Saturday, 16 April 2016

El Cid's AMW debut

Having published some El Cid period army lists, I guessed it was time to go public with a game. Friday afternoon was free and so, luckily, was Phil.

I've finished a few more units since the last update, and can now field armies that fit the army lists I did without any substitute figures. For this game I thought I'd do Feudal Spanish (because they're really colourful) versus North African/Almoravids (because they've got camels).

The last time I used NT's AMW rules for the Medieval period it was for Wars of the Roses and I soon moved on from them (Neil's view in the book is that WotR is really dull, - he's not wrong if you use AMW straight). This is the first time I've really used lots of armoured knights against medieval infantry.

The major changes compared to the Classical period is that most infantry is downgraded in effectiveness, knights get a charge bonus and have comparatively better armour. In a straight one on one combat for knights v foot after the first round both sides are rolling the same dice per base, but the knights are saving on a 4-6 whilst infantry save on a 6. This means that knights should win out in the end, but after a bit of a struggle.


Before the battle report proper here's a picture of the Spanish. The army had two units of Knights (Caballeros), one of Caballeros Villanos, one of jinetes, two town militia/medieval foot, one of light cross bows and one of light javelins.


The Almoravids had three units of Spearsmen, one of Black Guards, one jinetes, one Murabit heavy cavalry, one of camels and one light bows. The jinetes are deployed forwards to make use of the interpenetration rule, enabling them to retreat back through heavy infantry.


Another shot of all those lovely massed knights. Don't ya just love 'em?


Phil took the Spaniards and got the first turn. he started with a bold move forwards in the middle, whilst also widening his position to avoid being outflanked.


In response I moved forwards, keeping my infantry mainline intact. Phil closed the gap, but fell short of my jinetes.


Here's a close up of me pelting Phil with javelins.


I then dropped back behind my infantry line. Phil got caught by surprise by this. I'm sure I told him about the new rule for Almoravids. Well. fairly sure. I think.


Undeterred by by the pin pricks from my light hose javelins, Phil picked out my best infantry unit, the Black Guards, and ploughed headlong into it. They gave him a round of javelins before contact. Another new rule. Likewise I'm sure I told Phil about it.


My right wing meanwhile was in danger of being encircled, so my light cavalry headed off in that direction to shore things up a bit. In the middle honours were even between the Black Guard and the knights, both losing a base each.


A quick trip to the other side of the table to see things from Phil's perspective. On the left of the picture my Murabit cavalry are taking a bit of a beating, so my other heavy foot are moving up to bail them out. Either side of the melee in the middle our foot units are lining each other up. On the right I've reduced the Caballeros Villanos by a base through the combination of archery and camel borne javelins.


Here's a close up of my Murabits just before they evaporated. Taken in the flank by the arbalest unit and losing out in the front to the knights they took a lot of hits and failed two morale rolls....


...leaving a bit of a hole for not much in exchange.


Standing back to contemplate the whole scene gives a mixed picture. I've have finally broken the knights in the middle but I'm left with a single base of Black Guards. On the left the Spanish light foot are being manhandled by the camels but are standing their ground. My archers are endeavouring to hold off the Caballeros Villanos, but fear the worst. On the right everyone is drawing breathe waiting for the next clash.


In the bottom corner the two units of jinetes skirmish with each other whilst the knights and spearsmen finally get stuck into each other. In the middle the other heavy foot units have engaged and whilst one combat has been even, I have given the unit with the red flag a bit of a pasting. My light archers are holding on just, but must soon face the inevitable. It is probably about time to extract my camels who haven't been a roaring success.


All of a sudden the knights reduce my spearsmen to half strength. The Black Guards are rushing up to try to hasten the demise of Phil's other militia foot unit.


The archers hold on for another turn, which has enabled me to pull my camels out of danger and present a threat should the Caballeros Villanos break through.


A wider shot shows that in certain areas my luck is holding. My jinetes have got the upper hand, and my spearsmen are fighting back against the knights. The red flag unit is nearly gone, but my unit fighting the blue flags is down to half strength. Those archers still hold on however.


When the Caballeros Villanos break through I'm able to shadow them with the camels to introduce a note of caution. My jinetes have nearly got the job done, but the knights have virtually finished off their opponents. In the top centre left it looks like I'm about to lose the last base to a flank attack from the arbalasters, whilst the Black Guards have finally closed up to do the same to the blue flag unit. I now have a spare unit of spearsmen on the left of the picture who have about faced to come and help out. At this point I'm down to 5 units, and Phil has 6 (one out of shot) with the first side to get down to 2 being the loser.


The arbalasters and Black Guards make their presence felt and we both lose a unit.


I succeeded in taking the Cabalerros Villanos in the rear with my camels but didn't inflict enough damage. The next turn they about face and it looks a bit dodgy.


I've won the light horse battle and so I have 5 units to Phil's 4, but my camels are down to one base and I can't extract them as the spanish light javelins have cut off their escape route. My spearsmen only have one hit left before they are history too. My Black Guards are left chasing a unit of light troops. Not looking too hopeful.


Strangely enough the camels hold on for another turn, but the arbalasts get lucky and the Black Guards get shot away, as the spearsmen finally succumb to the knights. 4:3 to the Spanish

Next turn the camels are eradicated and it is all over.

It was quite a close game and the army lists held up fairly well. I think they may need some slight revisions, but otherwise they do the job.

Phil & I had a brief chat abut how good a simulation the game was. In truth it was a bit too attritional and the cavalry, although being very effective, don't seem to have the effect cavalry should have. Really they should be beating infantry quickly or being bounced off.

As for the Almoravids, the tactics I used didn't look like much of what they usually did. I need to rebalance the army with more heavy foot and light horse to see if I can simulate the infantry fortress with sallying light horse for which they were famous. There's also an option to swap out the infantry back ranks with bowmen, and that may make a difference.

However, as is usually the case with AMW it gave a close, tense, game that was over in a couple of hours with a clear winner and no quibbles.

Next up I need to try the Andalusians. I played a solo game the day before with no pictures taken which ended up with a close Spanish victory again.

Colourful though, aren't they?


14 comments:

  1. Looks like a fabulous Game. So glad I didn't let the figures just sit in the cupboard. You have done wonders! Kind Regards Jim

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    1. Jim! Great to hear from you! Are you still in the neighbourhood? Be good to get a game in.

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    2. I am literally Bing in the fair city of Wolverhampton these day but still work in the South East. I will try to get over one of the days.

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    3. Wolverhampton. Happy memories. I worked there on a contract for 6 months.

      Let me know when you are free. I usually have a couple of days off work a week.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks. I might be a medieval convert. They're so colourful

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  3. The new stuff looks rather nice doesn't it?

    Regards, Chris.

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    1. Lots more colours than on that modern stuff.

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  4. Colorful...and beautiful armies, a very nice report!

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    1. Thank you. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  5. Cool game! If you are still considering other rules, our local group just loves To the Strongest by Simon Miller. I've played it with ancients from Biblicals to Crusades. Lots of fun and easy to learn but forces you into constant decisions every turn. Believe me, over the years we have tried to many rules sets, we are content now for ancients.

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    1. I've heard good things about them. I'm thinking of looking around a bit to see what is out there. I haven't tried them with Armati yet, and they usually give a good game for cavalry armies.

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  6. Excellent blow by blow battle account. Game did seem quite attritional.

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    1. Yes. I think AMW works best in the classical period with good quality infantry.

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