The Northumbrian Skirmishers with the Warriors of Rheged directly in front of them, poised to charge, have a tough choice to make: they’re armed with bows, meaning that they can either shoot or move, but not both. If they had been javelin armed, they’d have been able to shoot and scoot, but as it stands, Oswald must make a decision. Poor old Skirmishers – Oswald decides that they will stand and shoot, hoping that they will inflict some damage on the Rheged Warriors which may give him an advantage later in the game when the main armies clash (reducing the Warriors’ Cohesion now will make them easier to rout later in the game, as Cohesion cannot be recovered). Rheged’s Mounted Skirmishers decide to throw their javelins at Oswald’s Companions, safe in the knowledge that they can scuttle away in the movement phase, as movement comes after missile fire (unless Oswald interrupts the move sequence by spending LPs).
The Northumbrian Skirmishers are just under 3 Base Widths (BWs – Dux Bellorum’s movement unit) away from the closest Rheged Warrior unit, which is the priority target; although the Warriors are part of a group, missile fire and all other combat takes place between individual units. Foot Skirmishers with Bows have an Aggression of 2 for missile fire, meaning they roll 2 dice; they need to roll equal to or higher than the target’s Protection value, which is 5 for all targets of missile fire. Northumbria rolls . . . a 2 and a 5, so inflicts 1 hit on the Warriors. Not bad! This hit would reduce the Warrior’s Cohesion by 1 point (from their starting score of 5 down to 4), but Urien decides to spend one of the 3 LPs he allocated to his Warrior group to cancel out the hit – the Warriors shields did their job after all. That leaves the Warrior group with 2 LPs remaining for the turn, and the Northumbrian Skirmishers wishing they’d moved away rather than shot.
The Rheged Mounted Skirmishers have a range of 2 BW with their javelins, and are close enough to Oswald’s Companions to use them. The Mounted Skirmishers have an Aggression of 1 with javelins, so roll just the 1 die; however, as they’re within 1 BW of their target, they get to roll a second die – missiles are more accurate at close range. Oswald’s Companions usually have a Protection of 6, but against missiles this is reduced to 5 as it’s harder to parry a thrown javelin than a thrust spear . . . the horsemen roll a 4 and a 5, so inflict one hit. Oswald had placed 1 LP with his Companions, thinking he might spend it on cancelling a hit out, but he’s just had a better idea, so accepts the hit (moving his Companions’ Cohesion down from 6 to 5). Hmm, what’s he up to?