Wednesday, October 26, 2011

AAR (sort of) Quips and Comments

Earlier this week Ed's Anglo Normans meet my "Classic" Indians in a 15mmm game, using the latest deployment rules to be used at Historicon.

This won't be a blow by blow AAR, but instead will just cover the conversation highlights.

"Ok, my unreliable Ally makes an interpretation roll of a 3, and my unreliable Sub rolls a 1."

Up 3!, So my longbow hits you at a 2, -1 for shieldwall.  That is 24 @ 4 for 72, for how many figures?”
“Oh, so you take only 1 CPF.”

“The Allied elephant rolls an up 2, his javelin men roll a down 2, and your axe men roll a plus 3.”
“Actually that is a plus 2.”
“Your axe men are D’s?  Hutzpah!”

“Sheesh, elephants are disordered by brush.  How long have I been playing this game?”

“Usually, when I do 150 casualties to a unit, it is destroyed, not pushing me back!”

“You are broke Phil.” 
“How so?”
“I did 216 casualties to you, that’s 5cpf.”
“Well you still need 84 more for 2-1 then.”

“OK, we both have 14 fatigue, and we each hit for a 5, +3 for shield less, -2 for shaken – 2 for disordered, and -1 for tired.  I have 20 figures, you have 24, but yours are D’s and mine are C’s.  So whoever rolls down is destroyed, and the other guy sits there exhausted. “

“Let’s count them up, I’ll give you my CIC, since he is disordered and in retreat, he’ll break on contact anyway.”

In the end, it was about 1022 -540, Ed’s favor.

AAR FOG: Scots vs Sassanid Persian

The wily Scots were at it again, but with England proving to be too difficult a nut to crack, they decided to go for easier pickings.  They commissioned the QE0 to take them to Ireland, but the captain got lost, or there was a hurricane, or maybe sun spots, but they eventually landed in sunny Basra.  Just in time, for the whiskey had just run out.

The local Potentate took offense as the unwashed barbarians pulled ashore.  After all, he had his own unwashed peasants to feed without adding more, and summoned his bouncers.

The Scots took on the usual formation, deploying from horizon to horizon, while the Potentate deployed with all of his Heavy Cavalry on the left flank, leaving the lights to guard the right and middle. 

The approach to contact was long.  Probably due to both sides chatting incessantly and frequent referrals to the rule book.  Eventually, 2 Heavy Cavalry Bow met the Scots right wing and let fly with their arrows.  The remaining 5 units of Heavy Cavalry were hung up in some farmer’s field.  He must have been planting pumpkins or some other vine like produce.  But it was enough as the Scots Spear Degraded, Fragmented, and fled, despite an attempt for light infantry to take some of the damage.  Meanwhile, 3 more Heavy Cavalry Bow finally navigated the hazards of the verge and stationed themselves in front of a unit of Islemen and let fly.

The Islemen shot back, and charged.  The Heavy Cavalry, who have not seen combat this decade, had forgotten how to skirmish (being in two ranks) and had to fight.  Despite not having an impact weapon, but having an armor advantage, they managed to fragment the Islemen, which then routed along with their brothers.  Subsequent cohesion checks also degraded a center position spear unit. 

The Scots position was hopeless, with their right flank gone, the center turned, and the left chasing smoke.  It was now time to ATTACK!  They pushed, shot, and charged, and the Sassanids couldn’t stop them.  They plundered the Sassanid camp, while the Scots camp proved to be an impenetrable of maze of empty whiskey kegs. 

The game ended there.  The center formations managed to forge a Gordian knot where NO ONE could charge without receiving an interception charge. 

The Potentate agreed to refill the kegs with the local wine, and the Scots agreed to find greener pastures, which, considering this was a desert, could be anywhere.

AAR FOG:General Order #47: When You Are Offering to Accept a Surrender

General Order #47: When You Are Offering to Accept a Surrender, Make Sure You Are Actually Winning.

Fields of Glory After Action Report
600 points Seleucids (Dave Boor) vs. Classical Indians (Phil Gardocki)

This was a practice round for the Friday FOG tournament at Fall In.  It is a Theme event with lists limited to only 2 books and part of a third.  The lower than normal points can lead to making serious compromises to the balance of any force.

Army lists.
2 * 12 element Pike units
2 * 2 element Companion Cavalry
1 * 4 element Cataphracts
4 * 6 element light foot
1 * 4 Thessalians, Light Cavalry
2 * 4 Thracians Medium foot, HW
4 * 2 Elephants
1 * 6 Heavy Chariots
3 * 8 Medium foot Bow and Sword
1 * 6 Medium foot Light Spear and Sword.
1 * 6 Cavalry Light Spear

The Terrain 
The only significant piece of terrain was an open field in the middle of the board, closer to the Indian edge.  Every corner of the map had a significant “difficult” piece on it or near it, and a steep hill resided in the Seleucid rear, guarding its camp.

Seleucid’s set up was weighted right, with Cavalry and Cataphracts on the far right supported by light foot.  Also to the right of the center open field were both pike units, also supported by a light foot unit.
The Seleucid left flank was refused, with the deployment of 3 Light Foot and Cavalry units.  Thracians were hiding in ambush in the corner terrain pieces.
The Indians took advantage of the terrain in the middle of the board, and were more centered in deployment.  From left to right they were: Elephant, Elephant, Bow, Elephant, Bow, Bow, Elephant, Chariots, and Cavalry.  The Medium foot Light spear was serving as rear support/reserve. 

