This is my first Battle Report, I did take photos but I could not upload the jpeg files as they were too big, I need to work out why. I was using my Later Saxon army and Dave Johnson used his Arab Abbasid Caliphate army, both armies were 1,000 pts.
The Saxon list included, 6 Commanders, 5 bases of Thegns Cavalry, 4 infantry units of combined Thegns (4 bases) & Fyrd (4 bases), 2 units of Welsh archers each with 6 bases, and 2 units of 5 bases of skirmishers (riding horses). The Abbasid's included 4 commanders, 6 bases of Ghulam Cavalry, 6 bases of Khurasan Cavalry, 6 bases of Heavy Cavalry, 7 bases of Daylami infantry, 2 units of 7 bases of Daylami archers, 6 bases of Turcoman Cavalry, 6 bases of Militia Skirmishers and 6 bases of Naffatum.
Both armies set up with the 2 woods unfortunately scattering to the middle of the table, not ideal for a Saxon Shieldwall battle line, whilst facing fast moving heavy cavalry. The Saxons deployed the Shieldwall units on their left flank with Welsh archers and Thegn cavalry in the middle, whilst the bulk of the Abbasids deployed in the middle with the Heavy cavalry and Turcoman on their right flank and their skirmishers on the left flank. The Skirmishers all moved before the start of Turn 1.
Turn 1: the shooting phase has little effect, but the Turcoman Cavalry are in charge range of a unit of Saxon skirmishers, who being brave Saxons decide to take the charge rather than evade, thinking we can take them, only to find Arab spears are not made of rubber. The Saxon skirmishers lost and were run down by the Turcoman cavalry. The Turconam cavalry quickly reigned in their horses as they came face to face with the Saxon Shieldwall, sat behind the skirmishers. The Thegns cavalry had moved up from the right hand side of the Saxon battle line to support the Skirmishers on the left, though risked being shot to bits in Turn 2 by the Daylami archers (poor deployment by me, putting my Cavalry on the right flank, when they should have been on the left), and as Dave was to realise later he should have deployed his Naffatum's on his right flank and used the woods on that flank to get close to the Saxon Shieldwalls.
Turn 2: As expected the Daylami archers opened fire on the Thegn Cavalry, who suffered the loss of two bases, past their Cohesion test but were discouraged. The Welsh archers were obviously using rubber arrows as no real damage was done. All units were moving around trying to get into a position of attack, with the Ghulam cavalry going around the woods on their left flank to remove the threat of the Welsh archers in the middle of the table, whilst the Welsh archers positioned themselves to target a single unit of Daylami archers, but no combat happened.
Turn 3: The Daylami archers opened fire on the Welsh archers, removing 2 bases but the Welsh past their cohesion test, simultaneously the 2 units of Welsh archers fired 16 shots at 1 unit of Daylami archers removing 4 bases who then they failed their cohesion test and fled (now under 50% of their starting strength). In the movement phase the Thegns cavalry charge the Turcoman cavalry who evaded a full 18", whilst the Ghulam cavalry rushed torwards the Welsh archers to take revenge for the damage they dealt on the Daylami archers. The Saxon shieldwalls keep moving up - slowly. Still no combat.
Turn 4: The Turcoman cavalry are within 24" of the last 3 bases of Thegns cavlary and open fire with 6 shots, resulting in 2 cavalry bases being removed good dice rolling by Dave and I failed my saves on a 4+, the last base decides its time for tea, and runs away. The remaining Daylami archer unit shoots at 1 of the Welsh units and removes another 2 bases. By some miracle the fleeing Daylami archers managed to rally. The Ghulam cavalry charge the 2nd Welsh archer unit expecting an easy win, they managed to cause 3 wounds, but the end result was for the Welsh to fall back 4", with the Ghulams following up only to end up 2" away from a Saxon shieldwall. A Saxon shieldwall unit on the left flank is making its way around the woods to chase the Turcoman and Heavy Arab cavalry units, who are trying to get away from them.
Turn 5: Shooting from both sides was effective as a Saxon Skirmish unit which had moved forward to hit the Daylami infantry were shot at by the Khurasan Cavalry and failed their cohesion test and fled, never to return. The unit of Welsh archers, shot at the rallied Daylami archer unit, which fled again and this tine would not be coming back. The only charge was declared by a Saxon shieldwall unit, which rushed in to support their Welsh archers, before the Ghulams could disengage, the combat was close but the end result was a win by 1 point as the Saxons who could only get 1 full base in Thegns into contact with the Ghulmans.
Turn 6: The Welsh archers (not in combat) did not manage to do any damage from shooting as they only had 3 bases left, but the 2nd Daylami archer unit which had not suffered any losses, managed to remove two bases of Welsh archers, leaving the last base to run away towards the Valleys. There were no charges, but the Ghulam cavalry disengaged from their combat but could only move back 4" due to the close proximity of the Daylami infanty sat behind them. Dave's idea was to charge again next turn getting the benefit of the charge and an additional counter. The Saxons took advantage of the break in combat to move the Welsh archers back, so they could shoot at the Militia skirmishers and Naffatums, who had made their way around to the Saxon back table edge and were now threatening the Saxon shieldwall flank. There was a Saxon Shiledwall unit on each flank of the archers , who now moved into the space created by the Welsh archers and by the Ghulam cavalry falling back, so that the Ghulams would be facing 2 solid Saxon shieldwalls.
Turn 7: The Daylami archers open fire on the nearest Saxon shieldwall that is heading their way (out of battle line), they only caused 1 wound, but given there was a commander in the unit, Dave rolled, looking for a 12, and he was close, rolling an 11. There was no shooting from the Saxons, so onto movement, at which point the Ghulams as expected declared a charge, otherwise they were going to be charged by the Saxons. The Ghulams did 2 wounds but the Saxons hit back with their full force, the Ghulams lost the combat by 5 with no battle line, they rolled for a break test, and even with the General within 12" and rolling twice they failed and ran, heading off into the nearby woods. The 2 Saxon shieldwall units pursed and ran straight into the Daylami infantry, who would have been destroyed next turn by the Saxons. All units within 12" past their cohesion tests apart from the Naffatums who ran away (of all the units Dave needed next turn, they were the most important). But now, the Saxon shieldwall on the left flank were behind the Heavy cavalry, with the other Saxon shieldwall unit that was chasing the Daylami archers in the front, they would be destroyed in Turn 8. Given all the Saxon shieldwall units were complete units, we decided to end the game, as it was all over for the Arab Abbasid Caliphate army.
It was a great game. Hope the report makes some sense. Mike