Saturday, June 25, 2016

Abbasid Arabs vs Anglo Irish.

A Headless Body Production

Location:   97 Sunfield Ave, Edison NJ, 08837
Event:        NJ Con's Fire in the East
Players:     Phil Gardocki,  playing the Anglo Irish
                   Joe DiCamillo, playing Abbasid Arab
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 200 points per side.

It's the second round of a L'Art de la Guerre tournament at NJ Con's Fire in the East convention.  The first round went well, and after a great, no, good, no, mediocre lunch.  I was eager to start again.  Despite winning the first round I am thinking it is more a fluke than anything else.  Since winners are pitted against winners, in theory, I would be playing the one of the best players in the tournament.  Joe DiCamillo did finish 2nd for the day, so I was right.

The Forces:   
Abbasid Arab: (there is some guesswork here)
       4 Light Foot Bow
       6 Cavalry, various qualities
       8 Light Horse, some Impact, some Bow.
       2 Heavy Cavalry Impact
       6 Medium Foot "Mixed" units. 

Anglo Irish: Commanders  Larry, Darryl, and Darryl.
       6 Longbowmen (two elite)
       2 Kerns, Light Infantry  Javelin
       4 Galloglaich, Heavy Infantry 2H Sword (all elite)
       2 Light Cavalry, Javelin
       2 Irish Foot, Javelinmen
       2 Anglo Medium Knights, Impact (both elite)
       2 Irish Nobles, Heavy Cavalry
       5 Fortifications

A note on the organization of the Anglo-Irish Battles. Battles was the term applied to commands in Medieval times.  The main Battle, lead by Larry, who is a competent general, has 8 units in it. The 4 Galloglaichs (Gaelic for Young Foreigners) and 4 longbow. 

The other two battles, each lead by Darryl, also a competent general, contain a Longbow, a Kern, a Light Horse, a Javelinmen, a Knight and a Heavy Cavalry. 6 units, all very different. The thought here is no matter what the terrain is, there is a something here that can deal with it. Not enough force to win, but with proper team work enough to avoid losing. I am regarding these Battles as "Utilitarian".   Though, Walt Leech has now christened them "The Swiss Army Knife" command.

Hopefully it will confuse my opponent long enough to bring the first Battle into the fight to win the game.

The Board:
The Irish lost the initiative and the Abbasid decided to attack them in the plains.  The Irish were required to take a field, and selected 2 plantations, a hill, and the road.  My opponent took a gully and field.  His field was in the center of his muster zone, a plantation on the Abbasid left.  In the Anglo Irish rear was a gully on the left, a plantation in the center and a field just right of center.  The hill was well placed in the center of the Anglo Irish muster zone.


The Abbasid's seem to be presenting a strong right force of 5 Light Horse and 4 Heavy Cavalry.  Their center is 6 Cavalry supported by 4 Light Infantry.  Their left is their weakest Battle, with 3 Light Horse and 2 Cavalry.

The Anglo-Irish have their identical 6 unit commands on the left and right, while in the center only 4 Longbow can be seen.  Four Galloglaich units are hiding in the ambush marker behind the hill.
The Abbasid right and center.
The Abbasid center and left.
The Anglo Irish right.  The ambush marker has a Kern Light Infantry unit in it.  Since I am facing a lot of Light Horse I am keeping my own Light Horse tight in the line.
The Anglo-Irish left.  Like the right, I am keeping my Cavalry units tight in the line.  Off panel to the left is an ambush marker.  This becomes important later.

The Anglo Irish center.   Half of the Battle is visible, Longbows and fortifications.  Behind the hill are 4 units of Galloglaich, which cannot be seen.
Turn 1:
The Abbasid's move out on both the left and center.  On the their right Light Horse moved out, but the the heavier Abbasid Cavalry held firm.
The Galloglaich are pulled from ambush and ascend to the hilltop.  The Longbow abandon their fortifications and start shooting at the Light Infantry.

The Irish left and right hold firm awaiting an opportunity.
Turn 2:
On the Irish left, the Abbasids split their LH force, possibly thinking the Irish were going to continue to stand pat.  But as a player, I am institutionally incapable of standing around and waiting.  The Irish left wing moves forward.  Longbows shooting at the Arab LH, to no effect, while the Irish LH challenges the Arab LH Impact.  The center Battle pivots and shoots with its left side longbow, adding to the discomfort of the Abbasid LI.

