The terrain had a very useful road passing from one table side to the other with some high impenetrable hills located on either side of the road. The edge of the playing area was forested with some small lakes to further hamper any flanking actions by either army.
Tony took generalship of the Mongols from his distant vantage point and Tim the Ottomans. Chris was rolling for the Ottomans and I for the Mongols. After a little fun with the visuals on the internet both commanders could see enough of the battlefield to deploy and advance their lines. What then followed was a lot of minor tinkering from both sides with neither willing to fully commit. Tony, eventually took the initiative and launched his Mongol lights against Tim’s extreme left wing. This resulted in a shooting duel in which despite numerous induced recoils, flees and stand losses, neither side could gain any tactical advantage.
The two main battle lines remained within easy charge range of each other but outside shooting range while the prolonged struggle on the right of Tony’s line continued without any indication that a resolution could be reached. Tony moved his 3 heavy units into position to charge along the road between the ‘blocking’ hill hexes but then stopped. The stalemate then continued until Tim decided to advance his entire bow line into shooting range. In response Tony charged his Mongol heavy cavalry through the hilly gap and into hand-to-hand combat with the Ottoman Qapakulu heavy units.
The shooting from the Ottomans with Chris rolling the dice can only be described as excellent and my shooting for the Mongols decidedly poor. This gave the Ottomans the upper hand right along the main confrontation line. Where the heavy cavalry units of both sides collided, again the Ottomans gained the upper hand recoiling the Mongols. As a result, after an hour and a half tinkering, the outcome of the game was decided in one round of shooting and a very decisive round of hand-to-hand combat favouring the Ottomans. With the resulting loss of a Mongol general and the defeat of the heavy cavalry, Tim’s Ottomans had gained a decisive game winning advantage from which there was little hope of a Mongol fight back – game over!
I designed this scenario as a fast-moving missile cavalry confrontation, but my choice of terrain layout with the heavily forested table edges and the central mountainous hills worked decidedly against this – my mistake! The players were in effect confronted with a challenging terrain which restricted their movement and tactical options. After reviewing the game I decided to re-run the game the following week with a far more open battlefield to try and induce a more dynamic move and shoot encounter between these same cavalry forces.