Post by diades on Sept 26, 2020 16:24:27 GMT
Let us start with some history. In the early eleventh century Stephen had united Hungary and founded the Arpad dynasty; Poland was coalescing, but still a collection of Duchies, the most powerful being Boleslaw the Brave. Boleslaw had won significant territory in Bohemia from the Hungarians. Their war was a stalemate and resolved by the treaty signed at Bautzen in 1018. We decided to recreate one of the conflicts. Here is the outcome as told by Marton, a conscript Slav spearmen in King Stephen's army.
Is this the real life?, or is this just fantasy? I seem to have been caught in a landslide. Youngest boy of serving age in the family I have been turfed off the farm and trained as a spearman in King Stephen's army and now, despite having enjoyed some of my time with my new friends and making the most of the town girls after my army pay, I now realise there is no escape from the reality that I must fight a battle for real.
"Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see", the preacher told us as he blessed us before we set out, but as I have said, I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy because I'm easy come, easy go.
We are to defend our position against the invading Poles. Stephen deploys us on a gentle hill, shuffling us on the slope facing the enemy, a little high, little low. Eventually my unit has its back to the summit with another unit of Spears on our right, with Slav archers (Ps) behind. Beyond them, Serbs (3Ax) backed by Hungarian gentlemen cavalry and then two units of traditional Magyar horse archers. We are honoured that we stand next to King Stephen's knights on our left, who in turn is flanked by two more units of our horse archers. Way off to the left and further forward are two more units of horse archers, another gentle hill will separate them from us if we all advance.
In the distance, Duke Boreslaw has arranged a line of spearmen anchored on their left by some rocky terrain. On their right, archers (3Bw). A distance behind, the duke, supported by druzynnik armoured cavalry. Off to their right opposite our advance left light horse are archers and slingers (Ps) ahead of scrub.
Anyway, the wind blows, and I think nothing really matters to me...yet.
Our right flank light horse form column and head out right.
The enemy spear advance, their archers wheel forward one way then the other to occupy the near side flank of the hill up ahead and Boreslaw canters over behind the gap between them and his spearmen.
Next his archers and slingers advance while he takes up station at the summit of the hill.
His spearmen continue to advance as do his archers. Our light horse to the left of the King form column and retire left towards our left flank to get out of range.
Duke Boreslaw the brave indeed charges our left flank, with archers and slingers supporting either side, beating one of our units back. Both units retire as far as they can. Meanwhile Boreslaw's druzynnik fill the space between the rocks and the spearmen's left, threatening our horse archers out right who move further right to put them in safety.
Both armies are now in three groups.
On our left, four units of light horse face Duke Boreslaw, archers and slingers.
Ahead of the hill to our left, the enemy archers are now peppering my unit with missiles, for we have shuffled left to the edge of our hill. The enemy spear flanked by druzynnik are now to our right and further back than their archers, with our remaining horse archers way out right.
King Stephen now springs our trap, we no longer need to hide behind our shields whilst the enemy force us back with missiles. We charge the enemy archers with our fellow spearmen providing overlap on our right, whilst the Hungarian cavalry and a unit of horse archers join us to attack the other archers to our left. The King and the Serbs guard the hilltop from the enemy druzynnik threatening to outflank our right.
Mama, I just killed a man. Thrust my spear, now he's dead.
Battle is terrible, mama. I felt life had just begun, but now, I've just thrown it all away, the poor man looked in such pain. His unit disengages. To our left the Hungarian cavalry destroy their opponents, whilst our horse archers are repulsed.
Now the enemy spearmen advance and engage our spear to my right, at least their flank is protected by our Slavs still on the hill. Boreslaw races inwards behind his triumphant archers, his light troops following. The druzynnik continue to skirt round the right of the hill.
More enemy missiles force us back again and, horror, our friends are destroyed by the enemy. Mama, oh, didn't mean to make you cry, if I'm not back again this time tomorrow...
"Carry on, carry on" our sergeant cries, as if nothing really matters, but I know we must hold fast, it is turning to run that is the greater danger.
Boreslaw charges the Hungarians to our left, the victorious enemy spear move in front of us to support him and shield their archers. More spear advance up the hill to engage the Slavs, who flee into our King's flank on the summit. Meanwhile our horse archers on the left come forward to counter the enemy slingers and archers.
The Hungarians are destroyed. Too late, I think, my time has come. It sends shivers down my spine and my body's now aching all the time. We back off further.
Meanwhile the enemy druzynnik have charged our camp and destroy it appearing in our rear.
King Stephen valiantly charges downhill at enemy spearmen and destroys them, but then a unit of druzynnik comes back over the hill to catch our fleeing Slavs and destroy them.
This battle is lost. Goodbye everybody, I've got to go, gotta leave you all behind and save my skin. Face the truth, mama, I don't want to die. I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all, but as I said I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me, just gotta get right of here.
Nothing really matters.
Anyway, the wind blows, still.
A 4-2 loss. Very poor early PIPs. Still I sprang a nice move in the middle that might have worked. My spearmen at 5-1 up on the enemy archers only achieved a recoil, had I destroyed them as well as those destroyed by the Hungarian cavalry, well, things would have been interesting.
Marton apologises to Freddie Mercury.