Initial moves to commitment
The Seleucid Cavalry swings to the far right in an effort to turn the Indian left flank and sack the camp.  The Pike advanced as fast as possible.  Seleucid left flank skirmishers also surge forward, pinning the Indian right flank of Elephants, Chariots and Cavalry. In an effort to deal the disconnect between
Seleucid center and left, one Companion was pulled out and raced left.
The unfettered Indian center line advanced through the terrain and then swept left and began to place the focus of the advance of 24 bow elements on a single pike block.  The Indian left flank, lacking a general, advanced slowly. 

The Seleucid right flank light infantry approaches two elephant units and is subsequently charged by both.  The evade unmasks a large, 12 element, pike unit which receives it.  The right flank Seleucid Cavalry were still maneuvering to turn the flank or race to the camp.  The center Seleucid Light Foot comes in a distant second place in a shoot out against an Indian foot bow unit, and after 3 shoots, routs.   On the Seleucid left, Light Cavalry is doing the shoot/evade routine with against Medium Cavalry that would eventually take it across the whole board, just missing being run off the map.  While Heavy Chariot Bow proved to be very effective when shooting, but unable to catch, the light infantry paired against it.  Both left flank Seleucid Light Foot did what they could shooting up the Elephants in the area.  The right hand Indian bow unit, freshly emerging from the terrain in the center of the board, got a nice effective range shot on the redeploying Companion Cavalry unit, scoring 4 hits!  The Companions failed the death roll, and were auto-broke.  (Two element units are vulnerable to this in FOG) 

On the Seleucid Right, a pike unit was engaging 2 elephant units.  This initially went well for the pike as one elephant fragmented.  But eventually it was the pike that degraded, and after an Indian bow unit advanced into overlap position the pike unit, routed, killing its companion general with it.  Just in time for the elephants, as the Seleucid Cavalry was about to charge the elephants rear, but instead, the elephants got to make two pursuit moves away, buying them time.  The center pike unit, having just received 8 hits from archery fire, made a desperate charge, engaging 2 Indian foot bow.  Once again, the pike did well on the outset, POA’s out weighing the numerical advantages of the bow.  One Indian unit disordered, while the other fragmented.  But numbers matter, and eventually, between overlaps and the help of one of the ever-present elephant units, it was the pike unit that eventually routed. 

At this time, with the Seleucids left flank contained, the center collapsed, and the right flank slightly out of position and with a score of 8-1, I offered to call it.  But Dave would have none of it.  Nothing heroic was said, but I think his perspective of the board was different than mine and he wanted to play it out.

Defeat from the Jaws of Victory
At this point, the Indians were out of targets.  While the Seleucid left flank was “contained” the same could be said for the Indian right flank.  The Thessalians, which have been doing the shoot and scoot routine for the whole game, and were one charge from being run off the board, finally scored a missile hit, driving the Indian Cavalry to disruption.  At this point the Thracians charged out of the vineyards and engaged the Indians, driving them to fragmented.  With POA advantage and numbers, the Indian Cavalry was doomed.  The Seleucid Light infantry, now safely on a steep hill, and despite covering fire from the Heavy Chariots, succeeded in hitting killing an elephant, taking the unit with it.  In the center, Indian Foot Bow began the long turn around to engage cavalry in the rear, while the Indian Spearman reserves were thrown into the fray against Companion Cavalry.   Seleucid Cataphracts struck elephants in the rear, routing one immediately, and causing the other to rout in sympathy.  The cataphracts were then ideally positioned to strike a bow unit in the flank.

Suddenly the situation was totally changed, the hard score was now 8-8 and the Indian break point was 10, while the Seleucid breakpoint was 12.  But with 2 Indian units fragged beyond recovery, and a bow unit flanked with fresh Cataphracts, the game was called in favor of the Seleucids.

Lessons Learned
Cataphracts make slow flank marchers.
Never run two element units
Pike work well against elephants and bow, but must be supported to avoid overlaps.
Elephants, while having a lot of abilities, are fragile, and also need to be supported to avoid missiles and overlaps.
Heavy chariots make lousy skirmishers <duh>
In the skirmish battle, the victor goes to he who has a general.

AAR Warrior: The Great Viking Flush

After Action Report, Anglo Danes vs. Anglo Irish.
AKA The Great Viking Flush
2,000 point Warrior.
Anglo Danes: Dave Boor, Jeff Billings
Anglo Irish :   Phil Gardocki, Ed Bernhard
Judge:  Scott Holder

You have all heard about it.  This story is still rolling around, as I heard it late last year.  This is to set the story straight. If you want validation, the names are all up in the upper left corner.  I ran this by them for editing before posting this AAR.

It happened during Cold Wars.  I don’t remember the year, somewhere between 1990 and 1996.  As we were playing in the lobby of the Distelfink room at the Lancaster Host, this should give us a time frame.

As Scott sometimes shows a wicked sense of humor with army pairings, we had set up an Anglo Civil war.  All the players have known each other for a long time.  Jeff had introduced me to WRG 6 in 1984, and I introduced WRG to Dave and Ed a few years later.

At the time, my standard terrain picks was Major Water, Minor Water, and 2 hills.  I have given up the minor water since then because even if you get it, the feature is so annoying that it takes the enjoyment out of the game.  When the dice were done rolling, the Major was on the Anglo-Irish right flank, and the minor was running just on the inside of the muster zone on the Anglo-Danes side of the board.  A bridge was placed about 2 feet from the Major Water. The hills were both placed in the Anglo-Irish muster zone, one up against the left edge, the other close to the center.

