Wednesday, October 26, 2011

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.

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