The stage is set: My Carolingian Frankish are taking on the Avars in a Triumph! game. The frankish knights on my left wing face a group of horse archers, which they plan to drive away easily:
|my frankish knights at the bottom of the Picture|
Everything goes to plan - the Avar horse archers evade and my knights follow up. Since knights are "impetuous", they always follow up their opponent and you can't stop them. After a few rounds the inevitable happens: the Avars evade into the forest behind them and my knights follow up ..
Now if you want to avoid one situation in a Triumph! game it is to have knights in difficult terrain, because they not only get a -1 penalty in combat, but they are destroyed as soon as they lose a fight by the smallest of margins!
|Avar horse archers have withdrawn into the forest and the Frankish knights have followed up. Avar rabble element waiting in in the forest.|
The situation turns from bad to worse when a Avar element of rabble turns up. In Triumph! an element of rabble is described as "poorly trained and poorly armed infantry fighting in open order (…) armed mobs, unshielded peasants throwing rocks or javelins." a type of troop which under normal circumstances would shy away from knights as the devil does from holy water.
And then the wargaming moment arrives: My Knights have finally driven off the horse archers and are trying to leave this unhospitable forest, when this mob of peasants attacks them from the rear!
|Frankish knights attacked from the rear by Avar rabble!|
Rabble have a combat factor of +1 against mounted troops, the poorest factor you can get BUT knights in difficult terrain attacked from the rear have their combat factor reduced to +1 AND they are eliminated if they loose!! Would my proud knights get eliminated by a pathetic group of peasants? It all came down to the dice …
|lucky frankish knights survive the attack|
… attack survived! Phew! A little later the frankish were victorious and they never again spoke of this episode in the woods ...