The Anglo Irish were deployed from the left flank to just right of Center.  96 Longbow were deployed on the 2 steep hills in the deployment zone, Galloglaich, Knights, and Cavalry in the plains. 
The Anglo-Danes being close order, were deployed in deep columns in an effort to march across the bridge available to them.  An Allied force of Vikings, being loose order and representing some 800 points of the list, were deployed in the minor water feature set to march out on bound one.

We were in a cold climate the minor water feature is considered tidal.  We all knew this on deployment, and spent the next 15 minutes hashing out the rules regarding the nature of the tidal feature.   It was understood that once we scoped out the rules, that that Dave could move his Vikings to a safer position behind the feature, as opposed to being in the feature.

Basically the rules are as follows:
        The minor water feature has 8 depth levels.
1-6 is passable to foot
7 is passable to mounted only
8 is passable to none.
        After Deployment, roll a Die 6 to determine the depth of the feature.  Maximum depth is 6.
        On bound 1.  Roll for tides.  On a 6 the tides come in and the depth is incremented by 1.  On a 1, the tides go out.
        Rain can also increment the depth by 1.

So basically there is a 1 in 36 chance of a mishap.  Both Dave and Ed thought that this was a win-win situation, that if the tide came in, then they could get quality shopping time in, and so, the Anglo-Danes decided to go with it.

Bound 1)  Letting Dave determine his own fate, we let him roll the depth of the stream.  He rolled a 6, which meant his Vikings were neck deep in the mire.   He then rolled for tides, and they indeed came in, making this the fastest doubles game in NASAMW history.

Now there is nothing new with winning or losing by happenstance.  Who hasn’t had a general on a ridge line, wave a banner in front of 36 enemy horse archers?  Or exploding artillery?  Or the flank march that arrives on bound 18?  What made this event interesting is the persistence of the retelling. 

As Ed and Dave took off for an afternoon of trolling the convention, and Jeff and I were setting up a redo the game, as if the flooding didn’t happen, I mused on how long it would take for me to hear the story of what happened here today.

It happened much sooner than I expected.  While Jeff was adjusting his deployment, my wife showed up.  She had just driven in and wasn’t even in the building when it happened, but she had already heard about “some army getting washed away”, and initially didn’t believe me when I said it happen right here, not 10 minutes ago.

And since Jeff’s luck isn’t any better than Dave’s, the Vikings flushed again!  However, when the game was played without the tides, he pulled a brutal win.

AAR Warrior: Teutonic Knights vs. Islamic Persians

Teutonic Knights vs. Islamic Persians
It was a bright and sunny day in Northern Persia.  The Persian army was equipped and heading for the ancestral homeland of their most hated foe, the Persians.  Scouts had reported initially of a fleeing Golden Horde army followed by large clouds of dust.  So, our greatest enemy has already been in one fight this season, so much the better!
We camped an awaited our foe to arrive in an area that seemed good to us.  Both our left and right flanks were covered by trees, and 2 large rocky depressions dominated the center.  The broken tree line extended to our opponents mustering area, and partially covered their flanks as well.  Our deployment, from left to right was Quizalbashi, Quizalbashi, Light Cavalry, Bowmen, Light Cavalry, Quizalbashi, Bowmen, CIC, Light Cavalry, Quizalbashi, Light Cavalry. Tahir ibn Husayn also ordered a Light Cavalry unit to probe along our right flank, and our wily Afgans to hide in the woods on that side as well.  He then ordered all our troops to wait to see what our enemy was about.
And it was wise that he did, for to our horror, and in defiance to Allah, our dreaded enemy had converted to Christianity!  Crosses adorned their shields and surcoats.  They even gave up the traditional garb of our people and dressed in a manner unsuitable for the desert.  At first, their deployment looked thin, which was probably a result of recent fight.  And the numbers of scouts was also light, but sufficient to prevent us from determining their true numbers.  From left to right they were deployed as follows.  Light Cavalry, Knights, Foot, Knights, Light Cavalry, Light Cavalry, Knights, Foot, Knights, Heavy Cavalry.
Our army performed a general advance, constrained by our orders, and initial bow fire from our troops reaped great harm upon our enemy, totally decimating two Light Cavalry units that just stood there. (double one’s on the counters) Conversion obviously had befuddled their wits. 
A winded Afghan came running with a report that enemy troops were pouring out of the woods on the our right flank, and they were advancing to meet them.  And pour they were, the enemy had filled the woods with their men, 3 banners were identified, and they charged the Afghans, who received the charges on the points of their spears, and pushed the enemy back.
Seeing our advantages in both position and numbers, Tahir started issuing orders to attack.  But fate was not with us that day, or Allah was feeling merciful to the infidels, as orders to the left wing were never received until the sun went down.  (Both the Islamic CIC and one of the Subs had rolled “Incompetent”, -5 minutes per bound, and the left flank was out of signaling range)
Our left flank had done some damage via bow fire to the enemy, but it turned out that woods also teemed with the enemy, as yard long arrow shafts started emanating from its edge.  The Quizalbashi Generals, to fulfill Tahir’s grand plan ordered a general withdrawal before this unnatural rain.  Our enemy saw the time was right and began charging our lines, on the left, Knights attacked Bowmen, in the middle, our cavalry forces met, as did our Great General on the right flank.  Our Afghans, who were performing well against overwhelming numbers, were forced back, but emboldened, but yet another impetuous charge of our Quizalbashi’s against the enemy cavalry, as well as by the arrival of their brother Afghan’s.
The enemy knights cut through our bowmen like Turkish steel through a slave, and subsequently routed a light cavalry unit all the way to the muster zone.  Only to be cut off by our two withdrawing Quiazalbashi’s.  The same bowmen were then flanked and routed.  Martyrs to the cause.  Their brethren were made of sterner stuff and blithely dug up their stakes, and continued advancing.  In the center our forces routed the enemy knights, as well as on the right.  Their supporting foot unit shook, and was then routed by our Light Cavalry.  On the far right, our forces routed an enemy Cavalry unit, and then charged the Army Banner of the enemy General, catching him standing.  One of our Afgans was near exhaustion, but the other had a flank and sent one of the enemy foot units routing.  Victory was assured!
But then, more men were pouring out of the trees!  On the right, a unit left the woods to defend their General.  On the left another was revealed to follow up their victory on our hapless bowmen.
Our enemy fought bravely, but it was for naught.  Too many men were killed, and units gone, and the field was ours!
End result, 5-2 Persians.
To Ed’s credit, in all the major battles, his dice were totally flat.  One down 1, the rest even.  While my dice were hot,  a total of one down 1, some evens (not many)  the rest +2-+3.  while the non ‘A’s were rolling +2’s and even the ‘D’s were rolling up.

