Monday, 12 December 2011

"You can't destroy the polish national-consciousness or Poles on the battlefield, but if you give them power, they will destroy themselves"

It was time for Bob and I to dust off our Impetus Armies for another go. We had spent a long time playing Impetus week in and week out but with various other things going on it seemed like ages since we had just done a straight forward one-on-one game of Impetus.

I brushed off my Medieval Polish army and Bob brought his Bactrians. 1600 years separated the two armies they seemed rather well matched.

I roled as the attacker so deployed last. However my game plan was to stay relatively stationary. Every time I have tried to be even slightly aggressive with this army they get battered so I was determined not to drawn in to a death charge.

I anchored my left with the an artillery armed war wagon and defensive wagon and then had two lots of crossbow armed miltia split by some medium crossbow armed cavalry and some light horse dead centre. Behind these and starting the game on opportunity were my three units of Polish Knights (because they were on opportunity the normal rules for impetuous troops moving as soon as the enemy were in range did not apply). Both wings contained some skirmishing light horse.

Bob set up with light horse on one wing. Then his Cataphract heavy cavalry. Next to them were a large unit of heavy pike in phalanx and then on his left some long spear armed light foot.

I knew that I had nothing that could go toe-to-toe with the pike phalanx so determined to keep that out of the game. I targeted the Cataphracts as the game winner and had deployed my Knights opposite them. The plan was to delay the rest of the enemy line while, weaken the Cataphracts by sacrificing the first line of my medium and light cavalry in my centre and then unleash the waiting Knights.

Bob came forward in a steady line. I advanced my light horse on the left in the hope of pushing aside the skirmishers and threatening the Pike Phalanx’s flank.

I had initial success on my right and burst through Bob’s skirmish line. However his heavy foot were tougher than they looked. I got greedy and rather than consolidate followed up a success and against my better judgement charged his light foot with some light horse. The result? Bobs light foot destroyed my light horse and then followed up in to the flank of some other bow armed light horse who couldn’t evade and were also destroyed.

However my right still looked pretty strong and my left was solid thanks to the presence of the war wagons. Bob could not get close enough on my left to do any damage with his bow armed light and medium cavalry so which came under artillery fire every time they got too close.

My cross bow armed medium cavalry and bow armed Hungarian light horse started inflicting casualties as Bob centre advanced. A charge by the Cataphracts saw the first line of my centre destroyed but this then opened the door for my Knights. Without delay the charged forward in to the Cataphtracts.

A bloody melee forward but in the last turn of the game I manage to knock off the last of the Cataphract units causing that command to break and in turn the army.

Finally a victory for my Poles which I have been playing for two years with hardly any success. The key was I think getting to deploy last and therefore before choose my point of focus, keeping my knights fresh by having them on opportunity and also some truly dreadful dice rolling by Bob.  In any event it was high fives all along the Polish line.