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Thread: Campaign battle screenshots and videos

  1. #21

    Default For King or Country

    Although the For King and Country development team have been quite successful in creating this historical mod, the computer player (AI) ruins everything by managing to lose every time the campaign in the first couple of turns. Nearly all historical generals have died in the first few turns and the computer player is unable to build armies that could prove a challenge. Just occasionally and quite accidentally, the computer player succeeds in achieving some local numerical superiority in some random out of the way unexpected location but this is so random, that often it feels as if you are fighting an army with bottomless financial and human resources but commanded by a three year old general. On the other hand, tactically the mod is very successful (other than for the absence of redoubts) and it is well suited for historical re-enactments as long as the actions do not exceed the limit of 4000 men in battle.

    I am hoping in the future to make at least one more historical battle from the English Civil War. It may take a few weeks not least because of work commitments. If you happen to have a solution to using the Battle Editor with FKoC please PM me. So far I have added the Battle Editor to the Options menu but seems not to function for an unknown reason (unlike for example in vanilla and Kingdoms where it functions).
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; August 19, 2011 at 05:47 AM.

  2. #22

    Default Battle of Mohi - The Wagon Fort

    Battle of Mohi, 11th April 1241

    The Wagon Fort

    After being outflanked by Subutai, a part of the Hungarian army fled to the wagon fort that had been constructed around the king's camp. Kalman, the Duke of Slavonia, and Ugrin Czak, the warrior bishop, seem to have made it there safely. They organised the defense of the camp. After their rout, the spirits of the Hungarians were low and that was made worse by the flaming arrows, Chinese rocketry and the stones and naphtha catapulted at them from the Mongol siege engines.

    Subutai advised Batu to attack the camp in the afternoon. The camp was surrounded but not completely. When the pressure of the attack had mounted, some Hungarian units began to flee through the unguarded gap, precipitating a general rout. Out in the open, the fleeing Hungarians had no chance against the Mongols. It is said that perhaps as many as 65,000 men were killed by the Mongols that day.

    Ugrin Czak and many other nobles and high ranking government officials died in the battle. The king and Kalman escaped to safety. Kalman, however, had been mortally wounded and died a few days later.

  3. #23

    Default Battle of Montgisard

    Battle of Mongisard, 25th Nov 1177

    Saladin had set out for his 1177 campaign with an army of 26,000 horsemen according to William of Tyre. Baldwin IV, the king of Jerusalem, had sent a large contingent of the army and knights available to him to aid a campaign by the Count of Flanders in the north. He summoned all the knights still in the kingdom, with their squires and sergeants, some 350 heavy horsemen with their retinues. Baldwin barricaded himself in Ascalon. On hearing that Saladin was ravaging and looting the countryside and understanding that he was about to march on Jerusalem itself, the king of Jerusalem marched out of Ascalon to seek Saladin. With him he had a relic of the True Cross. On the 25th of November 1177 Baldwin surprised Saladin near a mound known to the Franks as Mons Gisardi or Montgisard.

    The battle began after Baldwin kneeled before the relic of the True Cross, prayed and then ordered the relic to be borne before the army as they prepared to join battle. Effective command of the Jerusalem army was under Reynald de Chatillion, while the Egyptian effective command was under Saladin's nephew Taqi ad-Din. Taqi ad-Din apparently attacked while Saladin was putting his Mamluk guard together. Taqi's son Ahmad died in the early fighting.

    The battle seems to have taken place in the afternoon and would have probably ended around sunset. Saladin lost for the first and last time, and escaped with the last of his Mamluk guard.

    The battlefield is based on photographs and Google Earth images of the actual area in front of Tell-es-Safi, where the battle is most likely to have taken place. The castle on the hill is an actual castle built by the Crusaders that stood at the top of the hill at the time and whose ruins were recently unearthed by an archaeological expedition.

    A full background on the battle:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Battle of Mongisard 25th Nov 1177

    The battle was a rare example of a victory by the Crusaders and the only instance when Saladin was defeated. There were probably special reasons and research into this battle can reveal some of the reasons for this exceptional triumph.

    Saladin had set out for his 1177 campaign with an army of 26,000 horsemen according to William of Tyre. Baldwin IV, the king of Jerusalem, had sent a large contingent of the army and knights available to him to aid a campaign by the Count of Flanders in the north. He summoned all the knights still in the kingdom, with their squires and sergeants, some 350 heavy horsemen with their retinues. The Templars, who had also sent a contingent to aid the Count of Flanders, succeeded in gathering 84 knights. Baldwin barricaded himself in Ascalon and the Templars in Gaza. On hearing that Saladin was ravaging and looting the countryside and understanding that he was about to march on Jerusalem itself, the king of Jerusalem gathered all forces available to him and marched out of Ascalon to seek Saladin. With him he had a relic of the True Cross. On the 25th of November 1177 Baldwin surprised Saladin near a mound known to the Franks as Mons Gisardi or Montgisard.

    Although Arab sources talk instead of the ”battle of Ramla”, Imad al Din says quite specifically that the baggage train was mired at the river on which the mound of Al-Safiya (modern Tell Es-Safi) stands. The mound is near the village of Menehem, about 25 km from Ascalon and about 18-20km from Ramla. It had a fort at around that time called Blanche Garde. The fort was razed by Saladin at some point in time but its foundations have been found at the very top of Tell es-Safi. It was called Blanche (white) being made of stone from the same hill (the quarry has also been identified on the hill) and clearly the mound or hill was made of white rock and all this detail has confirmed the archaeologists’ association of the fort under that name with this specific mound or hill (the only uncertainty is that Mont Gisard has not yet been independently identified as the same/different mound as Tell es-Safi). Nevertheless, Saladin arrayed his army in front of Tell al-Safiya (Telll es-Safi), according again to Imad al-Din who described also the battle in great detail (he was in the entourage of Saladin and fought in the battle).

    Saladin had been marching with part of his army and his baggage towards Jerusalem. Just past Tell es-Safi, the front guard may have proceeded either north or else east towards Jerusalem but the rest of the army had been delayed and bunched up because of the baggage train being mired in front of the mound. This was presumably a consequence of the ploughed fields and orchards further west being unsuitable for the march while the narrowness of the dirt path would have caused a bottleneck, if it run as it does today in between the river on one hand and the rocky hill on the other. Moreover, the path running next to the river could have been muddy on account of all this happening in November and not least by the passage of thousands of horses that would have turned up the moist earth.

    Much of Saladin’s cavalry was mixed with the mired baggage train, partly assisting in moving it forward. The two wings (the wings during a march normally take the position of front guard and rear guard) were ordered by Saladin to converge before the mound when the enemy was sighted. Quite likely, Saladin was forced into battle in front of Tell es-Safi, as otherwise he would have to abandon his baggage train, that would have included money, provisions and siege engines, to the enemy. But the front guard (his right wing) would have been some way up the road, maybe a long way up the road and so his men joined battle piecemeal. First the rear guard and some among those with the baggage train, then his Mamluk guard and in the course of all this the front guard (or his right wing) would hurry to battle joined by members of the raiding parties from further north, such as might get to the battle in time.