Persian forces
5 units 12 Quizalbashi’s, Irreg ‘A’ EHC, L,B, Sh
2 units of archers, Irreg ‘D’ LMI, B
2 units of Afghans Irreg ‘B’ LMI
5 units of Light Cavalry, Irreg ‘C’

Teutonic Knights
5 units of SHK
1 unit of HC
2 units of Colonists HI, 2HCT, Pa
1 unit of Longbow
6 units of LMI, JLS, Sh

AAR Warrior: Timurids vs. Anglo Irish.

After Action Report, Timurids vs. Anglo Irish.
2,000 point Warrior.
Players: Ed Bernhart, Timurids
Phil Gardocki, Anglo Irish

Ed and I decided to do the team event for Cold Wars, and in preparation, tried a couple of armies at 2,000 points.  I was pushing hard for my Anglo’s, while Ed is open to a number of suggestions.

If you don’t know the Anglo Irish army, they can be an awesome sight.  With moderate die rolls, a fair portion of the army can easily be on the “More” chart.  At the core of the army are the “Galloglaich”, pronounced Gallo-glock , which is Gallic for “Grey Foreigners”.  Under the Warrior rewrites, they are Irreg ‘B’ HI, 2HCW, JLS, D.  with formations that can be extended with detachments of Kern Light Infantry.  Running impetuously, their front rank starts on the 8 chart.  When standing still, their darts have ruined many Knights day before impact.   They are currently subject to the barbarian foot rules and as such can include the third rank of Kerns when fighting and can do 44 casualties per element of frontage.   While you are allowed up to 96 Galloglaich, which is a considerable number of these high impact troops, they still only occupy about 20 inches of the board, and as large irregular units, need their flanks covered. 

My unit of choice for Galloglaich flank guard is the Longbow men.  They are cheap, starting at 2 points, with upgrades available for HI, 2HCW, Sh, and stakes.  I run them as HI, Sh, Stakes in 16 man units between the Galloglaich.  Expanding the battle-line to 29 inches, almost half the board.  The mission of the Longbows is counter intuitive.  They are not there to shoot, but to be shot at!  Since the Galloglaich’s have no shields, they are vulnerable to large numbers of bow, a lesson Ed hammers home time and again.  Running shielded HI shooters between them answers that problem quite nicely.  If some knight happens to wander into the field of fire, than that’s a bonus.

The most overlooked part of the army is the Bonnachts.  Unfortunately, you have to have 12 elements of Irish with the Anglo Irish.  (what’s with that?)  While in theory, these guys can attack on the 9 chart, their ‘C’ morale makes impetuous problematic.  In the WRG lists, they came in two flavors, LMI, 2HCW, JLS (i.e. no shield), and LMI, JLS, SH (i.e. no punch) .   And so they have often been relegated to the mission of Ambush and terrain denial.  Both missions they tended to do poorly.  Now the Four Horsemen list allows for all shields, and being subject to the barbarian foot rules, I decided to spend the extra points to expand their presence from 2 x 18 man units to 3 x 27 man units. 

Those are the main units of the army.  Supporting units are some HK/HC units, all with generals, HC Lancers, and Slingers.  Time to Rock.

The Timurids are really an uber list.  There is nothing this list cannot deal with.  SHC for barbarian hordes, Regular Lance, Bow Cavalry, combined Bow and Crossbow units, hand-gunners, Elephants with flame throwers, and Camel Cart Expendables.  This combined with the maneuverability of Regulars, and the special interpenetration and countering rules for the Mongol, and enhanced with fire arrows!  If this wasn’t bad enough, there is almost no limit to the numbers of these troops.  When building an army on this list you rarely wish for higher limits.  For this battle, Ed knew what he was facing and customized accordingly.  He had three 24 man, mixed bow/crossbow LMI units, one 48 man MI B unit, two hand gunners, 4 SHC/EHC units,  3-4 LC units, and a couple HC units.