The Abbasids, seeing the Galloglaich for the first time, decide there is no way they were going to challenge the hill and retreat their Medium Infantry.  The center right Longbow pile on to the LI.  One Galloglaich takes a hit from Arab bowfire, but it is rallied off.  The Arab LI line is now in total disarray. 
On the Irish right, the Arab LH is trying to race around the flank.  But the Irish have advantages in numbers, missiles, fortifications and armor. But the Arabs have the advantage in maneuvering, so we will just let them come. 
Turn 3:
Abbasid Light Horse charge!  Followed with support from the next tier of LH.  Using their speed and maneuvering advantages to wrap around the Irish Javelinmen.  Which will then wrap the Longbowmen.
Part of the Arab Light Horse charge was pulled back as the ambush in the gully is revealed.  A unit of Kerns (furthest left Light Infantry unit) pulls out and gets behind the Arab Light Horse cutting off it's evade move.  Which is then charged by the Javelinmen, destroyed, routing through friends followed by the pursuing Javelinmen.  Between that and missile fire, the Arab right side command is coming apart.
On the right flank the Arabs continue to maneuver.  But the Longbow from the center battle are unopposed and are free to intervene, They turn 180 and fire, scoring a hit.  The ambush is revealed as well.  Another Kern unit, in the lower right, which will do just fine behind the fortification.

Turn 4:
Joe admitted afterwards that the ambush totally derailed his plan of attack. 

When in doubt, attack.  The Arab Light Horse engages all possible targets and the heavier cavalry moves forward to engage the Irish Noblemen and Anglo Knights.  The Light Horse score two hits on the Longbow and destroy the Kerns.  But the Javelinmen win their fight.
On the Irish turn, the Irish Light Horse charges the Arab Light Horse, which evades off of the board.  The Javelinmen, flank another Arab Light Horse, destroying it.  The Longbow of the Center Battle (right side of the picture), now free of any interference from the Arab LI, are free to shoot at the Heavy Arab Cavalry now arriving in field.
The Arab Foot command sensing it is needed, move forward again.  The Galloglaich leave their hill to both challenge the Arab foot, and sweep up the LI.
Turn 5:
The Arab Heavy Cavalry charges.  With support advantages and only one hit from missile fire, they tear through the Irish Nobles like tissue paper.  The Anglo Knights, with the help of excellent dice, win their exchange.  But the only help they are going to get are from the nearby Longbow units, one of which is near exhausted.
This is a poor picture, sorry.  The Arab foot continue to fire their bows, scoring a hit on the Red Longbow unit, but receiving a couple hits in return.
The Galloglaich from Ulster, Stafford and Clan Ramsay charge!  They expected little resistance, but the Arab foot was made of sterner stuff.
Sometimes a cloud has a silver lining.  Because the Irish Nobles were obliterated (next to the Anglo Knights) the left wing of the Arab Cavalry was free to be shot at.  The Anglo Knights, flanked on both sides, managed to hold on, taking just one cohesion hit. 
Turn 6:

The Abbasid Cavalry continue their attack.  Going all in with their General, and taking both the Anglo Knights and Javelinmen from the rear.
The Arabs lost a Heavy Cavalry to the Longbow, but traded it for an Anglo Knight.

The right flank wasn't getting much press.  An Arab LC tried to shoot the gap between the fortifications, but was shot up and destroyed.  The Arab Mixed Spear bow unit destroyed a Longbow unit, and damaged another.  But the Galloglaich have destroyed their opponents.

At this point the Abbasid Arabs had reached their break point of 25 to the Anglo Irish 12.


  1. Enjoying your picture-heavy narratives. Confess that I am tempted to try the Anglo-Irish army out now that I've read about it and its success on the table top. However, I have a number of ADLG training exercises scheduled, so I probably won't get to the Anglo-Irish until mid August, if even then. Not that you asked, but I've interrupted a refight of Mons Graupius using different sets of rules as my interest has been captured by ADLG. I see that Picts are in the army list. Hmmm . . . Thanks again for the entertaining and informative reports!

  2. Your very welcome. I went with the picture heavy format because the technology supports it, and a strictly text description of a battle takes 8 hours to write. There are several of them on the blog from years gone by.

  3. Great batrep and of particular interest to me as I am currently painting an Ayyubid army for ADG.

    Cheers, Ross