Skirmish at Okučani

A report from a playtest at the Red Cow, 8th to 9th September 2012.

As the column emerged from the woods it quickly became apparent that they were expected; all the entrances to the village were barricaded and manned. Aleksandr deployed all his armoured spearmen in a single column facing the main entrance of the village, his crossbowmen to their right and young Adalchis and his mounted followers on their flank. Our Heroes formed on their left flanked by the four light horse with the javelinmen screening their flank.

The villagers were formed up behind barricades, the freemen defending the main entrance and the unfree defending the west face; the few with bows were thrown out to the west as a screen. Unknown to our Heroes, Viataslav, the local Voivode and his followers were hidden in the woods to the east of the village, their front covered by the village flocks. Viataslav had three mounted companions, six archers and a dozen spear and axe-men.

Map of the battlefield

As the cavalry formed up, Viatislav’s archers opened up with devastating effect, killing or wounding three of Aleksandr’s light cavalry and driving off the fourth. Aleksandr’s javelinmen immediately advanced against the archers, but were slowed down by the village flocks. As they struggled to make their way through, Viataslav and his mounted companions charged them, riding down several and driving the survivors into the woods in rout.

On the right flank, Adalchis had better luck, driving off the village skrmishers without loss and bringing his crossbowmen to the western face of the village. Adalchis then brought his horsemen to the western entrance forcing the defenders to show themselves on the barricades. His crossbowmen delivered a volley, downing three of the defenders and driving the rest to seek shelter. The way in to the village was now open and Viataslav’s spearmen rushed up to plug the gap.

However, before Aleksandr could take advantage of Adalchis’ attack, catastrophe had overtaken him. Viataslav’s archers now turned their withering arrowstorm on to our Heroes. Pyetr took an arrow in the thigh and his horse another, making him bolt. Pavol’s mount likewise took a serious wound and also bolted, carrying both riders back towards the woods to the north. Miguel’s horse was struck by another arrow, precluding him from mounted combat. Aleksandr himself was struck in the shoulder by an arrow, piercing asunder a ring in his mail and wounding him severely.

To complete our heroe’s discomforture, Viataslav charged into the flank of the spear column that was approaching the village from the north and routed them utterly. Vlad however, in a truly Heroic manner dismounted and ran to hold off Viataslav’s charge! Alone he fought, whilst all around him fled! This shamed the reluctant Aleksandr who threw himself and his colleagues into the fray, rescuing the desperately fighting Vlad. Hip and thigh they were being smited – all that was lacking was the jawbone of an ass. This want was remedied as Aleksandr charged in. Having relieved Vlad, Aleksandr decided that discretion was the better part of valour and ordered the remaining heroes to retreat and Adalchis led his followers to join them.