went for the arty which served me well, placing it in my camp in one game to help counter an expected littoral landing, but it was the classic combination of Kn, Bd and Bw that brought my victories.
Thanks to the PAWS team for hosting the last tournament of 2017. Runners and riders will follow, I expect, along with the results table.
A good attendance at Portsmouth for the 12th Century Holy Roman Empire theme, with 14 players and an umpire/organiser. We got to play five group stage games each, then a final ensued for the group winners. I took a Norse Leidang army (stay-at-home Vikings), which had a pair of knightly elements (general plus one), a single fast blade ‘raider’ (3Bd) and some peasant archers (2 x 3Bw). The remaining bulk of the army was solid, steady sword and axe wielders- huscarl and bondi types (7 x 4Bd). I chose it because it was nothing too fancy, but a steady shieldwall style force with the added ability to deploy from boats, if the terrain permitted ( ie ‘littoral’), and also because, as Scandinavian armies in the C12th weren’t quick to catch up with European military developments elsewhere, it allowed me to use troops from my much-loved old Donnington Anglo-Danish/Saxon/Norman armies, from the 1066 era, painted way way back in the mid to late 1980’s. Main downside was expected to be the prevalence of knight-heavy opponents, who have an annoying habit of steamrollering blades at inopportune moments...... and it went like this:-
Game 1) Denis Grey’s East Franks invaded, and found me deployed near the coast with a fort protecting my left flank. The Norse raiders and archers landed and tried to harass Denis’s left, but were ineffectual. He then launched a frontal assault with heavy cavalry upon a double rank of Leidang blades, who crumbled in rapid succession for a 4-0 loss (maybe 5-0?).
Game 2) We unwisely invaded vs Lindon Paxton’s Feudal French, a heady mix of knights, bows, spears and blades. My peasant archers shot a couple of the French chivalry from their lofty saddles, and a running fight developed on a gentle hill on my left. It was touch and go for a time, until the Norse general unwisely launched a charge, was drawn into a swirling melee, surrounded and killed. Other clashes brought this game to a conclusion on a 2-4+general defeat.
Game 3) More Eastern Franks, under Terry Ellis this time, and we invaded Frankia. A steep and rocky hill anchored my right flank, the Norse peasant archers and raiders denying it to Terry throughout the battle despite frequent assaults. The archers had picked off a random knight element early in the game, and Terry subsequently redeployed his main line further from this hilly stronghold. When the Frankish charge hit the Norse shieldwall fate dealt me a little more luck than in previous games. The Frankish charge was repulsed, and Terry’s knight general destroyed in close combat with my huscarls (a drawn combat score, knight vs blade, results in death to the knights). Elsewhere my general was unable to trample some enemy skirmishers in the open (wimp....), and sunset brought a 2+general to nil winning draw.
Game 4) Medieval German Free Cantons next, under Oli Curant. A German ally of 3 x knights accompanied the enemy loose formation spearmen (6 x 3Pk, inc their general). Both armies used amphibious assaults, the Norse one of archers and raiders giving the German ally a hard time before Oli’s lighter equipped boatmen intervened, surrounding and slaughtering the Norse swordsmen (3Bd). Elsewhere the Free Canton ‘fast pikemen’ rapidly close on my shieldwall, pushing into my formation and threatening to burst through. However, the huscarls managed to close around the advancing pike block and eventually broke it (4-1 win).
Game 5) and MORE East Franks, generalled by Tim Moore, this time in my home territory. Home match advantage allowed me the opportunity to deploy my archers from ships once again, well within range of Tim’s milites (/knights). While the shieldwall plodded forward in the centre, a series of lucky shots from the salt encrusted Norse bowmen brought down the Frankish general and an accompanying element of knights. Command problems then followed for the leaderless Franks, until a ‘six’ for movement allowed Tim an all out assault on the landing troops. Luckily for me the enemy horsemen were repulsed, and in the following shooting phase a lone Frankish cavalry element fell, giving me a 3+general-0 victory.
So, five see-saw battles, some luck, some misfortune and a shining performance overall from the Norse bowmen, possibly the most productive part of my army. Two wins, two losses and a winning draw. A great way to spend an afternoon.