Impetus time. Adam and I had a we 250 pt clash in 28mm, on his 4'x4' table.We were playing in one of the more flat regions of the Balkans, with only a small hill interrupting the flat terrain of the battlefield. Adam's Bulgarians have been 'in progress' for a very long time so I was stoked to finally be able to take them on. His army was very cool 28mm Old Glory, he had two wings of CL Archers, some S modeled as Horsemen and then the hammer - a tough VBU 6 CM center. My army was 'close enough' as an opponent: MIR Romans, using my Warlord Games Romans - a center of proper (I tend to have a lot of Raw Legions, typically) Legionaries, a base of CP Sarmatians (in lieu of Kataphraktoi), some CM and some CL with Javelins, some bowmen and even a base of supporting bow to fight the cavalry in true Byzantine fashion. I need to get more of that bow and the rest of my S were a mix of Javelins and Slingers.
Our Emperor Contantine IV has quit the field and we are in poor spirits. The General intends to meet these barbarians and crush them nonetheless. A rapid push with our infantry toward their camp should put the savages to flight - for God and the Empire!
To that end, we have provided a solid center of heavy infantry and intend to use our cavalry on the wings to prevent any flanking moves by the weak Bulgar cavalry - they will fear our center so the men will need to maintain discipline on the march across the field and not be lured out by cowardly bowfire.
As we thought, the Bulgarian Asparukh fears to face us the men's faith in our victory is growing with every step forward. The Emperor's cousin chafes and is inpatient, so the General positioned him to the left, where he couldn't get into too much trouble.
The Bulgar cavalry has wheeled about to our right but our Archers were ready and disordered them with a well trained volley.
That rash fool has charged the Bulgars on the left. No matter, we can't touch him so best hope he survives and actually reaches the enemy camp and so does something useful with his life, for once. Our center continues to hold up well and the General expects the Bulgar Cavalry will attempt to wheel about our right and has begun to make the final dispositions to crush them when they do...
God in Heaven! What is this? The General was giving commands to wheel part of the line when the entire Bulgar center spurred to the charge and smashed us as one! The ill-discipline of the men showed, as few of their Pilium hit true and the charging Bulgars disordered the entire line in the first charge. Worse, one of the units that was reforming was pushed back and sowed further disorder behind it - the fallback became a rout and three cohorts were lost.
To add insult to injury, Contantine IV's idiot cousin managed to get himself surprised and flanked by enemy skirmishers and was killed in the ensuing battle.
Meanwhile, the Bulgarians did not pause to wrap up our center but pressed forward, braved our bow and javelin fire, and hit our right wing. The Equites Illyricanii fell quickly and our army broke and ran.
Well that went badly. I never expected mere CM to do so well vs 'proper' Legionaries and got schooled by Adam as a consequence. Cavalry may suck in FOW but are awesome in their heyday! Well done Adam and we'll have to get another game in soon and I will have to arrange the battle-line more carefully.
Thanks for reading.