Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Warmaster Battle Report - 1250 points

Greetings all!
We were fortunate enough recently to have an interesting battle which we decided to try and recreate for your (and our own pleasure) using a new (free) program called Battle Chronicler. Any and all comments are appreciated both regarding the battle itself and the use of Chronicler.

The Battle was fought using the rules of Warmaster and was between The Black Teutonians of Wales vs. a Carthaginian Civil War Army (probably no such thing in the real world but it was made to compete against another players carthaginian army and as such must have been part of a civil war. We each had 1250 points with the min/max of a normal 1000p army.

The armies, by chance turned out to be a classic example of Quality versus Quantity, with huge numbers of warbands on the one side and a few of the best cavalry units available on the other.

Remember to click the maps to magnify them if they appear too small....and yes those africans do look a lot like medieval troops, thats just to fool the enemy .-)

First the two armies:
The Black Teutonians of Wales
General, Grand Master Tristan de Caernarfon
135 points
Leader, Magister Thomas Moore
80 points

Brother Knights, Knights of Brecon Hills
145 points
Brother Knights, Knights of the Virgin Lake
145 points
Crusader Knights, Knights of the Blessed Virgin
135 points
Light Horses, Snowdonian Riders
70 points
Light Horses, Riders of the Grail
70 points
Light Horses, Riders of the Cross
70 points
Light Horses, Riders of the Trinity
70 points
Light Horses, Riders of Syracusa
70 points
Crossbowmen, Archers from Laphroig
60 points
Crossbowmen, Archers from Gragganmore
60 points
Spearmen, Freemen of Cardiff
50 points
Spearmen, Hungry Horses
50 points
Subject Infantry, Footsoldiers of the Left
20 points
Subject Infantry, Footsoldiers of the Right
20 points
Total: 1250 points

And the Carthaginian Civil War Army (sans fancy names...)

King "I'm the real deal" Hannibal
Command 10/9
150 points
Leader, Hasdrubal
Command 8
80 points
Leader, Mago
Command 8
80 points
2x Heavy Cavalry, Heavy Cavalry
110 points
2x Skirmish Cavalry, Numidians
40 points
2x Infantry, Infantry
45 points
2x Skirmishers
30 points
20x Gallic Allies
25 points
Total: 1250 points

Turn 1: Cathago

Deployment was pretty straight forward (and sketched onto a map before the battle). The Carthaginians had their skirmishers on each flank, five full warbands protecting the normal infantry and the heavy cavalry in the centre. The Teutonians had their infantry on each flank while the heavy and "light" cavalry was the centre, able to quickly deploy elsewhere if necesary.

During their turn the africans carefully went forward, eyeing the scary modern cavalry across the fields. The numidians went carefully down one flank, trying to look imposing.

The field of battle, looking at the african forces

A pair of happy gamers prepare to fight to the death - such intense professionalism! :-)

The Numidian flank
Turn 1: Teutonians

The Walesian holy knights showed no fear as they took full advantage of their special and magnificent leadership in the first round and all surged forward. That is all, except the cowardly subject infantry who choose to hide in a forest for the rest of the battle, having served to up the breaking point of the more capable knights. The Infantry took positions on a hill and in one of the centre villages while half the "light" cavalry flew down the right side.

The Teutonian (and yes they are indeed very black) line of battle

Turn 2: Cathago

A huge band of Gallic Allies took a defensive position in the hills on the carthagian left flank supported by the foot skirmishers. Their mission was to keep the light cavalry from bothering the rest of the army for as long as possible. On the other flank a similar move brought a small army of barbarians into the vacant village.
In the centre another brutish army was sent in to lure the cavalry forward and some even managed by sheer lust for war to attack and force the opposing infantry to fall back further into their village silencing their crossbows for a while.

The barbarian hordes prepare to kill some knights...

Turn 2: Teutonians

Apart from the light cavalry surging ever forward on one flank the rest of the army either failed to move or held their horses ready to charge but no orders to do so was given, maybe the sheer numbers of frenzied barbarians across the field took the fight out of the brave knights?

Turn 3: Carthago

The leaders of the horde were unnerved by the lack of movement on the opposing side and all failed to issue a single order leaving especially their left flank vulnerable to the inevitable charge. Only a few desperate slingshots managed to confuse a large part of the light cavalry on that side, saving the infantry from the worst of the coming attack.

Turn 3: Teutonians

Deciding on action instead of inaction the Brotherhood gave the signal to attack and knights flew forward across the field. Although not always with great results; the light cavalry was forced to withdraw back after a hard fought battle that ended in a bloody draw. The Crusader knights had little trouble removing an unit of Gallic Allies from the field along with a few of their friends but when the time came to withdraw their horses were apparently stuck in the now bloody mud and the only managed a short fallback, leaving them in easy reach of much of the onlooking barbarian horde.
The Brother Knights had little bother in riding around the corner of the village, slaughtering the footsoldiers found there and even managed to show the undisciplined Crusader knights how to fall back, returning and redressing the line next to the other unit.

The victorious but isolated Crusader Knights

Turn 4: Carthago

Although it had been bloody the sacrifice would prove to be worth it - the Crusaders were stuck in the middle of the field and from all angles warbands fell on the poor knights who were all promptly killed and gutted by the bloodlusting horde. Unfortunately one warband got a wee bit too bloodmad and decided to charge into the well dressed line of Brotherhood knights and their light cavalry neighbours. This proved disatrous and the Brotherhood knights followed their success with another attack which also wiped out another warband - even positioning themselves for another charge next turn. Both sides held their breath to see just how many untrained infantry units these panzer tanks could mow down. But at the same time they were lured further and further into the waiting maw of axewielding doom.