    How much army did he have with him? He had left troops to lay siege on Gaza and Ascalon, not a very strong force as Baldwin and the Templars escaped, but perhaps a couple thousand at least. He had sent raiding parties further north to Ramla, Lydda and Qalqilya by Arsuf. Moreover, his advance guard had been marching towards Jerusalem and may have been miles up the road when he was surprised by Baldwin. Probably Saladin only had half his army with him, if that.

    William of Tyre puts the total of Saladin’s force to 26,000 horse, plus additional camels and mules. Clearly men would not fight on mules, so even he is estimating here only the total number of animals not of combatants. Egyptian records from that year mention only 8500 cavalry in total (though they only mention Ghulams and Mamluks as cavalry, so this number was perhaps just the professional cavalry). We may reconcile the two accounts by considering 8,500 professional cavalry and close to 20000 maximum others with potential mounts, used in part to carry baggage, etc. Among these there would have been a significant number of non-combatant camp followers. There would have been also some light troops and infantry that even if they travelled on horse, either they or their horses were not trained to fight as cavalry and would have had to dismount to fight. Considering the tired state of the Egyptian horses, which most sources agree on, the majority in Saladin’s force would have fought on foot. Those who fought on horse would be less effective than normally, so the normal effectiveness of the Royal Mamluks and Khassakis would be reduced. The non-combatants and those arriving with provisions, loot and cattle from the raids that could rush into battle on time would probably be mere rabble by the time they were on hand. So even at the highest estimate, Saladin would have fought this battle with effective forces not much more numerous than Baldwin’s.

    The battle began after Baldwin kneeled before the relic of the True Cross, prayed and then ordered the relic to be born before the army as they prepared to join battle. Effective command of the Jerusalem army was under Reynald de Chatillion, while the Egyptian effective command was under his nephew Taqi ad-Din, who presumably commanded the rear guard (left wing). Taqi ad-Din apparently attacked while Saladin was putting his Mamluk guard together. Taqi’s son Ahmad died in the early fighting.

    The battle seems to have taken place in the afternoon and would have probably ended around sunset. Saladin lost for the first and last time, and escaped as the last of his Mamluk guard fended off a small number of knights chasing him. While the majority of his army was stuck north of the battle field, by nightfall, those Egyptians that were with the Sultan had reached Caunetum Esturnellorum near the mound of Tell el Hessy (or Hessi). This is about 25 miles from Ramla. It is only about 7 km from Tell-es-Safi (al-Safiya).

    It had not been an easy victory for the Kingdom of Jerusalem, despite their advantage of surprise and better morale. William of Tyre reports 1100 dead and 700 wounded. On the other hand it is said that Saladin reached Egypt with only a tenth of his army.

    The Historical Battle in Kingdoms, Crusaders

    Based on the foregoing, I have set up this battle which, if there is interest, I can offer for download [I should have done this years ago, I can no longer find the files, sorry, I'll keep searching]. It is set at practically the upper limit of what is possible in M2TW. For this reason the battle often crashes, sometimes if you move your viewpoint or your force beyond the nearest enemy deployment area without eliminating the respective army. But sometimes it does not crash at all and you can finish it, though it can take 2-3 hours if you micromanage (almost as much as the actual battle). The terrain and numbers and types of combatants are as close to being historical as possible, within the limits of the game.

    The terrain of the battle was based on Google Earth, photographs of the actual area in front of Tell es-Safi and on archaeological reports. To the right of the KoJ deployment zone ran the river and so their right flank was relatively safe but the left KoJ flank is somewhat exposed, considering the more numerous Egyptian cavalry. The land is fertile flat land, agricultural land ever since the Bronze Age. There would have never been many trees. Certainly no palm trees are present today. There is some brush and small trees on the very rocky Tell es-Safi and along the river. The hill country starts east of Tell es-Safi and the battle did not spread to the hills, so Tell es-Safi is the only hilly feature in the battle map.

    In addition to the 84 Templar knights under Templar Master Odo de St Amand, Baldwin’s army included about 350 knights of Jerusalem under a number of generals, including Raymond de Chantillion, brothers Balian and Baldwin of Ibelin, Reginald of Sidon, Joscelin III Count of Edessa and the Count of Ramla and also an undefined “several thousand” soldiers (which chronicler cares about numbers when it is not knights …). The knights would have included presumably some sergeants and squires as “crusader knights” (the Templar sergeants wore brown garments, not the white of knights) and some of the sergeants might have had lighter armament than others and in that case they would not be considered by contemporary chroniclers as “knights”. These are simulated by Mounted Sergeants. Of course some would have fought on foot and foot there certainly was. So several thousand non-knights would mean about 3-9 thousand (mean = six), of which a small number would be mounted sergeants, the rest dismounted sergeants of Jerusalem, dismounted squires (= dismounted knights of Jerusalem) and lighter infantry, plus the 450 or so knights (including among them a few well -armed and experienced mounted sergeants as Crusader knights). Saladin’s army can be estimated between under 8,500 cavalry as the lowest estimate and 30,000 as the upper estimate. Several thousand were on raids, marches and sieges or were non-combatant camp-followers and would have not taken part in the battle. So let us say Saladin had between 5000 and 15000 men (mean about 10,000). About a third of these would be fighting on horse, the rest on foot, if we take into account the situation with the horses described further up (for the high estimate, only 1 out of three at best could be professional cavalry anyway).

    The Egyptian troops start somewhat disordered, on account of their being surprised and forced to battle. There are 8835 Egyptians and 5832 KoJ combatants. KoJ have been given higher experience to portray their higher morale due to the relic of the True Cross, their eager determination, the advantage of surprise and relative rested state. Saladin has a guard of 1000 Mamluks as in the actual battle. The battle is actually balanced and it is possible to win it as either Baldwin or Saladin, the main handicap being the “allied” AI-controlled armies. Whichever side you choose, the battle tends to proceed much as stated by the historians of the time.

    For instance, Ralph of Diss, otherwise known as Raduphus de Diceto, dean of St. Paul`s cathedral in London in the late twelfth century, records in his history the battle of Montgisard of 1177 between King Baldwin IV of Jerusalem and Saladin:

    “Odo the master of the Knighthood of the Temple, like another Judas Maccabaeus [a great Biblical hero], had eighty-four knights of his order with him in his personal company. He took himself into battle with his men, strengthened by the sign of the cross. Spurring all together, as one man, they made a charge, turning neither to the left nor to the right. Recognising the battalion in which Saladin commanded many knights, they manfully approached it, immediately penetrated it, incessantly knocked down, scattered, struck and crushed. Saladin was smitten with admiration, seeing his men dispersed everywhere, everywhere turned in flight, everywhere given to the mouth of the sword. He took thought for himself and fled, throwing off his mailshirt for speed, mounted a racing camel and barely escaped with a few of his men. ('Ymagines Historiarum', 1, pp. 423-4.) “

    Some References
    The Chronicle of Ibn al-Athir for the Crusading Period by D.S. Richards
    Imad ad-Din al-Isfahani al-Fath al-Qussi
    William of Tyre Deeds done Beyond the Seas
    Saladin: The Politics of the Holy War by Malcolm Cameron Lyons
    Ralph de Diceto (Radulf de Diceto decani Lundoniensis) Ymagines historiarum

