Sunday, July 24, 2016

Anglo Irish vs Communal Italians

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Walt's house
Event:    Weekend at Walts
Armies: Anglo Irish played by Phil Gardocki
               Communal Italians played by Walt Leech and Kevin Swanson

Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, about 200 points per side.
Theme:   15mm Feudal Era 1000-1299 AD, Lists 134, 148, 151, 172-218 and amended as follows: no elephants, no Heavy Knights, and no foot Knights.

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

Communal Italians: Commanders Giancarlo Minotti (the Brilliant), Giangalleazzo Liberti(merely Competent), Randolpho Raisuli (also merely Competent).       
       2 Communal militia spearmen, pavise
       2 Halberdiers, swordsmen, 2HW
       6 Communal militia spearmen
       2 Mixed Hi spear / LMI crossbow
       2 Communal crossbowmen, pavise
       2 Light infantry bowmen
       2 Italian knight, impact (Elite)

       2 Light Horse Crossbow

The Board:
Kevin had noted my comfort level at defending in the plains, having read my battle reports from NJ Con and observing the two previous games that day.  Or, it could be that I had my terrain picks out before the initiative rolls were made.  So far, every game, I was defending in the plains, and won 4 out of 5 games.  So, he decided to throw me a curveball, and have me defend in the woods instead.  The end result was in the Anglo-Irish deployment zone was a a gully, a wood, and a wooded hill.  Very tight quarters.

The gap between the wood and the wooded hill was just 5 units wide.  So the Irish deployed bowmen on the wooded hill and placed ambushes in the gully on the right, and wood to their left.

Turn 1:

Minotti commands his Italians to race across the board.

Unmanned fortifications, and an ambush.  The Italians know something is there, but what?

On the right, the Raisuli directs his Medium Foot to ignore the ambush in the gully and run forward.

The Italian Light Horse has only bows, the Irish Light Horse has Javelins.  So this is a straight up die roll.  I was thinking I am spending a command either way to go forward or retreat.  If I win, then great!  If I lose, then I don't have to figure out were to put the Irish Horse in my packed line.  As it was, the dice tied, so this fight will run another turn.
An ambush is revealed.  Longbow and Javelinmen man the barricades.  But in a case of the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing, the Longbow now don't have a target because of the Light Horse charge.  Two Longbow units move into the wood in an attempt to swing around the Italian Knights flank.

This is another case of me just not knowing what to do.  In retrospect I should have put all that horse in the ambush.  But I didn't think I could put the Knights and Nobles withing 4 IU of the edge of the board.
Turn 2:

Liberti decides that there is no percentages where he is deployed and leads his Knights behind the lines.
The Irish Light Horse take a hit.

The other ambush is revealed.  The Longbow take a hit in the missile exchange.

The first kill.

A poor picture.  The Javelin armed Kerns charge the Italian Bowmen and score a hit.
Turn 3:
The Italian Light Infantry is killed, but the trade off was an Anglo Longbowmen.  The hill is not looking secure.
In the center and Anglo-Irish left, not much was happening.  The Italians holding back till the fight on the right was won, the hill secured, and the Anglo-Irish flank turned.

Turn 4:
The Anglo-Irish Longbow sweep too much longer than expected.  And with the redeployment of the Italian Knights it was somewhat pointless.  Now it was just an effort to get them into any useful position.
Exploiting a gap in the forts, and the exposed flank, the Italian Light Horse charge!  Despite their advantages, the dice rolled unfavorable, and the Light Horse took a hit.
The Anglo-Irish Foot turn, but do not score.  The Italian Spearmen begin their final approach.
Turn 5:

The Italian Light Horse decides to disengage.  One of them was destroyed by Longbow fire as they fled.

The fight on the hill is going totally the favor of the Italians.

Turn 6:

The wooded hill is mostly cleared, and totally in control of the Italians.

More poor pictures.  This is the third game, and I am getting tired.  This is the Anglo-Irish left flank.  Shooting from the Longbow is being felt against the Spearmen. 
The Galloglaich charge!  This went well for the Scots Heavy Infantry winning 3 of 4 fights.  The even won the fight where they were flanked by the Medium Foot on the hill.  My one question is why did the Anglo Knights hold back?  Without the support of the Italian spear, the one loss would have been a tie.

The Anglo-Irish have turned the Italian right flank as well.  The Italian Light Horse evaded away, exposing the Knights to Longbow fire. 
The Anglo-Irish right flank has been turned as well.  Units are dying everywhere.
Turn 7 or is it 8?:

The Italian Knights, after spending most of the game trying to become the reserve force, winds up being where it didn't want to be.  In range of 3 Longbow units, 2 of them behind barricades.

Generals are all in for this melee!  Spearmen are dropping!  Knights are charging!  Despite the Anglo-Irish losing their right flank, the score is about 16 up.
Turn 8 or 9:

Anglo Longbowmen fall to the Knights, which are still being shot by others safely out of reach.  Irish Javelinmen lose to a Heavy Spear, but their mission was to support the Irish Nobles, which win.  The Anglo Knights totally destroy opposing Spear units.  Two Galloglaich units are destroyed, but with the help of a general the others fight on.  The final break-point is reached.  The Anglo-Irish have 18, the Italians 21.

What went wrong?  Part of the problem is I thought I had superior terrain friendly troops.  Just because they can go in the woods, doesn't mean they can fight in the woods.  Most of my woods troops are Longbowmen.  The others are Javelinmen.  I have a lot of terrain friendly troops, but they are not very combat worthy.

At the beginning in the "terrain adjustment" phase.  I closed the gap of the woods to the wooded hill.  Giving me no maneuvering room for my Cavalry and Galloglaich.  That restriction gave my opponent all the information he needed.  He knew exactly where I was going to be and took his time lining up the shots.

On the right flank, I didn't know I could put any troops in the ambush.  As it was 5 IU's from the edge I put in a Longbow and the Kerns.  The Kerns within the 4 IU limit and thus a legal deployment.  Now I realize I could have put anything there.  I should have but the Longbow and 3 horse units there.  Knights coming out of the Gully against Medium Infantry, and supported by Longbow?  That would have been a different story.  Even if my battle was defeated they would have gone down fighting instead of useless maneuvering around the corner.

On the left, I spent too much effort trying to swing around two Longbow units.  They did get there but it could have been done more efficiently then traveling through the wood.  A lot of command points for little gain.

On the other hand, despite my errors, it was a close game.  Not bad against two opponents, both of which "had read my book".


  1. Another great report Phil. I agree that had your cav been in the gully as an ambush the Italian medium foot would have had their hands full

  2. Phil, you are fast becoming the US version of Madaxeman. Great job.