Carolingian vs Qarakhanids
Carolingian Frank period has a lot of appeal to me: the struggle to reform an Empire in Europe, inspired by Roman one, while surrounded by many and powerful enemy nations, is quite appealling. Unfortunately, I still struggle to organize a decent army list for Carolingians. The numerous KnF are brittle, and the support troops are weak infantry and average skirmishers. Any battle will be decided by caballari performance. There are a number of good allies avalaible, but I'm studying at the moment an all frank force.
In this game I played this list: 1) CiC RKnF, 10 RKnF, 12 IPsO (32ME); 2) SG RKnF, 16 IBdI, 4 IHdO (24ME), 3) SG RKnF, 3 RKnF, 3 ICvO, 6 ILhO, 6 IPsS (24ME); 4) 6 IBgI
My opponent played a Qarakhanid army, a list he is studying after having tested it in Surun!! team match we played some time ago. A CvS / LhS combi is quite common in third book period, and this would be a good test for my army.
As defender I tried to protect my flanks with difficult going to avoid being outflanked and to use my skirmisher to threaten enemy flanks by infiltration. Unfortunately just the right was cluttered by difficlt features: my left flank had no protection. I set up the Bua across a road (that is not visible) to completely block at least one flank sector.
Unexpectedly, Qarakhanid concentrated the army on my left flank with an allied turk corps up front, supported from behind by Ghulams. The CiC led a CvO reserve, while the right flank there were more CvS and LhS.
I gave the lower pip dice to my infantry center, advancing with it to pin the enemy and have a bastion to protect my flanks. The RKnF under CiC, screened by IPsO aimed at enemy ICvS, the better target to smash the enemy left. Unfortunately the lack of any difficult going forced me to use the IPsO in a sacrifice role, to cover as long as possible my flank. On the right flank I faced the enemy with IlhO and ICvO. Worst quality, but higher BP and with a KnF reserve ready to eliver a charge.
Qarakhanid manouvered two corps from right to left, aiming to attack the vulnerable RKnF.
My left wing was oon under pressure, with more and more enemy reinforcement arriving. I had to force the attack with RKnF before the opponent could deploy, but this would have exposed my flank even more. The situation was difficult.
I advanded my CiC RKnF in charge range from enemy ICvS. Both had a phase of low pips, but this bothered the Turk more, because he was in full manouver while I went straight. On the far right I exposed in open going my IPsS to advance and gain access to enemy open flank
The Qarakhanid charged first. The left flank crumbled, but this took time and effectively put out of action many ILhS. The RKnF charges started to kill several turk elements. Unexpectedly, on the right flank the ILhS charge on frank ILhO and ICvO failed, and the countercharge was very effective, putting soon the allied turkish command out of action.
A close up of the situation on the right. Qarakhanid has no more reserves and several flanks exposed.
In this battle phase, the frankish CiC corps enjoyed an important C3 superiority thanks to higher pip and all regular troops. Even suffering losses, it attacked in two direction inflicting huge casualties to Turks. The Qarakhanid two corps reserve was pressed by the Franks adavncing and could not orderly deploy to support the crumbling left corps. This big reserve was piecemal used to cover holes and finally to engage the carolingian infantry that wasa dvancing and exposing the turkish inner flanks.
The Qarakhanid attack in the center was succesfull, but was too late: the right wing broke and the left was hardly beaten too.
The end of the battle, with Qarakhanid big left wing destroyed. The Carolingian CiC corps was disheartened. 20-5 for Charlemagne
The battle once again confirmed how the psiloi are a vital part of this army, to screen and cover the KnF. The Household cavalry regular status was a battle winner, because let the carolingian to manouver, counter any threat and exploit opportunities. Also the humble IBdI were useful, holding an important sector of the battle line and providing overlaps. By the way, nothing helps to avoid the scare when the KnF are being attacked!