Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Irish Civil War at HMGS's Cold Wars

A Headless Body Production

Venue:   Lancaster Host, Lancaster Pennsylvania.
Event:    HMGS's Cold Wars
Players: Phil Gardocki running Anglo Irish
                  Frank Gilson, running Boran Norse Irish
Game System: Warrior Ancients 1200 point Tournament, Round 1

I have been coming to the HMGS events at Lancaster Host for a long time, I think I have missed only one of the HMGS events there, ever.  I have stayed in the various "Patel" Hotel's up the street, and just regard them as cheap accommodations that I would not subject anyone else to.  Then there was the horror of Wyndham'a Travelodge up the street that managed to score new lows in whatever evaluation system you might consider.  Yes Virginia, there is a zero star hotel and it is here.  

Meanwhile there is a perfect gem of a motel, two miles away, the Cherry Lane Motor Lodge, that exceeded expectations in almost every way.  It is reasonably close, quiet, inexpensive and takes AARP, and face it, that's most us.   It has none of that smell we have come to expect from ramshackle hotels on route 30.  My stay impressed me enough to take the time to post a write up about them one one of my other blogs.  If you are interested, it is here.

Back to the game.
The Forces:
The Anglo-Irish, Late Period
Commander with + 5 Reg 'B', SHK,
Monty Python's Knights of the Round Table, 6 Reg 'B', SHK
Irish Nobles, 6 Irreg 'B', 1/2 HK, 1/2 HC
Irish Horse, 4 Irreg 'C', JLS, SH

Galloglaich, 2 units of 16 Irreg 'B', 1/2 HI 1/2 MI, 2HCW, JLS, D
           List rule, always fights a rank and half.  Can counter charge if willing, can            
           counter charge impetuously if eager.
Longbow, 1 unit of 48 Reg'D', MI, 1/2 LB, Sh, 1/2 LB, unemplaced stakes.
Bonnachts, 1 unit of 36 Irreg'C' LMI, 1/3 2HCW, JLS, SH, 1/3 JLS, SH, 1/3 JLS
            Capable of skirmish, shield wall and barbarian rush rules.
Kerns, 2 units of Irreg 'C', 1/2 S, SH, 1/2 JLS
Bombards, 1 unit of 2, Reg'C', each with 4 crew.
1199 points, 13 scouting points

Feudal Irish:
Per Franks posting on the Warrior forum:
Sub similar
3 units of 5E Irr B LHI(2)/LMI(3) 2HCW,JLS,Sh(2)/JLS(3) (loose order have to have a 3rd rank in order to use shieldwall)
4 units of 9E Irr D(1 C) LMI 2HCW,JLS,Sh(4)/JLS(5)
2 units of 2E Irr B LHI 2HCW,JLS,Sh (Ostmen)
4 units of 4E Irr C LI JLS,Sh
4 Irr C LI JLS,Sh/JLS 

I am pretty much a 1 trick pony with 25mm Warrior.  I actually do have 4 25mm armies, Islamic Persian, Maurikian Byzantine, Later Polish, but my love is with the Anglo Irish.

My list had some major shuffling this year though.  Walter Leech convinced me to buy a set of figures based on Monty Python's Knights of the round table, viewable here:  Once I had them, I had to play them.  

But the Anglo Irish list is not easily adjustable.  To add a unit of Knights where there were none before is hard to do.  You see, the minimum requirements for the Anglo-Irish army is considerable, possibly higher than any other army.  12 elements each of Longbow, Irish Foot, and Kerns.  Then a minimum of 2 elements of Irish Cavalry and counting the CIC, that is 39 elements you must pay for before you can get to the goodies of the list.  To shoe horn 124 points of knights into a 1200 list, well something must go.

Then I also made a decision to break out the bombards.  I know they are useless, and they proved so yet again, but they look good in the pictures, so I added them.  While my main foot units, the Galloglaich, were pared away to make room  for the interlopers. 

