Saturday, November 19, 2016

Later Polish vs Nikephorian Byzantine at Fall In

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Lancaster Host, Lancaster Pennsylvania.
Event:    HMGS's Fall-In
Players: Phil Gardocki running Later Polish
                  Mike Mallamaci, running Nikephorian Byzantine.
Game System: Warrior Ancients 1600 point Tournament, Round 1

The Forces:
The Pole's:
Commander with 2 SHK, L, Sh and 3 HC, L, SH
Sub General with 2 SHK, L, Sh and 3 HC, L, SH
Knights Zielony I Czerwony, 6 SHK, L, Sh (Green and Red)
Knights Zielony I Ugier, 6 SHK, L, Sh (Green and Yellow)
Knights Pointa Z Lanca, 6 SHK, L, Sh (Point of the Spear)
Lithuanian Sub with 5 HC, JLS,L,SH
Lithuanians 12 Irreg'B' LC,JLS,B,SH
2 Wallachians LC,JLS,B,SH
2 Heavy Cavalry, CB
2 Bombards, with 8 crew.
2 Polish Axmen with 8 HI, 8 MI, 2HCT, Sh
1 Bowmen 12 LMI, 2HCW, B, Sh
Handgunners 12 LHI,HG

1602 points, 50 scouting points

Nikephorian Byzantine:
5 or so units of Cavalry
5 or so units of Skutatoi, 4 with Long Spear, Dart, 1 with Heavy Throwing Weapon

2 units of Varangians
Miscellaneous Light Infantry and Cavalry 

Special General's Rules.
For Fall In, the usual General's characters are supplemented as follows:

A General with a character roll of 5 can be Bold or re-roll on Special General’s table. The CIC can choose to roll regardless if he wants to.
1 Bleeder. General has a physical defect that makes him more prone to a catastrophe. In Hand to Hand, if the Bleeder's unit takes 2 CPF or more, and makes  a unmodified melee roll of -2, -3, or -4, forces a catastrophe.  In  preparatory  shooting,  if  the Bleeder's unit is takes 2 CPF and the missile fire die roll is +2 or higher, forces a catastrophe.
2 Inattentive. General is sick or wounded. General gets only 10 prompt points a turn.
3 Efficient General gets 20 prompt points
4 Brave, General’s unit always adds an additional +1 in melee (So a down 3 roll for a Regular B General is even).
5 Inspirational. Unit with general is never uneasy. If the General is the CIC then all units within 120 paces are never uneasy.
6 Great. General is Efficient, Brave,  and Inspirational. 

The Polish CIC is Efficient.  The Lithuanian General is Cautious, and the Sub General is Bold.

The Board:
It is a sunny day, somewhere in the Arabian Peninsula, where for God-only-knows-why, that the Byzantines decided to settle their disputes with the Polish.  There are sand dunes, rocky areas, and an oasis.  Just the thing for a cavalry army.

Queue the theme to "Lawrence of Arabia". 

The Polish are organized into 3 commands.  The CIC has 8 units including all the infantry.  The second command consists of a Polish Sub-General and 2 units of Knights, a Heavy Cavalry armed with Crossbow, and a Light Cavalry unit.  The Lithuanians have a Heavy Cavalry General and 2 Light Cavalry.

The Polish have anchored their line on the Oasis, drawing diagonally towards the center of the board, with a halberdier unit hanging on the right.  To the far right is the Lithuanian command.  My thought is the Byzantines will largely deploy in the the gap between the two sand dunes and into my combined missile units of bombards, handguns and bow, while the flanks of his attack will face my Knight command on the left, and the Lithuanians picking off his right.

Turn 1:
The Byzantines "lose" the initiative roll, and so move second.
The Lithuanians press the right flank.  They are opposed by an 8 man Light Horse unit, a 4 man Light Infantry unit and an Extra Heavy Cavalry unit.  But all his units are regular, and mine irregular. I  have the advantage in mass and shooting, but he has the advantage in armor, maneuverability, and terrain.  So this is probably a wash here.  While a win here would be nice, the main goal is to prevent a wrap around of the flank. 
The Lithuanians close in on the Byzantine LC.  These pictures are horrible, so sorry about that. 
The main Byzantine line is approaching the Polish line.  The Byzantines are opening a huge gap to avoid being shot at by the Bombards. 

