Friday, February 17, 2017

Tulpi vs Anglo Irish

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Walt's house
Event:    Weekend at Walts
Armies: Anglo-Irish played by Phil Gardocki and Mike Kennedy
                  Tulpi played by Jeff Wiltrout and Bob Nedwich

Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, about 300 points per side.
Theme:   Open Team
This is the first round of L'Art de la Guerre at Walt's house, late Jan, 2017.

My original list had 4 unreliable generals in it.   Why?  Because they are Irish!  Why not?  I was just having fun.  When asked how the commander could be unreliable to himself, I replied, "He tied one on last night, and hasn't got out of his tent yet."  Besides, the spreadsheet allowed it.

But the rule nazi's intervened, and found where only the sub commanders can be unreliable.  Party poopers.  

The Forces:
Anglo-Irish: Commanders Larry (Competent) May he be put in a cauldron of lead and usurer's grease, amongst a whole million of cutpurses, and there boil like a gammon of bacon.   His brother, th' shallow cowardly hind, Darryl (Unreliable-Competent), the illiterate loiterer, brother Darryl (Unreliable-Competent), and the man whose face is as a book, where men may read strange matters, Darryl (Unreliable-Ordinary).
      8 Galloglaich, Heavy Swordsmen, 2HW (elite) 
      4 Billmen, Heavy Swordsmen, 2HW   
      2 Heavy Knights, Impact (elite)      
      6 Longbowmen,stakes
      3 Irish Nobles, Heavy Cavalry, Impetuous 
      2 Light Cavalry, Javelin 
      2 Kerns, Light Infantry, Javelin 
      4 Irish Foot, Javelinmen, Javelin
       Break point,  32

       30 Mixed bands of sword and bow
         5 Light Infantry with Bow.
       Break point, 36
The Board:
The Anglo-Irish win the initiative roll and elect to attack in the plains.
Most of the terrain was on the Tulpi side of the board.  
This being our first 300 point game there were questions.   
Where is the centerline?  (12.5 UDs)  
How far do we deploy in the board?  (5 UDs from the centerline, 7.5 UDs from the rear edge)   
Where do the ambushes go?  (Apparently that is not specifically covered by the 300 point rules, so the 200 point rules apply.  5 UDs in for the attacker and defender center, all the way in on the defender flanks.)  
Is the tape in or out.  (On our board inOn Walt's board out.


The left side of the board.

And the right.  The Irish camp is not strictly fortified, but how do you loot a sarcen weighing 22 tons?
Darryl, th' shallow cowardly hind, not to be confused with Darryl, the boil like a gammon of bacon or Darryl, the illiterate loiterer, leads the cavalry contingent.
Larry, the figure brandishing his ax, takes a center command.
It went swish when it moved, and SPLAT when it stopped,It never did stand still. A Viking axe is what it was,And it was made to KILL!  Apologies to Jondo Oakenshield

Darryl, "the man whose face is as a book, where men may read strange matters" takes center left.

And Darryl, the illiterate loiterer (more on that later) takes the left.

Across the field, the mighty Tulpi, who have never known defeat, who laugh in alien tongues at our efforts to survive, calmly await our fate.
More and more.  All mixed Bow Spear.
Turn 1:
Two things to mention.  When I designed this army, I had a specific idea on how it was to fight.  That concept was to fight with the two infantry commands.  The loose order command (on the far left) was to just protect whatever flank had terrain, the the cavalry command was to act as a ready reserve, not be a strike force in it's own right.  Spoiler alert, I didn't rethink this concept and adapt to the situation until several turns had passed.

The second thought was having 3 unreliable generals  I was being funny, and would take my lumps for it.  But inflicting that decision on my partner was unforgivable.  Sorry Mike.

We'll just start off with the spoiler.  The unreliable loose order command, led by the illiterate loiterer, Darryl, rolls a 1 and goes unresponsive.

The left infantry command steps forward, while the right side command double times it.

The Cavalry command, following the original concept, waits as the ready reserve.
Turn 2:

Irish Light horse advances and is disordered by massed bow fire for it's trouble.

The right hand infantry command trades shots but comes out 2nd place in the exchange. 
With hope that the 4th command will eventually respond, the left infantry command advances at the double.
Turn 3:
The unreliable command remains unresponsive.
Having had a rethink, and a number of command points to burn, Darryl say "buggrit millenium hand and shrimp!"  And with that, the cavalry command pushes forward.
Larry decides to go for 3 rally rolls.  And fails them all.  In retrospect this is a gross tactical error.  Once you are in bow range your only choice is to push forward.  Hoping you will lift the disorder markers faster than the archers can put them on is a fools bet when all your opponents have bow.  I knew this but was looking at the support situation, with the other two commands committing to attack as well.
Darryl's infantry approaches, but is still out of bow range.

The Tulpi know their business.  They have zero interest in getting closer.
The Tulpi step forward a bit.  and the missile exchange is even.
Turn 4:
The unreliable command remains unresponsive.

