Monday, 12 December 2016

Prester John vs Sundiata

I plated another game of HOTT tonight, pitting Prester John against temporal and continental contemporary, Sundiata, the Lion King of Mali. The two armies are very similar in some areas - the same number of Knights and Shooters, Spears vs Blades, both with a Cleric - but different enough in others to keep things interesting, with Prester John's Behemoth and Warband opposed by Mali's Hero general and Riders.

Prester John defended, and closed down the battlefield a little with woods and a field in order to limit Sundiata's cavalry superiority. Sundiata led his Riders in an attack on Prester John's right.

The bulk of Sundiata's army. The Knights were in reserve.

A rapid advance from Sundiata.

On the other flank, Prester John sent the Warband to keep the Malians busy; with their general way out on the other flank, any response would be sluggish at best. The warriors killed Sundiata's bard Bala Fasseke.

Sundiata led a fierce attack on Prester John's infantry, sweeping away his archers in the first round of combat before they could even fire off a volley.

An aerial view of the battle. Sundiata sent his Knights to drive off the enemy Warband. Meanwhile Prester John was swinging his Knights around to hit Sundiata and his Riders in the flank.

Prester John's Knights lined up for the charge, but one element was cut down by Sundiata's archers, who had rushed forward in support.

The elephant joined in, and things actually started to look a bit sticky for Sundiata as he was slowly backed towards the edge of the battlefield and gamey oblivion.

His Knights, however, easily rode down Prester John's Warbands. This now left Prester John's army one element from defeat.

And it was the archers who clinched the final victory, forcing a Blade to recoil when it couldn't, thus destroying it.

The position at the end.

Prester John lost two Shooters, two Warband, a Knight and a Blade. Sundiata lost his Cleric and a Rider.

The game was closer than it looked, with Sundiata's bold flanking move, whilst being initially successful, nearly coming unstuck in the face of a counter-attack. His inability to effectively command his other flank - a hill and a wood reduced his command range - nearly cost him troops there as well. But enough PIPs to get his Knights into action, and some lucky kills by his archers were the keys to his victory.

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