Friday, 15 January 2016

Impetus: Feudal English vs Feudal Scots

Scots on left from the foreground: knights, peasants,
schiltron, ribaulds (advanced to marsh), Highlanders,
Islanders and the mass of schiltrons and archers. English
on right from foreground: knights, sergeants, knights,
Welsh archers.
Following the Pavia refight, my next Impetus game featured 15 mm Feudal English versus Feudal Scots on a regulation 4' x 3' area. My 15 mm Ancients/Medievals are another group of armies that haven't seen the light of day for at least twenty years.

As all the figures were mine I drew up the army lists for the sake of convenience. Each army was divided into three commands. My opponent, Ian, who ended up commanding the Scots, had warned me to balance the commands. I ignored this advice but it caught up with me during the game. Each army was organised in three commands with all generals attached.

English knights (on the left of the English line) bear down on Scottish knights and peasants. What could possibly go wrong?
I was wary of the Scots schiltrons.  Ian was wary of my archers.  This caused him to place most of his schiltrons (with William Wallace) behind a wood. Things were looking up.

The impetuous English King is facing a schiltron and Highlanders and is dangerously isolated.  
My plan was to strike his right flank with my left and then to roll up the rest of his line. My C-in-C (Edward I) commanded the left flank striking force. It all began well when my general's unit overran some peasants, but during an activation phase the dice promoted my c-in-c to charismatic which is a very two-edged advantage, especially when combined with impetuous knights. I knew it was risky to commit a charismatic general to close combat but I didn't have a 'plan B'.

As feared, the general's unit was routed and the general killed causing every unit in the army to suffer a permanent loss of -1 to its basic fighting value. As there were only two, equally valuable units in my left flank command,  it also meant the left-hand command was reduced to 50% causing it to rout.

Emboldened by their success on the other flank, the mass of the Scottish schiltrons begin their advance on the Welsh longbowmen.
This was a double whammy and the turning point of the game. The Welsh archers (only 'Longbow B' at this period) did not turn out to be as powerful as I expected, and weakened by the loss of the charismatic leader, proved quite incapable of taking out the schiltrons. This provoked a general Scottish advance and the rest is (alternative) history.

Scots Islanders and schiltrons close in for the kill.

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