Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The last ride of the Pope.

It was a warm summer day with a gentle breeze rushing over the fields.  The Pope and his army readied themselves to meet the Holy Roman Emperor in battle.  This fight between the two most powerful men in the world had been brewing for some time.  Insults were traded, assignation attempts foiled and the confiscation of land brought these two armies together.  The time had come for the words to cease and swords would carry the day.
The area picked for the battle was open with only wheat fields and small groupings of trees.  There were small rises that gave one a better vantage point but neither commander established themselves there.  They both chose to lead their armies into battle.

The Pope placed his commanders on his flanks, while his Holiness held the center with his scared emblem situated so all could see it.

The Holy Roman Emperor matched the Pope's disposition and steadily advanced across the fields, while the Pope waited.
On the Holy Roman Emporer's left his forces came under heavy crossbow fire and their advance stalled as the Emporer's general attempted to reestablish order and push his men onward.
On the Emporer's right his General pushed his men along, though he too faltered under heavy bow and crossbow fire.  Several times the General pushed, threatened, pleaded with his men to keep moving and to advance upon the enemy but his men held their place and waited.

Undeterred by the failing advance of his left and right, the Emperor himself pushed his knights forward.  Up the center of the battlefield they rode smashing into the infantry arrayed out in front of them.  In what could only be described as divine providence, the infantry held their ground and the knights routed away, unable to return that day.  Still feeling empowered, the Holy Roman Emperor charged home with his own guard of Knights.  This action spurred the Pope in action as he too led his own troops to meet the on coming charge.

The battle that ensued with both commanders leading their men on to victory turned into a bloody day for the Pope and his army.  No one is sure which knight struck the first blow to the Pope but his men seeing him fall from his war horse, broke and ran leaving the Pope dying on the field.  News quickly swept across the battle of the Pope's demise and the rest of the Papal army disintegrated into mobs of men and horses trying to escape death or capture.
Exhausted the Holy Roman Emperor halted his army and did not pursue as his center force was also licking its wounds from the hard won battle.   The Emperor decided to march on Rome another day.

This chronicle was written by Giovanni Ugurieri, a noble in the Papal army.

This battle used Piquet's Band of Brothers 2.  We fought the battle in roughly 4 hours.  An interesting thing about this battle was that the Papal army looked like it was on the verge of routing the HRE's army at one point.  Bad die rolls had caused some issues for the HRE but in a complete reversal of fortune the tide shifted with the death of the Pope.  While a major victory for the HRE in killing the Pope, the HRE's army was badly beaten up and a few units killed to the man.  Ultimately, I as the umpire called the game a tie.  We had a lot of fun with this one.