Friday, December 1, 2017

L' Art de la Guerre Andelusian Arabs vs Burmese

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Lancaster Host, Lancaster Pennsylvania.
Event:    HMGS's Fall-In
Players: Phil Gardocki running Burmese

                  Chris Corman, Andalusian Arab
Game System: L' Art de la Guerre, 15mm, 200 points

The Forces:
The Burmese, led by the Kings Narathihapate, Pagan and Pagan, all Competent.
      5 Elite Elephants, full fat.
      4 Medium Spearmen
      6 Bowmen
      2 Elite Medium Swordsmen, 2HW
      4 Light Infantry, Bow
      1 Elite Light Infantry, Firearm

      Who knows?   The list has Heavy Cavalry Impact, Light Cavalry Javelin, Heavy Spearmen and a couple of Javelinmen.  There is an option for Impetuous Knights which I think were there.


About the Kings.
Anyone that has read my Anglo-Irish battle reports knows of my running joke of naming my generals Larry, Darryl and Darryl.  So too, the Kings Pagan and Pagan.  But it is not entirely a joke. Using Wikipedia as a single source.  Burma had a number of kingdoms, some were merely city-states, but the name Pagan was a common royalty name.  I can't say they took to the field together, but the possibility existed. 

The Board:
The last fight for the weekend.  The Burmese go into this with a win and a mutual destruction.  The Andalusian's win the initiative and elect to attack in the plains.  They select a plantation and a road, while the Burmese select a hill, 2 fields, and a gully.  After all the dicing, the majority of the terrain is on the side of the Burmese.

The Andalusians deploy all their cavalry on their right. with strong infantry in the center.
On their left is another strong infantry force.
On the Burmese left, King Pagan deploys with 2 elephants, and 6 infantry units, armed with bow and spear.
I found a wonderful camp at the flee market.  It comes in 3 pieces to suit size and plan.  King Narathihapate deploys with one elephant  and three supporting foot units visible.
The other King Pagan with only his elephant and their runners visible.
(ok, I have been watching too much anime this weekend)

Andelusians race across the board.  Picking up a missile hit for their trouble.
Their light horse splits to screen both their right and center command.
Their left command advances without fear.
King Pagan opts not to advance at all.  Arrows loose, and 3 light horse are now disordered.
King Narathihapate reveals his ambush.  Another elephant ascends the crest of the hill.
King Pagan also reveals his ambush.  Archers trade missile fire.
Turn 2:
Operating on the assumption Javelinmen are good against elephants.  Andelusian javelinmen enter the fields.  The damaged horse archer line retreats for a reorganization, while the remaining horse archers, relying on their speed gang up on the corner of King Pagan's line.
Andelusian spearmen enter missile range, and begin to take hits.
The Andelusian left halt, rally, and continue to shoot.

Burmese bowmen cut off the Andelusian horse archers, preventing them from evading.  They are attacked with spearmen, with elephant support, and King Pagan.  The Andelusian horse blow the spots off the dice, and survive.
The Burmese center holds it's ground, awaiting results from the left.
As noted earlier, meh.

The Burmese have 1 point towards their demoralization level of 22.
The Andelusian Arabs are 5 points towards their demoralization level of 24.

Turn 3:
Andelusian horns signal the charge!  Javelinmen charge in the field, and are defeated.  Their horse runs down a bowman and a light infantry unit.
The Andelusian heavy spear units are picking up numerous hits from missile fire.
The other heavy foot approaches the lone elephant on the hill.

At the bottom of the turn, Andelusian javelinmen are destroyed., A heavy cavalry is disordered, a light horse is also destroyed.
With 3 disorders on the infantry line, and with overlaps on both sides, and the potential of trapping some cavalry, King Narathihapate orders a charge.  One heavy spearmen is trampled into the mud.  There was a cost though in Burmese Bowmen.
With the approach of heavy infantry, King Pagan retreats his elephant.

The Burmese are 9 points towards their demoralization level of 22.
The Andalusian Arabs are 14 points towards their demoralization level of 24.

