Battle of the Toos Stone
This is a battle we fought in about 3 1/2 hrs.
The year is 1068. It is two years since the army of the Saxon king Harold was beaten and disbursed at Hastings. But England has not completely fallen, and nor so is it falling easily. Saxon warlords and nobles lead bands of outlaw soldiers from hinterland hideouts and strongpoints, and many Saxon Eldarmen still openly resist the Norman takeover.
The Norman strategy for conquering England unfortunately did not encompass operations that might take place after the deposition of the Saxon king, so the Normans are going about their task piecemeal and in an unorganized fashion. Norman warlords have been given the directive (or permission, depending on how you look at it) to "go and conquer what you can… set down your markerstones as you can."
It is one of those marker stones, set a quarter day’s march past the river Toos by the Norman lord Ollo that brings us together on the tabletop. North of the Toos, Saxon influence was minimal at best, and the territory has traditionally been that of the Scots. Thrice the Scots, under the chief Collin Conbrossigson, have tossed Ollo’s stone into the Toos, and twice Ollo has retrieved it and re-set it. Now, carrying it north again, Ollo comes in force with knights and soldiers, determined to set the stone in place and remove the Scots that threaten it.
The Norman task is to advance across the narrow stream of Tonkathy and place the marker within 12" of the opposite side of the table. If They can drive the Scots off the table, or if the Normans can hold the marker in place for 4 consecutive turns, they win.
Once the stone is planted, the Normans must keep at least one figure solely in contact with the stone for four consecutive turns in order to declare victory. Further, that one figure must be able to trace an unobstructed, base-wide path to the Norman side of the board, over the bridge in order for the stone to be considered under control. If retreat is cut off in any given turn, the "4 consecutive turns" is held in abeyance until the retreat route has been cleared. If a Scot figure contacts the stone, the "4 consecutive turns" is held in abeyance until that figure is pushed way or killed. If the Normans loose contact with the stone, the "4 consecutive turns" must start over when contact is re-established.
The Scots' task is to prevent the stone from being placed by the Normans. If they can prevent it from being placed and held in place for four turns, They win.
Initially the Scots are heavily outnumbered in addition to being inferior in arms and armor. Fortunately, help is on the way. At some point, a force under the Saxon expatriate lord Frakistan will march to the Scots' aid, and enter the battle on one of the flanks. Neither side knows which flank, nor how large his force is. On the Arrival of Franistan
The time and place of the Saxon’s arrival is unknown. The first time during combat when each player rolls the same unmodified die roll, horns will be heard coming from one particular direction. The second time matching die are rolled, the Saxons will be placed on the board during the next movement for that player. Arrival will be considered their movement for that turn.
Forces involved were:
|The Tonkathy Stream, looking north toward the eventual Scots position.|
|Looking south toward Tonkathy Bridge.|
|The Scots take up position, axemen and Conbrossigson on the left, spearmen in a shieldwall on the right, with the cav in the middle.|
|Conbrossigson and his guard among the axemen.|
|The Normans cross the Tonkathy, Danish mercenaries leading, archers, then foot knights.|
|Discerning the Scottish position, Ollo decides to concentrate on his own left. The Danes leave the road and begin a flank march, which the archers spread out.|
|Some of the Scottish archers descend from the hills to fire on the vikings. A Danish PA vet is the first to die. the Vikings, enraged, charge the archers, but only two of the fleetest warriors reach the archers, killing one. At this time, horns are heard to the Norman right. Ollo decides to shift away from the horns, suspecting Scottish reinforcements are on the way.|
|The Scottish cavalry in turn charge the strung-out Vikings, hoping for a quick morale check. In a most unusual combat, the only casualties of this horse charge are the respective unit leaders. Both units break, the Danes routing or falling back, and the Cav routing back to their original position.|
|Meanwhile, the Norman foot has rapidly advanced up the road, and forms a shieldwall with its spearmen. The Swordsmen remain in open formation on the road. The Scottish axemen have begun shifting to the right.|
|As the routing Scottish cavalry pass in front of them, the Norman swordsmen charge into the rear of the routed cavalry, driving it from the table. The Norman shield wall stands while the Danes sort themselves out, and the Saxon levy moves the stone across the Norman left.|
|The Scottish axemen on the left, seeing half the Norman knights below them, charge downhill and surround them.|
|A massive chop-fest ensues, with the charging Scots getting the best of the melee. Six Normans fall, while one Norman kills two Scots. Frakistan's Saxons are dimly visible in the distance, marching on the Norman flank.|
|The ensuing morale check shakes up the Normans. Only the leader and one knight stand. The two remaining swordsman hoof it up the hill (the only route open), while the shield wall, consisting only of low rank troops, falls back along the road. The knight leader and one other knight fight on. The two knights that have retreated up the hill later espy and attack a sole Scot archer.|
|As the Norman foot falls back, they uncover the Norman horse, who promptly charge the Scottish axemen. In what is the most heroic Scottish moment in years, one Norman knight dies and only three Scots fall despite being out-armored and facing charging lances. Further, the Scots stand through the morale check, muster their strength and counter attack.|
|Meanwhile, the Danes, who have rallied, and the Saxon levie continue to be intermingled. They form a sort of co-dependent shield wall at the base of the hill. In this picture, the Danes have the clean green bases, the Saxons show additional busy flocking on theirs.|
|Looking down, the Scots in the shield wall on the right throw jeers and Hagis, inviting the reluctant Saxons and Vikings to attack. Wisely, the Saxons and the leaderless Vikings decline to attack a double row of spears in a shield wall on a hill in cover.|
|In the ensuing melee in the center, the alone and surrounded Norman Foot knight leader is cut down. Further, the Scot archer on the hill manages to dispatch both Norman knights! At this, the remainder of the foot knights bid farewell and run for the bridge.|
|In the same melee, two further horse knights are hewn down, and Ollo himself takes a wound. The horsemen do not stand, and break after the foot knights.|
|At this point, every Norman save a single knight surrounded by Scottish axemen is in flight. The Danes and the Saxon levy hold in place, while the Scots consider sweeping down from the hill.|
|Given that two of their units are now leaderless and have suffered casualties, it is unlikely they will have much staying power, and with Frakistan (visible on the plains to the left of center) marching in with 20 intact Saxons, Ollo and the Normans decide to retreat over the bridge and return another day.|