My first competition game at Cancon 2011 (well, at any time really) was against Dave Turner, a Canberra local, and his Book II, List 73 Old Bavarians with Avar and Western Slav Allies. This gave him a good troop mix with the Avars providing Superior Regular Cavalry (Reg Cv(S)), the Western Slavs providing a lot of Auxilia (Irr Ax(O)) which are useful for broken terrain along with some Psiloi (Irr Ps(O)) and cavalry (Irr Cv(O)). The Bavarian part of the force consisted of a large mass of warband, both Noble (Irr Wb(S)) and Peasants (Irr Wb(O)).
Using the two allies is risk for Dave as there is a chance that one of the commands will be unreliable at the battle start. However, against that is the resulting army which has a mix of a lot of warband infantry – always a problem for any opponent – backed up by some quality cavalry in the Avars and some good bad terrain troops with the Western Slavs. I was the invader in this battle so got to deploy second which was an advantage.
Dave managed to deploy some difficult terrain that allowed him to sweep around on his right flank and restricting my deployment.
I had decided that I would deploy my weakest knight command (Command B – see my previous post on Cancon 2011 – the Eastern Franks) to face the Avars. I hoped that they would be able to engage the Avars and keep them busy long enough for my main strike command, Command A, to do sufficient damage to the warbands to cause some consternation for the Bavarians. In the meantime, my infantry command would act to delay the Bavarian right flan. Well, that was the plan.
The battle started very early, at 5:00 am in fact. It was a cool autumn day with a strong wind blowing from the southwest. I was facing east.
I advanced the knight commands forward as fast as I could to engage and get them involved as I was not confident with the ability of my infantry to stand too long. The weaker command engaged the Avars as planned as the main strike command closed in the warband. In the meantime the Slavs advanced quickly across the bog and started to swing in on my left.
The general’s command struck the warband and started to push into them. The Avars, however, had been shattered by now so my right flank Milites and Swabians started to swing in on the main Warband. The left flank command of the Franks was holding up the Slavs well, with the Archers in particular holding their own against the Auxilia in the bog. The spears were holding some warband back.
The overall plan worked at the Old Bavarians finally cracked and broke. I had won my first competition DBMM game.
By the time the battle had completed I had lost 5 elements of Milites and 9 elements of spears and bows. This was just over 15% of my force so by the scoring rules, I lost 2 points for each 10% of my force lost. These two points were then deducted from the 25 points awarded for each game to give a result of 23:2 in my favour.
I must also thank Dave for being a true gentleman throughout the game, even assisting me with advice at one point of time in the game.
On to the second round.