Tales from the Uchronia Campaign - Aragon 1411AD
Wed, 04 July 2007 15:56
Castile and France clashed in the beautiful but near impassable canyons of the Ordesa Valley, in a scramble to control the supply center at Aragon. The Castilian army arrived first setting up archer stakes for it's legendary longbowmen, just in time to catch the advance of the French and the motley mercenaries accompanying them.
At first the Castilians gambit of preparedness appeared to pay off: a heavy cavalry unit was pared down to its last few remaining horses. After repositioning for the charge, a second and third volley was weathered by the French with not much loss, before plunging forth. Initially, little damage was wrought by the advance, but a solid position was established by the dwarven mercenaries of the French, backed up by the cavalry waiting to swoop in for the kills.
The first unit to fall, however, was a full troop of Castilian longbowmen, seemingly safe behind the stakes. Not safe however, when a bead was drawn by the dwarven crossbows aided by wizardry. The opposition's Rogue was asleep at the switch and chose to let the enchantment pass unfoiled - to some shock as the entire unit was stricken.
The advantage relinquished to the French, the Castilian army reasserted itself, perhaps a little foolishly, advancing in the center amongst the heavily supported dwarves. A dwarven mercenary unit of their own (perhaps paid a little more handsomely) ventured far into the fray not to battle, but to impede progress towards the archers. They were closely followed by medium cavalry and the archers and crossbowmen resumed there places at the stakes, engaging a dwarven enemy in melee combat - without much luck. The French enlisted dwarves suffered not at the archers hands' and dealt a loss to each in turn. The cavalry, however, were more fortunate and pushed the dwarves back towards their brethern, halving that unit's forces in turn.
A stalemate in the center ensued. The Castilian army took this opportunity to move its lone heavy cavalry unit on the right flank over into position to swing the balance, but the terrain proved cumbersome at best, and the unit suffered a loss of a third of their soldiers from the capable archers of the French, as they darkened the skies. The Castilian cavalry were moved to relative safety among the canyons, and positioned to charge into the center to the aid of the embattled comrades there. The French took the opportunity to press with its left flank of heavy goblin troops and own human cavalry, though fortunately for the Castilians this charge was led by the archers and medium cavalry, meeting the formation led by medium foot soldiers and backed by a unit of longbowmen and fellow medium infantry. Perhaps unwisely, the French initiated the scrum with an ineffective melee attack from the archers. Other than stock their already substantial lore reserves, the Castilians were unable to make the French regret their attempt at gaining an advantage in the battle. The French cavalry struck next - but the Rogue attoned for her earlier miscue and inspired treachery amongst the French, and the punishing blow was turned against them, taking out two-thirds the unit with it. The Castilians battled back as well, looking to finish off the discombobulated cavalry unit, but again, were unable to muster any potency. The dirty work would be left to the arrows. After an early opportunity had been wasted, finally the Castilian archers and enscripted dwarves with crossbows had their clear shots and darkened the skies. The weakened and aforementionedly beseiged French cavalry were the first to fall, leaving the formation along the French's left in shambles. But worse was the turn in the center, as a full strength dwarven unit was taken out, and another weakened. The tide had turned back towards the Castilians.
The French scrambled to bolster their position and regain the top hand, ordering units in the flanks. But the Rogue was feeling her impact on the battle, and with much hubris, scrambled the orders, in hopes of keeping the disorder amongst the French's left flank. It backfired in the hugest of proportions. The remaining French cavalry took it upon themselves to charge. A berserking red banner bared down on the Castilians own heavy cavalry, as their position of safety amongst the canyon walls became a death-trap. Another blue banner cavalry took the place of its recently fallen comrades on the left flank to continue the assault there. The cavalry arrived for the mercenary dwarves in the center - sort of. The blue banner rode up to battle the Castilian charged Dwarven mercenaries that had ventured forth, but the weakened Red banner cavalry, though saddling up for support, hung back, just away from the action. The Blues that it supported struck first, hitting the dwarves and also driving them back. Instead of following up it's charge on the dwarves, the cavalry risked losing the support of its friendly forces and pursued the enemy blue cavalry. Though they did not vanquish the enemy with the blow, the well supported Castilian cavalry were knocked back into the archers stakes and suffered a hit. The French's heavy cavalry were the next to strike, dealing the necessary damage on the two strength opposing red cavalry - with more available from those berserking forces if need be. They pushed on and bared down upon a full strength, but frightened unit of light infantry. However green the men may have been, they steeled themselves for the blow, and half of their unit remained after the assault. But, they could not muster much of a counter attack, only causing a slight retreat of the menace. The last of the charge continued, and so did the havoc wreaked. Three fourths of the embattled Castilian blues fell - but one forth remained and held their ground. Perhaps inspired by the resolve of their peasant enscripted fellow combatants who fended of the heavy cavalry, they struck back hard, and, already weakened by arrows, the the French calavry fell. A stunning turn.
