Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Black Army Stumbles

I'd planned to do loads of yardwork Saturday but rain and cold weather gave me an excuse to put off until tomorrow what I could have done today!  Then Brandt asked if I was up for a game of Field of Glory. Perfect! I was a bit down about missing Little Wars in Chicago this weekend due to family commitments. In the alternate, we did a Littlest Little Wars convention in my basement featuring Later Ottoman Turk vs. Later Hungarians.  My Turks and Hungarians haven't seen a tabletop in 2012 and this was a historical mash-up I've wanted to try for some time.

At the start of the game, I got initiative and Brandt got almost no helpful terrain to go with the Turks. Undaunted, he came out swinging.

Early action saw Brandt jamming me with his light horse and skirmishers.  Everything in the Turkish army can shoot and I was shedding bases to his bow fire.  My 2 units of Serbian Hussars each lost a base and went disrupted, limiting their effectiveness the rest of the game. The upside was that 3 battlegroups of his Akinjis  light horse got way out in front of his army with no clear retreat path.  If I could charge them quickly, they'd be forced to either stand in place and melee or evade through his supporting line and disrupt units. I was salivating at both prospects.

3 battle groups of knights form the backbone of the Hungarian army. I lined them up shoulder to shoulder and aimed them at the Turkish camp. I put my him skirmishers in front to protect   the knights from the Janissary bows.  While their superior fire can be deadly, I figured  the Janissary would be no match against my knights in a melee in the open .

My goal of pushing the Akinjis  light horse back through their support line died a quick death.  Brandt diced his Timoriot horse through a series of complex movement tests and just like that, his lines parted like the Red Sea for Moses.  Away scurried the Turkish lights and my best laid plans.  Worse yet, there was now a yawning gap in the center of the Turkish line, backed up by Serbian knight allies.  It would take me many turns to grips with the shoot and scoot Turkish horse. Nice move, Brandt!
If that weren't bad enough, Turkish bows were taking a terrible toll on me up and down the line. In one turn, nearly all of the units on my left flank went disrupted. It was time to launch charges up and down the line hoping that I could catch and break the Turks. I was worried about launching my knights into the green clad Janissary, now that my men were disrupted.  We could stand and be shot to pieces in place or charge forward for death or glory. Charge!

My knights lost at impact and then again in the melee.  When they broke, every unit on my left flank within sight of the debacle went disrupted or worse. My chances for victory were rapidly fading.
The bright spot on the battlefield for me was my second unit of knights, who'd run down two units ofTurkish skirmishers.  When the skirmishers broke, the knights pursued and chased all of the Turkish lights almost to the edge of the table.  This was my last, best chance.  The only thing between my knights and the Turkish camp were a unit of Timoriots and light horse.  In melee, I'd be able to dispatch the Timoriots quickly.  First though, I had to survive a round of bow fire.

Ooops.  Fragmented. That's a shame and essentially, the game.
We both checked our phones for time and were surprised to see 5 1/2 hours had gone by. We sized up the battlefield.  It was clear that he had my left flank in hand.  A unit of Timoriot was starting to line up for a flank charge on my Defensive Spearment and I had no reserves to answer this threat.
On my right flank, I was making headway but it was very much a fight for both sides.  With two of my three battle groups of knights fragmented or broken, I was down and I conceded. Brandt just doesn't make mistakes in his games and even though this was a new army for him, he played the Ottomans perfectly.  Shoot and scoot with some fancy footwork.  Great game and a great alternative to yardwork.  I highly recommend it!


  1. Monty, great bat rep and fantastic looking figures. Much more fun than yardwork!


  2. Argh! Now I want to paint an Ottoman army.

    Damn you

  3. Nice looking game and good AAR !

    best regards Michael

  4. very nice table with beautiful figurines

  5. Thanks guys and Sebasto, if you do paint Ottomans, I have some painting resources that you might like. A fellow hobbyist from Istanbul shared a link to Turkish museums and the colors of the uniforms are even more diverse than what I painted.