Sunday, 19 April 2009

Harran 1104 Battle Report - Part 1

Being a solo game I intend to play it at my own pace - about an hour at a time. This way I will not rush for a result. Solo play requires a little more thinking time than multi-player games because wearing two hats 'fairly' is not easy, and one needs time to absorb what is going on.

Turn One
The Saracen pressed for getting a feigned flight very early on but were unable to get both forward Turcoman commands into contact with the Edessans at the same time (spliting the 'forward' Turcomans into two command groups made this almost impossible unless time was wasted in manoeuvring into the perfect position). The Turcomans on the left, after some desultory shooting by both sides, got into contact with Baldwin's command with two units, whilst the third hung off to the flank to await results; they managed to draw a feigned fight card almost immediately. One unit passed its uncontrolled advance test whilst the other failed; but this was enough, as when it ran after the fleeing Turcomans all the other units in Baldwin's command (who were within 4" of it) failed in response on the secondary check.

During the Frank's following initiative phase they drew two back to back 'March' cards. Baldwin's command rolled for two double moves and caused one of the fleeing Turcomans to descend into rout (it was contacted) whilst the Turcoman unit that had hung back on the flank, being the closest enemy unit, became the target of the rushing Armenians; the Armenians took significant casualties to archery as they came on; the Turcomans evading them with considerable ease. [Two double moves at 150% normal rate took most of the units clear over the river - the Knights under Baldwin advancing 52 inches in this time). The Antiochenes decided not to move on the first 'March' card, hoping that they might draw their ambush card and retrieve something from the situation, but when the second 'March' was drawn they felt obliged to advance normally and at least be in a position to stabilise a crumbling flank.
It was now the Saracens time to exploit the foolhardiness of Baldwins mistake. Baldwin and his Knights were subject to the massed archery of every unit that could shoot at them, then, after some deft manoeuvring (the cards were falling nicely into place for the Saracens), the unit of Soqman's Ghulams to the right of his bodyguard charged them in the flank. Baldwin's knights managed to hold, just [they took 3 unit integrity loss - only the presence of Baldwin held them together). During the remaining initiative Soqmans cavalry reformed and took up position to crush the rest of Baldwin's command.
At this point the turn, being about halfway through the sequence decks, ended on a tied initiative die roll and I decided to end my sessions play to think about what had taken place. The turn took about 30 minutes to play - not a bad amount of action considering the time taken walking from one side of the table to the other - Ager Sanguinis is game of swift movement. The approximate positions at the end of Turn 1 are detailed in the diagram below.

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