'Schild en Vriend' is an old Flemish battlecry, used in the rebellion of the city of Brugge against the French, May 18, 1302. Legend tells that it was used to differentiate between the French-speaking (who could not pronounce 'schild') and Flemish-speaking citizens. Nowadays, historians tell us that it was probably 'Des Gilden Vriend'.
Battle report: the battle for Ghandi's End
Or: The Spartan away team goes out for a curry
This was a DBM game fought between Greek and Indian troops. Players were Alan, Maarten, and a third player who shall remain mysteriously unknown on the Indian side, and Bart VB, Bart V and a Koen on the Greek side. The figures were in 15mm, graciously provided by Alan. Here's the battle report Alan wrote (webifying, pictures and occasional comments by me).
Commander: General Ouzoinexcessos
Commander: General Singhintherain
All troops are irregular
The terrain layout and deployment
The game was greatly helped by the club's terrific geo-hex terrain which looked quite stunning. The Greeks invaded along the river Hottenspicey, to their left flank. The Indians set up some wooded hills, on the Greek right and the far left beyond the river. In the middle of the board was a village, 'Gandhi's End', that was the object of the battle. The Greeks had to capture it by 23.30 or lose the game.
The stalwart Spartans deployed in the centre, with hoplites from command 2 on the immediate left, using the river as a left flank, with cavalry in reserve. On the right, command 3 formed two Hoplite groups, one behind the other and put the peltasts and psiloi into the large wooded area to hunt out ambushers.
On the left was a command of archers plus chariots ready to charge
into the hoplite command, in the centre were the blades and elephants, but
these turned out to be too cramped and in the end there was not enough space
for all these shock troops to have an impact. A command of archers was in the
village in ambush, and a group of 5 cavalry stood poised on the far side of the river ready
to go after the Greek left flank.
The initial phases of the game: the two main lines approach each other warily.
The Greek centre and left basically headed forward until they came within shouting ( but not shooting (-: - BV ) distance of the village, where they stopped, while the Greek right sent their light horsemen forward to skirmish. These brave Thracians did a remarkable job, killing an Indian chariot at odds of 2v4 and drawing the Indian CinC into a position where the other chariot recoiled into his flank and destroyed him. Disaster, but the Indian command survived.
The Indian secret weapons gear up for their charge. In the background, the elephants remain remarkably unimpressed.
On the (Indian) right, close to Ghandi's End, the first action saw herds of camels fall on the Spartan spearline, but the S rating of the Spartans just saved the day. The Indian cavalry on the far right galloped away down the flank. This caused some consternation but the Greek player manouevred well and firmed up the left flank, by placing hoplites in echelon and crossing the river with the Greek cavalry reserve.
The leftmost Greek command reorganizes to counter the threat from marauding Indian cavalry. The next move would see the Greek cavalry that had crossed the river, charge and rout their counterparts, taking the rest of their command with them. This left the village of Ghandi's End open for the Greeks to march in. In the background, the melee between the main Indian and Spartan lines is just beginning.
The main action in the centre involved the Indian blades and elephants. The loss of the CinC made movement very expensive so there was no choice but to let the blades go berserk. They did to great effect and proved surprisingly resilient against the Spartan spears: in the end they cut through the psiloi on the Greek right flank and got behind the Spartan lines. Four Spartans died like this, and one combat threatened a further three and the demoralisation of the command. The dice were Greek however and Spartan honour was maintained. (Dice, what do you mean, dice? These blokes have been training for years, eating nothing but stones, twigs and the occasional blade of grass on state holidays. They get up in the morning before dawn, run seventeen miles barefoot and backwards to take a bath in the ice cold water of a mountain stream - even when it's frozen - and then go out to fight bears, wolves and tigers armed with nothing but a pointed stick and a piece of garlic. And that's just the pre-breakfast part of the program. Believe me, these guys are tough, dice have nothing to do with their victory in any way whatsoever (-: - BV)
The battle was won for the Greeks on the right where the Indian cavalry general was killed by the Greek cavalry causing demoralisation and the collapse of the Indian right. On the left a few Greek hoplites managed to get into the Indian bowmen and after a few turns did enough damage and the Indians reached the 50% break point, though not before a few scares for the Greek third command which was edging closer to demoralisaion itself, having lost 5 elements.
The end game. On the left, the victorious Greek command 2 is charging after the Indian bowmen evacuating Gandhi's End. The rest of Indian army has apparently decided that Gandhi's End isn't that important after all, and is seen running off towards home. Ghandi's End shall henceforth speak Greek!
At 23.30 the Greeks had not taken the village, so this was technically an Indian victory. However, the sun never sets on a good DBM struggle, so it wasn't until 00.50 that we stopped and the Indians ran off into the woods, demoralised.
A good Greek victory but one that demonstrated the need to look after the Hoplite flanks. The Indians were a bit timid on the right with their bowmen and these elite troops did nothing throughout the game, except run away.
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Schild en Vriend Miniature Wargaming Club Leuven