    Below is the map of the most probable battlefield from Google Earth with the two armies. It is only a schematic plan, the numbers of men would have probably been enough to fill most of the area around the river crossing but I hope it gives a good impression of the difficult situation Saladin found himself in after his baggage train became mired at the river crossing and with most of his men scattered here and there. Lydda and Ramla, where the raiding parties had gone, are several miles to the north of this area and other parts of his army were further down the road on the way to Jerusalem. Also the castle of Blanchegarde at the top of the hill denied Saladin the high ground. The hill is known today as Tel Es-Safi or Tel-Tzafit. In Saladin's time it was known as al-Safiya and the Crusaders probably referred to it as Montgisard, at least that is what William of Tyre called the hill by which this battle took place.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Edit: The myth of the invincible medieval knights
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    I had some discussions so far about how there were apparently only a few hundred knights at Montgisard fighting thousands of Muslims and similarly in other battles. This is partly perpetuated by ridiculous movies, ridiculous fairy tales, reality denial and so on. Part of the problem is with the chroniclers, who often name the number of knights but mention just several thousand others, if they mention that there were common soldiers at all. So this creates the impression that Saladin was bringing with him some rag tug army of heathens who were being slaughtered in the hundreds by the few heroic godly knights but the battles were always uneven so in the end the heroic Christians would lose. In this case, William of Tyre actually mentions that there were thousands of others in addition to the knights and still this is being ignored by film-makers (e.g. in the movie Arn – The Knight Templar) and the average Joe. Imagine had he said nothing ...

    Who were those thousands who accompanied the knights in battles?

    There is an enlightening passage from William of Tyre where he describes a battle that took place near Nazareth, by the Spring of Cresson, an unknown location. There were at least 7,000 Saracens but only 140 knights according to William of Tyre. This is very hard to believe. Later down we are told ... "when the squires of the Temple and Hospital saw that the knights were being cut down by the Saracens, they turned in flight with all the baggage". Aha! so there were also the knights' squires, not just 140 knights? Why not count them in, when you count at least 7,000 Saracens? What were the squires? Vegetables? But that is not all. We are next taken back in time to the time before the battle and then we are being told, by the way, so to speak, as an afterthought, not important really, that on passing by Nazareth before the battle, the Master of the Temple had sent a sergeant (wait a minute, this is the first time we hear about sergeants, I thought we had been told there were only 140 knights) - he sent a sergeant to tell all the men of Nazareth to arm themselves "and come after him ... for he would defeat the Saracens". And later down we are being told that "When Balian came to Nazareth there was great sorrow in the city for those who had been killed or taken in the battle, for there were few families that had not had someone killed or taken". Alright, this begins to sound like quite a lot more than 140. So, when a chronicler of the Crusades says 140 knights we must read in also their sergeants, their squires and maybe a few thousand ill-trained militia and since nearly every family lost someone we can assume every adult in the Kingdom of Jerusalem had an obligation to train in arms and to have arms and, moreover, they had to always be ready to come to their king or masters, if they were asked to.

    So it was quite clearly not just the knights that were doing all the fighting, the others are just not being mentioned and you have to read the texts quite critically to begin to try to estimate what the actual numbers might have been. In fact the reality may be that there was usually relative parity in numbers but the Christians suffered in quality - an inconvenient truth for medieval chroniclers.
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; September 15, 2017 at 11:01 AM.

  4. #24
    Christonikos's Avatar Centenarius
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Nafpaktos, Greece

    Default Re: Campaign battle screenshots and videos

    Have you ever though of submitting these battles at Battle After Action Report competitions? I don't know, check it ( I am not really aware of the rules but you should have a look)

  5. #25

    Default Battle of Sirmium July 1167 AD

    Battle of Sirmium

    In 1167 AD, Byzantine emperor Manuel proposed to his son in law, Bela, the heir to the Hungarian throne, that he might also be the heir to the Roman throne. Alarmed at the prospect of Hungary being governed from Constantinople, the Hungarian king Stephan opposed the plan so strongly that war immediately broke out.

    The Great Duke and Imperial Admiral Andronicos Kontostephanos was appointed in overall command of the Byzantine army at the war council in Sardica. The Hungarian army was led by Denes, count of Bacs, who the Byzantines called Dionysius. The two armies met near the city of Sirmium in July of that year.

    The battle was described by two Byzantine historians, Ioannes Kinnamos and Niketas Choniates.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    Ioannes Kinnamos

    The emperor sent many Roman generals with their armies against the Hungarians who had come to Sirmium and appointed in overall command Andronicos Kontostephanos. He sent to him instructions as to how he should deploy his army and how he should fight this battle, inscribed on a tablet.

    Kontostephanos, after crossing the river Sava, having come close to the Hungarian camp, did the following. He sent scouts to spy upon the enemy camp, to gain the best possible knowledge about their army. He also commanded that they should attempt to take prisoners some among the Hungarian soldiers. The scouts indeed returned with one such captive and he was questioned by Kontostephanos about the force the Hungarians have near Sirmium and what their plans may be.

    “There are 37 generals commanding this army” said the prisoner, “and Dionysius {Denes] is in overall command. The army numbers 15,000 in total, made up of heavily armoured horsemen, archers and peltasts. They are in great spirits, in the knowledge this would not be the first time they will have defeated the Romans”.

    Kontostephanos sent back the captive with this message, that the emperor will not tolerate their transgression against the Romans and soon will deliver upon them his judgement.

    Kontostephanos ordered the army out of the camp and deployed in this fashion: The Skythikon and most of the Persian cavalry [Turks are called Persians by Kinnamos] were placed at the front, accompanied by lancers with directions to only engage the enemy in the briefest fashion.
    Next, on either wing there was a phalanx (foot spearmen), on one side under the command of Kokkobasileios and Philokales and on the other side under Taticius so called Aspietes. The cavalry itself was followed by yet more infantry together with archers and a phalanx of Turkish spearmen with shields. Next, on either side were four generals: Joseph Bryennius, Georgios Branas, his brother Demetrius Branas, and Constantinos Aspietes a well-respected man. Next followed the Chartoularios Andronicos Lampardas with the elite Roman and German units and some Persians (again presumably Turkish mounted archers). Next was Andronicos Kontostephanos with men of the greatest renown, the Imperial guard [presumably the Varangians and Heteriae] and a body of Italian mercenaries. Behind them was a body of Serb spearmen with long shields. Deployed in this manner the Romans marched to battle. When the arrived at the place where Dionysius had made a tomb, the dismounted and gave an oath that they are ready to die for their people and for their families.

    Seeing the approaching Romans, Dionysius has overtaken with boldness and with a sense of irony ordered his men to drink to the health of the Romans, then deploy for battle. The Hungarians having drunk so, rushed into battle, deployed as it was usual for them. At the front were placed the most heavily armoured, “as was their custom” and their army was stretched along the length of the front.

    Once the two armies had come close to each other, Kontostephanos ordered the front units to open fire at the Hungarians. When the Hungarians counterattacked, the mounted archers had instructions to withdraw not so much to the rear but to the sides, in the hope that the Hungarians in chasing after them would split their forces and open up a gap in the centre of their line. But the mounted archers when counterattacked turned and fled instead directly to the rear and towards the river Sava. The Hungarians then fell upon the main battle line.

