Tonight I deployed for the first time my Macedonian Thematic Byzantine army against Warrens Normans – at 3000ap.
My army list comprised of Basileus, and Imperial ASB and
3 x 12 fig units of Tagmata Heavy Cavalry, Kontarion, Heavy Army Shield etc (1 unit all Kontarion, remainder 50/50 with bow)<br />
1 x 32 Elite Themeta with 8 x Bow, 24x Spear and L Shield, LA
1 x 32 Themeta with 8 x Bow, 24x Spear and L Shield, LA
2 x 24 Themeta, with 12 x Bow, 12 x Spear and L Shield
1 x 21 Varangian guards, Heavy army and Dane Axe
1 x13 Elite Themata Psiloi – Jav
1 x 8 Elite Themata Psiloi with Solnarion
Warrens, from memory was three units of Norman Cav, Lance, heavy armour, Shield, Warhorses, one unit was fronted with Army Gen and ASB, another a count and Bishop and I believe the third was with a Count only, another two units of Light Cav and a third of some other normal cav. 2 units of Spearmen, 2 x 20 fig xBow, 3 units of 8? Bow…
We deployed on a large 8x6ft table, at my (on hindsight stupid) request we only deployed 18 in from table edge, I palced my Cav on the left flank hoping to maximise their abilities there, then layed down 24/32/Varangian/32.24 man spear blocks fronted with the psioloi
Warren mirrored my Cav deployed with all his norman cav, then proceeded placed his infantry far back opposite my right flank, protected with a unit of light cav and a screen of bow and xbow skirmishers…
Warren placed a normal unit of cav in the centre, and then linked these with skirmishers to another light cav on the inside of his 3 Norman cav opposite my Cav.
Cavalry moved Quickly fwd to engage, I had the drop due to Kontarion, and proceeded to achieve a victory against his Army General led Norman Cav by 1, which he of course passed his test on, the other two units failed to win (yes I know I had re rolls!) – essentially with all those characters and str 5 on the charge he made short order of my Cavalry – which are not exactly bad cavalry, with ferocious charge 2 aute breaks, one ridden down the other mangaged to rally, from there it essentially did not improve a couple of panic tests on my Infantry saw them fleeing only to be caught in the flank by Warrens victorious cav.
My one unit of Cav managed to hold his Army General led Cav for several rounds of combat but ultimately going down when another Norman Cav unit hit them in the rear… – by which time my general was committed and hey – he manged to outrun the pursuit only to be caught next time – but he did challenge the norman General (this was thr 2nd time!) – we were both at 1 wound each, but that Str6 on the charge quickly put pay to Basileus! the resulting Army panic tests were passed apart from one critical unit of infnatry which was over two turns pursed off the board by the rampaging Norman Cav.
On my right flank I maanged to at least get one 32 man spear block up to his infantry only to be quickly out manourved by his superio cav, which meant I charged his infantry hoping for a win and pursuit, alas I lost, passed my break test for being charged in rear then soundly lost the next combat and they were gone!
The varanagians – well they did look nice and thats about all they did, my far left flank saw a unit of skirmisher Cav off (but if course they rallied!) but were reduced in strength by 50% primarily from a group of 10 xbow skirmshers…
I had quickly; 2.5 hours! reached army break point and the game was over with the complete anhilation of my army by warren.
At the end it was probably something like 3700 Ap to Warren to my 100ap! (2 x skirmishers!) (yes feel sorry for me it really was that score line!)
What did I learn: Don’t listen toWarrens complaints about paying 30 od points for his Norman cav, they are well worth it, on a serious note the real learning was that those characters in the front rank really made a massive difference, especially on 2nd combat round where their extra str removed some of my armour, and with 3 or 4 attacks they are just awesome!
Also listen to Warren when he says we should set up 2ft apart! All in all a really good game, but a very poor showing for teh Byzantine frist time out! A retun ghame is scheduled for the new year – now where did I put that link for crusader miniatures website for thos Kataphracktoi 🙂