Tuesday, 4 January 2011
A short, sharp bit of practice
"Don" Dharko's bandit bad boys, 400 in all, came down off the hills at dawn to loot the granary and depot at Apl Trnova, in the northeast (see here for the beginning of the tale). All that was facing them were the 50 men of the Granary garrison and the local vardariots (gendarmes - think Huszar type troops above), again about 50, but they are mounted.
(This was a basic skirmish to start getting into the Sharp Practice rules - figures not fully painted yet and terrain was rudimentary, so no gaming porn pix for y'all)).
Anyway, the bandits came off the hills more slowly than they would have liked, and that allowed the garrison in the granary and the Vardariots in the town to loose off a few telling rounds. There is a long open meadow and a stream between the hills, and the granary and town, delaying them further.
The Vardariots were mounted, and charged the bandits at one point, causing quite a lot of damage on some stragglers before retiring before they were swamped. The bandits suffered quite a few casualties in approaching the granary but finally got in, and the remaining garrison fought their way out a side door.
The action took a few hours in scale terms, but now its the bandits who have the problem - they have the granary, but the Byzantines are behind barricades in the town and are sniping at them whenever they move, and hauling the loot over the long meadow is quite hazardous.
What to do therefore? Attack the town and secure the loot, or make off with the loot they can before nightfall and probable Byzantine reinforcement?
Conclusion - short battle, 4:1 odds but 2 "Small" big men in the New Byzantine side allowed them quite a lot of manouvre vs the unfortunate "medium" big man Don Dharko who definitely needs to up his initiative (the Sharp Practice cards were against him...). Also, being in hard cover was very useful.