Friday, July 27, 2012

AAR Warrior Later Polish vs. Tepanecs

A Headless Body Production

Tepanec: Bill Low
Polish :    Phil Gardocki
Game System:  Warrior, 1600 points
Venue:  Historicon 2012 Open Tourney.

Many units of 16 LMI, either LTS or 2HCT or JLS, dual or triple armed with 1HCW and or Sling.
A few units of 6 LMI 2HCT
about 6 units LI

5 units of 6 Knights (including CIC and Sub)
1 unit of 12 Knights
2 units of 18 Lithuanian Light Cavalry
1 unit of 12 Wallachian Light Cavalry
2 units of 4 Tarter Light Cavalry
1 unit of 6 Heavy Cavalry (Lithuanian Sub General)
2 units of 6 Crossbow Cavalry
1 unit of 12 Foot Bowmen

It is the final round of the Historicon 25mm Open Tourney.  My brand new Late Polish list is up against Bill Low’s Tepanec’s.  There is no ego on the line here, as we are duking it out for last place.  Something I am well familiar with.  Bill was visibly fatigued, this being his 9th game in 3 days.

The Board:
        The Board had a combination piece of Marsh and Impassable pond on my left.  A large sandy area on the right, swathing to the center of the board.  A gentle hill was centerlined just right of center on the board.

My army was brand spanking new.  At least 32 figures were unpainted 3 weeks ago.  Top that off with the fact I have never run a Knight army before.  My original tactics were “charge first, then charge something that cracks”, had proven a complete failure in the first four games I played.  (losses 5-3, 4-2, 5-0,5-1) I was going to have to do things differently.  

I lined up the Lithuanian Light Cavalry from the Pond to near the right edge in a single line.  Everything else was well behind the line to take advantage of marching to a perceived weakpoint.  

The Tepanec’s were out scouted.  This is fairly normal for them, and Bill set them up in three groups in the rear area, and they were well screened by light infantry.  Bill has been running this army for several years, and knew how to make it spin.
I was hit with Déjà vu as the marches started.  I have seen this before.  I remember playing Bill a couple years ago, and the deployment was the same.  What made it remarkable at the time was the precision marches he made behind the screen of Light Infantry to present a unified strong point with flanks covered.  Not unlike a Swiss Kiel, a blocky spear point.  At the time I marveled at the maneuvering, and when it was over realized that I had blown any chance of defeating him in detail and berated myself for letting him get away with it.  Not this time!

Left Flank Lithuanian LC lined up on  about half the Tepanec Army.

My Lithuanians surged forward across the front, pinning his lights, and keeping the reorganization to a minimum.  That done, I saw the weak point on my far left.   A single unit of LMI supported by two LI units, one LI went into the Marsh in an on board flanking maneuver.  The other was the only support between the LMI and the rest of the line.  The only problem was there was limited space between the marsh and his main battle line.  If he pushed forward, this opportunity would be lost.  One Lithuanian and my Wallachians charged some LI, catching and routing one.  

Wallachians (near hill) and Tarters (4 man LC) line up on an 8 man Slinger LI unit.

Bound 2.
        As I moved most of my knights to the left flank, Bill pushed on the right.  Both of my Lithuanians took generous amounts of sling fire.  But because of size (18 and 16 man units) shielded or skirmish, and sling (1.5 ranks at a 2 vice a bows 2 ranks at a 3) , they held firm.  Off to the left, I snuck in a 4 man LC unit and charged another LI unit.  Which shook and broke.  And while this is a good thing, it also created an opportunity for Bill to catch the LC and rout it back into my mustering forces.  I had to leave a wide open route path, and present minimum exposure.   After all, nothing throws waver checks better than Light Cavalry.

Left flank, the terrain piece is an impassable pond.  The Tarter LC has routed an LI, but the Tepenac's have two units that could swat them.  The Knights Zielony i Czerwony are "in theater", but not close enough to intervene this turn.

Bound 3.
        On the right flank, I am gumming up the works with the large Lithuanian LC, while moving the rest of the command via retirement moves and command moves to the eventual strike points.  Bill was doing is best to batter retire the LC to no avail.   In the middle, the Wallachians were pommeled badly and recalled.  The left Lithuanian LC also did not receive 2 CPF from missile fire, so stayed put.  On the left Bill tried to rout the LC pursuing the LI with a LMI unit, but the LC was only redisordered and passed waver.  Time to take a chance, and I sent the Knights Zielony i Czerwony  up for what will be a “Type 1” flank charge.  (A charge that starts in front of the enemy, but off to the side, but winds up hitting the flank only).  Two other Knights line up on, but 240 paces from, other nearby LMI units to both keep them out of the fight, and to exploit any openings.  

