Welsh versus Picts 2 – An Arthurian HOTT Battle Report

Chris Harrod and I had another game of Arthurian HOTT. This featured Chris’s Chris’s Picts on sabots to provide Big Bases. I fielded my Welsh (Cymry) with Arthurian and Reconquista Christian Elements for Big Base HOTT. I went for my traditional historical Welsh option where the religion is implicit. Chris put a Goddess on table (the Morrigan).

Summary: The Morrigan was scary and my Welsh had to dance around a bit, but it turned out god was on our side and Arthur’s host took the day.


Table and Deployment

Chris placed the terrain with a large wood, small rocky hill, gentle hill, and a road. Chris set up across the table. I wanted to fight down the open flank (the Welsh left flank) and set up accordingly.

Arthurian HOTT 770 Table from Welsh side

Arthurian HOTT 770 Table from Welsh side

Arthurian HOTT 779 Welsh Army

Arthurian HOTT 779 Welsh Army

Arthurian HOTT 781 Welsh Bishop

Arthurian HOTT 781 Welsh Bishop

Arthurian HOTT 782 Arthur and the Welsh Mounted

Arthurian HOTT 782 Arthur and the Welsh Mounted

Arthurian HOTT 787 Pictish Army

Arthurian HOTT 787 Pictish Army

Arthurian HOTT 789 Pictish Centre

Arthurian HOTT 789 Pictish Centre


The Battle

I wanted to attack so rushed my archers (Shooters) forward to the rocky hill. Behind them the Welsh battle line advanced.

Arthurian HOTT 790 Welsh archers sprint ahead

Arthurian HOTT 790 Welsh archers sprint ahead

Chris pushed his entire army up to the edge of the large wood.

Arthurian HOTT 791 Picts rumble forward

Arthurian HOTT 791 Picts rumble forward

My archers captured the hill as the rest of the army followed behind.

Arthurian HOTT 792 Welsh archers capture hill

Arthurian HOTT 792 Welsh archers capture hill

The big wood caused a problem for Chris. With constrained PIPs he chose to push his main body forward past the wood. This left a small number of elements behind.

Arthurian HOTT 793 Woods break up Pictish line

Arthurian HOTT 793 Woods break up Pictish line

This is the point where I started by complicated on-table redeployment. I pushed my mounted forward. Behind them the infantry shuffled right.

Arthurian HOTT 794 Welsh start complicated manoeuvres

Arthurian HOTT 794 Welsh start complicated manoeuvres

Arthurian HOTT 795 Welsh mounted race forward

Arthurian HOTT 795 Welsh mounted race forward

I wanted my mounted facing Chris’s Horde elements on the table edge. So I started drifted by mounted, started with a Knight, to the left.

Arthurian HOTT 796 Welsh knights drift left

Arthurian HOTT 796 Welsh knights drift left

I’m guessing Chris wanted to fight a defensive battle so formed a formation reminiscent of a Zulu Buffalo Horns formation i.e. with both flanks angled forward.

Arthurian HOTT 797 Picts form a Zulu style buffalo horns formation

Arthurian HOTT 797 Picts form a Zulu style buffalo horns formation

Arthur started drifting left following the Knights.

Arthurian HOTT 798 Arthur drifts left

Arthurian HOTT 798 Arthur drifts left

This was the moment the Morrigan appeared. “The Morrigan (also known as the Morrigu) was the shape-shifting Celtic Goddess of War, Fate and Death” and “she was said to hover over battlefields in the form of a raven or hooded crow and frequently foretold or influenced the outcome of the fray” (a href=”http://www.novareinna.com/guard/morrigan.html”). Right. Chris now had the moral ascendency. He literally had a god of battle on his side. Would my religious stronghold protect me?

Arthurian HOTT 799 The Morrigan appears in front of the Pictish host

Arthurian HOTT 799 The Morrigan appears in front of the Pictish host

At the moment the Morrigan appeared my Welsh were still in the middle of their redeployment.

Arthurian HOTT 800 Welsh are still disorganised when the Morrigan appears

Arthurian HOTT 800 Welsh are still disorganised when the Morrigan appears

But one more turn and I managed to get my Welsh into a semblance of order. Mounted on flanks. Shieldwall in the middle. The question was … where would the Morrigan strike first?

Arthurian HOTT 801 Welsh continue to shake out their line

Arthurian HOTT 801 Welsh continue to shake out their line

Okay, it wasn’t so hard to figure out. I had Knights and Arthur on my left facing Pictish Hordes so Chris sent the Morrigan to strength this flank.