    On the left two of the taxiarchies held up (those under Kokkobasileios and Taticius) while the rest retreated. Demetrius Branas was left with only 80 of his companions but fought on heroically until he was seriously injured in the face and fell and was taken prisoner. His brother Georgios retreated with his taxiarchy, unable to resist the more numerous opponents. But as the left wing was retreating, the right wing defeated decisively the Hungarians on that side.

    Dionysius seeing this, resolved to attack Kontostephanos but many among his horsemen were overtaken with fear and wished to turn back. Dionysius rebuked them for their cowardice and urged them to stay in place at least, so that the Romans may not perceive their weakened resolve. Dionysius then moved towards Andronicus Kontostephanos when Andronicos Lampardas, not daunted by the large host of Dionysius fell upon him and there was a great crash, as lances broke against the shields and fell to the ground. Yet, though Georgios Branas came up with his taxiarchy to help Lampardas, the right wing began to waver. Seeing the danger that if those under Lampardas are defeated he will have to fight the battle on his own, Kontostephanos surged up with the men in his command (Imperial Guard, Italian mercenaries and the Serb spearmen). There was a great clash and at first 80 Romans fell but many more were slain among the Hungarians. The Romans fought with unseen courage and superior discipline until at last the tide of battle turned. With their spears being already broken and their swords blunted, the warriors resorted to their maces and there was such a murderous fight that the plain was covered with the dead. Finally the flag of Dionysius that had been raised high above his army came down from its mast. The horse and armour of Dionysius were captured, though he himself escaped. Some of the fleeing Hungarians were taken prisoner when they retreated towards the river where the Roman ships were, namely five generals and 800 men. Many thousands fell in the field of battle. By nightfall the Romans had collected two thousand breastplates and such a number of helmets and shields that no one was able to count. Next morning they armed themselves again and marched to the Hungarian camp. But it was found deserted. So ended the war against the Hungarians.

    Niketas Choniates

    The generals at the war council in Sardica considered whether the emperor himself ought to lead the campaign but the opinion prevailed that the emperor should remain in Sardica and the campaign should be led by some among the generals. The future of this war was uncertain and a defeat would hurt the emperor’s image. On the other hand, should there be victory, it would only be the more remarkable by the fact that the emperor was not even present in the battle. It was decided that the general in overall command should be the Imperial Admiral and Megas Doux (Great Duke), Andronicos Kontostephanos.

    Then before the assembly of the generals was disbanded, the emperor recommended to Kontostephanos, not only the tactical methods for the conduct of the battle but also of the right time of the attack, the type of armament and the battle formations. He roused the vice-generals and the cavalry commanders and all other officers to battle, bringing to their memory not only former triumphs in battle but also asking them to consider what might the future bring should this war be lost. Finally he commended them to God and told them it would be a glory to himself should they return with trophies of war and that should they prevail in battle they would be handsomely rewarded.

    The Hungarians were not daunted by the arrival of the Roman army, rather they gathered their own cavalry and an allied army made up of their neighbouring nations [presumably Szekely, Slav, Transylvanian, Vlach, etc] including some Germans under a general named Dionysius [Denes, Count of Bacs], a brave man who had previously achieved several victories in battle. This Dionysius, as soon as he heard that a Roman army had crossed the Danube, emboldened by his previous victories over the Romans, bragged that he would make a trophy in the form of a pillar from the bones of the dead Romans as he had done before, when he had defeated Branas and Gabras in battle.

    So on the day of the feast of Procopius the martyr, Konstostephanos deployed his army for battle. After putting on his armour, he ordered everyone to do the same and each one went to take charge of their own regiment and to deploy it in good order. And he took himself command of the main phalanx front and appointed Andronicos Lampardas in command of the right wing and other taxiarchs in command of the left wing. He also placed a second line of auxiliary phalanx formations behind the first at the two wings, so that they might aid those in front should they waver in the course of battle.

    Just as the army was ready for battle, there arrived a messenger bringing a letter from the emperor instructing that the battle should be postponed for a more propitious day (presumably a recommendation from an astrologer). The general put the message under his arm and said nothing to the other officers, neither what the message was nor what the plan shall be, rather wisely he began to deal with other matters. In this way the day passed as it might have been a fateful day, quite unsuitable for joining battle. For the wisdom of God is written even upon the stars and astrologers claim they can read the decision of God in their positions and movements as if from a book on a desk.

    Finally, on the morning of the appointed day for the battle, Kontostephanos gave a speech saying “Romans, remember your renown in battle and consider no glory or fortune impossible. We are not alone mortals nor is our foe made of iron. They are not dressed in steel and we are naked. Nor are they well trained and we retired from war. Rather we have the same armament and moreover a better education, we have a long experience and superior strategic and tactical methods in the conduct of battle. We have prevailed against them before. So men, soldiers, remember your sons and fellow countrymen. See that the deep flowing Danube will carry in his swirling waves the cries of our foe through the lands it passes through, announcing everywhere the Paeonians’ defeat and the victory of the Romans”.

    Having spoken so, the general led the army onto a wide and open plain. Dionysius in response brought out his own men from the camp, with a joyful complexion, clapping and happy as if he had come not to a battle but to a game. As if not knowing what to do, he did not divide his army into a left and right wing, nor into cavalry and infantry but he spread his army into a single formation mixing the cavalry with the infantry along the entire front, as if driven by raw contempt for his foe.
    He raised, too, a flag on a high mast on a cart drawn by four bulls. This army made for a frightening sight, difficult to countenance, with horsemen armed with lances all along the front. Nor were the soldiers alone heavily armoured and expensively arrayed but even the horses’ heads were crowned with plumes and covered with armour, as was their sternum (chest) to protect them from missiles. And the neighing of the horses and the shine of the armour against the sun, for the two armies had come close against each other, made the sight even more impressive and caused fear and wonder.

    The day being at noon, the time was now right to join battle. Kontostephanos, leaving the wings to watch the foe on either side, ordered the mounted archers [hippotoxotae] to come forward and engage the enemy. The general’s plan was to shake and disrupt the continuity of the enemy line. The two armies clashed shield to shield, head to head, spear to spear and horse against horse, in the Homeric fashion. There was a terrifying battle, devouring the men, and the two armies rippled as waves, moving like a dragonsnake shaking its scales.

    Dionysius like an unmoving wall marched against Kontostephanos and the army under him. As soon as the Romans received his attack there where strikes and couterstrikes with spears as the warriors sparred at each other and pushed and heaved. The lances or spears were soon broken and the men on the two sides drew out their swords and fell upon each other fighting on. These were blunted at last against the copper and iron armour of the armies on both sides and the Hungarians wondered how to continue fighting with the Romans. Yet the Romans drew out their iron maces, which they always carried with them. With these they could strike deadly blows at the faces and heads of their foe. Those among the Hungarians who were dazed by these blows withdrew to the rear. Many received serious wounds and the continuous Hungarian front was finally broken, nor was there one among the Romans who did not overcome an adversary or did not ride a horse after vanquishing its rider.

    The day was full and the trumpet was calling the end of the battle when the flag came down from the chariot of Dionysius. So were the Hungarians defeated.

