Saturday, 11 August 2018

The Battle of Castle Hemmingstein

Verily 'twas a rainy day in Croydon and the massed armies of Noirebrûlure, the Hemmingsaetic League and their uncertain allies took to the field of battle.

This was big medieval battle using the Hail Caesar rules with everything we could muster and put onto the table. To make up numbers Anglo-Saxons & Norman knights were recruited as Heathen Northern Hillmen, on the Hemmingsaetic side and Bretonians made up the numbers for Noirebrûlure.

For the uneducated; Noirebrûlure and the HL are medieval imagi-nations created by my opponent Mike & I. So if we want heathen hillmen that look like suspiciously like Anglo-Saxons we can have them (although Bishop Eisenwurst did place a warrior priest with them to speak the word of The Lord and keep them in line).

Castle Hemmingstein is a card model from Russia. It cost me 
about $15AUD and took about 90minutes to put together. It's increadibly 
detailed and opens out so you can see all the inside detail.
We had nine players all up.
Half of Lorne, Lewis, John, James and Mike for Noirebrûlure.
 I'm missing - Paul, Tom, James for the Hemmingsaetic League (and the other half of Lorne).
Here I am...

Once again let us, Cry Havoc, and unleash the Dogs of War!

Graf von Rickenbacker and Comte Michel de la Noirebrûlure met like noble knights between the armies and tried to sort this out before it came to blows but... You know how it is when large groups of aggressive men dressed in metal get together!
The Hemmingsaetic League arrayed for battle

The Noirebrûlure host
 They a have a lot of bloody archers.

 The Northern Heathens under their King: Æthalguy the Seeker

 Castle Hemmingstein with Frau von Rickenbacker out for a ride.
 I can't help but think some people were not taking this seriously.
Ye verily, von Rickenbacker opened the proceedings and moved his crossbows forward. Unfortunately they didn't manage to get into range. The heathen allies on the left also moved forward as too did the host of Noirebrûlure. 
Seeing the thin line of archers before them von Rickenbacker urged the Norman knights in the center to charge. They hesitated (Paul rolled a crappy command roll). At the general's urging they surged forward but lost momentum (I used the General's Re-Roll but also rolled crappy) and they fell short. They would pay for this.
The Norman infantry also moved up and began an lively archery dual with their opponents. 
The heathens move up slowly and sent their skirmishers forward. They inflicted some casualties but unfortunately, they were charged by some light cavalry and dispersed. In the center the HL crossbows were shot at by the Noirebrûlure archers and fell back in good order. 
Graf von Rickenbacker, bravely leading from the rear.
The crossbowmen of the Teutonic Order, on the extreme right, took aim at the Noirebrûlure  knights and inflicted some casualties but in turn they were charged. They fought well but were pushed back in good order. The knights didn't follow up because they would have ended up locked in melee in a bad position so the Teutons  managed to escape destruction.
In the center the plodding Norman knights were shot up by the line of archers and received some casualties. But a trebuchet located on a hill under the command of Lewis lobbed a big rock at one unit and forced it to retire. Comte Michel, seeing an opportunity, charged into the leading Norman unit and smashed them.
Artillery commanded by Lewis, inflicted casualties across the board.
The Norman knights were ridden down and the  Noirebrûlure  general made a sweeping advance into the next unit. They smashed these riders too but in the confusion they too were destroyed by the supporting Normans and Comte Michel de la Noirebrûlure  was ridden down and presumed dead.
On the right, Fredrich von Flintenstein, Landmeister of the Teutonic Knights, and commander of horse, saw an opportunity...
Flintenstein ordered the retreating crossbowmen out of the way to leave a path to the regrouping    Noirebrûlure  heavy cavalry. So the Teutonic Knights and their supporting mounted sergeants charged and the enemy counter-charged. 
 Whilst the nudie Frau von Rickenbacker looked on...
It was an evenly matched fight but the Holy Knights of the Hemmingsaetic League got the edge. They drove their opponents back and followed up to keep the pressure on them.

Seeing the confusion in the center with the Normans in disarray, von Rickenbacker sent in his own mounted knights in another attempt to stave in the Noirebrûlure  center.
On the left the battle continued with some minor skirmishing and plenty of arrows and quarrels flying through the air. This resulted in a couple of units needing to take break tests and one or two broke and ran. But the threat was building in front of the heathen warbands.

T'was about this time that a huge hail-storm hit Croydon. This prompted Tom to look out of the window and proclaim: HAIL CAESAR!

And yey verily the rest of us doth groaned and shooketh our heads...

The cavalry fight on the right continued with the Teutonic Knights again gaining the upperhand. The Noirebrûlureean Knights were pushed back again with the Teutons again following up to maintain the pressure. But now the Noirebrûlureans were disordered and close to breaking.
In the center, the Hemmingsaetic Knights charged home into the ranks of the Noirebrûlure archers. Closing Fire was ineffective and the knights hit with full force, riding down the archers and driving the survivors from the field. They then charged through into the flank of a second regiment of archers and these too were slaughtered where they stood. 
Unfortunately the knights became disordered as they rode around in wild abandon, dizzy with the fruits of their victory.
At the same time the now regrouped Norman knights charged home and rode down a third regiment of archers.  

The Noirebrûlure center was in bad shape as was the right flank. Their division of horse was now broken and the remaining troops fled the field and the remaining infantry were facing down the massed ranks of the Hemmingsaetic heavy foot.

As the sun fell in the west the Tutonic Knights finally overcame their enemies and put them to flight but at a heavy cost to themselves as their ranks were now Shaken and unable to follow up their victory.
The knights in the center attracted the tender mercies of some billmen who moved in and, with murder in their hearts, started to chop them up. Whilst on the left the heathens had had enough and decided to charge headlong to battle the heavy cavalry and infantry facing them.

Against the enemy infantry, they fared well and even against the knights they, surprisingly did better than expected. They did lose the combat by a couple of wounds and, as a result, needed to take a Break Test...

So a big chunk of the heathen warbands ran and, in their wake, left a gaping hole in the line. The Noirebrûlure commander on that flank (Lorne) was able to make a Sweeping Advance because his knights had counter charged. This opened the way for the Noirebrûlureans in the next turn...
But on the far left flank the heathen foot, charging through the woods managed to catch another regiment of Noirebrûlure knights flatfooted and sent them packing.
As the sun set, the Norman archers in the center paid a heavy price for the flight of the heathens. 
In conclusion...

With the setting of the sun the battle was over. Both sides were beaten up but the Hemmingsaetic League still had reserves of infantry and horse in the center to counter the Noirebrûlure breakthrough. On the right the Teutonic Knights had managed to rally and get themselves back in order ready to sweep around the flank and rear.

With Comte Michel de la Noirebrûlure missing (and presumed dead) I believe the Hemmingsaetic League could finally claim a victory over their arch rivals and nemesis: Noirebrûlure.

And... We've already teed up another battle in a few weeks time.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Michal. It was a great gamewith plenty of nice looking figures & action.