Alex, the defender, had a steep hill in the centre of his position which he deployed a mixed bag of foot a 4Bw, a 2Ps, a 4Sp and the Varangian Guard 4Bd on. To one side of the hill he deployed Alexius (as a Knight), his contingent of Norman adventurers (3Kn), and an element of kavallarioi. Over the hill he deployed his 3xLH and 2x3Cv. Those Kavallarioi didn’t move for the rest of the game as they were 2 PIPs to move due to being out of sight of the general. I had my 4x4Sp with a supporting 2Ps on my left, against another steep hill, and my milites and the Thuringian cavalry in two lines on the right.
In the early turns I moved some mounted off to my right to block a narrow pass between the two hills, and the rest forward to face Alexius. Alex had great fun with his 4Bw on the hill taking pot shots at whatever came into range. I eventually brought my infantry up to at least stand in the way of the archers. They couldn’t go up the hill after them without serious risk of death, especially with the Varangians making the occasional aggressive move.
I had managed to rout the kavallarioi that was supporting Alexius, but he was close to the steep hill, so I only had two Kn that could fight him and the Normans. An epic to and fro battle then ensued while I attempted to feed my general and some support around to the extreme right hand side of the board to join in. This was made more complex by their having to dodge sideways all the time when my two Kn were being pushed back, and then race to catch up with the battle when Alex was losing. Eventually, with the game at three casualties each, I was able to get my general around to close the door on the Normans, but I lost the fight and a stray element of Kn behind the battle hadn’t quite dodged sideways enough to be out of the way of the recoil. Game over. The game had lasted something like one and three quarter hours, so neither of us had the strength for a rematch.
At least now I’m more relaxed (if you can call it that) about losing 3Kn elements when I’m using a German army – they have so many and it’s them that do most of the fighting. The Komnenans had a very mixed bag of infantry but the hill was a great help.