It would not pack the punch that would have struck the French had the Castilians' own heavy cavalry survived, but a charge of their lone weakened blue banners was issued - striking back in the center. It's first target was the French's unsupported blue cavalry - though it proved agile. Too agile perhaps, taking a hit and falling back, leaving an opening for the Castilian cavalry to charge through and finish off the heavy cavalry. That decision however, left the lone unit open to be engulfed by the enemy.
Instead the French chose to let that aggression stand for the time being and decided to address the flanks with that rebuffed surrounding order. Support for the center was called in from the right and two dwarven units headed the call. To finish off the left flank, the heavy cavalry was called back from its canyon charge… but found its escape from the canyon walls cut off by a magical web.
Penned in the canyons themselves, the Castilian archers still found enough space to unleash volleys of arrows with an order whose moment had been thought to be long past. While the arrows did not find their marks as often as hoped, the battle of attrition continued as more French cavalry fell, though their units stood.
The French’s efforts to take its left flank were redoubled. The archers were ordered out of the way of the rushing Goblins who were joined by the delayed heavy cavalry, both bearing down upon the depleted blue banner short swords of Castile. The cavalry struck first, and easily took out the valiant but severely weakened Castilian blues. In turn the heavy cavalry advanced upon the longbowmen, no longer supported. Though no warrior was on the war council, the longbowmen proved a quick study and evaded the oncoming rush of hooves, retreating out of reach.
Again, it was the Castilian calavry's chance to end the battle, vested with full leadership. Two obstacles remained; the last of the French's blue banner cavalry, and the ragged few of a dwarven mercenary unit it protected. Under heavy pressure, the French cavalry held, losing none, but hitting back the equal, the Castilians escaping losses as well.
It was the French's turn to lead their blue cavalry charging back, in hopes of taking back control of the battle. Though the Castilian's once rich lore reserves were close to depletion, they were not empty. The Castilian's blue cavalry was protected by the Wizard slowing the charging French, slowing them just enough, and though taking losses, the Castilian unit still had life. Much needed life, as the Castilians issued orders to its blue banner troops. The resilient blue cavalry rode around behind the French counterpart, and the stout dwarves abutted against them as well. Men followed behind, but not yet to the fray, while on the right flank, the last remaining short swords there confronted the red menace. The cavalry struck first, and finally brought down the French cavalry, who had no where to retreat, and perished because of it. Finally able to confront the weakened dwarves that had had the luxury of protection, the end looked nigh. But the stoutness of the French enscripted dwarves came through, and though pressed hard by the cavalry, they held their ground and did not take any losses. The same cannot be said for the Castilians, who finally succumbed to the battle when the dwarves struck back.
Needing only take down two units to end the battle, the Castilians found out what all the lore in the French goblets was for: along with ordering blue troops of its own, a Fireball was unleashed. The foot soldiers behind the dwarves were targeted. Though singed, they withstood. This may have caused an altering of the French's tactics, as instead of attacking with two severely weakened units, they were shuffled behind the two strong, who shielded them from arrows and swords alike, while attacking the stalwart Castilian siding dwarves. The first attack yielded no fruit, and was repaid with loss. The second attack from the foremost and full strength human unit, did strike one blow, but, devastatingly, was in return dealt three. And none shielded that unit from the whistling of arrows that followed.
A battle that took place on Vassal as a part of Yangtze's Uchronia Campaign being staged at
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/battlelorecalltoarms/, head on over and check it out!
The battle took place using adventure #24 The Retreat South and CtA with each player having a level four war council. The victory point condition of Pennants scoring for each unit moved off of the oppositions side of the board was not used, but the rule that elevated terrain was impassable was in affect. The war council make up of Pennants was L2 Commander, L1 Warrior, and L1 Wizard. The Standard's war council consisted of L2 Commander, L1 Rogue, and L1 Wizard. Victory conditions were six vp.
[Updated on: Mon, 09 July 2007 15:36]