I had to reluctantly accept the fact that they weren’t going to fight the battle where I wanted, so I moved my hobilars and 2 heavy cavalry units directly towards them to gain the ground. The retinue infantry followed on behind. It took a couple of tactical movement phases to get my cavalry into position only to be caught out by the quick movement of the two Teutonic mounted crossbow units shooting at my hobilars.
With my retinue longbow following behind the advanced cavalry units, the plan was to get them to plant a line of stakes as a deterrent against the charge of Teutonic knights. I committed one of my three generals into the forward cavalry engagement along with 2 units of mounted men-at-arms and 2 units of hobilars. Unfortunately, the mounted crossbows disrupted one of my hobilar units and the other was caught by a unit of Teutonic knights accompanied by a general. In the ensuing round of hand-to-hand combat, the Lancastrians lost 3 out of 4 cavalry units and the last unit of heavy cavalry was forced to flee with the loss of two stands. The Teutonics had no losses and in advancing into the 3 vacated hexes left me in a very vulnerable position.
Despite this relative disaster, I was determined to try and establish a shooting line of retinue longbow behind planted stakes, (they were still carrying them at this stage). With the Teutonic infantry still well behind their already triumphant cavalry, Tony and Dave chose not to follow-up on their success with another cavalry charge. This decision bought me just enough time to get my infantry into some sort of viable defensive line. This, in my opinion, let me off the hook! When one unit of Teutonic knights and a general did eventually charged home, my billmen surrounded and destroyed them.
From this point on I conducted what can only be described as a ‘fighting retreat.’ The mounted crossbow units nibbled away at the billmen on the right flank, but the line of longbow backed-up by a unit of dismounted men-at-arms deterred the 2 remaining units of Teutonic knights from charging. My unit of multi-barrel guns positioned on the escarpment added to the firepower of the line of longbow and kept the Teutonic crossbow infantry in check. After three more tactical movement phases I had managed to pull to the left of the field into a fairly strong defensive position partly behind the 8 hex escarpment. The Final Teutonic charge into contact didn’t materialise and the game concluded with two thirds of the Lancastrian army still on the table in defensive line formation. A clear numerical points victory for the Teutonics, but the Lancastrians still had plenty of fight left in them.
After the destruction of the Lancastrian cavalry in the early stages of the game I was forced into an initially disorganised fighting retreat. Thankfully, the follow-up attack took a while to build and gave me the opportunity to re-organise and establish a stubborn defensive position.