Friday, September 23, 2016

Hasdrubal vs Scipio

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Regency at Providence Community Center, Phoenixville, Pa
Event:    Providence Gamer's Game Knight
Players: Phil Gardocki playing Cornelius Scipio of Rome
                  Bruce Potter playing Hasdrubal Barca of Carthage

Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, about 200 points per side.

The Scenario:
      The Carthaginian High council has decided the war effort must be supported, and has authorized Hasdrubal Barca, brother of Hannibal to lead reinforcement effort.  Crossing the Alps in the same manner as his brother, his forces are bolstered by Gallic tribes.  Marching south to meet with his brother in Umbira, he is brought to battle by Cornelius Scipio along the river Metaurus.

The Forces:
   Republican Roman: Commanders  Cornelius Scipio, Darryl and Darryl
      8 Legionaries, Heavy Infantry, Sword, Impact, Armor

      2 Triarii, Heavy Infantry, Spear, Armor (elite)
      1 Medium Cavalry
      2 Extraordinarii Medium Swordsmen (elite)
      1 Greek Thureophoroi Medium Swordsmen
      1  Elephant (mediocre)
      3 Light Foot Javelins (2 elite)
      2 Illyrians Light Horse Javelins

Carthaginian: Commanders  Hasdrubal Barca, Megon Barca, and Weretheheck Awe
       3  Elephants
       4 African Spearmen, Heavy Infantry, Spear, Armor (elite)
       6 Gallic Warriors,  Heavy Infantry, Sword, Impact
       2 Heavy Cavalry (elite)
       4  Light Cavalry, Javelins

The Board:
The Romans win the initiative and elect to attack.  Hasdrubal selects 2 fields to go with his mandatory, a plantation and a coastal area.  Scipio selects a hill and a gully.  The river Metaurus is on the Roman left, along with a well positioned gully.  The rest of the terrain is along the edges of the board an played little part in the battle.

The Carthaginians set up their Gauls double deep in front of their camp.  Their Elephant Corps interspersed with their African Spearmen off on their right.  The far right is their Cavalry Command.

Scipio set his Auxiliary command of 3 Medium Foot and an Elephant on the right.  A command consisting of 2 Triarii, 2 Legions, 2 Light Horse, and a Velite on the left.  The center command consisted of 6 Legions and a Medium Cavalry unit which wasn't packed, and so failed to show.  We will decimate their ranks later.

The view from the Roman right.
The view from the Roman left.
Scipio takes command of the center.
Hasdrubal has command of the Elephants and the Elite African Spear.
The Carthaginians have Heavy Cavalry and 4 Numedian Light Horse.  Megon's cavalry outnumber the Roman Light Horse 3-1.
The Gallic foot are crowded in between a plantation and a field.
Turn 1:

The Roman right flank double times across the field.
As does Scipio's center and Darryl's left flank legions.
Cautiously the left flank Velites advance.
The View from the Roman center.
The Gauls march forward.   The front slides left, the second rank slides right.
Hasdrubal's center advances, but not quickly.
An early charge by Spanish Light Horse on the Velites.  Which scamper safely across the gully.
Turn 2:

The Roman line advances slowly.  They are still out of charge reach.
The Roman lights split up.  Their job is delay the superior Carthaginian horse for 4 or 5 turns.
Seeing an opportunity to fight only half the Gauls, the Roman Medium Foot and Elephant initiate the fight.
And do OK for the first round.  The only problem is the Legions are too far back to support the next turn.
A Gallic Warrior is rallied.  Reinforcements are moved up.  The Roman right flank begins to take some hits.

Megons lights decide to shoot it out with the Roman lights.  While his Heavy Cavalry turns the flank of the Roman left.  However, Hasdrubal's center does not advance into charge range.
Turn 3:
Larry rolls a one for command points, and since he is all in on the Elephant fight, this allows him to do nothing else turn.

Scippio closes to short range.
The Triarii turn to face the Heavy Cavalry.
Hits accrue all around on the flanks.
The Elephants charge!  Both cause a pair of hits.

The main lines make contact.  The Romans win most of the exchanges, including destroying two units on the flanks.
Larry's Elephants stomp the Gauls.
Turn 4:
A Summation so far.  On the Roman right we have a lack of decisiveness.  Despite their advantage in numbers, Megon's Cavalry is shooting about even with the Roman Light Horse.  The center lines have met, with the impacts are a bit in the Romans favor, with 3 legions have been hit hard, compared to 4 damaged units of the Carthaginians.  On the Roman right, the Gallic Warriors are beginning to disintegrate. 