Both of us were open field armies, the Timurids more so than the Anglos.  The Anglos selected a Major water, 2 woods and a hill.  The Timurids 3 opens and a brush.  All the terrain was placed.  On the Anglo left was a woods against the table edge, on the Anglo right was the other woods, and the major water.  The hill was in the Timurid left flank, and the brush in the forward zone, just right of the Timurid Centerline.


Having only 85 scouting points, Ed missed out scouting my army by one point.  I started by deploying command # 1, my lonely CIC.  (Forgetting the lessons of the past, of what happens to that command should the camp fall.)  Ed placed a small command down as well. I measured well, and the distance from woods to woods was about 37 inches.  My 6 unit main battleline fit comfortably within it.  The left woods was filled with Bonnachts and their general.  To the right of the battleline was a small command with an HC, HK, and an LC.  Their mission was to engage only if the battleline’s flank was engaged.  A mission they would fail due to no fault of their own.  The right flank woods just had a Slinger LI.

On my left, against my not quite so secret ambush, the Timurid deployed a collection of Light Infantry, a couple Light Cavalry units, a Cataphract, a Heavy Cavalry, and the 48 man bow unit.  The Light Infantry was force marched to the centerline, directly across from my force marched kern unit.   (***we have been playing against each other for a long time***)  Against my center was deployed 3 LMI Bow/XB, a couple LC’s, and 3 Cataphracts, a HC, and a force marched Light Infantry unit.  Supporting the right flank of the battleline is an HC, HK, LC, and force marched into the woods, another LI Sling.  The Timurids facing them facing them were two Light Cavalry units and a Light infantry unit.

We took a late check of our generals temperament, and the list of rules that will apply to the tournament, where it states ALL generals must be rolled for.  We took this to mean CIC’s as well and we both rolled Unreliable Commanders.  I compounded the problem by rolling two Rash Ally Generals.  How can a CIC be unreliable?  Well I am sure history is abound with CIC’s that really didn’t know their own minds.  Think Gaius Varro or Lucius Paullus at Cannae.

I wanted to see what my reinforced Bonnachts would do, so I issued them Attack orders.  The main battleline of Galloglaich and Longbow were issued “Wait until the enemy crosses the centerline” orders.  The right flank had Probe, and the CIC had Wait.  The Bonnachts Rash General interpreted his orders to Rush, and the Galloglaich, which play second fiddle to no one, upped their orders to Probe. 

Early Rounds
                Left Flank.  Slingers with Rush orders.  Gotta love them.  They shot up their LI opponents and ran them off the field.  They stood to a LC Charge and engaged in a slow retreat for the next 3 bounds until, at 13 fatigue, they were relieved by a unit of Bonnachts charging through them.
                The right hand Bonnacht, did not fare as well.  Positioned poorly, it took one HC charge, then an LC charge,  which then shook the Bonney boys.  But with a melee role of +3, the Irish managed to hold, for now. 
                Half the main battleline was stalled by enemy force march, which is fine with me.  Usually it results in me able to line up a massive shot of missiles upon some small unit, creating a dead man walking scenario.  But in this case, Ed managed to step back, and avoid a rain of death.  The brush in front of his lines seem to be causing him march problems.  I wasn’t paying much attention, but when I looked next there was all kinds of maneuvering going on.  The end result was he was successful with pitting his LMI B/Flaming CB units in a 1-1 ratio against my Galloglaich.  While detaching most of his shock cavalry to the head towards my command #3, containing only an HK,HC,LC, and LI.  He had SHC, but I had HK supported by Longbow.  I know how those numbers worked, and awaited him.
                On my right, the Timurid hand gunners explored the woods and found they were out numbered 3-1 and retreated.  On the far right, a Timurid LC was attempting an on board flank march, which didn’t go anywhere, and will be mentioned no further.  (Note to Ed.  Mongols can counter in ANY situation)

Mid Game.
                Left Flank.  With Rush orders, I could see my Bonnachts were going to be led by the nose.  And decided to do reign them in with a resend of “Attack” orders.  This went successfully.  The fully supported Irish, at nine elements, were made eager with the barbarian rules.  The left flank unit impetuously attacked an SHC and an HC unit.  Routing the first the HC, then the SHC.  The middle unit relieved the LI that had been engaged since round2 and routed the LC attacking it.  The right hand Irish, which was shaken, had the HC unit attacking taken in the flank by a Galloglaich.  The CIC, which happen to be in the area, rallied the Shaken Irish to “Disorder”.  The LC, even though doing 2-1, failed to do 1 per and broke off.  Way in the back the 48 man bow unit failed two wavers and routed, sending its command into retreat.

Main Battle Line.  Also, unhappy with my main battleline’s “Probe” orders, the CIC sent them Attack orders as well.  Totally forgetting why they had “Probe” orders to begin with.  The main battleline went to “Rush”.  Longbow men left their emplaced stakes, flanks were presented as the Galloglaich rushed out to meet the enemy.  <GAAK>  The right hand Galloglaich was taken in the flank with an HC because its flank guard went after the nearest LC.  Subsequent rounds had a 24 man armed bow unit, which was also armed with 1HCW take them to the front, and only their size (36 figures) and a +4 melee rolls kept them from routing immediately.  The left of the Battle line fared better as they caught an HC in the flank that had been pushing back the right most Irish.  The HC routed, and forced 4 waver checks, but to no effect.