    In short, the Byzantines sent in first mounted skirmishers to entice the Hungarians into battle, then received the cavalry charges with their spearment (long speared phalanx of Contaratoi, fronted by the so-called promachoi, the Menavlatoi, Byzantine anti-cavalry specialists). These two types of units were the so-called defensores and were backed up by cursores - mounted skirmishers as well as javelinners and archers. Behind this first line of defense was a second line of phalanx, the cavalry and the Imperial Guard under the general in command, Andronikos Kontostephanos. The Hungarians managed to turn temporarily the Byzantine left flank but were defeated on the other side, probably with the help of the Byzantine heavy cavalry under Lampardas. The battle came to critical point when the Hungarian general Denes attacked with the Hungarian reserves and Kontostephanos in response ordered forward the Imperial Guard.

    The battle is in two videoclips, about 16 minutes each, annotated with subtitles from the histories of Ioannes Kinnamos and Niketas Choniates.

    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; May 26, 2012 at 03:30 PM.

  6. #26

    Default Battle of Sirmium, shorter version

    A shorter version of the battle of Sirmium, with most of the narrative but on a video only half as long.

    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; November 25, 2011 at 12:21 PM.

  7. #27

    Default Times full of Distemper

    Times full of Distemper, part I

    This is the first of a couple of videos from a campaign. For King or Country mod of the English Civil War. I have made a few modifications to achieve bigger battles with a slightly improved battle AI (more merciful to enemy cavalry and generals). The videoclip was a few snippets from the first four battles from September-October 1642.

    1. A battle at Cropredy bridge between Prince Rupert and Colonel Laurence. Laurence got trounced. There had been an actual historical battle at Powick bridge at around this time, with Prince Rupert a protagonist - and he had won. There was also a historical battle at Cropredy bridge later in the war.
    2. A battle in Hampshire between Parliamentarian William Waller and Royalist Marmaduke Rawdon. Rawdon and Waller were indeed in that part of the country at that part of the year. Waller took a defensive position on a high ground but despite his advantageous position he nearly lost the battle. Just like in real life.
    3. A battle between Parliamentarian Baron Brooke and Royalists Earl of Northampton and Charles Gerard in Worcesterrshire. Indeed such a battle took place at that time near Warwick. Baron Brooke won and Northampton was killed. In actual history he was killed in a battle in that part of the country six months later.
    4. A massive battle east of Oxford, near Thame, involving 14000 combatants. Thame was a Parliamentarian HQ in 1643 and a small battle indeed took place there. However, at this time of the year an epic battle had taken place northwest of Oxford at Edgehill with much the same participants as in this one.

    On the Royalist side, overall command was with the king. The infantry was under Lord Astley in the centre, the Earl of Forth on the left and Rupert on the right. Rupert also had his own regiment of horse on the far right and the Earl of Forth a regiment of horse on the far left. Prince Maurice had a regiment of horse in reserve. This is not far off how things were in the actual battle at Edgehill. On the Parliament side, overall command was under the Earl of Essex. Skippon with some of the London trayned bands and an assortment of other infantry was on the left, Essex in the centre and the Eastern Association under the Earl of Machester on the right. On the far right was the Eastern Association's cavalry under Oliver Cromwell. On the far left Haselrig's regiment and other cavalry and dragoons under Haselrig's command.

    The battle started with Oliver Cromwell on the right routing the Earl of Forth's cavalry. Prince Maurice counterattacked with his reserve cavalry regiment and with help from the Earl of Forth's infantry put Oliver Cromwell's cavalry to flight. Manchester and Essex pushed forward and turned back Maurice whose cavalry run into the Royalist infantry, being hard-pressed by Manchester and Essex, that was routed. King Charles watched from the distance, saw the rout and abandoned the battlefield. Lord Astley was still fighting, engaged with Essex's infantry and on the left Philip Skippon was holding back Prince Rupert's cavalry. Rupert, rather than paying some attention to Haselrig's cavalry, had idiotically (and despite even using the Stainless Steel 6.1 battle AI) charged headlong without waiting for his infantry to catch up. Haselrig nicely took his cavalry to the prince's rear and Rupert's cavalry broke and fled. At that point Rupert's infantry were still trudging forward, the musketeers had become separated from the pikemen and the whole lot was annihilated leaving Astley in cold water. His bluecoats fought the longest, holding back and avoiding the crazy antics of Rupert. Nonetheless, here too the pikemen had been separated from the musketeers and became gradually scattered as they marched forward into the arms of Essex's foot. Oliver Cromwell's cavalry and Manchester with his lifeguard then charged into Astley's musketeers and Astley threw down his hat, after losing his entire lifeguard, and the last of the Royalist army called it a day.

    It was a most glorious day, a truly massive battle.

    [MT2W FKoC AAR] Times full of Distemper
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; November 24, 2011 at 03:31 PM.

  8. #28

    Default Times full of Distemper, part II

    Times full of Distemper part II: The winter months of the campaign (1642-1643).

    The first winter of the war was a time of taking chances. Lincoln was besieged by the Royalists, unsuccessfully. The Earl of Stamford and Robartes ganged up and managed to defeat Hopton in Cornwall, but sadly the Earl of Stamford rebelled and abandoned the Parliament cause after that. That was not too unreasonable as there was a peace party in Parliament and besides, historically Stamford did not fight again in the actual war after his first battle anyway.

    The longest battle was at a bridge between Leeds and York. Leeds at this timepoint became the base of Thomas Fairfax and his father Ferdinando Lord Fairfax. Thomas Fairfax was more actively campaigning and had laid siege on York. That was not going to be successful, however as York had a large garrison. So he retreated to a bridge over the river Aire where he joined battle with the Earl of Newcastle. The Royalists attacked over the bridge. It was suicidal. A winter battle did indeed take place that year. During a blizzard, in the winter of 1642-43, Thomas Fairfax crossed the Aire and attacked the Royalist army in Leeds, capturing the city.

    The last battle was a raid by the Royalists across the Severn that was turned back by Edward Massie.

    Most of the music in this and subsequent videos in this series is by William Lawes, a musician who fought in the Lifeguard of Charles I

    [MT2W FKoC AAR] Times full of Distemper
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; March 18, 2012 at 01:59 AM.

  9. #29

    Default Times full of Distemper part III

    Times full of Distemper part III

    March and April of 1643 were dominated by two series of several battles in the West Midlands, with Baron Broooke a protagonist, and in the north around Leeds and York, with Thomas Fairfax a protagonist.

    Baron Brooke took Lichfield after a battle with Charles Gerard and made some fortifications (a fort). He was besieged for a month by Prince Rupert and though he sallied out and won the battle, he retreated to Warwick to refit his army. There he was attacked while most of his army was outside the castle. The battle took place under very dramatic heavily clouded skies at the outskirts of the town. The Royalists were badly led and were beaten back.

    In the north, the Royalists were building up their armies and George Goring had also assembled an impressive cavalry force. Fairfax made a feint towards York and near the bridge over the Wharfe, near Tadcaster in Branham Moor, he attacked a Royalist regiment and completely destroyed it. On his way back to Leeds he encountered a force of cavalry and dragoons under George Goring. They had the high ground (similar to the historical battle at Seacroft Moor) and Fairfax was in the open, so he moved quickly into a flanking position in a wood and his pikemen attempted to make space there for the musketeers to take refuge. In the historical battle at Seacroft Moor, Fairfax had no pikemen and most of his infantry were militia of local peasants. In this case, his better trained and equipped infantry held back Goring's attack. Two cavalry troops hidden in a wood finally charged up the back of the hill and fell upon the rear of some dragoons who broke and fled, precipitating a general Royalist rout.

