The game was Scenario 13, "Escape", from Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames. The game sees a single defending unit facing the enemy who is tasked with getting...hmmm..2? units off the far end by road by turn 15. Why by road? Maybe there's a bridge? I made a pass between rugged wooded and hill terrain just off table, something that would certainly be an obstacle to the ...Picts?? well maybe to the Saxons? hmm, anyway, "Why?" isn't the point, its just what they have to do to win.
The defender gets reinforcements according to a fixed schedule, the entry points are largely behind the retreating party except for one unit (the White Cohort in this game) that reinforces the original road block.
|The Raiders rearguard has been scattered and Duke Stephen's troops are hurrying as fast as the dice will allow to save the small blocking force.|
The game was played using my usual initiative deck which tracks the number of turns and decides each turn who will go first, allowing the occasional double move when initiative changes. In this game several of the initiative switches gave temporary, but potentially critical, boosts to one side or the other.
The only wild card I used was the Joker which means the turn ends immediately but still counts as a turn played for scenario purposes. In this case, two jokers turned up early meaning that the raiders lost two turns to clear the road block before the last reinforcement arrived. The game went to turn 14 of 15 before being decided and I suspect that those 2 turns were what gave the Romano-British the chance to make it be in a position to win on turn 12 and 13 if Lady Luck hadn't annulled the advantage by suddenly turning their dice cold on turn 12 AND 13! Got to rally and move? Nope, not today. Needing 1 hit on 6 dice needing 4's+ to hit? Nope! No hits! Don't think you can do that twice in a row? Here let me show you......
The Saxon? Well, she was cruel to him earlier with those aces but she did smile on the barbarian morale and rally tests, including letting Helgin's standard bearer and guard roll a 6 and rally despite being the last survivors. Then when it was his last chance and he needed a hit with his last die, no problem. OK Tribune and the remnant of the White cohort, 2 or better to not break. Oh! So sorry but the Tribune allows you to reroll....look at that! Another 1!
Dice! Never trust your life to them!
I sometimes roll on his charts to see what units are available but this time I just went with what was ready to go. Units of 12 infantry or 6 cavalry or archers.
The Barbarians had Earl Helgin and his Elite Hearthguard infantry, a unit of Saxon infantry and a unit of archer. Dearg Mor, the Pictish (ish) King had his bodyguard of light cavalry, a unit of spearmen and a unit of archers.
The Romano-British had Duke Stephen with his Elite Armoured knights, a unit of garrison light cavalry, Tribune Johan with a unit of armoured infantry, 2 units of infantry and one of archers. Earl Helgin Dearg Mor, the Pictish king, Duke Stephen and Tribune Johan were all rated as commanders.
All figures are vintage 4cm Elastolins, mostly repainted with a number of conversions.