A very close run thing tonight, in the final dice roll of the final turn Kent saved the situation and scrambled a draw- he really struggled to come to terms with the Turkomen light horse and I almost pulled off a win- a great game as per usual.
My infantry command held my left flank, the more mobile Ghulums + Syrian commander the right.
As usual Kent deployed a wall of crusaders
My plan revolved around overwhelming the Turcopole Light Horse and wheeling round his flanks- with two of them vs three of my light horse it should be a doddle!
Yeah right! Two of my light horse were mown down by the crusader light horse so I sent my Ghulum archers and two of my superior light horse to help them out- this flank became a wheeling series of melees for the rest of the battle.
We both refused our other flanks and spent several turns ignoring each other- blue tokens denote units on opportunity.
The last remaining Turcopole feels outnumbered as the turkomen and ghulums close in for the kill.
Kent's main force wheels to face the threat on their flanks- can I get behind them and totally disrupt his battle plan?
Impetuous knights are forced to charge through the rough going. My n ghulums rain missile fire down onto them.
The turcopoles are right round the flank- and managed to evade whenever threatened.
The battle rages vs the knights- they take a lot of stopping!
With his left flank in trouble Kent advances his infantry towards my left flank- now things are going to get interesting. I need to be able to hold them whilst doing enough damage on the other flank to win the game.
At last I deal with those impetuous knights.
On my left flank I throw forward a unit of city militia to try to slow down the Crusader advance- it doesn't work.
Something I thought I'd never see- a buttock of death manoeuvre (ala DBA). Kent advanced the dismounted knights and so managed to get behind my light horse. He then threw in his footsergeants. The combat was a draw but my light horse had to break off and were cuahgt by the knights- sneaky! My on fault though, when I advanced to let loose at a crossbow unit I wasn't careful enough with the direction my troops were facing- a lesson learned.
I've now got numbers on my right flank but still need to finish off a few more units before my left flank implodes!
The situation is decidedly perilous- I throw all I can forward to try to stop the Crusaders- as has happened in each game they have fought the gaziz are quickly overwhelmed.
Cavalry charges uphill manage to do the trick destroying a couple of units of dismounted knights and sergeants.
Kent's infantry are also starting to come through the centre- both of us are now close to breaking. Can I finally finish the job?
I have now broken Kent's command but he has till the end of the turn to save the game- several of my units are badly mauled so it will be close. Foot knights charge my Ghulum general, only the throw of a 1 prevents him from being destroyed as he only had 2 hits left!
Kent is running out of options. He charges a Turkopole unit with some foot sergeants- if I evade I will end up directly in the path of the Crusader general so elect to fight. Neither of us causes a wound so the light horse have tor retreat straight into the path of the general who smashes them and so breaks my command to salvage a draw!
A really good game- the light cavalry was a real nightmare to face and Kent is threatening to add even more crossbows and bows to counter them.
I felt much happier with the balance of this force and felt it was much more competitive. I managed to destroy 25 points worth of Kent's command (just over half his 48 TVD) whilst losing 17 of my own so for once I was on the positive side of the casualties inflicted ledger.
I was also happy with the way my light horse and medium cavalry was combining to pick off units and so was starting to come to terms with how to play the force- more light horse is good and in this game they actually are a worthwhile troop type.
Next time, Kent wants to morph his force into a Norman army and take on the Vikings- or something similar- it might even be time for the Norse-Irish to come out to play.