    [MT2W FKoC AAR] Times full of Distemper
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; November 24, 2011 at 03:31 PM.

  10. #30

    Default Times full of Distemper part IV

    Times full of Distemper part IV

    Warwick was besieged again from May to June but Baron Brooke used cunning and his superb cavalry to see the Royalist armies off.

    [MT2W FKoC AAR] Times full of Distemper
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; December 05, 2011 at 06:41 PM.

  11. #31

    Default Battle of Lansdown

    Battle of Lansdown, 5th July 1643

    A relatively historically accurate re-enactment of the Battle of Lansdown.

    William Waller, the Commander of the Southwestern Association had 3000 Foot arrayed on the brow of Lansdown Hill, with some dragoons in the flanks. It was a strong position in friendly territory. The Royalists were under the overall command of the Marquiss of Hertford but on the ground Ralph Hopton commanded at least 5000 Foote while Prince Maurice was the most prominent Royalist cavalry commander and, in his own view at least, overall commander of the approximately 3000-strong Horse.

    William Waller had superiority in cavalry, that included his own Regiment of Horse and Arthur Haselrig's formiddable Cuirassiers that the Royalists had dubbed the "London lobsters". The latter were the most highly vaunted cavalry on the Parliamentarian side, at least during that period in the war, and this was the battle where they saw most of their action. To draw the Royalists into battle up against his advantageous position, Waller sent Haselrig and much of the rest of his cavalry (plus some dragoons) on attacks against a Royalist position on Togg Hill and on skirmishes at the Royalist rearguard when they attempted to abandon the field.

    At one point it seems the Cornish Foot decided more or less by popular demand to go on the offensive, seeing the Parliament Horse running off, and cried out to Ralph Hopton "Let us fetch that cannon!" referring to William Waller's cannon at the top of Lansdown Hill. So an all-out battle ensued with the Cornish pikemen in the centre marching directly up the hill under the command of Bevil Grenville. Musketeers advanced mostly on their left and the Royalist cavalry that had regrouped advanced on the right where the ground was more open. So at least the Royalists did not seem to have deployed in one of the standard tactical formations of the time.

    There were at least three charges of the Cuirassiers and two charges of Waller's Regiment of Horse in addition to charges by the other Parliamentarian cavalry regiments. The Cornish Foot had heavy casualties and Colonel Bevil Grenville died in action - but they pushed on. The musketeers on the left wing made it to the top of the hill first, after pushing back the Parliamentarian dragoons on that side. Under their cover, the Cornish pikemen managed to reach the brow of the hill and captured some of the Parliamentarian cannon. They were joined by 1600 Horse, all that remained of the initial 3000 strong cavalry of the Royalists. Waller at that point being numerically disadvantaged despite the casualties he had inflicted, gave orders to his Foot to retreat further back on the hill to some stone walls where the Foot was barricaded for the rest of the day. Both sides had spent most of their gunpowder and were tired so there were no further moves. At night, William Waller's Foot stole away after firing off a barrage that failed to shake their opponents.

    In my actual campaign battle, at that point the Royalists had been sufficiently weakened that they actually lost the fight and retreated but in Medieval II Total War there are relatively less serious issues with ammunition supply plus no stone walls to take cover behind them. Also the computer player never stops or retreats unless completely crushed.

    Parliament has red flags, Royalists blue. Parliament Horse wear a dark orange shash, Royalist Horse a red shash. Parliament infantry wear red or dark blue coats with red trousers, or purple while the trayned bands wear country tones (greenish, brownish, dark red) and the dragoons grey occasionally with brimmed hats. Royalist foot are mostly Cornish regiments in pale blue-grey or light blue and some units wear black. Royalist trayned bands also wear a mix of earthy tones including some blue (rather than red) coats. Parliament generals wear black japaned armour, while the Royalist commanders wear a blue and white-plummed helmet and a breastplate over a green coat. All cannon shown are Parliamentarian but the Royalists also had some cannon.

    My custom made AI makes the computer player spread his forces out more and there are fewer direct attacks of cavalry on infantry. Rather there is more of a tendency for cavalry to attack enemy cavalry as in the actual battles of the English Civil War. When cavalry attacks infantry, it will more often attack musketeers rather than pikemen, which you can see Haserig's cavalry doing under AI control in the later stages of the battle.

    The actual historical battle developed approximately as in this videoclip. There were some differences, caused by the terrain, which were practically impossible to replicate. One was that there were hedgerows between Lansdown and Freezing Hill/Tog Hill, that allowed the Parliament dragoons good cover in the early part of the fighting. Much more importantly, because of the hedges there seemed to be only three way to access Lansdown: from a lane down the middle and two areas on the side. However, based on the description from Edward Hyde, the sides were lined with woods where Waller had also placed dragoons. So that the Royalist Foote was being chanelled into three zones were Waller could concentrate his musket and cannon shot. The one thing that was most difficult to replicate was that because of numerical inferiority, the Parliament Foote had dug thenselves in behind earthworks that they had made at the top of the hill. This was a very unusual thing for that period, more the style of 20th Century than 17th Century warfare. The result was tat the Royalists are estimated to have lost some 600 Foote against Waller's losses of about 20. So it was a heroic draw, to have held back an infantry force nearly three times his own and to have caused such heavy casualties. Of course the Parliament Horse played no small role in achieving that result.

    It is also perplexing how William Waller fought so uninspiringly shortly afterwards at Roundway Hill, considering his inspirational defense at Lansdown.
    [MT2W FKoC AAR] Times full of Distemper
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; October 05, 2012 at 10:09 AM.

  12. #32

    Default Besieged in Byzantium (Chivalry II)

    Besieged in Byzantium
    Chivalry II - the Sicilian Vespers
    with the Complete Byzantine Unit Roster project skins

    A break from the English Civil War: a custom battle of a Turkish attack on a Byzantine fortress. Chivalry II flame throwers are not as effective as in some other mods. Despite the siege being on normal difficulty with equal florins both sides, it was only a lucky win.

    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; January 23, 2012 at 02:35 PM.

  13. #33

    Default Besieged in Byzantium (Stainless Steel)

    Besieged in Byzantium
    Stainless Steel
    with the Complete Byzantine Unit Roster project skins

    Same siege as in the previous video but with Stainless Steel. This time it was much easier to win. The Greek fire was devastating and the stakes killed off most of the enemy cavalry.

    I should apologize for the slow frame rate due to a combination of making these videoclips on a laptop and using FRAPS. Hopefully, if you play on a laptop, it is familiar enough that it is not too annoying. My aim is to show some interesting battles from a tactical viewpoint, certainly not to make professional-looking machinima videos.

