Maurikian Byzantine vs Nikephorian Byzantine
For this game set in third period I decided to try a Maurikian army, because I wanted to test double based CvS. This is a kind of troop I never used before, and being impressed by Samurai supported Cv that I faced some time ago I thought that they could give some real punch.
When I wrote down the list I decided to not use the all mounted version, because in third period BwX are a fearsome opponent and I wanted to have some troops able to deal with them. Furthermore using some heavy infantry would let me field also some PsS, always a nice asset.
When I met my opponent and I knew he was using Nikephorian I smiled, because the Bd would surely be useful. I was less happy when I looked at his 24BwX deployed. Too many.
Weirdly enough I was the attacker, and had to deploy first. Not a good start.
The table was very open. There was a huge GH on the left, facing two small GH and two patches of RGo on the right. I deployed my CvS corps on the hill, the BdI in the center and the KnF with mixed skirmisher on the right. My army is on the left in the picture
I immediately realized that I set up badly the terrain. With an army so small I should have selected some difficult going. The Nikes had in the center two corps with BwX mixed to CvS, and a third corps on the right with CvS and skirmishers. My CvS double based had in front a formation of skutatoi, the worst opponents I could face.
My plan was simple. Use the LhS to skirmish the BwX on the left and manouver the unwieldly CvS to roll the enemy flank, protected just by 4 CvS and 4 PsO on the leftmost Gh.
On the right I would have tried an outflanking manouver using my number superiority, while the BdI in the center would have tried to fix the enemy center.
This is the opening turn. My mounted wing try to run past the BwX while the opponent countermanouvers
Thus is what happened the turn after. My CvS pushed forward, while the LhS protected the flank and shielded the heavies from shooting
On the other flank I pushed back the enemy troops, that skillfully avoided my threat on the exposed flank. So far so good, except one thing: My center was isolated, with open flanks and the lower pip dice.
Nike BwX manouvered on both flanks of my Bd formations, while they ttacked hard my LhS trying to swept them away and expose the CvS flank.
Enemy CvS manouvered to stop my heavy cavalry on the GH, withdrawing the exposed PsO. My situation was now problematic. I could not stand still, because of the attack on my flank, but advance the CvS would have made me receive a downhill charge. My opponent put me in a corner.
I thought about it, and accepted the huge risk. I advanced my CvS on the hill. In the meantime the Nike had C3 problems, because his lower pip dice commanded the BwX manouvering on my infantry flank and the CvS that can be seen engaging my LhS. He could not manouver well as he would have liked.
In the meantime the center was under heavy shooting, and my right wing could not deliver a charge, because the opponent kept pulling back his troops
The game here entered the decisive phase. I was lucky rolling very high combat dice and losing no CvS to the downhill charge.
On my turn I eliminated the PsO guarding the enemy CvS flank.
My BdI were being shot at pieces. The attacks to enemy BwX failed.
On the right I made a bad mistake, because I attacked in haste and piecemal. My LhS were not supported by RKnF and were wasted.
Maurikians survived a second enemy downhill charge, and the CiC was not killed by an hard flank attack. Dice were helping me.
My PsS died and so my LhS trying to force a way behind enemy flank. In this sector I played very bad.
Finally Maurikian BdI started to eliminate enemy BwX. Enemy Cvs was being grinded too.
My last try to break through the enemy line. I exposed my KnF to enemy CvS charge, with one overlap for me and a commander in the formation. Another huge risk I didn't like much.
The end is closer. Enemy general engaged and two enemy corps disheartened.
The final fighting on the right wing. Nike made a desperate charge, failed it and suffered badly from countercharge
When one nike corps broke, all the army followed. 23-2.
Tough game. My opponent played better than me, forcing me to engage him where and when he wanted. I felt outgamed but some very good combat rolls and an aggressive attitude saved me.
In the center and on the right wing I made some major mistakes, while on the left the tactical situation forced me to fight in a disadvantaged position. What I saw is that with so many Bw my opponent could keep a good line, concentrate shooting, but in the end made few casualties, while his mounted arms had half the elements I fielded. This proved decisive because most losses were in the cavalry fight.
The Maurikian are a solid army, but should be played better.