The Polish Sub General Command has wait orders.  I don't want to fight in the Sand Dunes.
There is always one.  Byzantine Light Infantry turns the flank of the Oasis.
Skutatoi's advance.
The view from the Polish left flank.
Turn 2:
The Byzantines "lose" the initiative roll, and so move second. 

The Polish Commander waves his banner.  This will change two of his commands from Wait to Attack next turn.

What I did not know at this time was Mikes Sub-General was miss behaving.  He wanted a cautious advance, and gave him wait orders, but being Rash, the general upped the orders to Probe.  Forcing a quicker advance than intended.
The Byzantine army forms up.  Light Horse to take shots from the Bombard, Heavy Cavalry to charge my loose order troops.  Long Spear Skutatoi to hold my knights.
The Wallachian Light Cavalry are delaying the advance of a number of Byzantine units, including both Varangians.
The Poles send their XB armed HC to run off the Light Infantry.  My experience with the HC XB is this is about all they can handle.
The Byzantines counter back.  Given a chance, I'll charge the Byzantine LC to run it off the board.
The LI is going to be an annoyance here.
The lines close very slowly.
Turn 3:
The Byzantines "lose" the initiative roll, and so move second. 

The Byzantine Sub-General continues to ignore his commanders prompting.  Half the army has Wait or Hold orders and the other half have Probe. 

Most of the Polish Army now has Attack orders.
If I move first, the Byzantines will maneuver on my flanks.  So I'll be patient for now.
The Bombards fire, and roll a +1.  16@4 is 48, doing 6 CPF to the Byzantine Light Cavalry.  The Byzantines trying to get their HTW armed Skutatoi's onto the Polish Halberdier.  The Polish Sub General lines up his lancers for a charge.

The Wallachians continue to delay the advance of the Byzantine right flank.  The flanking Byzantine Light Infantry roll a +3,  disordering the Crossbow armed Heavy Cavalry they are facing.
Lances lowered, the Knights Pointa Z Lanca, and their General charge.
And roll too well.  Skutatoi shatter to the wind, throwing morale checks all round, but all the Byzantines pass.

I say I rolled to well, because I wanted to burst through the Skutatoi, not break it.  The Byzantine CIC was right behind them, and the burst though would have caught him on the flank, a guaranteed rout.

Nothing to look at here.
The Wallachians stood as long as they could, but pelted by dart a arrow, retire from the field.
Turn 4:
The Byzantines "lose" the initiative roll, and so move second. 

The Byzantine Sub-General continues to ignore his commanders prompting. 
With a break on the board, and Attack orders, the Polish Infantry line moves forward.  Causing 2 CPF with Handguns is a automatic waver check. 
The Polish Halberdiers  compress and are intended to cross in front of the bombard to attack the Skutatoi being shot at by Bow and Hand Gun.  It will take them a couple of turns to get there though.  The Knights Zielony I Ugier (Green and Yellow, not a very imaginative name) Take advantage of the compressed Halberdiers to line up a shot on the next Skutatoi.
Feeling the need to do something, the Byzantines push on their left flank.
While on the far left, the Heavy Cavalry Crossbow has recovered it's order and is now advancing.
As a surprise, it wasn't the Skutatoi that charges Pointa Z Lanca, but a Byzantine General.  Hit in the flank, Pointa Z Lanca is disordered, but not broken.
This line begins to close. 
Turn 5:
The Byzantines "lose" the initiative roll, and so move second. 

The Byzantine Sub-General finally accepts his commanders orders, but really too late to do any good.
On the right, Byzantines charge and recall.

A Polish disaster. The Knights Green and Yellow charge and break the Byzantine Sub General.  But most of the Byzantine units pass their waver checks.  Meanwhile the Byzantines double up on the Knights Point of the Spear, breaking it as well.  The gap between the Knights Green and Yellow and the Halberdiers is about 110mm, just short of the required 120mm.  The Halberdiers are carried away!  The Polish Sub-General, faced with 2 waver checks, rolls double 1's.  His Wallachians see it and Shake, placing his command in retirement.  The bombards shake as well.  Off on the right, the Byzantines also managed to sneak in a flank charge on the end of the infantry line, routing the Halberdiers there.

The game was called on time here.  The score was a 4-2 win for the Byzantines.


  1. Sorry for the Polish...but a nice report, beautiful armies!

  2. Great report!!
    I run Byzantines so it was really interesting.
    I have to learn how to do the pic thing..