Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Historicon 2016 Open Tourney Round 3

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center
Event:    Historicon's L'Art de la Guerre's Open Tournament, Round 1,
Players: Phil Gardocki running Porus and Son
                  John Lob, running Rus.
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 200 points per side.

Historicon!  The Mecca of miniature wargamers in the USA.  3,000+ gamers descend upon historic Fredericksburg for 3 days of Martians, Mammoths and Mayhem.  Highlighted was the soon to be released Sergeants, Hell on Wheels by Lost Battalion, a massive walk-up game of raiders vs a Gallic migration.  The table was 32 feet long with thousands of figures.  All's Quiet on the Martian Front was represented by a huge field of 30 Tripods verses a hundred plus Steam Tanks.  The WWPD crew were in evidence with a live podcast.  And of course, Ancients.  Three Ancients systems were running strong, "Triumph! Fast Play Rules" seems to be a new comer with a good followingWarrior, which was having a resurgence, and L'Art de la Guerre.

The Forces:
   Classic Indians: Commanders  Porus, Porus (no joke!) and Patel
                                 Represented by elephants with howdah's and the white tiger
                                 skinned chariot.
      4 Elephants (elite)
      3 Heavy Chariots, Impetuous (elite)
      2 Medium Cavalry (mediocre)
      2 Medium Swordsmen (elite)
      6 Mixed Sword (mediocre)/Bowmen (ordinary)
      2 Light Foot Bow
Break point....19

Apologies for the lack of flocking on the Indian troops.  I decided to re-base that morning to more appropriate Medium Infantry basing.

    No list provided.
Break point....23 ish

The Board:
The Indians lose the initiative roll and are attacking in the plains.  They take the required field, a gully, a plantation and a gentle hill.  The Rus take 2 fields.  The Rus have two fields and a gully on their side of the board.  The Indians have a plantation on their left, a field on the right, and a hill at their back.

 The Deployment:
The Indians deploy their Elephant Commands left and right, with the Chariots in the middle.  The right side command  was a bit compressed, and so the archers are in a rank behind the elephants.  On the left there is an ambush in the Plantation with all that commands foot troops.  

The Rus have a large infantry command on their right that will have to cross the gully.  Their center is supported by 5 elements of Light Infantry.  Their left flank has 3 Heavy Cavalry and 6 units of of Heavy Infantry. 

Turn 1:

Attacking is an interesting change of pace.  All elements go forward.  The Patel and Porus's commands seem well suited to the engagement ahead.

Rus Archers is up against Porus's Elephants.  A cavalry unit is spliced off to act as skirmisher.

In ambush is 3 archers and an elite Guardsmen unit. 

A view from Prince Porus's Command Chariot.

The Rus have enough command points to double time past the gully.
Their skirmish line also double times.  They see easy shooting ahead.
Their left flank is slow to advance, their cavalry expanding and their infantry moving at a normal pace.

The Rus right flank is his strong force.  But Porus only had one command point to spend, and advanced himself and the Light Infantry once.  If he had rolled a 2, the Light Infantry could have double timed it causing the Rus force to slow their attack. 

Turn 2:
The ambush is revealed.  The Rus Heavy Infantry will have to think twice before entering the rough.  Meanwhile the bowmen have amble targets against the Rus Lights.

Indian Cavalry charge, running off 2 of the Rus Skirmishers.

Patel's force slows down it's advance to expand it's line.

Prince Porus is holding back.  He doesn't want to charge until everyone is ready.

Not surprisingly, the skirmishers depart.

In an amazing show of archery skill, 3 hits in a row!
Turn 3:

This line is as good as it's going to get.  Patel and Prince Porus advance in unison.

Supported by King Porus's Pachyderms. 

Sensing weakness, Archers and Guardsmen leave the plantation.  The Rus are having command problems as well, causing their center to falter.
Turn 4:

The grand charge!  This is what I wanted, but there are still problems.  The Indians failed to get the overlaps they wanted and one of the Chariots is experiencing Elephant Panic.  It is still mostly good pairings with "Knights" on Cavalry, Elephants on Infantry, Sword on Spear. 

King Porus just misses getting in on the skrum.

The main Rus force stops to rally.  Even with two successes this is a win for the Indians.  The Rus are not moving forward, and are committing themselves to 8 more shots of bow fire.

One Rus unit destroyed, 3 damaged.  4 Indian units damaged.  This is not the favorable result planned.
Turn 5:

King Porus's Elephants join the fray.  This fight is now every major hitter in the Indian army.  Both sides are weakening rapidly.
Sorry for the poor picture.  The Rus right and center commands finally get moving.  They charge the Indians, but luck was not with them. 
This did not go well for Porus and son.  Two chariots were lost and rest of the engagement tied.
Turn 6:

This turn went much better.  All the Rus Cavalry has been destroyed.  Their infantry is fragmented and damaged all down the line.

Patel has joined and rallied his Guardsmen.  His infantry are all undamaged against a fragmented enemy.
Facing a split enemy force with weakened troops, and having a flank opportunity, all of Porus's Infantry surge from the plantation and join this fray.  One res spear falls, and another is damaged.

Rallies work both ways as the Rus commander keeps his force into the fight.  One elephant strikes a spear unit in the rear, but manages to lose its melee anyway.

The Rus see a shooting opportunity here against an elephant with 2 cohesion hits. 

The Rus Center has joined the battle.  The only miracle here is that the Indian Cavalry wasn't destroyed on contact.
Turn 7:
A quick count of points has the Indians winning 7-16.  of the 8 points needed to win, 4 are easily obtainable.  But the Rus have 9 points that they can easily in reach as well.

Two more points as one spear unit falls beneath the swords of Patel's Archers and Prince Porus's chariots takes another spear in the rear.
And just how are these guys even standing?
Not only standing, but still trading units one for one.

The fight for the right flank is all over but for the screaming.

King Porus is looking over this disorganized mess.
Turn 8: 

Only one Rus spear unit left, but he is tenacious.

Elephants charge, scattering lights and cavalry like chaff.  Unless they are shot down, the path to the Rus camp is clear.

The last spear falls on the Rus left flank.  The problem is the Indians only have 20 of the 23 points they need to break the Rus.  There is just no place to get them.

On the Indian left, their command is on it's last point as well.
The Rus Lights continue to try to shoot down a weakened elephant. 

At this point time was called.  The Rus had 15 of 19 points, and the Indians had 20 of 23.  We fought each other to a bloody draw.

This fight was a classic both sides making a strong right flank.  And both were successful at it.  Though the Indians did a better job of it, but it cost them a lot.  The Rus right only only succeeded after the Indian foot left the plantation.  In retrospect that was a bad decision.  They gained 5 points for it, but in the end it cost them 9.  So it was not worth it.

I think both picked a losing strategy here.  Both were doomed to fail for the same reason.  Even if they were overwhelming successful, the question of "then what?" arises.  Neither of these armies have the speed or command points to pull their strong flanks together and continue to do war on their opponents.   Effectively, their strongest commands were now "Combat ineffective".

Had the game lasted another 3 or 4 turns, it would have been a contest of 2 Elephants and a Medium Cavalry against 5 Light Infantry and a Heavy Cavalry.  Over the course of the time the Indians would have pulled in a Light Infantry, a Chariot and two more Elephants while the Rus probably would only have gotten 2 Spearmen.  I think it would have been a chaotic mess.  Both sides looking for luck to either shoot down an Elephant or catch a skirmisher. 

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