Feudal English vs Early Hu
Feudal English is an army that I have almost by accident. Some time ago I traded an army of mine for a welsh host. This welsh army had 60 welsh IBwO and 50 IPkF to be used as northern and also southern. I soon realized that I could use the welsh infantry as the core of a feudal english marcher army. My first feeling was that the army was weak, unwieldy and very sensitive to bad terrains, bad luck, bad tactics (this is a problem common to all armies) and bad opponents (almost all fourth period western armies). After some games, I started to change my mind. Feudal English is a fun army and can also be quite good used in the right conditions. So I made paint 11 english IKnO using Legio Heroica 1250ish knights with the correct heraldry, to proudly lead the tough welsh infantry (after the first two games welsh infantry was much praised by me).
In this game I played against a clubmate using early Hu in an open pool testing match. Contrary to the norm, my army was tougher frontally than enemy but still suffered the nimbleness of the steppe opponent.
I defended, and tried to protect my flanks using difficult going features. I would have preferred to set up some marshes, but Feudal English has severe terrain restrictions with marshes. I was not surprised to see just two enemy corps on the table, both offset to my axis of march. I was not much afraid of flank marches with such a battlefield, but my main problem was to grasp enemy and avoid to disorder my battle lines and offer the enemy a way to infiltrate behind me.
I decided to attack and not wait for the enemy to seize the initiative and manouver at will. I marched forward with the aim to put enemy AxO in 400 paces before they could enter the wooded area in front of them. On turn 1 a delayed enemy corps entered, with 12 IBwI and 11 ILhF. It was another target for me, so far so good.
On the right wing the approach phase was smooth for me. The Hu had for several turns low pips, and was not able to coordinate the assault against my right flank. This would have dire consequences for the ILhF. The ones on the gentle hill had to face my PkF formation closing on them, while the ILhF on the far right never entered combat. All Hu pips were used on IPsO and IAxO, that neverless could not leave the good going.
On the left wing I faced more problems, due a mistake of mine, not having put enemy ILhF within 400 paces and thus denying their marching. Hu positioned their light horses on the archers flank that due low pips I could not protect with the CvO. The reserve knight corps was behind waiting for the flank march, still wandering off table albeit the delaying start stratagem used by Hu.
On the right the situation was more and more desperate for Hu light horses, pip starved and under attack. English IKnO advanced to charge enemy foot in the open.
Hu light horses could not stand for long the combined PkF charge and IBwO shooting. Losses were mounting for Hu CiC corps, now with IAxO in charge reach of the english knights and rolling again and again very low pips. To add more misery, a single welsh IPsO stopped the hu outflank in the wood, killing two enemy psiloi in the process.
Hu IBwI were slowly shot at pieces by welsh bowmen, so the ILhF charge in the flank was decisive. The welsh proved elite troops again and stood their ground.
Finally, on turn seven, the flank marching corps arrived. A large number of IWbF, that luckily were not in position to charge my archers.
Hu CiC command was under assault from two large english corps. After several turns of combat, CiC and english nobles charge finally broke it.
The ME transmission tipped the edge also on the melee on the left wing, breaking the hu corps fighting there. It was enough for the chinese nomads, that run away. A neat english victory.
I was glad of this result, because the tactical situation was tough for me. English used a simple plan, trying to stay in the game also when low pips arrived and this time that worked. Hu low pips on the right wing stopped the outflanking manouver, that by the way would have needed a lot of pips to be coordinated with the mass of ILhF positioned there in a cramped space. The late arrival of the flank marching corps was another decisive factor. This time Hu had no luck.