Right Flank.  A Timurid SHC attempted to take a LB in the flank, but due to fleeing LC, uncovered rules, and less than clear charge path, would up going toe to toe with an impetuous HK instead.  The fight was short, and the SHC fled.  Causing many unit and general in line of command wavers checks.  But there was blood in the water and the Armies of Timur the Lame held steady.  They flanked the right hand Galloglaich, taunted, shot, and destroyed the HK.  The supporting Anglo LC Shook, causing the right hand command to go into retreat.

Late Game.
                The Left and Right flank battles were over, but the center was in doubt.  The right hand Galloglaich was lost taking one of its supporting Longbow with it.  The middle Longbow unit was engaged by another of those LHI 1HCW, B/CB unit and stood only 1 turn before routing.  That LHI was subsequently flanked by one element of a 36 man Galloglaich unit. 

With right hand Galloglaich was lost shaking the right hand Longbow bringing the command into retreat.  But since the Galloglaich was already engaged, it was allowed to continue fighting.  The following bound had that Galloglaich engaged with two impetuous SHC units.  The LHI routed.  One of the SHC took 3per, was disordered, then counting as EHC was routed a bound later.  The remaining SHC, unable to break off, and outnumbered about 4-1 also broke taking the CIC and Timurid Center command with it.

                We called it then.  Both had two commands in retirement, and the remaining commands were on opposite sides of the board from each other.  It would have taken two hours to reengage.  It was a Pyrrhic victory, with the Anglos defeating 1200 points, and the Timurids killing 930.

AAR Warrior: Anglo Normans vs. Islamic Persians

After Action Report
Anglo Normans (Dennis Shorthouse) vs.
Islamic Persians (Phil Gardocki)

This AAR was written in “high prose” as opposed to the bare bones “we set up here and here”.  I was heavily influenced by listening to 8 hours of “Children of Hurin” by JRR Tolkien, and narrated by Christopher Lee.

I am Keygohab Ad, Scholar and Secretary to the Great Sultan, Tahir ibn Husayn, “The Bright Sword of Allah”.  And it is my honor to transcribe the right and true events that occurred in the Hejri  year 770.  That these events are accurate are vouchsafed because they were either witnessed by me, or by men of high character. 

As was custom, we celebrated the new year by witnessing the spring solstice, when disquieting news arrived by messengers.  Coastal towns were being raided and pillaged by forces from the sea!  Over the next few days many reports were received, and a pattern was emerging.  Barbarians would use the cover of night to approach, and go unnoticed till it was too late.  They would never stay overlong, before retreating to their ships, which then would not follow the coast either north or south, but head to the horizon till invisible from the shore, before setting a course to the next victim.

Now the Great Sultan did not wait for more news, but started a muster of forces, and sent many scouts, and marched south to meet these barbarians, and while marching took what men that could be found.

In response to his summoning’s came Werde hecar We, “The Cautious” , with a Spear of Quizalbashi’s and a great levy of bowmen.  Also came Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. “The Loud” with another Spear of Quizalbashi’s, and many tribal horsemen.  So too came Adbiesus, “The Just”, and with his Spear, he brought many men of the north, whose eyes were bright, and long were their spears. 

For a month we marched, and our scouts began to return with reports, and drawings of the enemy.    And they were known!  These were Varangians from the frozen north.  No doubt supplied with ships from the hated Byzantines.  These men were fierce and clever, and fought on foot with great axe’s, that could cleave a warhorse, armor and all.  And with them was a great force of horse.  

And so, we chased our foe, and while his fleet was fast, the number of probable targets was growing thin.  And so it was we confronted him near Bandar Abbas, and battle was brought.

The field was flanked with trees, both  left and right, while the barbarians controlled the coastal road. 

Adbiesus deployed his Afghans in the woods to the left, with his Spear of Quizalbashi’s nearby.  He was told to “attack” all before him with his North-men, for as the Great Sultan said, “A man’s weight in silver is the price of a warhorse, but a dead Afghan costs nothing.”

Werde hecar We, and Ahmedinejad’s Spears were next in line, but further back, and told to contemplate patience, and “wait” till they were summoned.  In the center was placed much of the tribal cavalry, and half of the levy.  For though their bows were ill kept and weak, they were many.  The Levy also labored through the night in the nearby woods, a erected a thick barrier of newly cut trees and sticks, as to be unassailable from the front.*

To the levy’s right was some Tribal Light Cavalry, with support from another spear of Quizalbashi’s.  And in the far right, more levy bowmen, whose front was similarly fortified as their brethren, and also supported by another group of Tribal Light Cavalry.  So if fell upon the Tribal Cavalry the main onus of “probing” the enemy for any weakness.

Since many of our Tribal Cavalry were from this area, our enemy was well scouted, and his positions were known to us.  To our far left was a fast moving column of foot, supported by light archers, and then some of their own “Tribal Cavalry”.  In the middle was a large horde of foot, all arrayed in mail, armed with axe’s and bows.  And down the line, was more mailed foot, and a smaller unit, with a banner to the Raven God they worshipped.  Then more foot, and even more foot.  And their line finished with another fast moving foot unit, supported by another bow unit.  Of their horse, only clouds of dust could be seen stirring in the distance.***

Out bound the Afghans from their wooded hiding place, and in response, the Norsemen did naught but form deep ranks, and lock shields, and waited.  With a mighty scream, the Afghans charged, hurling their spears.  But their ferocity was blunted by the interlocking shields of their foes, and their superior numbers were made meaningless by the contraction of the enemy formation, and their spears could not avail against so well an armored foe.   Even so, it seemed, for a while that they would prevail, but the Norse-men’s Axe’s took a heavy toll, and soon, a full half of the Afghans were thrown off, but they were not yet defeated. 