Turn 5:
In a daring move, Andalusian horse charges an elephant in the rear and scores!
The Andalusian center is near collapse.  Another Heavy Spear falls, but so too, a Burmese Bowman.  In the rear, impetuous knight are held in check by the rule that even impetuous units don't have to charge elephants.
On the Andalusian left, the Heavy spear decides to hold rather than advance into the plantation and hill.

The Burmese are 11 points towards their demoralization level of 22.
The Andalusian Arabs are 15 points towards their demoralization level of 24.

Turn 6:

Save some lights in the background, the Andalusian right flank has all but vanished.
The center has some power left, in the form of a pair of knights and a damaged spear.
On the Burmese right, King Pagan deems he does not have the power to deal with the Andalusian forces arrayed against him.

The Burmese are 11 points towards their demoralization level of 22.
The Andalusian Arabs are 18 points towards their demoralization level of 24.

Turn 7:
One of the problems that must be dealt with in this game, is that the game devolves down to 3, 1 on 1 command combats.  Supporting another command from a current command often tips the balance on that fight, temporarily overwhelming your opponent.  But when you have a blow out win, then the problem is how to reinforce the adjacent command.  

With cavalry armies, this is relatively easy.  They have the maneuverability and the speed.  Elephant and medium foot, not as much.  Close order foot, obviously, is the worst at this.

So, while the Burmese have won the left and center, they still need 6 points to demoralize the  Andalusians.  Their weakest command on the right dares not leave the plantation, as doing so runs the risk of giving the Andalusian's a bunch of points, enough to win the game for them.
The Burmese are totally suffering from hubris here, for example see the above monologue.  Andalusian general throws caution to the winds, and charges and elephant, routing it, then suffers the misfortune of having it rampage through his lines. 
The Andalusian center knights do not have enough command points to turn and leave, and so wheel away from the rout lines of their center command spear units.
On the far flank, the score here is 1 to 1.
King Pagan begins to pull his fragmented force together.

One elephant had turned in order to flank charge the last heavy spearmen in the line, decides to slide and slams a Knight in the rear. From the picture, it looks like he traveled a long arc to get there, but in truth, it was a straight shot, and then conformed on the rear.
Ohhhh, the excitement!  The score is now 1-2

The Burmese are 15 points towards their demoralization level of 22.
The Andalusian Arabs are 21 points towards their demoralization level of 24.

And now, for something completely different.  Pike attacking war-wagons.
Turn 8:

The Andalusian commander on the right sees what will happen if he sticks around.  And dives towards the center of the Burmese lines, defended only by a Light Infantry bow.  Just off panel to the lower right is the Burmese camp!
Another cavalry on elephant charge.  This one also started as a flank charge.
Desperate to do something, Andalusian heavy spear split in prep for an assault on the hill.

There are a lot of complications in this frame.  Burmese bowfire is vectored in 3 angles upon the Andalusian General (lower portion of the pane, with the red number 1 on it).  But his armor proves resilient against their arrows. But one of the bowmen ZOC's the General, so he cannot make the charge on the Light Infantry in front of him.  In the center, another elephant catches a knight in the flank and tramples it into the ground.  The two elephants, side by side, offers a comparison of the painting styles between the one I bought, (further away in lighter grey) and my own, (nearer and darker)
A Burmese spear unit is sent to the hill, should Andalusian intentions become real, and time permits.

Final shot.  Two successful rallies for the Burmese.
The Burmese are 13 points towards their demoralization level of 22.
The Andalusian Arabs are 24 points towards their demoralization level of 24.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Timurid Persians vs Swiss at Fall In

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Lancaster Host, Lancaster Pennsylvania.
Event:    HMGS's Fall-In
Players: Phil Gardocki running Timurid Persian
                  Chris Sikorski, running Swiss
Game System: L' Art de la Guerre, 25mm, 200 points

The Forces:
The Persians, lead by Timur "You're not fooling anyone, you know--" Tamerlane,
(Strategist), Babur "what, again?" (Brilliant), and Ulugh "I have to update my LinkedIn profile" Beg (Competent)
      4 Persian Heavy Cavalry, Impact, Bow (elite)
      4 Persian Heavy Cavalry, Bow (elite)
      4 Turkomans, Light Cavalry, Bow (elite)
      1 Light Infantry Bow
      2 Persian Archers, Bowmen (Mediocre)
      2 Timurid Archers, Bowmen
      2 Hostages, Levy Expendable, (Mediocre)
      2 Stampeding Herds
      1 Elephant (skinny)

The Swiss
     Pike are very expensive, elite more so. At deployment we see 9 keils of pike, 3 of halberds, and 5 units of lights, one of which is mounted.

