Thursday, November 10, 2011

AAR How to Pitch a No Hitter

After Action Report, Alexander Imperial vs. Indian

Alexander Imperial: Dennis Shorthouse
Indian :   Phil Gardocki
Game System:  Warrior, 1600 points

Alexander the Great:  3 x 32 Pike, 1 x24 Hypaspist, 2 x 32 experimental (half pike, half bow) Pike, 2x16 Pike, 4, 5, maybe 6 Companions, 3 Light Cavalry units, 12, 8, and 4 in size, 1 x 12 Cretan Archers, and 1 x 8 slingers.

Porus, King of Kings.  4 Generals, with 8 elephants, 2x2 more elephants, 2x48 LB 2HCW, 1x24 2HCW JLS, 2x18 MC, 2x12 LI S, and 3x4 LI LB.

The Battlefield:  The battle field, couldn’t be more ideal for either side.  On Porus’s left, a jungle occupied the entire flank about 6 inches deep.  On the Porus’s right flank was some 8 small, brush covered hills.  A nice open area of about 42 inches dominated the rest of the field.

Deployment:  Alexander  deployed as follows, from Porus’s left to right.  LI, S, Pike, Pike, Pike, Pike (experimental) Hypaspist, Companion.  On the right flank, on the various hills were the Cretans, the 12 and the 8 man Light Cavalry units.

In the rear were the two small pikes, Pike (experimental) 3, 4, maybe 5 Companions, and the 4 man Light Cavalry unit.

Porus was out-scouted 2-1, and so couldn’t deploy closer than 240 to the centerline deployed as follows, from left to right.  LI S (in ambush in the Jungle) MC, Elephants, Elephants, Longbow, Javelin men, Longbow, Elephants, Elephants, MC, LI S.  In the rear was the CIC, and an Sub general both on Elephants. 

Alexander  deployed most of his units on the centerline, and Porus deployed his Medium Infantry some 480 from the centerline.  I have been doing this when being out scouted to give my foot some chance to compensate for bad deployments.

Early thoughts:  The deployment looked good for Porus .  My left flank command of 5 units, with two Elephants facing only 1 light infantry.  Sweep that unit away, and the Pike’s flank would be turned.  Porus’s right flank didn’t look good.  Two units of LC were going to pick off my right most LI unit, and do a similar rollup.  The medium infantry in the middle, though outnumbering the Phalanx 2-1, were going to have rough going on contact. 

Opening moves:  Issuing attack orders to Porus’s Ally General on the left flank.   With attack orders, the MC advanced full on the hapless LI.  Which adroitly countered out of reach.  On the right flank, the Allied General ignored the attack orders, and replaced them with probe.  Despite that, he approached the retrained Persian Experimental Phalanx thinking “Easy meat.”  He prompted the nearby elephant unit to charge, and himself as well.  If this unit cracks, then the Hypaspist will be next. 

But the Persian Phalanx was not so easily cowed.  They may only have rudimentary grasp on the pike “Manual of Arms”, but they knew what a bow was for, and of the elephants vulnerability to it.  With an +1 for missiles, and an +1 for melee, the pike did 24 missile and 16 in Hand to Hand, compared to the Elephants (also rolling a +1) to 8 hand to hand.  With 2-1 in melee, and 4 CPF, the first rout was on the board.

Meanwhile, the Cretens, not willing to be run down by Porus’s Medium Cavalry, held their position on a brushy hill, and that same Medium Cavalry, faced with multiple threats of Companions, Hypaspists, and Cretens, dare not approach.  And finally, Porus’s right most Light Infantry, faced with poor deployment, and compounding the error with indecision, attempted to retreat to the relative security of its own hill.  Sensing blood, a Scythian horde of Light Cavalry approached for the kill, its companion sweeping wide and marched for Porus’s Camp.

In the middle, Alexander  ordered his pike forward, while Porus’s foot began to pivot and expand for optimum effect.  What followed were two +3 bow shots at long range, doing 2 CPF to each pike, but with the special rules, did not cause a “Halt or Waver” condition.

Mid game:  You know you are trouble when “Mid Game” is on turn 2!  On the left Alexander marched up one of the short pike units, and one of the experimental pikes.  Throwing dice into to the wind, Porus ordered the Medium Cavalry to engage the pike, while charging the experimental with the horde of Longbow.  The Medium Cavalry routed, but the horde was only recoiled.  The Javelin men also engaged their pike and also recoiled.  The right most longbow shook in response to the earlier routing Longbow stood by, and was eventually rallied by the CIC, and began to engage several Companions at long range. 

On the right, the remaining Elephant stood both assault of bow and pike and only recoiled.  The Medium Cavalry managed to evade a Companion attack.  The poor light infantry, failed to escape its fate and was run down by the Scythians.  Unimpeded, the remaining Light Cavalry closed into range of the Camp.

End Game: 
Left Flank.  Alexander’s short pike unit, coupled with the experimental pike began to push their opposing elephants back.  The horde of close order foot opposed by pike was still inconclusive.  The camp fell on the first assault, shaking a nearby LI detachment, bringing the CIC’s, an Allied, and a Sub command all into retreat.  The game was called then as an “Early Night.”  Final score was an obvious 5-0 shutout. 

In Warrior, there is no greater victory than a 5-0.  This is our version of a “No Hitter.”  Especially in a tournament setting as some people think the math of the scoring system benefits them when they win with a 5-2 or 5-1 vice a 5-0, and let their opponents score a small unit that needn’t have been lost. 

So how does someone manage this ultimate triumph of our sport?  First, pick an opponent that is a consistent national’s player.  Then pick the losing side of a pair of army’s that met historically.  Particularly an army that has no special rules for it.  Make too many commands, so they become susceptible to demoralization. Then be predictable with a totally standard deployment.  Ignore what benefits the terrain might give you. Then follow the preconceived battle-plan in your head.  Forgetting the fact that a battle-plan never survives contact with the enemy, and in this case, didn’t even survive deployment. 

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