As my retinue is still not finished Steve provided all the models and terrain in the North Notts Palais des Jeux. I bought some beer.
Steve has an extensive collection of medievals with a distinctly WotR flavour as he's spent over fifteen years collecting WotR models without ever finding some appropriate rules. So although many of the models had seen previous service in Bretonnian, Empire or even Norman armies, this would be their first proper outing in a broadly historical context.
We used some scenery pieces to cover up most of the skull pits on the GW board and give us a vaguely historical looking battlefield.
Steve had prepared two retinues that covered most of the troop types.
We diced to see who had what and I got the retinue containing three archers (one Elite), a unit of sergeants and a unit of mounted Men at Arms. Steve's had two units of archers, two of sergeants (one elite) and a unit of foot men at arms.
We went with the basic bloodbath scenario and as the attacker I got the first turn.
I started by pushing my mounted men at arms forward, then my spears. Then my leadership deserted me and it was the end of my turn.
Fortunately Steve failed his first activation and it was my turn again.
Oh how we laughed.
Eventually I got my left flank archers advancing and Steve pushed his men at arms and billmen forward to meet them.
My spearmen became entangled in a wood and the knights decided to take time off from doing any moving for a while.
Fortunately the elite archers were able to take some toll on the billmen, and despite falling back were whittling them down with bow fire.
Meanwhile the foot men at arms carved a hole through one of the other bowman units.
Over on the right the enemy sergeants formed a schiltron and engaged in a face-off with my knights.
Desperately I redeployed the spearmen to sure up my crumbling flank.
Finally the knights put spur to horse and charged home, breaking the schiltron. This fight ground on for a couple of rounds before the knights were able to throw back the spearmen and charge the much less dangerous archers.
The elite archers finally dispatched the billmen unit and the arrival of the spearmen saw the men at arms begin to run out of steam (and bodies).
On the right flank the knights were forced once more to fight the sergeants, but despite being reduced to only three themselves, it was the sergeants who failed their courage test and routed.
A flurry of arrows felled the final men at arms, and although the remains of Steve's force passed their courage tests, the game was up and I emerged triumphant!
This was a fun and quick game.
We got the hang of the rules pretty quickly and despite a few early order failures were soon into the action.
The combat and morale rules are simplicity itself, but the C&C uncertainty of the activation role means the game remeains nicely balanced and exciting with failures at crucial moments allowing the tide to turn.
Looking forward to trying out some of the other scenarios and maybe the campaign as well.