This is the battle report of a solo game. The simple scenario notes can be found here. But, in short, The Franks are raiding two prosperous Saracen villages. The Saracens have got wind of the plan and are set to oppose them. The village boxes are worth 3 victory medals each (they are camps), so if the Franks can carry them they will almost assuredly win the game: if they hang about, they'll probably get shot to pieces.
It will be fought using To the Strongest with a few period specific add on rules of my own. I have decided to do the report, as I have once before for a TtS game, as a detailed blow by blow account with words, photos and positional diagrams to help you follow the action. I'll also detail some of my amendments where I can.
This report might go some way to convince the sceptics that grid based miniatures games are proper wargames, worthy of the same respect as any other - if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc. Far less people are sceptical these days, especially amongst those who have put their prejudice aside and given them a go but, I guess that some people will never be happy without a tape measure in hand and the possibility of wangling an angle (often deeming the latter the height of good generalship).
My terrain has very obviously been designed to embrace the grid but, don't be fooled into thinking that all TtS games must look like this because they don't. Terrain doesn't need to be 'squared off at the edges', or precisely fit into the grid squares to be used: Providing the limits of terrain pieces (what boxes contain what) is defined at the start of the game any shape of terrain can be used. I have chosen to go the 'squared off' route because I wanted something with as much style as substance: Absolute clarity, rather than realism, was my aim. It also aids drawing stuff in MS paint!
|The Set Up|
The Franks were the first to move and began a steady measured advance towards their goal, intending that no command should overstretch and find itself out on a limb and vulnerable to the attentions of the numerous Saracen horse archers.
|Positions at the end of turn 1.|
Turn 2.The Franks make a general advance to the stream. Geoffrey is the first to cross.
In the centre more ineffective skirmishing takes place and the Hospitaller's Turcopoles advance to a position where they can charge into the flank of the Saracens shooting at The Master. Unfortunately, their movement chit is a 10 and (failing their next activation) they don't have time to charge.
|Positions at the end of turn 2.|
|Positions at the end of the Frank's move, turn 3. |
Note: Units marked yellow have been disordered by combat.
Saracen action starts on the right as the troops of Tarriffa's command seek revenge for his death.
|The positions at the end of turn 3.|
Down in the boggy valley the Brothers charge three times and three times, even expending a hero and using the Master's heroic status, their attacks are almost completely repelled. At the end of the attack, one glorious save after another, the Kurdish cavalry have only suffered a disorder.
|Positions at the end of the Frank's move, turn 4.|
|Positions at the end of turn 4.|
Then, on a whim, he ordered his Armenians to see off the Turcoman horde that still threatened this flank. They threw javelins to no effect, charged and Turcomans evaded, then charged again and the turcomans were caught, hit, failed to save and were gone.
But the plaudits go to Geoffrey's foot sereants who have battled their way into the village evicting a unit of light infantry archers and the unit of disordered Adhath, which sacrificed the archers before falling in its turn. The sergeants earned 6 victory medals for this feat of arms and the Saracens are rocking.
The next Saracen unit to go down, Allukoblin's small Turcoman unit, goes down with a whimper. Surrounded on all sides it cannot escape [evade] and throws down its arms on the arrival of Hubert's knights.
But, the Franks have run out of steam and fear an immanent crisis about to erupt on their right flank. To buy time for victory to be achieved they reposition to hold against the onslaught that may be about to engulf them.
|The positions after the Frank's move, turn 5|