Larry's attempts to rally his troops have failed, probably because they were too busy fighting!  Both Elephants take hits.
While the rest of the Roman line experiences victory after victory.
The Velites move closer to the Carthaginian camp, and discovered it is not fortified at all.  They just put up some sticks to make it look fortified.
Rome's Numidians approach to throw a few javelins. 
At the bottom of the turn, the Carthaginian casualties continue to pile up.
It is not entirely a one sided fight, but the numbers continue to favor the Romans.
Megon releases one Heavy Cavalry to chase off the Numedians.  The Roman left flank is well and truly turned.
But so is the Carthaginian left.  The Gallic Warriors are mostly gone, and the Carthaginian camp has fallen. 
With the camp's 4 points, the game is over.  The score is 19 -9
While this seems like a minor flank action, this was the most important part of the plan.  The Roman Lights had to distract the Carthaginian Cavalry long enough for the main force to do it's job.  And they did their part well.

A lot went right for the Romans and the victory points showed it.  But a couple of things did go wrong and could have been disastrous.  The right flank command, all medium foot and elephants got more than a turn ahead of the main line.  It was an attempt to catch the Gallic Warriors while they were still bunched up.  But it could have been the Romans defeated in detail instead.  A little bit of luck swung that battle in their favor.

The left flank of the Roman main line needed lag a bit as well.  The Triarii are not there to fight in the main line but to deter cavalry on the flanks.  Instead one wound up fighting an elephant, and almost died in the process.  Leaving only one Triarii to perform the function of flank guards. If there were more Carthaginian cavalry, or they had sweeped the lights better that single Triarii would have fallen quite rapidly.  As it was, that single Triarii would have received a charge to front and flank next turn.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Historicon 2016 Medieval Tourney Round 3

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center
Event:    Historicon's L'Art de la Guerre's Medieval Tournament, Round 3,
Players: Phil Gardocki, running Anglo Irish
                  Dale Shanek, running Mongols.
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 200 points per side.
Theme: Medieval.  No Heavy Knights, No Foot Knights, No Elephants. 

The Forces:
   Anglo Irish: Commanders  Larry, Darryl and Darryl, all barely competent.
      4 Galloglaich, Heavy Swordsmen, 2HW (elite)
      2 English Longbowmen (elite)
      2 Anglo Knights, Medium Knights, Impact (elite)
      4 Longbowmen
      2 Irish Nobles, Heavy Cavalry
      2 Light Cavalry, Javelin 
      2 Kerns, Light Infantry, Javelin 
      2 Irish Foot, Javelinmen, Javelin

Larry with 5 Galloglaich, 4 Longbow,
Each Darryl with a Light Horse, Light Foot, Longbow, Javelin-man,  Anglo Knight and the Irish Nobles.

Mongols: The Great Khan, a Strategist of great renown, is too sly to allow this kind of information loose.  

The Board:
The Mongols win the initiative and elect to attack in the plains.  After the terrain rolls, the Mongol side of the board is bare save a gully in the corner.  While the Anglo-Irish side has 2 fields, and a hill.

The Mongols deployed with a dominant right wing strategy, with 8 units of horse, and 4 of foot.  The center and right had just 4 just units of horse each.

The Anglo-Irish deployed with their primary strength, 4 Galloglaich and 4 Longbow in the center.   But 2 of each were hidden behind the hill.  On each flank were 6 units, 3 each horse and foot.  But on the left flank only the lights were visible, the rest also hidden in ambush.

Turn 1:
Genghis Khan, Mongolian Empire, Histioricon, L' Art de La Guerre
When I asked Dale what army he was running, he just sat there.

The Mongol left and center, looking thin.

The Mongol right and center.  Obviously he is going to try to try a right wing attack.

Darryl on the right is not looking worried.
My other General Darryl is not looking so confident.
Turn 1:
This is the last game of Historicon, and I am tired and foggy.  The Mongols are the army most unlike my own.  All maneuver.  While mine is as close to unmaneuverable as possible.  On the other hand, he only has 9 combat worthy units.  And vulnerable to longbow. 

