Sunday, August 16, 2015

Norman Defeat at Mal Fosse (Evil Ditch) - A Lion Rampant AAR

Just play tested another Lion Rampant game based upon the final actions at the Battle of Hastings. After the death of Harold and most of his army, a remnant force of Saxons held the high ground above Mal Fosse - or "Evil Ditch." The ditch was not apparent to the mounted Normans who charged headlong into the morass. In this scenario the ditch was deemed an obstacle which once reached could be moved out of in the next turn. However, while in the ditch it was considered rough terrain with attendant decreases in Attack value and Armour saves. The Norman force included four units of Mounted Serjeants and one unit of archers. The Saxons were four units of Foot MAA and two units of Bidowers with bows. The game was called after the Normans had lost over half of their forces - only one Mounted Serjeant unit and the Archer unit were left after turn 6. The Norman Archers never reached their missile range. The fighting was brutal in the ditch - mainly for the Normans due to their lowered Attack and Armor values, as well as the Saxon Huscarls' Ferocious rule.
Start of the battle - Saxon Huscarls spread out along the high ground above the ditch, with Bidower bowmen in the woods. Norman forces, mostly mounted charge into the fading sunlight with no knowledge of the dangerous terrain in front of them.
Center of the Saxon battle line with the draco standard still flying proudly. The ditch hidden below them.
Turn 1 has all Norman units successfully activating movement. They have little to fear as they believe this is just a mopping up operation as the main battle had already ended for the Saxons on Senlac Hill.
Turn 2 has all but one of the Norman units, the archers, achieving yet another successful full movement towards the enemy. The Saxons deferred any actions in their first turn. Now the Bidowers will unleash their short ranged arrows with some success.
Turn 3 has the Norman cavalry stuck in the ditch with Saxon Huscarls eagerly engaging them in combat whilst encumbered in the rough terrain.
A unit of Norman cavalry flees after failing their Courage test following taking casualties from Bidower bow fire.
On the Saxon left, Huscarls fail to reach the stranded Norman cavalry. The Norman cavalry roll successfully for a charge on the bidowers. The Bidowers themselves roll successfully for an Evade and perform a nice Skirmish action of firing and movement just out of charge range. The rough terrain no doubt helping them and hindering the Normans.
Bidowers out of charge range after taking out not a few Normans. The Normans subsequently failed their Courage test and fled off the field.
With three of four Norman cavalry wiped out or fled off the battlefield, the Saxons are victorious. No need to learn French!
If I had the appropriate figures, the Saxons would've been limited to only two units of Huscarls (Foot MAA), and several other units of Fyrd classed as either Foot Serjeants or Yeomen. I would have also given the Normans one unit of Foot MAA.  This may have balanced out the game play better. Either way, I really like these rules which not only are adaptable to a wide range of periods, but require only a modest amount of figures for interesting scenarios.

25 comments:

  1. "No need to learn French" is a good battle cry but there have been many occasions in which knowing French would have been most useful!

    That looks like rough terrain, for sure. In your scenario, were the Normans compelled to charge headlong into the ditch?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Appreciate the visit and interest, Jonathan. The Norman Serjeants didn't have the Wild Charge or similar trait. In fact, they only were attempted to cross the obstacle to get to the Saxons. I suppose I could have the Saxons a bit further back from the ditch to have them reach Charge range on the enemy. Best, Dean

      Delete
  2. Great looking game Dean! The Normans are up against it with Mounted Serjeants taking on Saxon foot Men-at-arms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mike. If I had the figures, I would've limited the Huscarl MAA to only one or two units, and had several units of Fryd - either as Serjeants or Yeomen. That said, I was pleased to get my small force of Normans and Saxons on the table again. :) Warm regards, Dean

      Delete
  3. Looking good, Dean!

    Cheers,
    Aaron

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you kindly, Aaron! Best, Dean

      Delete
  4. Nice looking game and well played!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Anne. I really should start on the Perry WotR character set from the WarStore courtesy of your generous award. Warm regards, Dean

      Delete
  5. Fantastic looking game! Battefiels is very realistic and beautiful painted minis!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you kindly, Mike. Appreciate the visit and encouraging words. Best, Dean

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Thanks, Michael. It played out very nicely. I had amazingly good die rolls throughout. Best, Dean

      Delete
  7. Nice AAR Dean, like you I'm also hooked on the LR rules due to the low entry threshold in terms of figures needed to get some interesting games. For me they've allowed me to play with some of the smaller projects in my collection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Soren. I forgot to mention that the playing field is also much more convenient - this was on a 5X6' table. More than enough space for maneuvering 10-12 units. Granted I used a lot of 6-man units, but still :) Regards, Dean

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Rodger. Appreciate the visit and nice comments. Best, Dean

      Delete
  9. What a fun looking game. I really must try those rules

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Miles. I'm sure you'd like them - I find them simple, yet with enough elements for unpredictable play. The activation system a favorite of mine - similar to Hail Caesar/Black Powder in that respect. Regards, Dean

      Delete
  10. Nice write up of a very cool looking game, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jason. Appreciate your interest and comments. Warm Regards, Dean

      Delete
  11. Good work as usual
    I visit often, although rare comment
    I like this creek landscape and restrained use of color

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for your visits - regardless of posting comments or not, although they are much appreciated! Warm regards, Dean

      Delete
  12. Looks like a great time was had by every one involved. Very nice pics. Maybe I'd try Lion Rampant myself. On the other hand I quite enjoy Saga so there's no need for change... I guess.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Nick. Although the size of the game (figures, table size, etc) for LR and Saga are similar the game mechanics are quite different - so staying with your choice of rules makes sense. Interestingly, there are about as many LR players as there are Saga players in the local (or close-enough) vicinity where I live so I have a choice :) Actually, there are probably more Saga players. Warm regards, Dean

      Delete