Monthly Meeting Saturday 1 December 2001

after action report


Byzantine army (Peter) repeats the same deployment strategy as last month's glorious victory.  Overload one flank and defend with the others.

Pechneg (Jeff), Russ and Slav go for a more conventional set-up with a Russ heavy infantry centre, Slav light troops in bad going to their right and Pechneg light horse on the far right.  On the left is the Pechneg war wagons in a defensive wall.  A force of Pechneg light horse are flank marching (off-board) on the left (all perspectives are from the Pechneg point of view).

The wide river in the centre is found to be difficult and dangerous to the Byzantine heavy troops in the centre.  They cannot cross it without fear of loss.  They mount a knight charge into the line of war wagons and along the whole left flank while at the same time sending their extra cavalry and other knights towards the other flank as there is not enough room to use them.

Pechnegs advance their far right flank of light horse attacking the Byzantine picket line of psiloi. The Russ centre cannot attack effectively across the wide river and move to cross where the river is easier (right flank) while the light Slav troops take their place in the centre.  The Pechnegs also reinforce their war wagons with X foot (who were they?) from their back-field.

The Byzantine knights are suffering losses as they battle the war wagons.  Their spears join into the fray and manage to break the line of war wagons just as Pechneg reinforcements arrive.

Riding fast across the centre a strong force of cavalry cross the river on the right before the Russ can deploy properly.  The Pechneg light horse have not expected the early arrival of this mounted force and are not ready to take them on.  The forces in the centre stand and face each other off.

Back on the left flank, the Byzantine knights are failing.  Their casualties are mounting and their spears have been met by the infantry brought in to support the war wagon line.  They have also become flanked by enemy war band.  Suffering heavy losses their morale is broken and they start a retreat.

Over on the right the Pechnegs light horse are making a strategic retreat to buy time for their Russ spear line to set up.  They are falling back as the Byzantine cavalry approaches.  However, in a rash move, they attack.

The Byzantine cavalry are superior to their attacks, but this has hit the line of Byzantine forces trying to stream across the river on the head and their forces are jamming up behind them.

The Byzantine attack on the left has failed.  Pechnegs follow through after the retreating Byzantine but are stopped at the river crossing by a Byzantine knight general.  Pechneg light horse appear on the left flank.  Byzantine cavalry reverse in their tracks and instead of helping to push the attack on the right turn back to defend their backs.

Meanwhile the Byzantine cavalry and knights on the right, tired from their dash across the centre and with less room to move with their infantry support already upon them are hindered in their attack (low movement pips).  The Pechneg counter-attack is causing disarray among the Byzantines.

Trying to breakout, the Byzantines commit their knights into a charge into the Russ spear wall. The spear wall holds and two of the three knight units are impaled on the spears.  The third and last knight unit is repelled and stumbles towards their infantry support trying to cross behind them.

The Russ spears charge into attack. The Byzantine knights are destroyed and the battle is lost.

The heated mounted battle on the left flank is in vain.  The Byzantine army is broken.  The Pechnegs have seen the invaders off the field of battle.

Battle report written by an educated Slav with nothing else to do but stare at the enemy across the river and hurl insults at them.  

Chris Lam

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