  14. #34

    Default Pike & Shot formations

    Pike & Shot formations

    These are test battles against the AI with the newly released 1648 - Dreissig Jahre Krieg mod. In all these battles the two armies had equal florin value, in fact the armies were completely identical in all tests for both players. During these test battles I only deployed the army in the appropriate formation pressed the start button and sat back to watch sipping a cup of coffee. I gave absolutely no commands other than a single command to the cavalry unit on the right to start skirmishing, just once. For the rest of the battle I did not touch the keyboard other than in order to take videoclips. So there is certainly no human factor influencing the outcome of these battles. The computer player struggled against all these formations, despite the fact that the pike & shot formations were like sitting ducks. He performed better when instead of the two cavalry companies, he had two heavy infantry companies of the same value. Of course the AI used the standard medieval 2 triple line formation.

    The friendly army was laid out in one of four typical pike & shot formations.

    1. Simple Spanish tertio

    This was the formation used in the early period of the Thirty Years' war. It consisted of pike blocks surrounded by shot (arquebusiers or musketeers). In reality there would have been shot on all four sides. But they skirmished to the side of the enemy. They were arranged in various regular checquerboard-like formations like the one used here. They were actually much larger in size, with about 1500 men rather than 200 as shown here, so this is a barebones scaled-down version. This is not completely unhistorical as it is believed that when army commanders commanded small armies in the field, they reduced the size of the formations to maintain a minimum number that would allow the benefits of these tactical arrangements. The computer player won against the simple Spanish tertio formation almost every time - but it was always close.

    2. Full-sized Spanish tertio

    Unlike the Germans, the Spanish who had invented and developed the Spanish tertio, mostly used this more complex formation. There were shot at the front of the pike block with companies of shot also at every corner. In actual battle the shot companies skirmished. There were also swordsmen among the pikemen, which are missing here. The 1648 mod team has given the tertio pikemen extra points in melee presumably to model that aspect. The size of each tertio in this test almost approaches the 1600-2500 sized tertios actually used, so this formation would have been more realistic, especially if there could be many more than two. As this tertio formation was more complex, it required a bit more drilling. The companies of shot would skirmish forward and back during the battle, which may be possible to show in a future videoclip. The passive defense used against the AI in this case meant that the shot could only skirmish backwards but this problem was the same in all formations used. The main disadvantage of this formation was that the pike blocks were so large, that once the musketeers had skirmished back they had difficulty in getting a clear shot at the computer player's army. As a result, the AI musketeers were shooting for almost half an hour at the pikemen who were just sitting there getting killed with their supporting shot companies way back and out of range. With more active skirmishing, the AI would have been utterly trashed. As it was, the contest came to a draw.

    3. The German formation

    This was a variation of the Dutch formation (not used in these tests because of its shallow depth). The German formation had more depth and used the cavalry in close support of the shot and vice versa. It was used in the period when shot companies far outnumbered the pike companies, so the layout used here is not completely representative as the number of pike and shot companies had to remain exactly the same in all four tests. The German formation achieved a close/average victory against the AI, as seen here. If the two cavalry companies of the computer player were replaced by infantry companies of the same value, the computer player always won.

    4. The Swedish formation

    The Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus never lost a battle. This was a formation used by the Royalists in the battle of Edgehill during the English Civil War modelled on the principles of the so-called Swedish style. Two brigades are shown. Each one consists of four pike companies in a cross formation, each pike company supported by musketeers arranged in elongated formations. Of course in reality there would have been many more brigades like these. In these tests, the Swedish formation won hands down every time no matter what, with minimal casualties. As there were no commands to chase down the routed enemy, the result does not look "on paper" as favourable as it should have been.

    Finally, should the defender fight also in the medieval triple line arrangement in a similar passive way, defeat is certain. Using any of the pike and shot formations is preferable to a passive medieval triple line formation.

    [MT2W FKoC AAR] Times full of Distemper
    Reviewed by robinzx at the Critic's Quill, Issue 31
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; April 08, 2012 at 06:21 AM.

  15. #35

    Default Re: Campaign battle screenshots and videos

    This is another video that demonstrates how sometimes it is easier to fight a besieging force by sallying out. Both sides were of equal florin value but the defenders only had two companies of spearmen. They were strong on artillery though.

    Check out a similar battle with the Teutonic knights in my post #10.

    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; March 31, 2012 at 02:09 PM.

  16. #36

    Default Re: Campaign battle screenshots and videos

    In the test of the pike and shot formations against the medieval AI above, the pike and shot formations were almost completely passive. Here is an example of the Swedish formation fighting a force of equal value a little more actively. In this example, both sides are supported by artillery. As you might expect, having artillery helps the human player. There is actually little one needs to do until the time comes to use the cavalry. So one can enjoy the amazing 1648 mod pyrotechnics.

    Apologies once again for the low frame rate caused by FRAPS. These are not cinematic editor machinima videos.

    [MT2W FKoC AAR] Times full of Distemper
    Reviewed by robinzx at the Critic's Quill, Issue 31
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; April 08, 2012 at 06:16 AM.

  17. #37

    Default Re: Campaign battle screenshots and videos

    The Spanish tertio in action

    Another two videoclips on the same line, fighting in the Spanish tertio formation a little more actively. Predictably the medieval battle Ai has been flapping around like fish out of water to eventual destruction.

    First a battle without artillery

    And a battle with artillery

    A complete walk-over. With artillery you only have to wait until it is time for the cavalry to chase the routers. If anyone can make the computer to fight sensibly...

    This is partly a problem for the AI because of the pike and shot formations. However, even against medieval armies fighting in some sort of disciplined way, the battle AI is also hopeless.

    [MT2W FKoC AAR] Times full of Distemper
    Reviewed by robinzx at the Critic's Quill, Issue 31
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; April 08, 2012 at 02:32 PM.

  18. #38

    Default Re: Campaign battle screenshots and videos

    1648 mod, Thirty Year War, Rhine Palatinate campaign.

    Four battles from the early part of the campaign. You can read the relatively short after-action report here.

    1. Rockenhausen. A rare case of being a defender in a night siege. The garrison consists of militia and peasants and is defending not against one but two full-stacks of elite enemy units with artillery. Of course it was simply a massacre but it also ended with the destruction of the enemy faction.

    In the 1648 mod, night is very dark, which is probably what would happen if firearms were fired at night and of course if the soldiers were stupid enough to hold torches, as they often do. On average it is more realistic and makes night battles especially hard, as they should be.

    2. Battle of Ingolstadt. A desperate battle in which a Rhineland army was attacked by two large enemy armies. At least it was not a complete massacre like the previous battle.

    3. Siege of Ingolstadt. Another example of being overwhelmed by a larger army, indeed five times as large. This time it was very close - until the enemy attacked with heavy pikemen, a unit superior to any of ours. Still the siege costed our enemy dearly, as he predictably lost all his generals.

    4. Battle of Amberg. Finally in this battle we had a small numerical superiority and fought it using the Spanish tertio formation with two strong tertios flanking a centrally placed battery of field artillery. Additional artillery in the flanks and rear bombarded the enemy lines for the greater part of this battle. The artillery duel indeed decided the battle, as the computer player was unable to bring most of his artillery to bear upon our army.

    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; April 29, 2012 at 05:46 AM.

  19. #39

    Default Re: Campaign battle screenshots and videos

    Battle of Villach

    Battle of Klagenfurt

    Armagedon on the Alps

    The climactic battle of my recent 1648 campaign, involving some 7000 Germans of the Rhine Palatinate vs 3000+ Ottomans.