Breakpoint...17 +

The Board:
The Timurids win the initiative roll and elect to attack in the mountains.  There is really no choice here.  The mountains is the only terrain the Swiss have.  The other choice is to have the Swiss attack in the plains.  And quick marching elite pike running across the board?  That is frightening.   The Swiss selected 3 steep hills.  The Timurids selected two fields.  After that, things began to go very wrong for the Swiss. Timur rolled 3 6's on terrain adjustment, and two hills disappeared, the third was moved to his side of the board.  Only a 5 roll by the Swiss put it back in it's original position. 


Babur notes, that in 3 games, he has always been on the left side of the board.
Ulugh Beg also is noting an astonishing lack in variety in battle plans.
Timur is following the texts of ancient wisdom, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  So far, none have pointed out to him that it hasn't worked so well.
A view from the upper right corner.  The Timurids have the advantage of length, but probably not depth.  And a slight advantage in numbers.

Turn 1:

Babur races forward.  His mission is to destroy the lights, and then retire before the pike.
Ulugh Beg's troops advance, but only a march.  They are pretty useless against elite pike, and are so much chaff if caught.  They'll settle now for shooting up the mounted crossbow, then cover Babur's flanks at a distance.
At the point of honor, Timur "I'm getting better", Tamerlane double times it.  He needs to take on the hanging flank of the Swiss.  A note on movement of the Stampeding Herds.  The herds cannot form a group with anything but themselves.  So this movement of 2 herds and 2 Turkomans costs 2 command points if the herds move their full distance of 4 UD's and 3 if they move short.  This is one of the reasons I placed them in Timur, who is a Strategist's, command.  As he may have the extra command points to control them.
An ambush is revealed.  The Swiss are not as few as they pretended.  So much the better.  They angle their lines so that their flanks are no longer vulnerable.
Position and delay is more important than casualties.  The Swiss commander orders their only mounted force to stand far afield, keeping Timur's forces from double moves in the future.

The Timurids have 1 point towards their demoralization level of 18.
The Swiss are 2 points towards their demoralization level of 20.

Turn 2:

Babur rallies his damaged cavalry and then focuses his firepower on the lights to good effect.
The same with Ulugh Beg's archers. 
In what is possibly the first time since they were painted, the cattle were approaching in a controlled manner.
The Swiss adjust their lines, but are not leaving that hill.
Their lights have taken horrific casualties, but there is no way the cavalry is getting through that pike block.
On the Swiss left, the commander steps forward.  He recalls his skirmishers to safety.

The Timurids have 0 points towards their demoralization level of 18.
The Swiss are 6 points towards their demoralization level of 20.
A grammar question here.  I zero actually plural?  Is it 0 points, or 0 point?

Turn 3:
Babur's archers continue to shoot, but are ineffective.

Totally down the line, no hits scored.

Up until the last shot of Timur's command.  The furthermost pike is disordered.
A photo of one of the other games taking place at Fall In.
Ulugh Beg pushes his elephant forward.  Why?  Frankly I have a thought of a unified elephant and cattle charge going in.  Sometimes my tactics are dictated by the narrative and what makes a good photo, and not on winning the game.
Swiss halberdiers are not known for their patience.  They charge off the hill, forcing some cavalry to evade. 
The same on the Swiss left. 

The Timurids are 0 points towards their demoralization level of 18.
The Swiss are 8 points towards their demoralization level of 20.

And a great display piece from the Flames of War group.

