This past weekend I ran a Vows of Iron game. I took a historical backdrop and created a fictional battle. My idea was this: The Pope had grown tired of Frederick the II's willingness to allow Muslims and Jews to live in Sicily without persecution. The Pope contacted Philip Augustus and bestowed upon him the charge of a crusade to rid Sicily of Frederick and the Muslims and Jews. The back ground is true to a point. The Pope did excommunicate Frederick the II for allowing Muslims and Jews to live under his reign and the Pope did call for a crusade against them called "The Sicilian Vespers" but the battle I depicted on the table did not happen.
The above rosters for the battle came from Piquet's "Beat the Drum" system from the rule system Band of Brothers. The armies are little larger than what the rules Vows of Iron states but it worked out. I did keep the army break points at 20 each. This seemed to work out as well.
The Sicilians line up for battle. The French are lined up and ready to attack.
Jeff, Andrew (Frederick the II) and Andy prepare their troops for battle
Dave, Peter (Philip Augustus) and Tim prepare their French forces.
And me, your humble game master.
The Frederick's commanders react to some French Taunting.
Opposites views of the battle.
Both armies lurch forward towards each other. Several turns of movement brought them close enough for the knights to roll for their impetuous status. Most failed and charged at their enemies.
The Center witnessed the bloodiest fighting with Frederick and Philip leading from the front.
Melees abound!!! Much blood was shed.
More views of the bloody center melees.
Some of Frederick's troops falter and fall back.
Frederick's right clashes with the French left and are pushed back.
Frederick's right holds it own against the French causing many casualties.
Frederick's infantry on the left holds on the hill waiting for the French. The knights smash into each other just below the stream. The Sicilian captain dies in battle. The first major death of the game.
More action from Frederick's left and center. The French right commander also perished in combat. Both sides were starting to loose fatigue points now.
The center of the battle was a whirling mass of melees that sucked in troops and it caused Frederick's troops to falter and their cohesion slipped away as their fatigue points dropped to zero.
The aftermath from the battle saw the Pope happy to have vanquished Frederick and Philip gained new territory for the French crown.
The game itself ran very smoothly, I had to spend some time looking up rules because it had been awhile since we played but everyone enjoyed the game and the out come hung in the balance for awhile. Both sides were close to breaking until the last few turns that saw the French win a couple of decisive melees which caused some of Frederick's troops to be destroyed or routed that then caused multiple "crisis tests" that only snowballed as more of his troops failed their rolls.
For the next battle I'm going to try and throw different troop types to see how they react with the rules and get a good feel for the rating system. The group overall enjoys the rules and we will continue to play them.