Arthurian HOTT 802 The Morrigan attacks the Welsh left

Arthurian HOTT 802 The Morrigan attacks the Welsh left

You cannot believe the terror facing a living God on table. They have huge factors, can fly, and hence to ignore ground troops for movement.

Arthurian HOTT 803 Gods are scary in HOTT

Arthurian HOTT 803 Gods are scary in HOTT

So, as the Morrigan attack, the unflappable Arthur continued the Welsh advance.

Arthurian HOTT 805 Welsh advance despite the Morrigan

Arthurian HOTT 805 Welsh advance despite the Morrigan

The Morrigin is potent but not irresistible. My Knights initially stood up to her.

Arthurian HOTT 806 The Morrigan locked in combat

Arthurian HOTT 806 The Morrigan locked in combat

Unhappy with her first attack the Morrigan flew over the top of the Welsh battle line and settled to the ground behind them. I’d carefully placed a Spear unit here to protect the back of my main line. They, brave lads, faced the Goddess.

Arthurian HOTT 807 The Morrigan attacks the Welsh rear

Arthurian HOTT 807 The Morrigan attacks the Welsh rear

Otherwise I ignored the Morrigan and continued my advance. I wasn’t going to win fighting a Goddess. I was going to win against the main Pictish host.

Arthurian HOTT 808 Welsh continue to advance

Arthurian HOTT 808 Welsh continue to advance

Damn flyers. The Morrigan flew over my rear guard and hit the rear of her favourite Welsh Knights.

Arthurian HOTT 809 The Morrigan attacks again

Arthurian HOTT 809 The Morrigan attacks again

The Knights turned to face the divine threat but exposed their rear to the Pictish Horde approaching.

Arthurian HOTT 810 Looks like the Welsh knights will be the meat in the Pictish sandwich

Arthurian HOTT 810 Looks like the Welsh knights will be the meat in the Pictish sandwich

Of course, Chris had chosen to position his Goddess between two of my elements, so I got to sandwich the Morrigan before she sandwiched me. Not that it helped.

Arthurian HOTT 811 But the Morrigan got sandwiched at Welsh crash into Picts

Arthurian HOTT 811 But the Morrigan got sandwiched at Welsh crash into Picts

And, as usual, I ignored the battle with the deity on my left and continued my attack on the rest of the line. This time with a crunchy contact. The Picts suffered a couple of recoils and a destruction.

Arthurian HOTT 812 Picts take a hammering

Arthurian HOTT 812 Picts take a hammering

Unfortunately, on my left the Morrigan finally got her way with the Knights. She chose them early in the battle and their fate was sealed.

Arthurian HOTT 814 The Morrigan destroys Welsh knights

Arthurian HOTT 814 The Morrigan destroys Welsh knights

Next door Arthur destroyed the Pictish Horde facing him.

Arthurian HOTT 815 Arthur destroys Pictish horde

Arthurian HOTT 815 Arthur destroys Pictish horde

But the pivotal action was in the centre. Welsh Spearmen assisted by their bishop destroyed the Pictish Hero General. And that was game.

Arthurian HOTT 816 Welsh Spears destroy Pictish Hero General

Arthurian HOTT 816 Welsh Spears destroy Pictish Hero General


Conclusion and observations

I attacked. What can I say. I almost always attack in DBA and HOTT games.

I have a terrible tendency to redeploy during my DBA and HOTT games. It happened again here. I wanted my mounted facing Chris’s Hordes on the table edge. It took quite a few PIPs but I managed it.

A God (or Goddess) is pretty scary but I found a deity is not a battle winner by itself. Chris played the Morrigan well, deploying her at a good time and attacking a sensible spot. But, despite being terrified for most of the battle, I managed to counter her. I had lined up my mounted to attack Chris’s weak flank with the Hordes and I figured he’d use the Morrigan there to protect his flank. That in turn led me to put an element of Spear behind my main battle line as a anti-God ploy. I also kept my Riders right back by the Stronghold to discourage an straight up attack there. When it became clear Chris wasn’t going for that option, I brought the Riders forward to help against the Morrigan. Eventually I lost a Knight element to the Goddess but by then I’d won the battle elsewhere.

All in all a good game. I glad Chris chooses to spice things up in our games by taking a variety of army combinations, often with fantastical elements. For myself I’m content to stick to a historical line up.

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