Now the bowfire is picking up intensity.
But the cavalry command is now in charge reach, and only takes one hit for their trouble.
The Billmen interpenetrate the Bowmen.  The only problem is now the command is 3 groups, only 2 in charge reach.

A second hit on the Heavy Cavalry. 
Turn 5:
The unreliable command remains unresponsive.

In a thunderous cohesive charge.  The Tulpi destroy an Irish Cavalry unit on impact.  But pay for their victory.  Two warbands are run over, while two others take 2 hits.  This Tulpi command went from fresh and order to fragmented and flanked in one turn.
The Galloglaich Clans Stafford and O'Lyre charge in.  The Tulpi have the flank supports, but are mediocre vs elite 2HW.  If the dice roll just even, then the Billmen and other Galloglaich will be there as well.  But it is not so, and clans Stafford and O'Lyre each pick up 3 hits.
The remaining Irish take bow hits, but are ready to charge.
Turn 6:
The unreliable command remains unresponsive.

On the right, Clan Ramsay disperses another warband, while the Knights run over another.  The remain warbands are heavily damaged save one.
A blurry picture, sorry. Clan O'Lyre is now singing in Valhalla. 

On the left, we lose a fine unit of welsh longbowmen.

Knights take a warband in the flank, and Irish Nobles take another in the rear.  If you are asking why that fresh warband is just sitting there, it is because they rolled short on command points and decided to spend it getting a reserve group (upper left) into position to stop us.

The Irish clearly have the right flank well in hand, but it is not enough to win the game by themselves, there is just not enough points there.  There are still Tulpi to fight there, and the Irish are heavily damaged, or too far away to support the left flank.
The left flank charges in.  With mixed results.  The Tulpi have flank support advantage everywhere, but are also fighting spear Mediocre, vs the Irish Elite and 2HW
The unreliable command remains unresponsive.

Now it is Darryl's turn to come up short on command points. 

The Billmen and Clan Stafford plow under a pair of warbands.  The far left fight is all touch and go with 3 warbands with 2 hits each, but mos of the the Galloglaich are disordered as we..
Clan Jordan is destroyed.  The Tulpi dead count is 23, The Anglo Irish is 19.

Turn 8:
The unreliable command remains unresponsive.

Three more warbands are destroyed.  The Heavy Knights are well positioned on the Tulpi reserve line.
The Irish are "All In" trying to destroy the last warband.  Pulling in a heavily damaged Longbow for support.  The Tulpi, however have turned the flanks of the left infantry command.
Clan Stafford is taken in the flank, surrounded, and destroyed. 

Darryl joins the nearby Billmen, who eliminate their foes, but are outnumbered 5-1 in theater.
The Tulpi commander throws his lot in with the last fragments of his command.  And succeeds!  Despite being flanked by knights, and support, the Tulpi warband hangs on.  But the other Knight rides down yet another warband, his fourth for the game.
On the left, a similar story, but in reverse.  5 of the Irish units are dead, 3 damaged.  Two of those about be be flanked. The Tulpi dead count is 36, The Anglo Irish is 23.  An Irish win!

We have all heard the adage, no battle-plan survives contact with the enemy.  This one didn't even survive deployment.    Once again, I failed to assess the character of my opponents army, and the interplay of the pieces until it is way too late.

First, The Tulpi were not coming across the board after us.  We should have just passed the time until the Unreliable command responded.   Just roll the command dice and pass.

Second, the Cavalry and Knight command was such an overwhelming force against an all medium foot army it was silly not to unleash them immediately.  

Lastly, to attempt to shoot out against an army whose shooters outnumbers yours by 6-1?  What was I thinking?  We should have just put the longbow in the rear rank to bring them up for support after contact.

Saturday, February 4, 2017


A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Regency at Providence Community Center, Phoenixville, Pa
Event:    Providence Gamer's Game Knight
Players: Steve Turn and Garth Parker playing the Aztecs
                  Phil Gardocki and Bruce Potter playing Early (no pike) Swiss.

Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, about 300 points per side.

The Scenario:
In an alternate reality, the Aztecs and Inca's squashed the Conquistadors, expanded their empires, crushing the Mayans in their wake, and now maintain an uneasy truce at the what we know of as the Isthmus of Panama.

The Spaniards, still feeling the lure of untold riches, and not seeing the obvious flaw in their plan, hires a Swiss mercenary company to conquer the heathen nations.  

But closer to the truth, was that Steve's Aztecs have been sitting in a box for a decade and needed an airing, and there was nothing historically compatible to run them against. 

The Forces:
The Aztec Empire, lead by Montezuma III, Ahuizotl, Takuba and Tezmeca lead a force of some 6 Jaguar and Eagle Knights (Medium 2HW Sword), 6 Priests (Medium 2HW Sword), 14 Warriors (Medium Sword, Atlatl) and 12 slingers(LI Sling).
Break point 38

The Swiss Contingent, lead by the beslubbering reeling-ripe barnacle, Larry, with the rank fen-sucked scullian, Darryl, Darryl who shall always art the best o' th' cut-throats, and he that is the loathed issue of his father's loins! Darryl, lead a force of 24 elite Halberdiers, and 9 Crossbow.

