This weekend I broke out the Battlesystem rules PDF I acquired a few weeks ago. I haven't done Battlesystem in 25 years and my kids had never seen it, so we went with the Basic rules (no heroes, no magic, no missiles) and a simple largest size Orc tribe (me) versus largest size Elf tribe (my oldest) on a field with two copses of trees.
My setup (from my vantage):
AXEMEN PIKES SPEARS SCIMITARS
3 wide x 2 deep 3x3 4x2 w/ 1 extra 3X2 w/1
His setup From my vantage):
I had 50% more troops, but with a lower A.C. and a -1 to attacks due to fighting during the day.
Since this was simple maneuver and fight, we closed rapidly. My oldest was mindful of being forced to charge (due to racial hatred) so I was able to anchor my right flank on an impassable thicket/copse while also separating my axemen about 50 yards to my left. His front hit my main body essentially evenly and at once. It was time to slog it out.
Elven swordsmen, with their racial +1 to hit, really worked over the scimitars and spears. The spears, however, with two ranks able to fight, worked over the elven swordsmen. The tiny even frontage of spears on spears was a slight advantage to the elves, but the 3x3 pike formation was mauling the spearmen.
My son admitted he wasn't paying attention and missed that those were pikes or he might have done things differently!
My axemen wheeled right and charged, slamming into the exposed right flank of the elven spears and the meat grinder continued with superior elven A.C. and attacks about matching superior orcish numbers. While the elven swordsmen clearly outclassed the orcish scimitars and elven spears just edged out orcish spears the pikes were tearing through the elven spears with relative ease. The just-arrived orcish axemen put the elven spears in a bad spot.
In the second round of combat losses were bad enough that most units had to check morale, with the pike and the elven swords switching to Open position!
During the next move my axemen did a 'wrap around' and encircled the remaining elven spears. At this point the spears essentially ceased to existThe elven swordsmen had mopped the floor with orcish scimitars, but had taken very serious casualties, as well. Realizing they were facing 2 ranks of pikes and (essentially fresh) axemen my oldest announced he would flee - his superior movement and lucky positioning meant this was a certain escape. 100 elves and 120 orcs survived the battle with the orcs holding the field.
1) As I had noted in a previous post, in mass combat every point of A.C. and every single +1 or -1 to hit has a huge impact on the battle
2) The type of damage die has a big effect in mass combat
3) The number advantage can overcome disadvantages in A.C. and to hit, but at a cost of more dead.
4) This was a very, very even fight and changing any 2 rolls would have resulted in an Elven win.
Next time - Hobgoblins vs. Dwarves, and with missile weapons!