For the enemy supports were run from the field, Adbiesus had run off the enemy Light Cavalry, and their brother Afghans, chased away the archers, and were now closing in on the Viking Hirdsmen.  And great was Viking lament, for their earlier victory had cost them much.  The Afghans plowed into their weaken formation, and faster than on raven’s wings, the Hirdsmen were sent to their gods.

In the center, all the enemy foot had locked shields, rendering the shabby bows of the levy foot ineffective.  But in this, the Great Sultan perceived a weakness.  For the enemy, while invulnerable, were also made as slow as a desert tortoise.  Also, there seem to be much discomfort among the enemy, as messengers were seen flitting to and fro, like so many butterflies in a field.**** And so, he signaled Werde hecar We and Ahmedinejad to attack. And summoned also his reserve spear of  Quizalbashi’s  from the right to his side.  Since the Afghans had done their work. The enemy center was now his right flank.  The Quizalbashi’s massed upon the Viking horde, which loosed a great darkening of arrows upon them.  But though many, the arrows were like straw on the wind.***** and did not hinder so much horse in full charge.   A full 7 score men died instantly, and the cry of “More, more” erupted from Werde hecar We’s men. “Send more enemy.”  Ahmedinejad’s men cried back, “Save some for us!”  For their charge did falter, and if not for their compatriots, they would have been lost.

On the right flank, the enemy, encumbered by both doctrine and orders******, lumbered forward.  Being resisted by only a small number of Tribal Cavalry, and the massive wood works erected by the Levy.  But to Levy bow fire, the enemy was not discomforted at all.  Indeed, he managed to shoot up the Tribal Cavalry, which retired, leaving the Levy flank exposed.  And the Great Sultan, “The Bright Sword of Allah” showed that sometimes compassion can outweigh wisdom, did send more Tribal Cavalry to take their place.  But the existing unit of Cavalry refused to depart, making no room for the replacements, and all the while the enemy lumbered on. 

For one unit of the enemy turned the flank of the right most Levy, and chased them from their wood works.  The Levy ran, turned, and so motivated, shot as they never shot till then.  The sky darkened, and out of the darkness, their eyes alight with wroth, came the enemy, though many of their kin and friends were shot down, on they came.  They hewed down the Levy, scattering them here and there.  The Tribal Cavalry, confused by the rout, did not see their end till it was too late.  And on the enemy came, as if the whips of Valhalla itself were upon them. Another Tribe was caught and decimated.  And then, to our great relief, they stopped and rested. *******

Meanwhile on the left flank, just when all was going well, fate rose to test us.  The enemy horse, which was till now mere dust in the distance, rapidly closed the distance.  Adbiesus fell when his Spear was scattered.  Ahmedinejad was attacked, and engaged in single combat with the enemy commander, who first pinned him to his horse, then beheaded him with a stroke of his broad sword.  His Spear, to their credit, did not rout, but died to a man. 

Werde hecar We, who till now, was insulated from these events by distance, closed the gap to gain vengeance, but was soon turned, flanked, and destroyed.

But out of adversity is opportunity, for the enemy reserves were revealed, and now vulnerable.  Wave after wave of arrows crashed into the Norman General, and only a little less so descended upon his supporting horse.  So that when the Great Sultan, Tahir ibn Husayn, “The Bright Sword of Allah” did commit to battle, it was but a trifle to sweep the rival General from the field, trampling his Draco standard into the dust.  And joining him was the last Quizalbashi Spear, who arrived too late to save the hapless Ahmedinejad, but none the less committed revenge upon is slayers.

Now many of the Viking/Norman horde beheld the falling of their standard, and knew of the death of their Commander, but none the less, held fast on this news, thought one horde did not.  To that horde charged the Bright Sword, and the enemy stood, fighting bravely.   And their numbers began to press him, and his charge stalled, but at last, a nearby group of the Tribal Horsemen, plunged into the fray, and swept the enemy horde away.  At this, the enemy groaned as one, and began to drop their weapons, and submit to the Great Sultan’s Justice.  <end of Narrative>

As you can see, this was a great back and forth fight, with actually there was more going on than was described here.  The first final count had this as a Persian Loss, 704 to 680.  But then a missing dead unit was counted, and it was a Persian Win at 718-704.  Not a convincing victory.  But when I returned from loading my car, Dennis had realized that with that missing unit he had lost a command, and the final score was about 1024-704 or a 4-3 Persian Win. 

*OK, waxing poetic here.  The archers had deployed their unemplaced stakes.
**From Left to Right Afghan, Afghan, Quizalbashi, (with attack orders) LC,  LC, Levy, LC, Levy, LC (probe orders)
            In the rear, Quizalbashi, Quizalbashi, (wait orders)  CIC, LC, Quizalbashi (probe orders)
***From Left to Right, LHI, LI, LC, HI (Bow), MI, LHI (Ally), MI, MI, LHI, LI.  5 units of Norman Cavalry were positioned in the rear to charge through the gaps. 
**** Dennis’s Viking commander was Cautious, and currently had wait orders.   It took 18 prompt points to change it to attack by bound 4.