Turn 4:

Babur sees an opportunity here.  Medium foot in the open his cavalry can take.  First though, he'll see if he can shoot them up some more.
Arrows fly, but to no effect.
Timur returns to shoot as well, to no effect.
Babur's hopes are dashed as the halberdiers charge again.  Swiss Pike line up in precision to their brothers in arms. Thinking about charging the halberdiers was a bad plan.
Ulugh Beg orders a retreat of his archers, long before the pike get there.

As the cattle are beyond 4 UD's, they cost no command points to maintain their position.
The Timurids have 0 points towards their demoralization level of 18.
The Swiss are 8 points towards their demoralization level of 20.

Turn 5:
Babur't cavalry have fled too far, and cannot get close enough to shoot.  He sends a single Turkoman to probe the flanks
The archers turn their lines to face the pike, but are out of range as well.
The cattle have been herded into charge reach.
The Swiss commander on the right will have none of this probing nonsense, and sends the Turkomans fleeing.
The center mass pike advance into archery range.
On the Swiss left, the Swiss plant their pikes and await the charge they know is coming.

The Timurids have 0 points towards their demoralization level of 18.
The Swiss are 9 points towards their demoralization level of 20.

Turn 6:
With charges on the right all but committed, Babur also orders and leads a charge.  One halberdier unit is caught with overlaps and a general for +4 to a +1. And is almost, but not quite obliterated.
Ulugh Beg doesn't have the same enthusiasm, and in fact retreats his elephant. The cattle will just have to go in alone.
Timur orders his chage.  The cattle strike two keil, one with support.  On the far right two Aswārān's (elite, armor, impact, bow) attack a Swiss keil(elite, pike, disordered)  The dice are rolled, and all the impacts are dead even. 
In response, on the left, the Swiss line up and support their troops.  Too late for their right most halberdier,
Archery is again effective as three keils pick up hits.
The herds of cattle are turned away, One of the Persian Aswārāns is disordered. 

The Timurids are 2 points towards their demoralization level of 18.
The Swiss are 13 points towards their demoralization level of 20.

Turn 7:

Babur starts to wrap around the Swiss Halberdiers.  Archery is crucial here as halberdiers that could be turned to deal with the wrap, are also disordered.
The archers are offered as a sacrifice.  If the pike are killing them, then they are not assisting their beleaguered flanks.  Scoring some missile hits can be considered a bonus.
Timur right most Aswārān  turns and flank charges its nearby keil of pike.  And, due to how things lined up, an gap opens in the Swiss lines.  Turkomans run the gap to the unfortified camp.

His troops becoming demoralized, his camp is endangered, the Swiss commander needs to do something, and continues to charge.  Another Halberdier falls.
The pike in the center stop for rallies, and succeed. 
The Swiss pike with the red, white and blue flags charge, and an Aswārān  evades.  Hopes to loot the camp are dashed, as light infantry ZOC's the Turkomans.
The Timurids are 3 points towards their demoralization level of 18.
The Swiss are 11 points towards their demoralization level of 20.

Turn 8:

Babur has a good position and die rolls.  The Swiss halberdiers are half destroyed, half disordered.
Ulugh Beg's firing line holds firm.
The camp falls.  Timur rallies an Aswārān.
Final shots.

Final shots, center.

Final shots right.
The Timurids are 2 points towards their demoralization level of 18.
The Swiss are 20 points towards their demoralization level of 20.

That is how it was scored, but on reviewing this battle report, it is in error.  The Turkomans could not loot the camp, they were ZOC'ed.  So the score at this point was 2-16, with time on the clock for another turn.  A turn that could see another pike on cavalry charge, and possibly an elephant engagement. On the Persian right, another Swiss halberdier unit probably would have been destroyed, but there was a chance of killing a Persian Aswārān.  On the far right there was a chance (50-50) of destruction of a Swiss Pike, but equally another Persian Aswārān.  I think the game would have been 18-4 to 6.  in the Persians favor.

This makes a big difference in tournament scoring.  A winner gets big points for breaking his opponent, but only a little if he wins but not by knockout.

In the end, I owe an apology to Chris Sikorski for claiming a win I did not earn.