Thursday, September 1, 2016

Saturday at Dennis's, Bonus Round

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   On Military Matters Bookstore.  Owner Operator Dennis Shorthouse
Event:    The first of a monthly gaming event.
Players: Phil Gardocki running Anglo Irish
                  Dennis Shorthouse, French Ordinance. 
Game System: L'Art de la Guerre, 200 points per side.
Theme: Open, no restrictions

The Forces:
   Anglo Irish circa 1400: Commanders  Larry, Darryl and Darryl, all barely competent.
      4 Galloglaich, Heavy Swordsmen, 2HW (elite)
      2 Heavy Knights, Impact (elite)      6 Longbowmen,stakes
      2 Irish Nobles, Heavy Cavalry
      2 Light Cavalry, Javelin

      2 Kerns, Light Infantry, Javelin

      2 Irish Foot, Javelinmen, Javelin
   French Ordinance, It was late in the day, I didn't write it down.
Memory tells me there was a lot of Elite Pikemen on the board. 

Dennis has a wonderful bookstore in Hopewell New Jersey, that he has been running for many decades.  Imagine going through a library that is nothing but military history.  If you don't think you knew him, he is a long time supporter of Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, and held the coveted #1 spot in the dealers area for over 20 years.  So if you have been to any of HMGS's events at the Lancaster Host, you probably have met Dennis at some time.

The Scenario:
 There was an odd number of players at the book store, so Dennis just filled in for late arrivals and early departures.  So when he asked for another game I had to say yes.  Fresh from 3 wins today, the Anglo-Irish hit the table again.  Alas, a game too far...

The Board:
The Anglo Irish have lost the roll and must defend in the plains.  In addition to the mandatory field, they chose a gentle hill, a gully and a plantation.  The Byzantines select two fields.  The French Ordinance selected a field, and a river.  A good choice there as it cramped the field considerably, giving the French Ordinance Knights good target choices.

On the right, away from the river is Darryl's Cavalry Command.  I was hoping all the fortifications would be a detriment and it seems it did. 
In the middle, Larry has half the Longbowmen and the the Galloglaich, ready to take advantage of the terrain.
On the left, and very cramped, are the remaining Longbow and Galloglaich

On the Anglo-Irish left, the Cavalry Command is a bit out matched, but not by much.  The Light Horse is equal numbers but the Crossbow out ranges the Javelins  The Knights are even, but the Irish Nobles are matched by Swiss Pikemen.

The French center is all Heavy Infantry.  Lightly supported by skirmishing Hand Gunners.
And filling out the line are more Pike and Longbow.
Turn 1:

Both lines advance.  The Anglo-Irish line is hampered by the terrain, but the match-ups looks good to me.

The centers also quickly close the gap.  But what is going on with the Swiss command?
The first command point roll for the Swiss was a 1!  As an allied contingent, they cannot move unless I wonder too close to them.  This is a great opportunity as a quarter of his army suddenly cannot play.  Darryl, seeing the advantage charges forward.

The Missile fire exchange did not go well for the Irish on round 1, trading 3 hits to 1.
The view from the CIC.
The view from the the left flank.
Turn 2:
The celebration because of the Swiss delay was short lived, as Dennis managed to get them moving on turn 2.  The didn't such march as march after that but ran across the field.

Trading shots, the damaged Longbow tags it's French counterpart.

The French shoot again, and score another hit.  The Swiss double timed and pretty much caught up with the main battle line.
The Irish Light Horse comes in second place in it's impact with the Crossbow armed Light Cavalry
With just 2 command points Larry retreats the Kerns, and sends encouraging words to the Anglo Longbow.
Turn 3:
Things get complicated here.    The French retreat their damaged units but leave some to shoot, to good effect.

Larry is also shouting encouraging words up and down the line.
The Swiss Halberdiers are first to engage.  Larry joins Clan O'Lyre.  This was fortuitous, as the Swiss rolled two higher.  Between Larry and the supporting Longbow, that caused a tie in the dice off.  Clan Ramsay needed no such support and rolled 3 higher causing 2 hits by themselves.
Normally the whipping boys of this army, the Irish Foot charge and win decisively on impact.
Clans Stafford and Jordan engage, but roll ties all round.
The Swiss have their dream match up.  Pike vs horse.  But the Swiss initiated the charge, so the Anglo Knights and Irish Nobles do not lose their Impact, nor does the Pike get their Impact vs mounted charge.  Between that and the blessing from the dice gods, and the Anglo-Irish Cavalry hold.
Turn 4:
The French bring up help.  The Boys from Stafford roll poorly.  The battle on the left is turning in the French's favor.
Clan Ramsay destroys his opponent.  And we have heroic action as Larry Goes 1 on 1 against the Swiss CIC!
And amazingly enough, the Horse line not only is holding the line of Swiss Pike, but is winning in places.

At the bottom of the turn the Irish commit a tactical brain fart. Clan Ramsay, supported Clan O'Lyre, which admitably was struggling.  But they should have turned and flank charged the Pike.  As it was Clan O'Lyre blew the spots off the dice and their opponent as well.  While the Irish Nobles took a hit.  But they would have won the fight if the Pike had been flanked.
On the left, The Anglo Longbow join a fight, and destroy a French bow unit. 
The Boys from Stafford and Clan Jordan are failing fast.
Turn 5:

An Anglo Knight is flanked and destroyed.  A pike unit is being redeployed to bolster the center.

The French are content to shoot it out here.

Clan Jordan is flanked and destroyed
The Swiss Contingent is only a fraction of it's former glory, but enough to deal with the last of Darryl's Knights.

The Boys from Stafford are routed.

Irish Foot charge another French Bow unit.  Another Anglo Longbow unit succumbs to French bows.

At this point the Anglo Irish hit their break point.  The final score, 20-10.

What went wrong?  First I expected an army that had a fair amount of Knights.  Instead they were mostly foot, including 6 units of allied Swiss.  And I almost beat them, but little else.  Second, my deployments are just too complicated.  Something that barely competent generals cannot handle. The Initial fusillade of arrows went poorly, which cascaded to a lot of wasting of command points for rally's.  But that you have to allow for.

I can't blame dice though.  For the fights I lost on the left, I won on the right.

Of course, Dennis is just a better player at this as well.