Further fighting was happening on the flank where the foot skirmishers had managed to charge the light cavalry and were promptly followed by more warband units - and although forced to let the horses run away they had inflicted several lucky (and costly) fatalities amongst the enemy.

The Crusader Knights are overwhelmed by the hordes

The Light Cavalry are caught unprepared by skirmishers and warband

Turn 4 Teutonians

Another turn of violence was the Teutonian answer to their predicament. While the infantry began to advance the light cavalry surprised all by charging around the village into the peaceful Numidians, making short work of one unit and pressing the remains of another far backwards.

The helpless (and hopeless) Numidians are mown down by the more talented medieval type
On the other side the now rather sorry remains of the mirrored light cavalry once again tried to hammer their way through the infantry ensconced on the hill but were again (with even greater luck) thrown back down, with heavy casualties on both sides.
Both flanks were bleeding but that was nothing compared to the massacre in the centre where two full units of Brotherhood knights, apparently the best cavalry of all time, risked it all and flew through barbarians chopping heads of left and right. When the mist of blood settled a massacre had taken place leaving the knights almost unhurt in the centre of the field, their horses wading through seas of blood.

The Brother Knights plow through the warband line, killing footsoldiers left and right
Turn 5: Carthago

Throwing the remaining reserves into the fight the barbarians surged forward on all flanks. The Light Cavalry who were chopping the Numidians up were surprised by a long and rather unbarbarian manouvre that led to wave of barbarians charging the locked cavalry, killing suprisingly many of them and pushing the rest away from the hopelessly outclassed and now all dead african cavalry.
Another wave of charges saw the remaining Light Cavalry getting caught by the infantry on the other flank and while both sides were heavily damaged the cavalry were finally removed from the field, leaving only one very exposed unit.
In the centre now was the time to decide the battle and the Carthagians threw their Heavy Cavalry reserves into the tempting target of Brotherhood knights waiting in the abattoir. they were supported by infantry on both flanks and victory seemed inevitable - unfortunately the Teutonians managed by fighting like demons to kill enough of their enemy to force a lull in the comabt where all withdrew to gather their breath for another round. The charge of the heavy cavalry had not been as decisive nor as destructive as the africans had hoped and prayed for leaving the heavily armoured teutons in the center.

Turn 5: Teutonians

The Teutonian general decided to let his god sort out the battle and ordered a general charge across the field.
The remaining Brother Knights crashed into the african Heavy Cavalry wiping out one unit before falling back again, though not as effective an attack as hoped nor as far as prayed for - again leaving tasty knights stranded within charge range of too many barbarians.
On each flank the remaining Light Cavalry units also charged, trying to whittle down the damaged barbarian units to make things more even but during the fighting they themselves took far the heaviest toll.

The situation after the first couple of combat rounds in the centre, both sides having taken heavy losses..

Turn 6: Carthago

All that remained for the bloodied barbarians was to kill the seemingly invincible knights in front of them - and rallying their last reserves all available units threw themselves at them. With mad Gaellic fightings on all sides and Heavy Cavalry units to their front the Holy Brotherhood was finally forced to succomb to reality and the last knot was untied by brutal axeblows, leaving not a single knight alive on the field.
The Teutonian infantry quickly fled, leaving the Africans victorious and in charge of the field.

The end. The superknights have evaporated and left the barbarian hordes in charge of the abattoir!

Teutonian losses:

2x Brother Knights
1x Crusader Knights
5x Light Cavalry
755 points and Broken (breakpoint 7)

Cathago losses:
5x Warbands
1x Heavy Cavalry
2x Numidians
1x half Heavy Cavalry
2x half warbands
2x half Skirmishers
425 points (breakpoint 12)

This was a very interesting battle - the armies were as different as possible with some of the best troops on one side and their complete opposite on the other. Both sides took heavy casualties but while the barbarians just soaked them up and threw new units into the fight (carefully withdrawing damaged units) the Teutonians just didn't have enough to keep the flood from overwhelming them. The terrain helped defend the barbarian flanks while the light cavalry might have better used for outflanking the central warbands but then again they would have been counter charged quickly having nowhere to go between the massed warbands. They couldnt get to a flank and couldnt throw the infantry back from their hilly defences and in the end failed to evade effectively and decided to try and take a few more barbarian units with them. (Note; after having made this report I looked closer at the photos and they show that I've made a mistake - the attack on their right flank was done by only two Light Cavalry units, one stayed in the center and attacked with the Brother knights - my fault, but the result was the same :-))
The Teutonian infantry never arrived to make a difference due to low priority and failed command rolls but we both felt that if they had it would probably not have helped their mounted friends much.

Although many barbarian units had lost a stand or two and five had been destroyed we were both very surprised at how small a dent the cavalry managed to make in the huge army and we will be trying this out again to see if it was the work of lady Fortuna (the luck seemed to be average on both sides though) or if the superknights really are best countered by massed cheap troops.

Best regards, and I hope you enjoyed reading this report! (and please let me know if you did so :-)).

The Report is Copyright (c) 2009 Kasper. All rights reserved.
The Report by Kasper is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.


  1. A very fine narrative of the battle. I was like I was there :-)

  2. really enjoyed the battle report.
    i've just started playing warmaster in all its forms so i have found this helpful


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