Wednesday, October 26, 2011

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.

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