The Board:
The board had 5 pieces of terrain, fairly evenly distributed.  2 fields and a rocky hill on one side, a "built over area" and a wood on the other.  The coast line is really just making the edge of the board, as this was only 1200 points, and the table is only 6 feet wide vice 8.
On the left, a rocky hill and 2 fields.  On the right a wood and a village.
This piece was a real pain to play on.  The figures were constantly falling out of position.  Frank and I just kept a running tally of the distances between them.
Turn 1:
On the left, the Irish Light Horse challenges the much larger unit of LMI.  They only need to delay their advance.  On the rocky hill is hidden a unit of Kerns.
The Kerns are protecting flank of this large unit.  Effectively screening off half the board with 250 points of the army.  This should allow the Galloglaich and the Bonnachts to do their work without worrying about their flanks.
The Bombards are ready to fire.  But as usual, they only have LI to shoot at. 
To their right are the Galloglaich of Clan Ramsay, and to their right, a large unit of Bonnachts.
I compressed the line too much, as Clan O'Lyre has to go to a column.
In retrospect, this was not a bad plan, but it was poorly executed.  Or, it could be said that Frank had a better feel of the board, and had more and better troops to take advantage of the terrain.

Stonehenge, the traditional camp of the Irish :)  How can it be looted?  What are you going to do to a 22 ton block of stone?

The Irish Light Horse is charged and evades.  Nothing new here.

The Longbow send off a unit of Kerns.
Clan Ramsay also sends off their opposing Kerns.
On the right flank, the rest of the lines are just closing up.
Turn 2:
The Norse Irish continue to push forward.  They have what they need to take out the Longbow, who are only 'D's. But Frank really wants that flank, so they are moving forward cautiously. 
Just right of center, the clash of arms occurs.  Impetuous Bonnachts collide. The Norse Irish roll up two!
And so it begins.  The Anglo Irish Bonnachts, who has mass, 36 to 18, Barbarian Rush rules for an additional 6 figures, and +1 JLS on top of 2HCW front rank, roll a down 3.
Clan Ramsay fails their waver, and the disaster has started.
The Bonnachts didn't even have the courtesy to run far.
Plan 'B', send in the CIC.
Turn 3:
Clan Ramsay receives a charge, passes their waver, then muffs the die roll.
The Knights of the Round Table along with the CIC charge.  They are the two foot elements upper left, and rout their Irish foes.  The CIC is then flanked by Light Infantry .  Clan O'Lyre, the close order foot in front of the CIC (Green Knights), is in rout.  Caused be a flank charge for being too close to the Built Over Area.

The Kerns in the Built Over Area, are charged to the point where they see the routs, shake, and will no longer be a factor in this game either.

The Bombards survive their waver check, as too every Norse Irish.
On the left, an ambush is revealed.  A unit of Kerns on the hill.
Turn 4:
The Kerns are charged, and put off a flank charge by the Longbow for another day.
The Longbow unit, though large, has its fire split 3 different ways.
The Bombards have nought but skirmishing lights to shoot at.
The Knights of the Round Table destroy all their foes, and must rally forward.
Clan O'Lyre, looks for a 120 pace gap and finds one.  The routers turn 180 degrees to get to it.
Even though the Anglo-Irish had not yet hit their breakpoint of 6, I surrendered.  I only had one impact unit left, and it was tired and alone.  The Norse Irish routed 4 units of Anglo-Irish, and having only one routed in turn.  Giving Frank a 5-1 win.

What went wrong?  Easy enough to say that first contact dice of a -3 to a +2 and subsequent shake by Clan Ramsay, but truth be told, the Anglo-Irish deployment had problems.  The Bonnachts should have been in the terrain, not just using lights an attempt to deny it.  Then my heavies could have uncompressed and advanced with the Knights of the Round Table in the field.  Possibly dismounting them as SHI. 

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