The Viking Legal Team in Action

The Viking Legal Team in Action
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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

[Big] Battle of Crug Mawr, 1136 p.3 - the Fight!

Forward! For Wales! Who needs support?! Wait, what IS this "support" of which you speak??  Another key military concept...forgotten in the heat of the moment. 

Welsh knights charge up the road leaving their spearmen attacking a hill and archers waaaay behind - Glorious!

Well, the original courier seems to have gone astray - shipwrecked in the Severn Estuary?? - and report of this battle is very late. Still, better late than never! The mega-game ended up with six players, twice that expected, but there were plenty of Units, 16 per side. 

For the Welsh, the deployment was 7 / Welsh left, 8 Welsh right, with the Brigans in the center to seize and exploit the woods at center table.

For the Normans, there were 8 on their left and 8 on their right, with 3 of the latter occupying the center hill and 5 catching up from behind to reinforce.

Below, the table is 5' deep, so there's an extra foot on each side to line up the troops prior to entering. On the right, both sides are on table per Scenario 2, while Scenario 4 to left only has the three Normans on the hill, with all other Units entering. The tents are off-table, but show the division of the board in the center. Every player has one Personality, which is good fun and gives players some personal feel. I gave all choices, and a variety of mounted, foot, and archer personalities were used.


Below, the setup. Note that the right-most Welsh have opted for an interesting checker-board pattern for their deployment. In front is the infantry and archers, behind the cavalry. The gap is >Base Depth, so they CAN charge thru the gap, but must have space beyond to actually fit or cannot do so. To left, the Normans put three Freemen on the hill.


Welsh Right Flank / Norman Left Flank below.
Both sides have opted for some spacing. Interestingly, I've rarely done this. I can't say it's a bad idea, but goes to show that you MUST playtest with strangers as they always have a different take on things. In this case, the Normans imitated the Welsh setup.

Partway thru game one, the center has become a somewhat confused melee. To the left, the Welsh Brigans have moved to the rear of the Norman crossbowmen, while Welsh Serjeants and Archers engage the foremost Norman units [the former looking exposed after having destroyed a Norman unit]. Note the GM's hand - don't just stand their gawking like you've never seen the 'and of God before!!!

Below, better view of the fight on the right, mid-game. Norman knights charge the Welsh Brigans while their Serjeants engage the Welsh Serjeants with support from two Crossbow Units. The Welsh have one Archer Unit supporting them. To the right, two Norman Knights fight Welsh Cavalry at 3-2 odds [note two destroyed Norman Knights to rear, left].

Welsh Left Flank / Norman Right Flank
Welsh Freemen head up the middle, while Cavalry and Archers advance on the flanks. Must say it doesn't look promising to have the mounted Brigans engaging two Norman Archers, but they do have their Knights behind, and savage intent, so maybe this will work out...

A few turns later, the Brigans have departed the field, while the knights push forward against an Archer, which has another in support. Welsh Freemen are fully involved on the hill, but Norman Serjeants are reinforcing as is a Welsh Archer with an Archer Personality.

More of a view left - the Norman Freemen partially advanced off the hill rather than allow the Welsh to pepper them with arrows and pick their attacks.


In the end, we played one battle on the left, and two on the right - the wild cavalry melees just don't last very long! As it was a repeat with same players, Battle #2 of Scenario #2 went pretty quick, and turned into a Welsh victory as the player got the hang of using the Welsh as intended, a closely-supporting force of Archers and Cavalry. The Norman player again advanced aggressively with his knights, but this time got spread out too much and a combination of reinforced melees, archer and good dice brought victory to the Welsh. It was a dynamic and interesting fight, just as it should have been.

The Norman player understood the rules very quickly, and liked how clean and clear they played. The Welsh player didn't seem to like them much - don't know exactly why,.

The single battle on the left was largely handled by the host, with only a couple of rule misunderstandings coming up, which they negotiated to their satisfaction. They all seemed to have a good time and required very little additional help.

Overall, people seemed to enjoy the simple - if tight - mechanics and to be able to concentrate on the tactics of the Units and use of the Personalities. There were no rule arguments and most questions were asked / answered in the first 30-45 minutes, with just an occasional question after. I needed to occasionally clarify the tactical situation according to the mechanics, since all but one were new to the rules and the mechanics show both what is happening as well as what possibilities there are as well. Hopefully, I wasn't too intrusive, but it was a bit more of a demo game than anything else.

In the end, there was one win per side on the right, and I can't remember who won Scenario #4! As most of the players had a good time, we'll just say:

"Everybody won...but not everyone got a trophy".

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