On the right flank the Lithuanian LC lined up on the other half.  The hill is gentle all round.  The upper right corner of a great sandy area is evident at the bottom.  The Knights Czerwony a Blekit and the Lithuanian Sub General are supporting the flank.

Bound 4.        
        On the right, the Lithuanians were finally forced to make a recall move.  They are in danger due to the sand dunes to their rear.  I recognized this early and have been trying to compress them, but rolled successive 1’s on counters bounds 2, 3, and 4.  The Wallacians stayed on their perch on the center hill.  The Tepanec line was pivoting on their position, but as of this turn, only 8 LI Slingers were able to shoot them.  On the left more Lithuanians were trying to get out of the way of the future knight charges.
The Knights Zielony i Czerwony made their charge, and the LMI shook on declaration and routed, and was pursued by both Knights and Light Cavalry.  A real rout, but also another opportunity for Bill to send one back at me.
Bill’s onboard flankers, having marched out of the marsh, were faced by my more useless units, a Med Cavalry Crossbow unit and a 12 man LMI B unit.  They eventually picked up the LI, but played no further part in this fight.

Lithuanians recall, but if they do it again, they might get caught on the sand.  Realizing there will be nothing gained here, the Knights Czerwony a Blekit and the Lithuanian Sub General start to redeploy elseware.

 Bound 5.
        On the right was some attempts of the Tepanec’s to redeploy their units, but this would be foiled again by the Lithuanian LC later.  The Wallacians in the center were like a rock, accepting sling fire on the zero chart.  (sling 2, shieldless +1, skirmish -2, higher ground -1) and was effectively immobile.  Bill stopped shooting at the other Lithuanian, to conserve his final good shot for the charge that was plainly coming.  After much measuring, he opted to pass on a chance to charge the pursuing LC, and the opportunity to convert into the Knights Zielony i Czerwony.   The left side Lithuanian finally made a successful counter, and pulled the curtain back for a charge from the Sub General and the Knights Pointa z Lanca (the Point of the Spear) .  18 Knights charged in, two LMI units passed waver.  The Sub General hit first and rolled an even to against a -1 on the Irreg ‘A’ unit.  Routing it.  The adjacent LMI unit passed their rout check, but muffed their sling roll, and Pointa z Lanca came in unmolested.  Even dice all round, and the LMI recoiled, while the Knights Pointa z Lanca expanded.  
The Knights Czerwony a Blekit along with the Tarters run a warband to the ground.  The two Polish Generals Commit to the flank.  On the right side the Pointa z Lanca line up on their warband.

Wallachians continue to hold the bend in the army.  The  Lithuanian HC (by the die) continues to redeploy.  Off to the right the Lithuanian LC is still pinning down a warband and 2 LI units.

Final Bound.
        Far Left flank, the Knights Zielony i Czerwony were rallied, and looking for an opportunity to unhinge Bill’s right flank.  Bill pulled back his right most unit into skirmish, but not far enough.  The Knights Zielony i Czerwony rolled long, and caught the skirmishers, routing them.  Removing a chance of flanking the pursuing Sub General.  Tired and Disordered, Pointa z Lanca took a flank charge, but rolled a +3 against their frontal opponents, doing 54 to 30, recoiling them into shaken, but unable to follow up.  But there were two more Knights in play, the CIC and the Knights Czerwony a Blekit, and they would be able to both flank charge the flankers, and cover any other units in theater, and Bill surrendered at this point.
Final Score 399-0 a 4-0.

Same timeframe as above.  Polish Sub General to the left, Pointa z Lanca lined up on a warband.  A Lithuanian LC is present to suck up the sling stones, while the Knights Czerwony a Blekit (peeking far right) have arrived in theater.

Lessons learned?
        I am not sure.  I played this game cagy.  Culling a target from the herd before committing.  While that sounds good, it is not easily accomplished, nor can it be counted on.  If Bill wasn’t exhausted, he probably would have tightened up his deployment or pinned me against the pond.  The large Lithuanian Light Cavalry units seem to be worth the expense, tying up large swaths of real estate, about 42”.  Shielded they took a lot of damage before recalling.  But once again, this is against a Sling based army, where the missile fire is effectively halved as compared to bow fire.

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