Tim and I deployed second and moved first. The cavalry units faced off against each other on our right and the infantry the centre and left. Opening moves saw Tony move all his infantry towards his right and advance his cavalry to just outside charge range of his heavy cavalry. In response, we halted our cavalry in a line giving our slower moving infantry a chance to catch-up. At this point we Ottomans had no wish to advance further, we had a strong unbroken line of azab archers backed up by 5 units of spears. And, facing us at the centre of the Koreans rear was a 4 hex escarpment on which was stationed a small bombard and a unit of Korean archers. I therefore had no intention of fighting hand-to-hand within the shooting range of these assets!
Tony and Chris had other ideas and continued to shift their infantry sideways and then moved the 3 units of Korean heavy cavalry across our front to join their infantry in a giant flanking manouver. This left the three Korean light cavalry units potentially facing all the Ottoman cavalry on our right.
Tim and I decided to take the opportunity to advance our cavalry and engage in a shooting match with the now diminished opposition. This is when I made my first major blunder of the game; instead of committing all 7 units of Ottoman cavalry I only committed 6. I kept one unit of Siphis medium cavalry back to offer mobile support to our infantry in our centre and left – this turned out to be a massive error of judgment!
Meanwhile the Korean infantry comprising of handgunners and Spearman continued their slow advance towards the extreme left of our infantry line, their advance augmented by the newly arrived 3 units of heavy cavalry. The azab archers and spears which were destined to be on the receiving end of this slow but steady attack enjoyed the terrain of advantage of 3 and 4 hex hills which straddled the road offering quite a strong defensive position! Shooting from the Korean heavy cavalry recoiled the Ottoman infantry causing significant disruption. Tim quite rightly suggested we pull our infantry back from our left and form a new defensive line. This was definitely the right policy, however, I couldn’t move our units back in a cohesive manner because of the disrupted Ottoman units in the way.
The cavalry shooting match between the 6 Ottoman and 3 Korean cavalry units was not turning out to be the quick victory we had hoped for with our 2:1 advantage. Tony pulled back his Korean cavalry so that they could enjoy some ‘fire support’ form the small bombard on the escarpment. In one round of shooting Chris managed to score 3 hits with the bombard in addition to hits from the light cavalry bows. The result was 2 units of Sipahis recoiling disrupted and a unit of akinci light cavalry being forced to turn and flee 6 hexes losing a stand. As a result in our next tactical move I was only able to position the Ottoman cavalry so as to bring 8 shots against the Korean general and his light cavalry unit and not 12. The 3 hits scored only recoiled him; 4 hits would have disrupted him taking rendering all 3 Korean light cavalry units out of command thus leaving them easy pray unable to make a tactical move.
Over the next few moves the Korean light cavalry and their general were driven back to their table edge, but the Korean bombard and a unit of archers which descended from the 4 hex escarpment prevented the Ottoman cavalry from finally defeating their opponents with some very useful accurate shooting. This extended cavalry engagement had prevented the Ottoman cavalry from impacting on the Korean infantry advance with there ability to shoot and evade.
The game was now all about timing! The Korean infantry and heavy cavalry were now starting to defeat the Ottoman infantry as the flanking manoeuvre was negating the Ottoman shooting line and spear units failed to hold position. Tim’s suggestion to start pulling back earlier was correct in that it would have bought more time for the Ottoman cavalry to deal with their opponents and then come to aid of the now struggling infantry. The failure of the Ottoman cavalry to inflict an early defeat upon the Korean light cavalry had delivered a victory by attrition for the Koreans upon the Ottomans.
Tony formulated and applied a battle plan which was a slow steady advance with infantry and heavy cavalry against the Ottoman infantry while keeping the Ottoman cavalry busy dealing with the Korean light cavalry. It was quite risky but with some good shooting from Chris’s shooting dice the Ottoman cavalry were rendered ineffective throughout the game. As for me, I should have followed Tim’s suggestion and pulled back earlier which would have made it a closer game altogether.