***** 3 down 2’s and a down 1 will do that to you.
****** Shield Wall limits you to 40 paces, Wait orders kept him on his side of the board.
*******LHI Hirdsmen took 2cpf, passed waver, charged and caught the Bowmen which then routed.  Over the next few turns also converted into two light cavalry units that just couldn’t get out of the way.
Subsequent rout checks almost caused the center command to go into retreat. 

Persian forces
5 “Spears”, of 12 Quizalbashi’s, Irreg ‘A’ EHC, L, B, Sh
2 units of 36 Levy archers, Irreg ‘D’ LMI, B
2 units of 12 Afghans Irreg ‘B’ LMI, LTS, JLS, SH
2 units of 12 “Tribal” Light Cavalry, Irreg ‘C’ JLS, B, SH
3 units of 4 Light Cavalry, Irreg ‘C’ JLS, B, SH

Anglo Normans
5 units of 6 Irreg ‘B’ HC (Normans)
1 unit of 10 Irreg ‘C’ LC (Referred to as Tribal Horse by the narrator)
3 hordes of 32 Vikings, Irreg ‘C’ MI 2HCW, JLS SH
1 horde of 32 Vikings, Irreg ‘B’ HI 2HCW, JLS, B, SH
3 units of 18 Viking Hirdsmen, Irreg ‘B’ LHI 2HCW, JLS SH

2 units of 12 Irreg ‘C’ LI Bow

5 units of 6 Irreg ‘B’ HC (Normans)
1 unit of 10 Irreg ‘C’ LC (Referred to as Tribal Horse by the narrator)
3 hordes of 32 Vikings, Irreg ‘C’ MI 2HCW, JLS SH
1 horde of 32 Vikings, Irreg ‘B’ HI /  MI 2HCW, JLS, B, SH
2 units of 18 Viking Hirdsmen, Irreg ‘B’ LHI  /LMI 2HCW, JLS SH 
1 unit of 6 Irr 'A' LHI 2HCW,SH  
2 units of 12 Irreg ‘C’ LI Bow

AAR Warrior Islamic Persians vs Assyrians

First Blood
Islamic Persians vs Assyrians
No pretty pictures, just some witty commentary.
First, I must say that Dennis was a perfect gentlemen throughout the game.  I was less than gentlemanly, which I blame on my present personal situations, and jerked his chain a bit,
The game did not portend well, I left my list at home, my dice, and measuring sticks.  Of course Dennis was happy to provide all.
During deployment, my wife texted me that she found my list, and I asked her to text it to meJ
Not having played my Islamic Persians in a long time, I used my typical terrain of Brush, Brush, Road, Road.  I should have looked more closely at Dennis’s list.  About 70% Regular B LMI.  His terrain picks were Brush, Brush, Woods, Woods. 
My left flank had two Woods, and a Brush.  The center had two Brushes on my side, while the remaining Brush was covering Dennis remaining flank.
Compounding this error was my lack of thought in securing some of that terrain with my 36 man LMI B units.  Not so Dennis, as his force marches effectively put all the relevant terrain out of my reach, and pinned my army on the base line. 
Deployment for me was thus, from left to right 12 man Afghans (ambush), 12 man Afghans (ambush), EHC (Sub), EHC (CIC), LMI, B, 12man LC, 4 man LC, EHC(Sub), LMI,B, EHC, 12 man LC, EHC (Sub), 4 man LC.  Last LC was flanking on the right.
Dennis’s deployment was something like this: (from my left to right) Scads of LMI, 6 man Cav, more scads of LMI, 2 chariot units, 1 chariot general, 1 EHC, 1 HC, 2 more LMI.  Force march was several LI and LC units.
At this time I was already primed to surrender.  Dennis clearly won on deployment.  But the brain farts continued. 
One of my little tricks is to give my army Wait orders, then signal to attack on bound 3.  I followed this plan, which lead to mandatory  advances into the brush secured by LMI, some armed with LTS and backed by Bow.  My CIC was actually squeezed and forced to charge in a column.
This was when I decided, I was already good and buggered, charge them ALL.
And I proceeded to blow the spots off of the dice. 
The first LMI, despite having support for enfilade fire, and fighting disordered HC, routed on contact against an up 5 and a up 4.  Second Reg B LMI shook on declaration, and despite my EHC rolling a down 1, was pushed back, and routed a turn later.  On the right flank, Dennis had an unusual unit.  24 LMI LTS SH, with a detachment of 24 LMI, B.  Another up 5, which failed to do 1 CPF, but did get me a 3-1 burst through, which converted into a LC.  I also had a 12 man LC unit follow up to charge the now disordered LMI unit pair, and it shook!  But the minuses involved didn’t quite overcome the number of figure advantage, and the LC had to break off.
4 charges 3 routs, shaking one rear echelon unit.  Dennis’s carefully crafted battle plan was scrapped by fate.  I offered to surrender.  Dennis refused to accept it declaring I was winning.  But it was over. 
He screened a HC and charged my LMI B, which shook and fled.  My other LMI B took 2 CPF and also shook.  A light Cav was forced off of the board, and my middle command went into retirement.  My left flank, after enjoying a rout with no conversions, was stuck for two turns rallying.  One of the EHC Units received a flank shot from a chariot, and after 3 turns routed.  The Afghans played tag with a 4 man LI unit, and were never really part of the game.  My CIC, who’s flank was covered by the now shaken LMI B unit was flanked and shook when the adjacent EHC unit was destroyed.  My right flank was tired, and each unit was either screened or surrounded.  The end result was around 800 -400.  A good bloody battle.
By the way, Dennis, can I buy those dice I was using?