Saturday, 10 March 2018

Ceidonia In The Cantons

It's a little known fact that the red and yellow liveried Dukedom of Ceidonia, famed of many HOTT games, was, in fact, a neighbour of Switzerland during the late medieval period, and fought many battles against the Cantons.

Yes, today I finally got my HOTT Ceidonians on the table with the extra elements they needed to become List IV13b - Medieval German. This required extra spears and knights, plus some hordes and psiloi. Here they are, attacking in their first game of the afternoon. In the foreground you can see the feudal retainers (hordes).


Despite the Swiss defending, the battlefield was very open. The Swiss chose three difficult hills and a hamlet. The first difficult hill placed is particularly large, and all three of the other terrain pieces were rolled to appear in the same sector, meaning that they had to be discarded. The Swiss ended up defending on an open plain, whilst the Ceidonians just had to work their army past the hill.


The Ceidonians occupied the hill with their archers and crossbowmen, and the Swiss moved up their crossbows and some of their halberdiers to drive them off. There was some shoving back and forth, and then it died down as neither army had their commander close enough to expend PIPs there to make enough of a difference.


The Ceidonians advanced in the centre.


The Swiss swung one of the blocks of halberdiers off the hill and attacked the knights in the flank. This was a poorly judged attack from a HOTT player. In HOTT this would be deadly - the blades get a -2, yes, but so do the knights for fighting an enemy in bad going. In DBA the mounted are not penalised so long as they are entirely in good going, and these knights were. The blades were down in terms of factors, although it was true that they couldn't be quick-killed by the knights. But it wasn't as good an attack as it looked. The Swiss were pushed back.


They went in again, this time with flank support, but the knights rolled well, and destroyed the Swiss infantry, putting them two elements down.


The Ceidonians charged.


There were mixed results; the mighty knight-wedge was driven back, and another element of knights destroyed, but the Duke of Ceidonia led his men-at-arms straight through the Swiss centre, sweeping all before him.


However this left him rather exposed, and he was quickly surrounded.


Undeterred he fought his way out, destroying another Swiss element to give the Ceidonians a 4-1 victory.


The Swiss defended in the second game as well, and picked the same terrain. This time the rolls went in their favour and they pretty much got to choose where to place everything, leaving the Ceidonians fighting in a very enclosed battlefield. The Swiss set up in a pass between two hills.


The Ceidonians were forced into an unwieldy column by a hamlet and a smaller hill. They opted to mass their foot on their right, hoping to push it forward and win the battle on the hill on Swiss left.


The Ceidonian infantry advanced, crossbowmen and swordsmen, with their flank covered by archers.


The Swiss got an excellent PIP roll, however, which enabled them to charge off the hill catching the Ceidonians in the open. Their light horse swung round from behind the hill to hit the Ceidonian light infantry in the flank.


It was a bloodbath. The Ceidonians lost three elements, virtually destroying their right flank.


With the Swiss very much in charge, the Ceidonians only had one option; an attack in the centre. Their wedge charged, and destroyed a Swiss element. The pursuit put the wedge in contact with the Swiss general.


It was now the Swiss bound. If they lost the fight against the knight, and failed to destroy any more Ceidonian elements, then the battle would be lost. This wasn't a time to get 1 PIP. They got 1 PIP.


They brought up a reserve element to overlap the knight-wedge, and that was enough. The Swiss general's bodyguard fought like demons, rolled brilliantly and destroyed the Ceidonian knights, giving the Swiss a 5-2 win.


The end of a short, bloody battle.


I love the look of the DBA Ceidonians, and at some stage will do the few additional elements I need to do to be able to run them as an Italian Condotta army instead. Of course all of the additions will work for HOTT as well.

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