May 022017
 

And so our 7th Ayton has come and gone. And a great weekend it was yet again. This year, as you will know if you have followed the last few posts, was to be Lion Rampant. Gary Phillips took on the onerous task of herding us all together to fight it out and produced an excellent set of games! It’s not easy setting up scenarios to fit in timescales (2 games on day 1 and 1 big game on day 2), as  I’m sure Henry will attest! And especially with the weird and wonderful troops our lot can come up with! But Gary did a fine job. 

The basic background to the games was:

Somewhere in the Med, sometime during the Crusades . . . .
Sir Geoffrey the Indolent is on to a nice little earner. He has established a little fiefdom right on the main sailing route to the Levant. Crusaders on the way out are charged extortionately for food and board, even more on the way back! As a result, Sir Geoffrey has built up a significant pile of treasure from the Crusades, whilst maintaining a reign of terror over the local populace. He has a number of minor nobles to enforce this rule of law.
The Western Crusaders have had enough. A number of nobles have decided to remove Sir Geoffrey and have launched a punitive expedition. They want him removed and they want to dismantle his little empire and recover their treasures.
The Eastern Hordes have seen the Crusaders take their treasures and set up an outpost which threatens their shores. They want the treasures back, so have launched a raid – the objective: loot, burn and kill indiscriminately. If they destroy enough, there will be nothing for the Crusaders to defend. A renegade band of Teutonic Knights see their cause as a way to get one over on the Westerners and have joined their cause, albeit they will arrive late . . . .
Meanwhile, all is not well in the House of Geoffrey. Whilst his nobles wish to preserve the island paradise, some are not keen on seeing Sir Geoffrey prosper. They are more interested in the locals and whist they don’t want it destroyed, they won’t mind if Sir Geoffrey falls to the invaders.
Others of course have had their pockets lined and will defend the current set-up to the last. They are also happy to perform a little pillaging of the local populace and treasures on their own account. Cue chaos . . . . .

I, along with Dave Hall and Richie, formed the Western Crusader contingent as we all had broadly late C11th forces. My first game saw myself and Richie converging on a wagon train guarded by Ken and Gary. Each wagon had a unit attached to it that could defend but not abandon them to go fight. Rolling for my leader (Prior Donovan) he was ‘vulnerable’ so this looked like it may be his last campaign leading the Brotherhood of the Swan into battle! 

The wagons were rather well defended!

The Brotherhood prepare to attack

Richie’s troops were engaged quite quickly

My troops seemed a little wary of advancing too quickly…

…and the wagons rolled on with little intervention from me! However, Richie was fighting hard on the other side of the table but not doing that well…

Finally Ken’s mounted sergeants swung round to block my finally advancing troops

Ken’s VERY pretty yeomen!

I managed to form schiltron and drove off his chaps three times.

I finally got some movement as my crossbows started hitting the wagons

As Richie started to suffer losses the wagons moved on but my troops finally started to close in.

Unfortunately, The Brotherhood were clearly feeling a little vulnerable so still refused to move…

There then followed a series of melees as my sergeants held firm to drive off Ken’s. However, they still remained a threat and stop my advance in that area.

Meanwhile I finally managed to make some attacks on the wagons but failed to destroy the opposition and capture them…

And as there was no point in just sitting there my sergeants attacked Ken’s and drove them off!

Although my unit of sergeants looked set for another attempt on the wagons they ended up failing a Courage test and fleeing the table!

This left space for my Men at Arms to try as well and despite repeated battles with several units and getting shot to bits the failed to grab a wagon!

And finally failed a Rally and fled!

And in the final turn Richie’s remaining mounted troops captured the lead wagon!

And that was it. With Richie’s losses and my last two units dying we were deemed to have failed and were forced from the field allowing the wagons through. I’d misheard the Glory Points instructions and thought we HAD to pick three. And I failed all mine, scored no other victory points and so ended the game on -3. Much to the amusement of everyone there…

After a pleasant light lunch we resumed for Game 2. This time the Western Crusaders, myself, Dave Hall and Richie were assaulting a town with the intent of capturing a couple of guns that would then not be available to the defenders in the big game. The opposition was Gary and Ken on the flanks, and defending the town was the resolute Essex Boy (Iain Burt)! Dave looked at the cannon pointing down the road and the bows and crossbows massed in the buildings either side and decided to set up on the right flank! I decided that charging up the road with glorious abandon would be fun so lined up to face Iain which Richie deployed on the left (where another cannon was placed) and faced Gary.

My troops arrayed for battle…

The first sergeants and crossbows advanced while my men at arms moved to the right.

First blood as Iain’s archers opened up…

The men at arms tried to assault the building

But were driven off… as were the sergeants.

And both failed Courage tests badly and fled the field!

The remaining sergeants charged towards the gun. They had already taken casualties from this as Iain took an early shot before limbering and attempting to run…

I managed to catch them and drive them back but as not battered they took the gun with them…

And my guys got caught in the flank…

And driven back they failed their Rally and fled!

Meanwhile Dave has been battling Ken on the right but with horrendous activation rolls was making little progress and this allowed Ken to move in support of the centre.

It was now time for the cavalry! Taking casualties on the way in they battled valiantly.

The Brotherhood charged in support but their God was not with them…

And driven back they faced more arrows!

Finally Brother Donovan, grasping the sacred Banner of the Swan, died under a hail of arrows…

…and finally only the crossbows remained.

Although they tried to harry the retreat it was to no avail. The cannon escaped and the battle was lost…

Dave had rotten dice the whole game and could only get half his force into action. Richie, over on my left, got badly pummelled by Gary’s mounted troops and although he fought back well he too could not get his remaining troops into the fray…

I had rather poor dice. But it was a strong position to assail and Iain sat there and revelled in shooting hell out of me on the way in. It’s quite hard to coordinate an attack as you can get everything forward and ready and then have some bad rolls that leaves them vulnerable… especially to Expert Bow! But Iain did not revel in his good fortune and only sniggered and danced a jig on most rather than all good rolls… 🙂

Although I managed to score some Glory Points (2) I had again taken and failed three boasts…. so my total for the day saw me on -4! But everyone was sympathetic to my misfortune and were supportive and hardly ever mentioned it… especially Peeler…. Gits! 

So that was Day 1. Not exactly a resounding success for my troops but a good laugh which is the important thing. Not the points. No one cares about the points… Or mentions them…again…and again…and again…

Day 2 to follow!

More pics in the galleries:

Game 1

Game 2

 

 

  One Response to “Ayton 2017 – Day 1”

  1. How many points?

    A fine and balanced write up, Andy. Let no one say that you didn’t try your best.

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)