Break point 34

The Board:
The Aztecs win the initiative and elect to defend in the mountains.  The board is a two steep hills, two fields, an impassible and a a gully. 
Anchored to a steep hill, the Aztec line occupies one corner of the board.

Tezmeca has troops in ambush in a gully.

The Swiss left flank has an ambush hiding behind a hill.

The Swiss left command is deployed in a field.

The Swiss are encamped in the shadow of a large rock outcrop. 
While other Cantons are deployed on the other side of the same rocky feature.
Turn 1:
Montezuma III declares, "We threw out the Spanish, we will throw you into the sea as well."
On the left are Montezuma's Knights and Priests.  On the left are rank and file warriors with atlatls.
The Swiss reveal an ambush, and ascend the steep hill in the center.
While on the left and right, the Canton's try to catch up.
On the far left, Darry's on board flank march slowly moves onward.

  The battle lines take shape.  Not a lot of strategy here.

Brain fart here.  With no opposition, why am I moving on the difficult hill and slowing my march down?
Turn 3:
The Aztecs really do not want to yield the hill advantage to the Swiss.  But that is where their best troops are.  The Swiss are happy to have elite 2HW against ordinary swordsmen if the Priests and Knights don't want to play.

Slingers brought forward, the Priests and Knights slide to the right.
Aztec Warriors line up, but are still out of atlatl range.
Aztec Slingers hurl their clay missiles, but to no effect on the Swiss left.

Turn 4:
No contact yet, but that is about to change.

The Swiss on board flank march is almost in position to support the left flank.
The Aztecs charge and the the arrogance of the Swiss is severely punctured.  They win 2, and lose 2, one in a big way as the Jaguar Knights punch a hole right through the lines.
 Turn 5:
While not totally one sided, the Aztec's are tearing up the Swiss left flank.

While their patience is beginning to pay off.
The Aztec Warriors are content to shower the Swiss line with atlatl's while waiting for the results on the other flank.  And they are running an on board flank march of their own.
4-1 in the Aztec's favor.
The far left Swiss march has arrived.  With mixed results.
Darryl orders a general charge on the right, with good results.

Flanked on the left, the hill is no longer a tenable defense.
The only thing holding the Aztec back is command points. 
The Swiss Light Horse Crossbow try to support the flank, but one is driven off.
Turn 6:
It looks like the Swiss came a long way to die.

Another trade off. One on unit of each falls. 
On the right flank, a similar story is being told.
The forlorn hope.
Turn 7:
But what's this?  The Aztec far right is being distracted and the Swiss have managed to destroyed 3 units in a row.  Suddenly it is a matter of who can turn and organize their lines first.
On  the right, after pulling some internal supports up, 2 of Montezuma's Warriors and a Knight are destroyed as well. 
Turn 8:
A reversal of fortune has made this a game again. In a spectacular set of 5's and 6's, the Swiss manage to destroy 6 Aztec units, bringing their score up to 14, only a bit behind the Aztec's score of 18.

A blurry shot, sorry.  Both players have the same problem of turning their lines 90 degrees and forming up.  An Eagle Knight didn't get the memo and is running for the camp instead.
The hill position is still untenable, but the Aztec doesn't seem to have the command points to unhinge it, and neither do the Swiss any to abandon it.
On the far right, the Swiss line is turned.
The Warriors on the upper left ate distracted by a Swiss Kiel and two skirmishers, which are off frame.  Darryl seems to have gotten his act together first and is pushing with a united front.
Larry is reshaping his lines on the hill.  Darryl destroys another Warrior.  (next to the upside down 1)

Ahuizotl, starts to turn his line.
On the far left, after several favorable crossbow shots, Darryl (the rank fen-sucked scullian, not the best o' th' cut-throats Darryl) pushes in the last two fresh Halberdiers.  
Another Warrior is destroyed, routing through his friends.
Takuba gets his knights organized for the final push on the hill.

And in one of the final moves, Ahuizotl, manages to pull a flank shot that crucifies a Halberdier unit. 

With 8 turns and 3 hours the game was called on time.  The Swiss first had a strategic advantage with taking the hill with an ambush.  But the Aztec players played to their strength with missile troops and numbers and patiently bent the Swiss line before forcing the hand to hand.  The initial impacts when favorable to the Aztec, but not disastrously so.  The followup fights were a disaster, thou, losing 5 Kiels of Halberdiers on the left of the hill, and a couple more on the right.  

The Aztec then turned the flank of the hill and cleared half of it.  But then had a flurry of poor command dice.  The Swiss took advantage of that, destroying half a dozen warriors in one turn.  But it was not enough, as the Aztec break point was higher than the Swiss, and numbers do matter once things get chaotic.  In the end it was an Aztec winning draw 28-20.