Andre chose and placed the terrain pieces which had a scattering of small woods and escarpments and a road system which would have a significant influence during the game.
With the dice deciding the 3 players for each size, allocated army, choice of table side and first deployment, first moves saw both armies advance to occupy key terrain features. The British deployment had placed all the ‘B’ class higher quality units in the centre and their missile troops on the left wing. However, the 12 units of warrior hordes were concentrated on their right wing along with 2 generals commanded by Steve. James, Tony and I deployed the Ottoman army in an unbroken line of bows to the front with the Ottoman cavalry under Tony’s command on the right-wing.
The Ottomans won the di roll for first move and slowly advanced the shooting line stretching to near both table edges. In response, Steve lead his massed hordes of fast-moving British warriors towards the extreme left of our line of advancing missile troops. Chris, in charge of the other British wing advanced to take possession of an 8 hex escarpment with 2 units of bow and units of ‘B’ class spears. From this position he could shoot down upon the Ottoman cavalry which could not attack the steep slope of the escarpment.
Within a couple of moves Steve’s warriors commanded by 2 generals had come within charge range of James’ azab archers on the extreme Ottoman left. If they turned our flank the Ottoman cavalry on the other wing would be to far away to offer any assistance. James had no option but to pull back and I started to move my infantry from the centre in support along with our hero general. This, in effect broke-up our advancing missile line and left our original battle plan in tatters!
Tony’s cavalry was engaged in a shooting battle with Chris’s archers on the ridge while keeping a check on the movements of Dave’s British chariots and cavalry in the centre, which were beginning to move against my now much weakened central infantry – Steve’s flank attack was dictating the course of the game!
The initial assault by Steve’s warriors dispatched 2 units of azab archers. James and I requested help from Tony, who in response, sent 2 units of Akinci horse archers to bolster our much-troubled left wing. We needed to defeat the British warriors by shooting rather than fight hand-to-hand with these tough 6 stand units. Thankfully, the shooting disrupted a couple of lead units and bought us some much-needed time, which allowed us to bring more support units into the escalating carnage!
Although Dave had three units of Romano-British chariots able to charge the Ottoman weakened centre, a small wood, impenetrable to chariots, acted as safety barrier while the central infantry were displaced to the left fighting the British warriors. The Ottoman cavalry and British cavalry were at this point fighting hand-to-hand to gain control of the central crossroads. The ‘B’ class Brits, having suffered rounds of bow fire from the Ottoman cavalry now ‘got to grips’ with their ‘C’ class opponents and the losses mounted quickly on both sides.
Steve’s British warrior hordes on the left were, after an epic struggle, finally defeated with the loss of 2 generals. However, they had executed their allotted task admirably. They had stopped the advance of the Ottoman shooters, inflicted significant casualties, and pulled the Ottoman infantry so far from the central battle that it would take 3 or more tactical moves before they could offer any useful support to Tony’s embattled cavalry.
After, a couple more rounds of brutal hand-to-hand combat, recoiling and fleeing units on both sides had the effect of separating the 2 battered armies. Both were down to approaching half strength. The Ottomans still had 4 generals but had lost more than half their cavalry and missile troops. The majority of the remaining Romano-British units were all the best ‘B’ class units, very tough opponents for the ‘C’ class Ottomans. However, they were down to just 2 generals and in terms of points left on the table there was little difference between the two armies. Despite the usual after game bluster from the six players, all would except a draw as a fair outcome.
The Ottoman initial plan to advance in line and ‘shoot to death’ their British opponents was soon dashed by Steve’s warriors speedy attack on the extreme left. From then on, the Ottoman’s were reduced to crisis management as the British commanders dictated the course of the game. Even Tony, our supreme cavalry commander could find no way to ‘open the British can’ so to speak and credit must be given to strategic decisions of the British players.