varna 1444

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Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
Master Sergeant - Bf 109E
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Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 3:18 pm

varna 1444

Post by navigator » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:51 pm

Varna 1444

In a break from the norm, four hardened 15mm FoG competition gamers (Paul Dawson, Neil Howard and Robert Taylor) took a day out to play a couple of games based around a historical event! Varna 1444 between the Hungarians/Poles and the Ottomans.

The morning featured two singles games based on a pick n mix formula to generate around 900 points a side. The afternoon saw a 2100 points a side refight of Varna 1444 on a 12 foot long table. Lots of photos are on the blog

The pick n mix game saw each army list divided into 16 of slips of paper, each featuring a unit or two totalling around 100 points, and placed in a tub. To create their army each player drew 8 slips from his army’s tub. This resulted in unplanned armies and gave each general a challenge against hard to assess opposition.

Each singles game played on identical pre set terrain- based on second Kosovo 1448. Basically, hills in the Hungarian centre and right flank overlooking a plain.

Game one saw Neil’s Hungarian army of superior light horse and lots of knights face a Turkish army packed full of elite cavalry, cavalry, heavy guns, fortifications, janissaries and light horse. The knights beat the elites but elsewhere ended up in front of the heavy guns and got blown away. The Hungarian flanks caved in too ! Victory to the Turks.

Game two saw my Hungarians with war wagons, armoured foot, lancer light horse, the kings knights and some light horse face down Roberts Turks with mob, Anatolian allies, janissaries, light horse and standard cavalry.

Despite Robert getting the shakes through not being able to choose a competition optimised army, being depleted of Serb allies and his inability to choose terrain placement, he made a decent fist of the game. His Anatolian ally flank march came on early and shot away the Hungarian right wing war wagon flanks, opening up the Hungarian camp. The Hungarian left flank light horse and central knights cut through the Turks leaving the Kings guard and infantry to shore up the right flank. A strategic draw but Robert wants to claim a 11-9 victory !

Varna 1444

A 12 foot long table had wooded hills on the Hungarian right and a lake with marshes on the left. The armies were generally based on the ones in reality. Each army had two players a side, with the morning’s generals taking the same side in the afternoon.

The Ottomans had 37 units including Anatolian allies, lots of various light horse and lots of cavalry together with guns and Janissaries. 5 TCs and an ally TC general.

The Hungarians had 29 units including Wallatian and Polish allys so had 4 TCs and 2 ally generals. They had lots of various light horse and 9 units of various knights !

The fun facet of the game was the sheer size of the enterprise and trying to control events. The lack of generals meant troops could not be controlled or influenced as each side needed. As each army pushed forward gaps in the line appeared as evades and charges took place and units were pulled out of the line as they became demoralised and needed to recover.

Key points in the game were the Hungarian left flank collapsing as their superior light horse were outdone by the Turk’s lights thanks to some Ottoman light foot emerging from the marshes. In the centre left Hungarian knights pushed forward against continually evading cavalry. The main centre saw the Turk elite cavalry evading from knights only to be caught in the rear by Wallatian cavalry. At the point of victory the Wallatian general was cut from his horse leading to general demoralisation of all the Wallatian troops except the cavalry. As light faded the Ottoman centre was close to collapse especially as their Janissaries were being surrounded by the two Knight units of the Hungarian Royal bodyguard.

On the right the 3 units of Polish knights all faltered becoming demoralised and fragmented following the first release of Ottoman arrows. The beleaguered Polish King spent the entire battle chasing after each unit in order to return them to good health. This was hampered by their continual preference to impetuously charge the Turks despite his requests not to. Miraculously all three units survived a continuous hail of arrows and finished the battle pushing their more numerous Turkish cavalry opponents off the field. The Hungarian far right flank saw a running skirmish over the foothills between numerous light horse and some Turk cavalry with neither side able to create an advantage.

By the end of the game the Turk centre was beginning to be chased from the field but the Hungarian left flank was in danger of being overrun.

The game was great fun and commanding over 1000 points apiece with a limited number of generals was a real challenge. Disrupted units could not be rallied at will as often the necessary general was otherwise engaged.

We could have done with another couple of hours to fight to a conclusion so next time will fight such a big game over a day and not squeeze in a smaller game first.

But we found that FoG worked extremely well for playing the game. The only real adjustments next time would probably
• to specify which specific troops are commanded by which specific general as this would enhance the command and control issue and stop floating generals.
• To divide each army into 3 or 4 commands; left, centre and right. This would enable each player to have clearly defined troops allocated to him pre battle and facilitate sensible deployment.

Lots of photos on

Anyone wanting to join in next time do contact me. The games are held in Robin Hoods Bay near Whitby though !! But new participants always welcome.

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