    You can read more in my [1648 - Dreissig Jahre Krieg] Thirty Years War AAR
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; June 09, 2012 at 02:19 AM.

  20. #40

    Default Gul'dursun siege SS6.1 Khwarezmian campaign

    Gul'dursun siege - Stainless Steel 6.1 short Khwarezmian campaign

    After some 280 turns at 2 turns per year of cunning diplomacy, following the idea of Sun Tzu that the last thing you do to win a war is fight battles, the Khwarezmians practically only needed to stand up to the Mongols to win the short SS6.1 campaign.

    The Mongols turned up in the region south of the Aral Sea and east of the Amu Darya at 1220AD. It was one of the regions that had been heavily fortified. Urgench was conveniently the Hashashim HQ. Both Urgench and Khiva where huge cities with high walls and nearby Konjikala was the most developed citadel in the empire. With enough historical hindsight, all men that could be spared had been gathered in the region. Not only did the Khwarezmians have a bigger army but it was even more experienced, having put down endless rebellions in the 140 years that had gone by. The first Mongol wave of two stacks was in fact overwhelmed in an open battle and Khanzada Aragatai was slain while Khan Subujin was taken prisoner. However, before the Khwarezmian army could be refitted, another three Mongol stacks turned up. Two of them were trapped again east of the Amu Darya. Both river crossings were guarded by a fort on either side and the river crossing itself could be used as a defensive position. Rather than wait to fight the Khwarezmian army in the open, Mongol generals Jebe the Tyrant and Aragatai the Wrathful attacked the fort of Gul'dursun garrisoned by some 900 men under the victor of the previous battle, Nazim Khucendi.

    Gul'dursun is the name by which a historical ancient fort is known that was built in the 2nd C BC in that area. The fort was besieged by the Mongols and was sacked in 1221 AD or thereabouts - but that is about all that is known. In fact it is lucky we even know about the Mongol invasion at all, considering the trail of total devastation they left behind. The 15 centuries of history of Gul'dursun have been lost forever.

    In the campaign, the Mongols attacked with an overwhelming force more than three times as strong as the fort's garrison. The AI would have done well to be careful because the Mongols would have needed these armies to succeed in at least another two sieges before they could capture the nearest settlement, Urgench. But this first siege seemed like a lost case for the Khwarezmians. Judging from the stars of the two Mongol generals, not to say anything about their nicknames, Nazim Khucendi and his men were destined one way or another to die. So they resolved to sell their skin dearly.

    Like most videos on this thread, this videoclip is in HD. To watch it in HD click on the gear icon at the bottom of the YouTube videoclip window and select either 720p or 1080p, depending on your connection speed.

    The battle in detail:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    The fighting might seem at first random but there was a definite plan. The strategy was to use the sally to deter the ram, a practice that works well in Chivalry II, the Sicilian Vespers and in vanilla. Then destroy the ram with long range artillery fire and retreat back inside the fort to defend the walls against the infantry. Most of the Mongol infantry being archers, there was a chance they would be defeated in melee at the walls, and in that way the fort could be saved.

    To distract the enemy cavalry, the mounted archers sallied out first, but the Mongol horsemen paid relatively little attention to them. Their ram continued to advance, despite the sally, which was contrary to my previous experience and expectation from all the other mods. The Khwarezmian general Nazim Khucedin, despite his lowly one star command level attained in the recent battle against the Mongols, was our best general in the area. Nonetheless, under the circumstances, seeing the Mongols pushing on with the ram, he resolved to charge the ram with his bodyguard. He was countercharged by all the enemy heavy lancers and in the unequal battle that ensued, our heroic leader he was slain.

    His charge nonetheless gave time to the catapults to deploy outside the gates, fronted by two companies of spearmen. As the Mongol siege tower started to burn, the ram became clearly the Mongols’ best chance of making their way in. So the Mongol cavalry charged the spearmen. The spearmen held their ground, however, and after a while the Mongol horsemen pulled back to let their ram move forward. Unfortunately and annoyingly, the ram survived unscathed several hits by the catapults. And so it reached the lines of the spearmen and once the ram crew got entangled in a melee, the Mongol cavalry joined in. So far the attackers were fighting sensibly, hats off to the AI.

    Overwhelmed by the masses of the Mongol cavalry, the units outside the gates, already decimated by the torrential hail of Mongol arrows and the previous cavalry charges, broke. Two companies of spearmen kept in reserve inside the gates then sallied out to allow the broken units to rout to safety and to repel the Mongol cavalry and take over the ram.

    While this epic struggle was going on, a unit of Mongol skirmishers had managed to place ladders on the northern wall. That was not as bad as it might sound, in fact it turned out to be fatal for the Mongols and even saved the battle. The Mongol infantry consists only of archers. It is their cavalry which poses the greatest threat - and the only way the cavalry could pose a threat would be if they could get through the gates. The Mongol archers, however, had suddenly abandoned any thought of recovering the ram and rushed in one body to the ladders. There were Hashashim on that side that could hold them back for a while on their own, so the spearmen stayed in front of the gate until the Mongol lancers were routed. That gave the spearmen the perfect opportunity to quickly retreat into the safety of the fort, as all Mongol infantry was now occupied on the northern wall. Not only did they succeed to close the gates behind them before the Mongol mounted archers could get to the gates, but as the routed Mongol lancers were retreating, their general, Jebe the Tyrant, was killed by a missile from a trebuchet.

    The ram had been abandoned and the only chance the Mongols might recover it would be if some archer unit routed from the wall, rallied and then picked up the ram. With their ten star general dead, self rallies would now be unlikely. Still there was one way to prevent that eventuality – there were yet some Khwarezmian mounted archers surviving outside the walls who, having spent all their arrows, had run out of sight and out of mind. Now they returned and attacked the Mongol archers at the ladders from the rear. Caught between the Hashashim and spearmen on the walls on one side and the cavalry in their rear, all Mongol foot archers broke. They were cut down by the cavalry, as the Mongol cavalry, left mostly with mounted archers (who had used all their arrows), watched from the distance, failing to respond in any way. Once the Mongol infantry was completely eliminated, there was no chance the Mongol cavalry (some 2000 left against only about 400 surviving defenders) could use either the ram or the ladders.

    Unbelievably, Gul’dursun had been saved. The two key river forts were subsequently reinforced, as the Khwarezmian cavalry was being retrained for the final showdown. Even had the fort fallen, the Mongols would have needed to cross the ford against opposition from Khwarezmian infantry and artillery, then take another fort on the opposite side in a second siege, then finally besiege the nearest city – Urgench - if it was the settlement they were after. By then, almost certainly the Mongols would have lost all their infantry. Yes, there was another stack coming from the North of the Aral Sea and the ransomed units under Khan Subujin, but even they would have to take a fort, before they could reach the walls of Urgench. The Mongols could have not made a worse entry than entering Khwarezm east of the heavily defended Amu Darya. The AI had other options, to invade further south. The Mongols had under the circumstances at least the chance to wear out the Khwarezmian army in open battles, which the AI squandered. At the very least they had the better option to do nothing and stay there being a nuisance, as in Kingdoms Crusades.
    Last edited by Geoffrey of Villehardouin; July 10, 2012 at 11:32 AM.

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