Robert: 2. His force is struck by disease. Two units are lost (Spears). Robert isn’t having much luck!
Henry: 4. Barren lands. No effect, no further action.
Robert: 6. Easy plunder. Better fortune for Robert this time. He picks up 50 gold pieces from the terrified locals.
Henry: 5. Reinforcements arrive – one Knight element.
Robert: 1. Desertion! This is disastrous for Robert, one Bow element deserts, leaving him with just eleven elements in all.
Henry: 6. Easy plunder – Henry adds 50 gold to his coffers as his good fortune continues.
Robert: 9. Hostile force encountered! His depleted forces face an army of Vikings. Robert has no choice but to pay 100 gold in ransom and turn for home. His campaign has been dogged by bad luck from beginning to end.
Henry: 1. Desertion! Henry loses one unit of Spears, but it is of no importance now, as his field army remains formidable. As a messenger arrives with news of his brother’s ignominious retreat Henry realises that he has won the day, with 600 gold pieces in his coffers to his brother’s 350, and much honour to his name. He too heads for home, but in far better spirits than his hapless brother. Henry has taken a giant step towards winning his father’s favour, and with it the dukedom.
The campaign was a lot of fun but there were flaws in the way I set it up:
1. It was a mistake mixing HoTT and DBA armies, and jumping between the two rulesets. This made it easier to fall into the second error, which was…
2. To inadvertently pick ‘killer armies’ for my two protagonists. I suspect that the potent pool of Knights, Bows, Blades and Spears available to my semi-historical Normans would have blown away most Dark Age DBA opponents. The games against the Welsh and the Slavs were very one-sided affairs (though the Slavs might have done better if they’d got decent pip scores). Against HoTT opposition (as the battle against the Ratmen showed) the contest was much more even. So…
3. Next time around I’ll avoid mixing the rulesets. I’ll also ensure that the campaigning armies will be more vulnerable – and that they’ll meet a good range of tough opponents!
I will probably also look again at the attrition side of the rules. Poor old Robert lost out to a run of bad dice throws, without much chance to do anything about it. Still, I suppose you could argue that’s all part of the fortunes of war…