The hordes left flank moves first.  To pin my forces down.
The center moves cautiously forward.
Their right, as expected moves forward aggressively. 
Darryl's lights are outnumbered 3-1.
The first ambush is revealed.  Longbow and Galloglaich come to the top of the hill.  Arrows rain down and damaging a Mongol Migghan.
The other ambush is also revealed.  Longbow behind fortifications, supported by heavy horse.  The lights don't even try to stop the force in front of them.  Let them come to us.
Darryl decides he can win this fight and starts to pull his command together.
Turn 2:
The Mongols recall their disordered Migghan and begin to vector their right and center onto the hill.  It looks like it is going to be a missile fight.
The Mongols on the left advance on the Irish in the field.  Of frame, Darryl's Longbow reaches out and touches another Mongol Migghan.
Uncharacteristically, the Mongols run out command points, giving the Irish Lights a chance to escape.
Sorry for the lousy picture.  Darryl launches into an attack.  Knights run off the lights, and the Nobles run off the the Mongol Heavies.
More shooting, more disorder upon the Mongol ranks.
Turn 3:
The lines are forming up.  More missile hits.
The Longbow have left the hill, but shoot solid here as well.

Darryl also was short on command points and just adjusts his line a bit.
Turn 4:

The Great Khan continues to shift his focus.  But even he cannot be everywhere at once.  A Zuun of lights receives a flight of arrows and are dispersed.    Other Migghans accrue disorder.

Hard choices.  Maneuver and keep disorder, stay put to rally and keep getting shot.
However, the Mongol arrows are finally finding their marks as well.
Turn 5:

Mongol bowmen, seeing a the ranks of the Irish waver, push on.

The Irish foot are definitely wavering here.
Turn 6:
Irish Light Horse charge and are destroyed on contact, but they present an opportunity as the Irish Nobles strike home.

The only viable combat units for the Irish are the Irish Nobles and the Anglo Knights.  But most of the Mongol army has cohesion hits.
The Irish left is not faring so well.  They were losing the missile exchange against the Mongol foot bow, who are pressing their advantage.  But on the far left, Anglo Knights are actually fighting a Mongol Heavy Cavalry unit.  But it is in the field with a -2 modifier that is a killer.

On the right, the Irish Nobles win their fight, routing a Migghan, causing further cohesion loss the one behind it.
Despite the collapsing left flank, there is an opportunity here.  The I have the Mongol army bowed.  They can move or they can rally.  Either way the Irish are going to collapse them like an egg.

Another poor picture.  The Irish foot, despite being damaged and outnumbered continues to hold.  Clan O'Lyre, (white flag) advances to take shots that would be striking the Longbow instead, giving them a chance to recover.
Turn 7:

Faced with nothing but bad options, a Migghan charges the Longbow.

The Mongol Foot bow finally destroy the Irish foot.  But they are scattered and there is little they can do to effect the battle. 

This fight has been going on since turn 5.  Time to finish it.  The especially since Darryl doesn't have to worry about his Javelin men or Longbow any more.  Irish Light Horse take a Migghan in the rear.

Clan O'Lyre runs a Migghan off, but now they will return with a flank charge.  Which frankly we accept. 
For the life of me I don't know what the dead marker is for.  All the Longbow and Galloglaich are accounted for, and there are no Mongol foot on that side of the board.

The Mongol line however continues to compress.

Another Mongol cavalry dies to the combined shooting and support.
Turn 8:
This was not a long game, but it certainly moved fast.

Two more combat rounds and still no resolution here. 
Turn 9:
The Mongols spend their points in the center and right retreating before the longbow.  The Irish left is going to be a total loss, which will be worth it if I can get the center.

The Anglo Knights have fallen.

I am sorry, I don't have any good closing shots.  The game was called on time.  The Irish had lost 10 points, while the Mongols lost 14.  It was a good fight.

What went right?  Instead of running my Galloglaich as a solid unit of 4, I broke them up, each paired with a Longbow unit.  The thought is whatever could take the Longbow, didn't want to fight the Galloglaich.  And whatever ran away from the Galloglaich, the Longbow could reach out and touch it.

I still am having trouble with the flank commands.  The Swiss Army Command seemed to work well, but, I am beginning to attribute that to luck.  It is a command that intrinsically has 3 parts, and a General that sometimes can only command only 1 or 2 a turn.  It's structure alone contains the seeds of its own defeat.