This battle was a classic example of how warbands can be spectacular in battle. Along with the pictures and descriptions, I will take you through some of the game mechanics of Ancients D6.
At the beginning of each game, the players roll to see who will attack and who will defend. The low roller is the defender. He sets out the terrain and then the attacker chooses which of the 4 sides he will setup on.
Early on, the only thing to do is advance. Each unit gets a move and may take another move if given an order. It is often advisable to to advance in no more than 3 groups of troops. That way you ensure that everyone gets to move at top speed.
Missile fire occurs after movement. The closest enemy unit in range is the target. For each un-hit figure on the shooting unit, the attacker gets to roll 1 die. Each 5+ result is a hit on the enemy. The enemy gets to roll 1 die for each hit. For each die that is equal or greater than the enemy armor, 1 hit is negated. In the woods, the two archer units close. As they are less than 1″ apart, they may shoot. The Vikings are the phasing player so the Normans shoot first-defensive shooting. They would normally roll 4 dice. However, the target is in cover. That’s -1 die per stand shooting. So the Normans shoot with 2 dice. They do score a hit. The Bondi Archers roll 1 die but need a 6 to save. They take a hit. The Viking player needs to make a morale check for the Bondi. There are two surviving figures so that is 2 dice. There are no other modifiers. They need to get 1 success (4+) to pass and do. They then return fire and also score a hit on the Normans. The Norman skirmishers only have 1 figure and fail their morale check. They fall back a base depth and are disrupted until their next rally phase when they may attempt to rally.
Here is a full round. The Normans try to rally their skirmishers but fail. However, the back skirmish unit can still move and passes through the front skirmish unit to shoot at the Bondi. They hold back with their Knight and Spear units. They want the Crossbow unit to try and soften up the Hirdmen. The Retainers decide to charge the Bondi and line up so all three units are in contact with the two Bondi.
The Viking gets to shoot in the missile phase first. The Bondi Archer in the woods fires with 1 effective die but fails to hit. The skirmisher fires with 1 effective die and hits. The Bondi fails the Morale check and falls back disrupted. The Bondi archer in the center manages to get 2 hits on the center retainer but the captain is not hit. The Norman Crossbowmen fire in the center unit of Hirdmen. As these units are being supported by another formed unit, they are a massed target. The Crossbowmen shoot with one extra die. The score 1 hit. Had they scored 2 or more, the hits would have been distributed evenly between the front and back units.
The two melees are in the center. The Norman player elects to fight on the right with 2 retainers against 1 Bondi. Before combat starts a fear check has to be made as the Norman cavalry all have fear and the Bondi do not. The Viking player rolls 1 die for every un hit figure in the unit. If he gets at least 2 successes, there is no effect 1 success causes 1 hit and no successes causes 2 hits. In the melee there would normally be a base of 6 dice but 1 unit has taken 2 hits so we start with 4 dice. Each unit gets +1 charging so that’s 6 dice. They score 4 casualties so the front unit is destroyed and the back unit takes 1 hit. The return shot is 3 dice and they manage the 1 hit necessary to kill the Retainer. A leader death check is made and the Norman Captain is killed. The other combat saw the Norman retainer score two hits but get wiped out itself.
The Hirdmen decide not to wait around and charge home. They line up on the Norman so as to overpower the units before the flank units can react.
The end was quick and painful for the Normans. They were slowly eking out a victory only to see their army vaporize. There are two tweaks left to do. In a combat where 1 unit is meleeing 2 or more units the way it works now is the defending player chooses a unit to fight and all hits go on that unit. This makes cavalry pretty week. I am going to try even distribution similar to shooting against a massed target. The defender will choose a primary melee target and tally casualties as normal. The casualties will be distributed evenly between the enemies in contact but the odd hit will go to the primary. Flanking units will get hit last.