Clodwig and his men were only able to get one turns movement at the start of the game and Honorius and nearly all of his men managed to show up right in front of the village. This is an ill omen, the Romans must have known we were coming!
However, the Romans must have gotten tired racing the Franks to the village, because they were slow to react in the first turn. Three groups of Warriors in mass formation, led by Clodwig race up the right flank, hoping to pin the Romans so that his Levy may move into the village to plunder unopposed.
The Romans, while tired from their race to defend the village, were determined to prevent the Franks from stealing the initiative and began to wheel their formation to block the Frankish advance. As a result, Clodwig decided to simply decimate the Romans, rather than try to sneak around them. Full Advance!
As the two forces started to close, the Roman left flank attempted to make a attack on Clodwig's formation of Warriors. While bold, this move pitted one group of milites and one group of levy against three groups of warriors, Clodwig, and his champion Penda. Despite their ferocity (read great dice rolls versus terrible rolls for the Franks), the Franks dealt them a serious blow, wounding the noble and killing half of the warriors an levy troops. As they fell back in disarray, the Franks followed up and were immediately forced into the zone of control of the rest of the Roman line. However, an opportunity had presented itself, the Roman right flank was exposed to the rest of the Frankish force!
The Frankish elites, emboldened by this opening, raced toward the village and began smashing the place up, looking for drink and loot. While they did not find valuables, they did seem to find drink. At least that would explain their abysmal performance when Honorius and his comanipulares bashed down the doors and slaughtered them to a man and captured the noble with them. A dark day indeed.
It was at this point that Clodwig realized that he needed to do something drastic to turn this battle around. The Romans had formed a powerful shieldwall and his most experienced units had taken quite the beating. He grabbed the nearest group of warriors and cut down the Romans before him, along with the fleeing warriors and the noble with them. While he shattered the Roman left flank, he found himself isolated behind the lines with only three warriors and his champion. If he could act before Honorius and his comanipulares, he may be able to continue chasing down the fleeing levy and get out of range of the Romans wrath. That was not to be and he was set upon by Honorius' and his retainers, who cut down his men and gave him a grievous wound, which allowed him to be captured. The gods seem to have abandoned the Franks at this point.
If this were a campaign game, I would have pulled out now, having lost my Lord, Champion, my Status II noble, my elites, and about two groups of warriors. My force has been defanged, with only my three groups of levies and about eight warriors led by a Status I warrior. However, since this was just a pick up game, I charged the Roman line. Remarkably, it worked. The sheer numbers of my forces were able to overwhelm the remaining Romans still in the shield wall, which only amounted to two groups of levy and a group of warriors. These groups were cut down to a man, including the Roman noble, leading to the collapse of the Roman's force morale and a victory for the Franks!
It was a bloody battle, and one I would have been hard pressed to call a victory in a campaign setting, considering my Lord was captured, but that final charge had allowed me to snatch a +3 victory from the jaws of a serious defeat. Multiple mistakes were made by both players, both in regards to the rules and tactics, but we had a fantastic time learning the rules and playing the game.
For those who are interested in the terrain, the buildings and trees are all for Caleb's SP2 Boshin War game earlier in the day, which explains why it kind of looks like the Romans and Franks were transported to Japan. The roads and plowed field are flexible terrain made by Battlefield Terrain Concepts, which I am already a fan of. The fur mat is from Killing Fields Terrain, who make the absolute best faux fur mats I've ever seen. Since they use a dying process rather than paint, they are able to fully color the fur as well as keep it soft and flowing, making it better to both look at and play on. They are pretty reasonably priced at around 75 USD, which is not that far off of how much it would cost to make your own, even before you accounted for the time spent doing so. I can't recommend them enough.